After months of early mornings and late nights, workouts squeezed into every possible spare moment, and adventures on bike paths and in open water, it’s official: I survived the New York City Triathlon!
A lot of people have been asking me how it was. My initial response is always to say that it went well. In fact, it went really well—I beat my last time by 13 minutes. But that’s my answer now that it’s over. As anyone who’s done any sort of race knows, postrace feelings are pretty different from prerace and during-the-race feelings.
The week leading up to the triathlon was, not surprisingly, nerve-wracking—my workouts had tapered, but my anxiety was at an all-time high. On Friday afternoon, we had a mandatory briefing where we picked up our packets and other last-minute gear. At this point, excitement was starting to replace anxiety. How could it not when there were so many inspiring athletes everywhere?
On Saturday, I met friends for brunch, where I ate a burger and French fries with abandon. After that, I went through my packing list, went through it one more time, grabbed my bike, and met my friend Becca (you may remember my training partner from this post) to head into Manhattan to sleep a friend’s place, where we’d be much closer to the start and finish lines than our Brooklyn apartments.
Needless to say, there was more tossing and turning than sleeping that night, and at 3:30 a.m., we were up and prepping. We set up our stuff so it would be ready for each leg of the race, then walked the mile or so to the swim start. After months of training, we were off!
Swim: The current was in my favor, but the swim was definitely not as easy as last time. The water, however, was as gross as last time. My excitement at seeing the exit ramp nearly elicited tears (emphasis on nearly: I’m a triathlete and there’s no crying in triathlons, right?).
Bike: It rained all morning, and wet gear is one thing, but a wet road is another. Luckily, my competitiveness trumped any fear I might have had, and before I knew it, I was going 30 miles per hour, weaving my way down a hill. No spills. No flat tires. Success.
Run: The first mile was up 72nd street, uphill from the river to Central Park. All you really want to do is walk (or, uh, take a nap), but there are too many people cheering. Great friends with amazing signs made it so much better.
Not even two and a half hours after I was nervously waiting to hop into the Hudson, I was done, and elated by my time. Following a rinse and a postrace beer, I found my way to my couch and didn’t move for a long, long time.
Contrary to my thoughts during the swim, I’m already daydreaming about how many minutes I can shave off my time next year (ah, how easily one forgets), but until the actual decision-making time comes, I’ll be basking in the accomplishment of my latest goal.
Check out my previous installments here, and ask me any training questions in the comments!