I competed in the Pflugerville Triathlon this morning, my first race since the half-iron and my first sprint in almost a year!
How'd it go, you ask? I'm not quite sure where to even begin.
Maybe I should start with how I fell off the wagon so hard after Wildflower that I haven't really worked out more than 5 times in the last month and a half. And how I hadn't run in over a month at all. And how I'd only been in the pool once. I'm actual living proof you can go from ironman-badass to washed-up-triathlete-with-a-beer-belly in only 6 weeks.
Or maybe I should start with the fact that my age group was 10-29 year olds and I got beat so bad on the swim by a 12-year-old it took me 12 MILES to catch her on the bike. Or how about that 76-year-old man who won his age group (he was the only one in it) who beat my time by 4 minutes?
But aside from all the laughable foibles of the morning, I was reminded why I love the sport. A sprint race (500-meter swim, 14-ish-mile bike, 3.1-mile run) is the perfect triathlon for me. It's the perfect distance for racing as hard as you want and still finishing with a smile on your face. The distance is accessible to first-timers and seasoned pros, making the atmosphere one of "we're just out here for fun." It was a marked difference from my half-iron experience, and one that I was glad to be reminded of. I will always be glad that I did a half-iron when I was young enough and still had enough free time to do it, but I'm also glad that intense single-mindedness is gone.
I'm glad I'm back to the level of the sport where I can train and race for fun, rather than survival.
And I'm celebrating with a cold one.