A week ago I ran a marathon in Minnesota.  This weekend my first triathlon, Tri the Boat in Steamboat Springs.

With Ironman only 6 weeks away, using this race to figure out the logistics of competing 3 sports same day.  Felt a bit intimidated at sign-in.  Boulder & Steamboat Springs are both athlete meccas, attractive for altitude training & the arid climate – sunshine, no humidity. I waited behind a trim zero-body-fat group, picked up my race packet & intently listened to instructions – where to park, where to leave my bike, starting time, transition area…becoming a quick study of everything Triathlon.

Sunday morning came early, an hour drive from my hotel in Kremmling.  Parked, carried the bike over my shoulder (like the true triathletes) & headed to transition slot 169 – my home for the day.

Pulled & tugged at my XTERRA wetsuit – crazy tight fit – but eventually managed success, zipped up ready to go.  Lined up on the shore of Stagecoach Reservoir.  Have never done this before – super nervous.

Air horn sounds & in we go.  Sub-60 degree water, C-O-L-D.  Panic, can’t breathe.  Up for air every stroke.  And unlike my gym pool, open water is murky – and deep.

Two strokes right, rollover, two strokes left – ok, moving.  Steady swimming, no longer swallowing water.

BUMP – I strike a small boat outside of boundaries.  They point the way – my goggles useless — scratched, dingy for months now. In a pool, no big deal.  In open water, can’t see a thing – pulling them on my forehead to catch a glimpse of other swimmers.

BUMP – now it’s a kayak on the other side.  Ridiculous.

I continue zigzagging my way across Stagecoach – back n forth, back n forth ‘til 2 kayakers guide my return home.  I hear them talking: I think he’s disorientated.  I tell them I’m fine – just can’t see.  They say I’ve swam full Ironman distance – yeah, that far off course.  I stumble onto shore and spew breakfast just past waterline.

I look at rows of empty bike racks – only 2 of us left…then the lady behind me quits.  Ugh – dead last 🙁

Sun beating down, I start the 56 mile bike ride – almost 3,000 feet elevation change.

No other human around.  That was the worst of it – the solitude.

Stopped at both bike aid stations but kept at it.  Last 2 stations already closed – but I finished.  I reached transition & slipped on my Hokas.  Asked directions from a volunteer & started the half marathon run.

Was pulled at the first aid station – too far back, time limitation.  Argh; it is what it is.

Hottest day of the year in Steamboat, I finished both the swim & the bike.  Not a complete fail, but gotta figure this out.

Beyond exhausted, I stop an hour later & rent a room.  Sun burnt and sleep deprived, I down a ginger ale, shower & set my alarm for 4 a.m. – back to work tomorrow: Monday, start of the work week.


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2 Responses to Tri the Boat, Steamboat Springs CO

  • Jennifer Olszowy says:

    Keep your chin up! Triathlon is a whole different mind set. You need to give yourself some much needed positive visualization of completing each piece of the race. Find your mantra and go crush your next event. You can do this! Believe in yourself and you can achieve.

    • Super positive comments Jennifer. Thanks for the great advice! You’re bang on – (need) positive visualization of completing each piece of the race. Swam Ironman distance 2 days ago (but in a pool) & biked 60 miles last night (tough ride). I can do this — you’re right! Hoping to put myself in a good mental state. 14er hike planned this weekend.

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