“God may forgive your sins, but your nervous system won't”
I haven't felt so unconfident, if that is a word, about a race shorter than a half-ironman for a long time. But here I am, in Pearl City on the majestic island of Oahu, feeling rather tenuous about my first Hawaiian triathlon tomorrow. The Tinman Triathlon, a long running, large triathlon off the beaches of Waikiki that includes an ocean swim of 800 meters, a 40 km bike ride, and a 10 km run.
I have done this sort of distance and much, much longer for 12 years, numbering close to 90, and I sit here feeling extremely underwhelmed about the whole thing. What gives?
A lot of that most likely has to do with the fact that I am in an unfamiliar place, it's ridiculously warm outside (we have to get up at 2:30 AM. It will be 77 degrees already. That in itself is insane) and I don't have the "comforts" of home races. I have spent the last few days hydrating so thoroughly that I am a walking sports drink dispenser. I probably have urine that tastes like Gatorade by now. Yeah, that was uncalled for. Sorry.
My wave starts at 5:30. I think that includes all the people who look like me (male, skinny, shaved legs, beginning to bald) but who will mostly go much faster than me until the run when I plan to demolish the field. And about these ocean swims: I love salt, like salt on my french fries, salt on my tortilla chips, and some nice kosher salt on my medium rare steaks. But I don't regularly guzzle salt water, and that is what I will be doing for 12-13 minutes in the morning while getting my heart rate up to about 90% of max. Mmm, that ought to make the tummy feel good.
And, did I mention that the sun doesn't even rise until 6:05? For you mathematically challenged blog-fans, that's 35 minutes AFTER MY SWIM START. Should I have an underwater LED for safety? A blinky bike light around my head so no one mows me down?
One thing is for certain, I will not be setting any records. My plan is to go easy on the swim, go easy the first whole half of the bike, and then from there on, deposit my muscle and liver glucose stores out on the highways of Honolulu. Hopefully it will be fun. Hopefully there will be no Ironman-esque flat tires.
It could always be worse; I could be at school.
When I think of it that way, I feel like a complete moron. Who on earth would complain about doing a triathlon in Hawaii?
Anyone seen my cup of salt water?