I should not have complained about the heat in Nashville- Eight days after I ran the Rock n Roll Half Marathon in humid conditions that nearly gave me heat stroke I raced the Spring Sprint triathlon in San Diego and just about froze my feet off.
There were downpours. There was hail. There was a headwind that brought you to a standstill. It was absolutely the most challenging conditions I’ve ever faced, if only because the cold and wet made you downright miserable. I didn’t even want to get out of my car and walk to transition, and I cut it a bit close to set up my gear in time. In the end, not such a bad thing- the VIP on the end of our row didn’t show to claim her reserved spot, so I got primo parking and didn’t have to stand around waiting for long.
Did I mention San Diegans don’t own rain gear? Yours truly showed up in sweatpants and a sweatshirt that were quickly soaked through as the heavens opened and dumped buckets upon those of us who slacked getting to transition. I was happy to strip down to my tri kit- at least that dries quickly.
I’ll be the first to admit that I was rooting for the race to be knocked down to a duathlon. Luckily the triathlon gods weren’t listening, because the swim was the most pleasant part of the day! With air temperatures below 55, the 65 degree water felt downright balmy, and the wetsuit kept you warmer than a soaked jacket. Now I know- the swim is a good thing.
Out on the bike and run I went sockless because I didn’t want to put on wet socks, and thus suffered blisters on my toes. I realized as I was biking that I couldn’t feel my feet- it actually felt like I was pushing my legs down onto blocks of ice. I didn’t get feeling again until midway through the run, when the heavens opened again with one last screw-you shower.
Going in to that race I was miserable, tired, cold, wet, and the closest I’ve ever come to backing out of a race. But you know what? I laughed throughout the entire thing. What else could you do? I paid my money. I had group of friends racing with me who would never let me quit. And I wasn’t alone out there- my fellow competitors were just as crazy as me.
You can’t control the conditions. You have to play the hand you’re dealt and get on with it. The time will pass regardless of whether you’re racing or binge watching Netflix- and it’s a lot more fun to be out there riding your bike through the rain and running through mud high-fiving strangers. I race to have fun, and surprisingly that race ended up being pretty darn fun.
Also, I am in the market for a rain jacket…