Now that it’s been over 6 months, I think I’m finally ready to talk about my first triathlon. No, it wasn’t that bad. It was actually a great experience. In fact, I’m now signed up for an Olympic distance this year. Sure, it’s about half what I did in Victoria, but it will still be my second ever triathlon. But those details will come in another post.
I woke up early in the morning, around 5:30. Amy and I had packed the night before, but I went through all my triathlon gear a 4th time while she was in the shower. A quick bite to eat and we’re off in the car to catch the Victoria Clipper in Seattle.
I’m still pretty groggy and tired. After I drop Amy off with our luggage by a large group of team members waiting to board, I manage to finally find the parking lot and park the car. A quick run back over to the clipper and… Amy is nowhere to be found. I talked with our Captain, Karen, and my other mentor, Sarah. Amy showed back up with coffee. You bet I married her!
We showed the boarding people our passports and got priority boarding, since we were a large group. Up to the top of the clipper we went to take up most of that level. The rest of the trip was fairly uneventful. I was still pretty tired and out of it despite the caffeine. I think I was still a little in denial about doing a triathlon. We talked for a bit and took a few pictures. I read my kindle and played on my new DS3.
Eventually, we docked in Victoria, headed through Canadian customs, and walked across the street to our hotel. It was nice being so close. When I came to cheer Amy on last year, we had to walk about 1/2 a mile to the hotel with all our luggage. This time we had even more luggage, since we were both doing the event!
We checked in and dropped our stuff off in the hotel. Then we headed down with a bunch of team members to Red Fish Blue Fish. They serve fish “tacones”. They’re like tacos, but rolled into a cone 🙂 We had to wait in line for about an hour, but it was worth it!
After lunch, Amy and I headed out to grab some food for the weekend at a local market. We got some bananas, peanut butter, cream cheese, bagels, and chocolate milk (pre and post race nutrition!).
We got back to the hotel and stored our things. After hanging around the hotel for a bit, we headed out to the Spaghetti Factory for dinner with the team. There’s a long back room we take most of that looks over the next door lawn bowling club. It’s fun to watch while we eat. After dinner, it’s back to the hotel for some internet surfing, reading, and bed.
We meant to get up around 5 am, to help with getting up early for the race on Sunday. No luck. We roll out of bed around 7:30 and, after showers, wondered down stairs to find some food. There’s a neat little coffee place under the hotel we were in that I go to every time we come to Victoria. Pretty decent coffee. This morning we sampled their breakfast sandwiches, which also turned out pretty good.
After wandering around town for a bit, a few of us decided to head to “tea”. Most of us had never had proper Canadian tea before. The most famous place to have tea is the Empress Hotel. However, we all decided it was a bit pricey, so we went to a small place up a side road. The ladies running the place were nice, though I think they were a little perturbed at all of us Americans invading. But the tea was good and the snacks nice. After tea, we headed back to the Hotel to catch a bus to Elk Lake to pick up our race packets and bikes.
At the lake, we grabbed our race packets first, as the cargo truck with our bikes was about 15 minutes late. Once there, we got our bikes and did a quick mechanical check. Then we rode for about 2 miles to make sure everything was working. We dumped our bikes into the transition area and most of us put on our wetsuits and jumped in the water. It wasn’t too bad and I quickly warmed up swimming. I’m glad I jumped in the day before, because I think it helped give me some confidence for the race.
We headed back to the bus and into Victoria. At the hotel, we were greeted by Megan, the LLS TnT coordinator and a great, fun pre-race dinner. There were many speeches from Coach Fred and Captain Karin. Then a demonstration by Karin and Amy contrasting what to and not to do during transition. Amy was the “to do” and did a quick transition from swim to bike to run. Karin was hilarious as the what “NOT to do” person. She would stop and eat a hamburger. Make a phone call. Complain about her feet. It was great!
After a few more speeches, it was off to bed for an early night. We set the alarm clocks for 3 am and closed the black out curtains. Then we laid out our gear, going through everything for a 6th time.
Swim? Wetsuit, goggles, cap, tri shorts, tri shirt, Glide, towel. Check.
Bike? Helmet, sunglasses, gloves, bike jacket, socks, bike shoes, water bottles, Nuun, CarboPro, Gu shots, Gu gels, salt tablets, number on number belt, Garmin, heart rate monitor. Check.
Run? Spare socks, running shoes, water bottle, Gu shots, Gu gels, salt tablets. Check.
After race? Cliff Bar, water bottle, change of cloths, extra towel. Check.
Repack everything in the correct order, and off to bed!