By Vicki Edwards, East End Tri
I don’t know how it happened. It felt more like punishment for losing a bet. It felt like self-inflicted torture. Why would anyone want to swim, then bike and then run IN THE SAME DAY??? These people were crazy and I was crazier for agreeing to do it.
I didn’t know about training so I just did some runs, a few bikes and swam in my pool. I never put them all together or trained any of the disciplines back to back. I figured if I could run for 3 miles, bike an hour and swim for 15 minutes I was good to go. Transition? What is that?
So I googled, you tubed and searched for some info on this sport called Triathlon. Jellyfish? Really? Wetsuit? I was not rolling in money so opted to swim in a bathing suit – yes a tankini – don’t laugh – and get dressed in the new world called transition. Wet feet – bring a basin and some soap and a fluffy white towel. Baby powder check. I had it all. I borrowed a bike because when I dug mine out from when I was 13, the rust was in the shape of a bike. That wouldn’t work. I didn’t think it would even hold me up.
So I tried my first tri on a borrowed bike with limited training in a tankini. Wow what a sight.
My swim was chaotic – I suddenly realized I had no idea how to swim. These people were fast and furious. They were gone before I even began. As I was “swimming” I was thinking I had no right to be there. They swam beautifully, their heads in the water, their bodies straight and their strokes like a ballet. All I could think was thank God I survived and my feet were on land. Now to venture to transition. More chaos. People everywhere grabbing bikes and running with them. Running comes later on right? I quietly sat, washed my feet, dried them with my now dirty towel, powdered them, put on my socks and shoes and walked with my bike while people were now running back into transition with their bikes. They were done already! Wait for me! The bike was uneventful but felt like it took forever. I was ok on the bike and even passed people. My legs were crying but it was wonderful to feel like I was flying past people. Back into transition and time to run. RUN? What were these stumps at the bottom of my body? They were not legs, they were bricks and they were not moving. How was I supposed to run? I tried my best and after about 15 minutes I had legs again. I felt more normal and I was running. Well, sort of. I felt like I was running but when a man who was 75 blew by me I thought “hey, wait a minute! You’re 75 – I can beat you!” Well, no. No I couldn’t. I was lucky I could still see him further up the road.
Fast forward twelve years to present day and I am very lucky to still be participating in this amazing sport called triathlon. I have learned so much from so many people and I am still learning today. I am now a coach and I help new triathletes avoid the first try (tri) awkwardness. I am blessed that I can pass along what I have learned. This sport is unlike any other. It is not just about a swim, a bike or a run. It is about putting them all together back to back and making them dance in a beautiful rhythm. It embraces everyone – young and old, tall and short, skinny and thick. There is no sport as amazing and as all encompassing. If you try a tri, your life will change. I know mine did.
Vicki Edwards is the owner of East End Tri and proudly holds the following credentials:
NY Tri Expo Steering Committee 2016
Team Challenge LI Asst Coach
USAT Certified Race Official
USAT Certified Level I Coach
NASM Certified Personal Trainer
NASM Certified Corrective Exercise Specialist
USMS Certified Coach
Training Peaks Certified Coach