Saturday, August 15, 2015

Unbothered Day 15: DNF (Did Not Finish)

Dorothy Allison is one of my favorite writers!

Today was my first triathlon and my first DNF.  I'm a little bit hyped that I have found my DNF.  I think I said it here that I was introduced to the phrase "quest for a DNF" by Rob, my Spartan friend.

I went into the race petrified about the swim.  I had only done 2 open water swims to prepare, and the one yesterday was horrible.  I have a panic attack in the water and inhaled half the lake.  I left yesterday's swim ready to stay home today.  Then I got home and when putting my stuff together I discovered that my tire was flat.  So I had to go out at 9 to get bike supplies; my wake up time was 4am.

I was praying to anybody that would listen for a safe swim.  I've never swam a third of a mile and certainly not in a lake!  Luckily, I made it through with the help of some great volunteer lifeguards. I was last out of the water and then it was onto the bike.  Right when I got onto the road, I saw a man across the street from me crash loudly.  He started screaming and two volunteers went over to him.  That really shook me up because until then I was only worried about dying in the water.  I really hope that guy is ok.

The bike course was a grip of hills.  Whoever coined the phrase "rolling hills" needs to quit it.  They went on forever, and soon my left knee started to get achy.  I whizzed down some hills and felt really surprised by how fast a bike can go.  I met some nice volunteers.  The bike support guy came by and gave me a quick lesson on gear shifting.  After a while, a support guy came along and told me I had 20 minutes to bike 6 miles to meet the cutoff.  He also told me that a storm was approaching.  At first I told myself to keep pushing, but then I remembered that I have never gone for a rainy day ride.  I hopped into the van and met a lovely man named Alex whose derailer had broken.  I racked my bike, got my stuff, and then went over to the finish line to turn in my timing chip and cheer on the finishers.  

My next triathlon is on September 12, and I'll be making practice on the course a priority!  However, if I get another DNF, that's cool too.  I'm going to keep at it until I complete one.  I joked that I'll be the Susan Lucci of triathlon.

Here is a rundown of today's takeaways:

  • Because I love trying new things, I'm often not so great at them.  Having a sense of humor is important for me.
  • I have some helpful triathlete friends!  I met people from 2 FB groups, Pathetic Triathletes and Fit Fatties.  They gave me lots of advice and helped me calm down before the swim.
  • When I tell people that I didn't finish, some try to console me by saying that I did better than everybody who didn't race ("people on the couch").  In true Courtney fashion, I tell them that I don't compare myself to other people and that people on the couch are making an activity choice that I respect.  I never liked that saying anyway because it's ableist.  People who sit are not worse than people who don't.
  • I wasn't too bummed about the DNF because I remembered to be kind to myself.  I was really proud for showing up this morning, so anything above that was whatever.
  • I have the course information for the next race, so I will make concrete plans to practice riding on that course and swimming in that pond.
  • I saw 2 Black women at the race.  Go head on, sistas!!
  • After the race, I saw Alex at the beer tent hanging with his friends.  He said that he'd think about the 9/12 race I was telling him about.  It was nice to see him celebrating with his friends.
  • I was told that I could have done the race anyway, but I chose to go home and eat.  Now I'm getting ready for the movies.
Thought For Today:  How do I handle it when I don't achieve a fitness-related goal?

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