My mom always uses that phrase and I used to think that it didn't make any sense... until the Chicago Triathlon. So MANY things went wrong!
I started the day at 3:45am, packed up the car and thenwas on my way by 4:30, I wanted to be in transition by 5am, giving me 45 minutes to set up, naturallly it doesn't even take that long, but you know, better to be safe than sorry! But as I was driving into the city, I suddenly got this sinking feeling that I had forgotten something... So I started racking my brain, going through everything when it dawned on me... No waterbottle! When they said the temp would be in the 90s I knew this was a big problem! but what could I do?! So I continued on my journey and just figured I'd be fine... So I set up my transition and went to find my triathlon team. Thankfully I quickly ran into them! One of the guys had an extra waterbottle and gave it to me... it was 5:40! We had to be out of the transition area at 5:45 and weren't allowed back in until we were in the transition phase of the race. So I sprinted back, put it on my bike and was good to go! But then... I couldn't find my team! I wandered around for close to an hour! Thankfully I was able to run into my co-worker Pam who was doing the Sprint Distance! I wished her Good Luck and then set off to find my team again! Luckily I was able to reconnect with them!
So the race started and I watched as wave, after wave, after wave of triathletes jumped into the water. I naturally procrastinated on doing this race for so long that I was put into the "Overflow" category which meant that I was the last wave to go into the water! So while the race started at 6am with the Sprint distance, I didn't get into the water until 9:52! So I finally got into the water and felt great, minus the fact that I was now hungry since I ate at 4am! I was swimming along when suddenly I heard some crazy cheering and "Go Emily!" So I looked up towards the wall and saw my co-worker Pam, who had since finished the Sprint distance and came back to cheer me on! It was extra special since I was without a cheering section for this race!
I finally finished the swim, and unlike other triathlons, we had to climb up some stairs. So basically we swam straight into the stairs, where volunteers were waiting to pull us out.. I definitely had swim legs, because I made it to the top step and stepped sideways and some nice Volunteer gentlemen caught me before I tumbled down the stairs and wouldn't let go until I said I was ok! Hopefully, the photographer that was taking pictures as we got out didn't get a picture of that! So then I booked it to transition and put on my clothes for the bike.
I grabbed my powerbar and helmet and I was off! The powerbar was wonderful for my growling stomach, what can I say I was nervous before and didn't eat a ton - BIG MISTAKE! Then I grabbed the waterbottle and finally felt some of my thirst quenched... but then trouble hit! I didn't properly put the water bottle back into my holder and it fell out. Now naturally the first thought would be to stop and pick it up... well that couldn't happen since I was on lakeshore drive going down a hill! AWESOME! Literally this was the first 2 minutes of the bike! So I proceeded to bike, dying of thirst, and naturally there are 0 aid stations along the 25 mile bike course! Talk about brutal! Finally I got back to transition and was on to the run. I grabbed another powerbar from my bag... But here was another mistake... I didn't pay attention to the fact that it was a chocolate covered powerbar! In 90 degree weather, you can pretty much guess the state of my powerbar! So I managed one bite! Then I was on my way out of transition I immediately asked a volunteer where the water was, I think she thought I was crazy... and maybe I was or just delirious! J/K.. sorta... So at almost every aid/water station I grabbed numerous cups of water... It was now a little after noon and the sun was beating down, but I made it that far I wasn't about to stop! So my run was horrific... I mean if you can even call it a run.. It was definitely more of a run/walk with more walking than running! But I met this nice woman named Pam and we finished the run together about 5 miles, or so!
As always the finish line was a glorious site! Pam and I crossed around the same time and gave each other a big High Five... It was fun!
My Big Triathlon Lessons:
1. Make sure to leave an empty waterbottle in my car at all times.. would have solved my panic from the beginning!
2. Make sure to properly put the waterbottle into my waterbottle holder!
3. Be sure to pick the appropriate power bars!