(Always nice to sport "I'm a triathlete" t-shirts while feeling like a total slob, huffing and puffing up a nice little hill!)
The last two weeks of the month, however, were a bit steadier with enough swim-bike-run to not feel that I totally sucked. Even last week, when I had 2 evening school commitments and CPR training from 3-6 on another day, I managed to find the time.
And Sunday was the LA Triathlon, and while I did not race, I did participate in the event in a different capacity: as a volunteer. One of my personal goals for the year was to be more involved in a 'community'. As I've become a bit more excited about triathlon, I've also recognized that connecting to other people who swim, bike, run has its benefits, as much as I dislike training with other people (and being around others in general...). Seriously, I'm a pretty big introvert, and at times doing distance stuff (for me) feeds into that introverted nature. I love riding and running and swimming alone a good majority of the time. That said, to improve, I also know that I need to train with other people, and there should be an element of FUN in the training and something social too. So, I've tried to become more active in one of the local tri groups. This has pushed me way out of my comfort zone but is also a positive experience. Anyway, to make a long story short, my participation in this group led me to being in charge of the volunteers for LA Triathlon which led to pre-race stress. Not the usual thoughts floating through my mind but more along the lines of "what if no one shows up to help out...". Fortunately, the other volunteers DID show up and were in good spirits and willing to help out with anything. From a volunteer stand-point, I was not a fan of the LA Triathlon - not to trash the group that put on the event, but they did NOT have their shit together. However, most of the people who raced seem to enjoy the experience, so what do I know?
The highlights of the day for me were not getting up at 3:50 am in order to make it to the Rose Bowl to meet up with people, nor when I got lost in downtown LA. But I did find it kind of fun to drive a U-Haul van carrying 10 bikes to Venice Beach and then returning with those same 10 bikes from Downtown LA to the Rose Bowl - it made me feel like a professional bike team driver! I did think "What if the back doors pop open and these bikes go flying onto the 110?!". Obviously the carnage (to use a popular word from the Tour de France) wouldn't be as great as if it WERE a professional team, but I was probably transporting around $18,000 of bikes. Another fun moment was when I heard a voice say "¡Señora!". This is NOT a title that I usually hear when I'm doing the triathlon part of my life, but at this moment, my work life and my extracurricular life collided and I saw a student whom I taught last year with her boyfriend (also a student, but I've never taught him). He had just picked up his medal for 1st place in the high school division! I was so impressed and then felt like a total dope as I talked to them. Ugh - I would have been awarded the awkward teacher of the year, no doubt! But it was really cool that he won!
At the end of the day, I was super tired but had enjoyed the experience. I always appreciate everything that goes into planning a race and the volunteers at races a bit more after I've done my own bit.
That was not the official end of the season - despite swearing last year that I wouldn't ever do another fall triathlon, I totally broke that promise and signed up for an October race. It's next week, and then that really will be the end of the season for me. I'm looking forward to the race, and it should be a fun way to end the season. I might feel a bit disappointed with my overall performance, we shall see, but it's actually been nice to have one more race to look forward to!