Gina’s First Triathlon, Part 2: Getting to the Start Line

After my freakouts, I pulled myself together and did a quick practice ride (Portland’s streets are so bike-friendly!) and then put on my super-sexy sausage casing to see what swimming in the Willamette would be like (turns out: not quite as disgusting as I feared, but still not something I’d recommend too enthusiastically. It did not taste good).  This calmed my nerves a little.  We also had some social plans that day, and the distraction of spending quality time with good people was most welcome.

Sunday: RACE DAY!

Up at ass o’clock in the morning, made oatmeal using the coffeemaker in the hotel room, put on my gear and a whole lotta waterproof sunblock.  Tried to look as serious as the people I’d seen at packet pickup:


Alex (best pit crew ever) drove us to the venue and dropped me off at body marking while he went off to find parking. I was Sharpied with my number and my age and sent off to set up my transition area. The sun was just about to come up, and everyone was kind of buzzing about. I felt a little giddy.


Looking at everyone else, I realized I’ve been putting on swim caps incorrectly for my entire training. Put it on right and zipped up the wetsuit because it was chilly. Starting to get really pumped. Asked some girl to take my picture.

triathlon start st. john's bridge

I listened to the pre-race instructions (blah blah blah, your swim wave is marked on your cap, blah blah blah, aid stations will be here and here, etc.) and then met up with Alex. Walking around barefoot on the asphalt kind of tore my feet up, I might try garbage bag “shoes” next time.  Waited and waited for my swim wave to start…


…just as you will have to wait til tomorrow for Part 3! 🙂


9 thoughts on “Gina’s First Triathlon, Part 2: Getting to the Start Line

  1. You are so badass! And you look so amazing in your serious picture. I love it! As a former swimteam swimmer, I’m really intrigued to find out how you were wearing your swimcap wrong. Wrongly? Eh? You tell me, miss English teacher. 🙂

    • Hey thanks!

      I was putting it on… horizontally, I guess? Say you’ve got your swim cap, and it’s flat. There’s not a seam, per se, but it has a fold at the top, right? So I was putting that flat front on my forehead so the fold was going from ear to ear, instead of from the front to the back of my head.

      I don’t think it was a huge deal — it worked either way — but it worked better the way everyone else was doing it!

      (And, “wrongly.” ;))

  2. Garbage bag shoes, as in tying bags around your feet until the race started? Are you going to do that for Big Rock? I wonder if I should try swimming in my vibram five fingers and see if that would be helpful for keeping feet safe before the swim.

  3. Yes, that is what I meant… and I dunno. I thought about getting some of those flimsy pedicure flip flops. If you have those 5 finger shoes, that sounds like a great idea to try!

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