Doing this with Team in Training is the only way that I would ever be able to get myself to the point that I can finish. Well, outside of paying a private coach... but that's not exactly in the budget. It's kind of fun though - having done several triathlons in the past, a lot of the folks on the team look at you like "Whoa! That's cool!" Actually, it's pretty cool - I was in their position four years ago - and by no means am I an expert here, but it's nice to be able to say "Yeah. Here's what's going to happen, you don't need to worry about this, you'll be fine if you do that, etc."
So what have I learned...
Well, the most important thing is that I think I can do it. My first 70.3, and of course I sign up for the one that a lot of people say is the most difficult in the nation. It ain't gonna be pretty, but that's not the point. The point is to cross the finish line, preferably in one piece and standing up.
I also learned that being awakened by your coach at quarter to six with Flight of the Valkyrie followed by the Imperial March, and capped off with Red Solo Cup is a bit of a surreal experience.
I learned that swimming 1.2 miles and then transitioning to your bike for a 56 mile ride isn't that bad.
I learned that you really can never put enough body glide on your neck. When in doubt, just put another streak on and your wetsuit won't chafe the living hell out of you.
I learned... no not learned... confirmed that riding 10 consecutive miles in a headwind, followed by six fast miles, followed by another six miles of headwinds, followed by 3.5 miles of gargantuan climbs (not to mention some bitchin' descents), followed by another 10 miles of headwinds really sucks. But at least it wasn't raining.
I learned that when you're going 40+ on a lightweight road bike and you get hit by a heavy crosswind that you may come close to shitting your pants. Even if you're expecting it.
I learned that running (okay... run-walking) 13 miles isn't that bad. It's the 0.1 mile that you still have left when the other 13 is done that is the toughest.
I learned that diaper rash cream may not just be for babies.
I reconfirmed that after one hell of a workout, that ice cold beer really does taste amazing.
Bring it on, Wildflower.