I'm not sure what spurred me on towards the idea of a triathlon, but it's something I've always wanted to do. I've always really loved swimming, and in recent years, I've come to love running too. I'm pretty goal oriented and I'm training for some kind of race about 90% of the time. If I don't have something to work towards, I feel that my efforts are in vain...which is not true but it feels that way. By efforts, I mean going to spin classes, 3-4 mile runs, strength training, swimming at the Y, etc.
The cost of doing a tri has kept me from doing one until this year. I've joined the Y near my house (GREAT investment) and bought my roommate's hybrid bike. I signed up for an all women's sprint triathlon at Lake Allatoona in Ackworth (about 30 miles northwest of Atlanta). It's 400m swimming (a little less than a quarter mile), 13 mile bike ride, and a 5k.
There are 4 distances for triathlons- sprint (varying in distances around that listed above), olympic (1.5k swim, 24.9mi bike, 10k run), ironman (2.4 mi swim, 112 mi bike, 26.2 mi run), and half ironman (do the math).
There are 2 transitions, usually held in the same transition area, where the bike racks are located. This is where I'll go directly following my swim to put on my shorts, helmet, and sunglasses before I jump on the bike (this is T1). Then in the second transition (T2), I'll re-rack my bike and head out for the run. I have heard that this transition from the bike to run is difficult and I've done a couple of workouts (aka 'brick' workouts) when I've biked a number of miles before running and it is hard.
Something I've tried to remember to do lately when the runs get tough is "this huffing and puffing, pain and fatigue in my muscles is what alive feels like," which really helps to take my mind off the pain for a second.
I'm trying to keep the butterflies in my stomach to a minimum by throwing my time expectations out the window. If I relax and enjoy the fruits of all my training and hard work, I think it will be awesome.
Every single person I've spoken to who has done this race says that it's fantastic for your first tri. There's even rumors of a chocolate fondue fountain at the end of the race. yum. That's enough motivation for an awesome finishing kick.