I came to Indonesia last August hoping to do two marathons, but then I got injured (and maybe also a little lazy) and I didn’t train for any. What I loved most about marathon training at home was running with all the fun people in my running group. It was much less appealing to train for a marathon alone here than it was with all my friends in America. I couldn’t fathom heading out for a 20 miler alone, particularly in a country where running even one mile gets curious glances. I still have hopes for the marathon next year, but in the meantime, I have discovered another sport obsession…
After next Saturday morning, I will be an official triathlete! Tomorrow, I will head to Bintan Island, near Singapore, to do my first sprint triathlon – swim 750m, bike 20km, then run a 5K. I’m going with my friend Jackie and a bunch of people from Tribuddies, her triathlete group in Jakarta, so it should be a lot of fun. I’m not too nervous about the distances or my time – I should be done around or just under 2 hours, and for this first one, I just want to finish successfully. I’m far more worried about the logistics of getting my bike there – I successfully boxed it up yesterday, but I have had to rent a private car to take me the 90 minute trip to the airport. I’m just hoping the airline will accept it as luggage, will check it the whole way through, and that I’ll successfully get it to the hotel and then to the start line without dropping a ton of cash. It’s a bit complicated, especially in this country, where everything is more complicated than it should be!
Bike transport aside, I’m really excited to get out and race! Bintan is supposed to be a beautiful island – it (like most islands in Indonesia, apparently) is billed as the “next Bali.” With just doing a sprint triathlon, I think I should do pretty well. Throughout training, I’ve easily swam much farther than this distance, I have a strong long-term running base, and I biked this distance almost weekly since getting my road bike in March. I trained pretty consistently, and I think I will be prepared. As with marathoning, the most fun part of it may prove to be the training. Doing so much and such varied exercise was a great way to fill my (ample) free time here. I got to swim, bike, and run in some beautiful places, both at home and while on the road:
And I got to meet some fun Indonesian people through Tribuddies when I tagged along for open-water swims on visits to Jakarta. I wish I lived in Jakarta so I could train with them full time, but what can you do? I’m looking forward to the fun weekend we’ll have on Bintan – especially after the triathlon is over and the real fun can start!