Agree entirely with Hilly. What fun!
Registration at 6:10 am was definitely daunting, particularly as I had half an hour's cycle to get there! Arrived at first light, to meet up with a very cheerful woman some years my senior, I think, who was also doing her first tri. So we enjoyed it together.
Much more complicated than running races: having to find out how to put your kit out, what the rules of transition are, and so on.
Shivering on an early morning poolside is an experience which goes back to swimming lessons as a child in cold outdoor pools. I felt very small again. The pool was warm, the air cold, my goggles misted, visibility was nil, I swam into the wall, the lane markers, but happily only once into someone else, and he was going my way. I went faster than I intended to and got a bit out of breath. I was not the slowest swimmer.
The cycle was lovely, and the bike shop had done me proud in the overhaul of my bike. We in the first wave were definitely the lucky ones, as the wind got up later. I don't seem able make my legs go round fast enough to get out of breath. So I just enjoyed all of it.
On approaching the transition, I began to realize I was ominously numb, from sternum south to knees, and in my feet. Racked bike unsteadily, checking to see that feet were indeed in contact with ground, wobbled through to the run. I pannicked a bit, would have done better to go dead slow until I found my feet, but tried to run instead, got tense and out of breath. Calmed down after about 1k, but never really found my best stride.
Still I liked that bit. On the way out met most of the friendly members of my wave coming back, all grinning cheerfully. My newfound pal beat me home by a couple of minutes, but waited at the finish line for me. Recovered quite quickly, we sat amicably chomping and drinking and analysing the gait of others as they staggered off their bikes. Clearly far better athletes than I find it difficult.
OK folks, thanks for all your encouragement! Tri-guys, how to beat the numbness? How to beat tense shoulders in the cycling? Maybe I'll see if the local tri club can accomodate slowpokes.