Wow, what a day! Today was my first triathlon of the year. It was just the second of my life. My first being 3 years ago and where I will be returning in 2 weeks to try it again. When I first started this blog and my weight loss I honestly didn’t expect to do this well so soon. Don’t get me wrong I did NOT win this triathlon today 🙂 It did go pretty well for me though and am feeling pretty good about my next tri! Ok so on to the report………
I woke up for good and felt tired so I did something unusual for me and took a shower. I know what you wondering now…does he not normally shower? lol I do except for when I train or race first thing in the morning. The shower was a good move as I was wide awake and felt ready to race.
I was in the car and on the road. The triathlon was being held in a small town just over an hour from where I live. I left early to be sure I was there in time and to give me extra time for breakdown or something. It was a foggy drive but I still managed to make good time and got there just over an hour later.
I had my bike and gear bag at transition. I got a pretty sweet transition spot as I had an end spot on the rack closest to the bike exit. This meant I had the least amount of distance to walk my bike in and out of T1. If you ever do a tri that’s a key thing to look for as it’s easier to run to the run exit then to run to your spot with a bike! From there I went in search of registration to grab my bib, chip, souvenir t-shirt and water bottle(was happy with this as I didn’t have one!)
I was wishing I wasn’t early as I had 55 minutes to wait for this thing to start! It was fine though as I chatted with the other competitor’s and walked the T-zone to take pictures. There were a LOT of nice bikes there! All the guys and gals with nice bikes were also using wetsuits even though it was a fairly short swim for them. The one guy who I talked with the most said he could transition in less than 2 minutes even with the wet suit! It took me roughly 3m40s but that does include the walk from the buoy to my bike and until I got on my bike. But still that means I was probably 1-2 mins slower still 🙂
I had read somewhere that you should enter the water 10 minutes ahead of the start to let your body get use to the water temp so that’s what I did. I don’t know what the temp was this morning but an e-mail from the race director suggested it would be around 70C. I do know it was a lot cooler than the pool I swim in 🙂 Once I was in there for a while I was good to go!
We finally started this puppy after some announcements and the singing of “O Canada”. I started pretty well I thought but the water was choppy and I was soon taking enough water that I bailed on swimming with my head in the water. I went back to swimming with my head fully out at all times even though it was going to take more effort. Even though I had full sight of the buoys it seemed I was constantly fighting to swim right for the straighter route. I may have been swimming straight but couldn’t tell as there were no lane markings(if I had had my head in the water….lol) and I wasn’t going to take the time to look back to see where I was in relation to the past bouy and the one I was going for. I
I was happy to realize I wasn’t going to be last out of the water with 300m to go. At this point it looked like it took me about 12 mins to do the first 450m. I was happy I wasn’t going to be any worse than 3 years ago especially since I have only been swimming 5 weeks now. When I finally could touch the bottom with my hand just past the swim finish buoy I finally got up on my feet and looked at my watch…17mins…not bad but not great.
The T-ZONE was set up right along the beach so I ran down the beach line to my bike and climbed the 3 foot bank to my spot. I learned today that I won’t wear the socks I wore for a race again. They’re like 2 socks in one and they don’t go on well or fast when you have damp feet! I usually don’t have a problem with blisters so I’ll go with a different pair in 2 weeks. I thought other than the socks T1 went pretty well but could have been better. Next time I set a towel on the ground to stand on and dry/clean my feet……use it! I had to sit down and clean a lot of sand off my feet. They include T1 with your swim time so based on my watch and their results I estimated T1 took me 3:40. That’s from standing in the water just past the swim finish till the time I crossed the mats to mount my bike. Next year will be faster!
Took off on the bike to see what this hilly ride looked like that I kept hearing about. My plan all along was to kill myself on the down hills and flats and rest while climbing. My climbing isn’t the greatest so figured it was a good plan. It was definitely a hilly ride. Not really a lot of them but they were good hills! I was almost tempted to drop into my bottom 3rd set of gears but I wouldn’t allow it. What kept me going on the ride is picking out other riders that I wanted to pass. The trick was that I had to pass them more than once because they were better climbers but I was faster on the downhills and flats.
On the first hill a guy passed me on the uphill and I said I knew he was going to pass me as he looked strong. Surprisingly I passed him fairly quickly on the downhill and said as I passed I’d see him on the next hill. It was the truth…lol. For the first 4 hills I’d pass him then he’d catch me on the uphills. However I was making up good time on the flats and downhills so that 4th hill he just barely passed me at the top and I never saw him again after I got past him. The bike was my best finish in the 3 disciplines as I finished the 20 miles in 68th out of 120. I was really happy with this when I saw the results.
For 20 miles I averaged 18.25mph for a time of 1:05:32
I got back to T-zone to drop my bike off. T2 is quick and easy for me as I don’t have clip pedals and shoes to change out of and into running shoes. All I had to do was drop my bike and helmet and head out for the run. So this obviously was a quick time say 60sec or less as the only other time in T2 was running out of it. The run exit was at the opposite end of where I was but like I mentioned earlier better to be running without a bike then running with it to the other end.
The run took some time to get a normal feeling in my legs as I had burnt them up pretty well on that bike ride. Wearing my Garmin was a smart move though as every time I thought I was dying I’d see I was doing pretty well. At times I was under 9min/miles but for the most part when I looked at it I was around 9.5/mile and of course up the odd big hill I was as high as 10.5/mile. My outside goal was to break 9min miles but that didn’t happen or did it? My run time ended up being 46:19 but that included T2 so maybe I did just do a 9/mile average? Close anyways. 46:19 does work out to a 9:15.6/mile for 5 miles so T2 included or not it’s now my fastest MPH run time in a race now.
So as the start finish line came into view I realized all the cheering would be for me as no one was in sight behind me…yahoo 🙂 As I got close enough to see the clock I finally got the will to run a bit quicker. I hadn’t before then as I had already figured I’d be closer to my 2:15 max time goal then to my hope for a miracle goal of 2:00 🙂 Anyways when I could see the clock it said 2:xx:xx After reading it closer and viewing the distance I still had to cover I decided for one last push for a few seconds. I saw I had a small chance to be under 2:12:30 so picked up the pace with what I had left which wasn’t much. Turned out it wasn’t enough as the results they posted later showed 2:12:31 🙂
After dropping my timing chip I headed immediately for my TZ spot. I proceeded to strip down to my swim suit and drop my eyeglasses. Then I headed for the lake and JUMPED in! I realized on the run I was still in my Tri-swimming shorts so why not cool off! It was glorious as I was just deep enough to keep my feet on bottom so I didn’t go anywhere yet deep enough to be under water. From there it was a good 5 minutes of yoga like breathing and meditating and a bit wondering if people thought I’d come back in alive or not 🙂 After my cool down I was almost regretting it as my legs felt like they may cramp up. They never did though so that was good. Next time though I’ll walk it off a bit before jumping back in the water as it’s not worth the risk of cramping up.
I was told before the race it was a good race for a few reasons. There was a free BBQ afterwards, awards once everyone was done but for more than just the Age Group winners and it was a good atmosphere. They say a lot of the other races aren’t the same as there’s multiple race distances and everyone takes off as soon as they’re done their event. I’m not usually one of those guys to stick around especially being their on my own and knowing no one but for the above reasons I did today.
The BBQ was good as they provided hot dogs, hamburgers and veggie burgers as well as bananas,green and red grapes, oranges, watermelons, cookies, pop and water. I ended up eating everything but the pop, cookies and hamburgers. I don’t know why exactly but I went for the veggie burger and you know I forgot all about it being one when I was taking with folks. Wasn’t too bad at all. While we were eating word came out the last participant was coming in so I moved over to the finish line and clapped when she crossed the line.
The awards were pretty good as they had a lot of prizes. I wasn’t fortunate enough to win anything but did have a good conversation with this guy I sat beside. This race included the volunteers in the drawing of prizes and even awarded some “spirit of event”? award to the cooking crew. Sorry guess I was talking when they announced the exact title 🙂
Once they ran out of prizes it was time to go home. I already had loaded everything in so I was homeward bound pronto.
I was really glad I did this race as it was really well run and the people were great both volunteer’s and competitors’. The price was right as well as it only cost $38 after taxes. Most other tri’s start at $60+ before the taxes. I wonder if the diff in prices comes down to the medals as we didn’t get one at this race(not that I require one). If you’re ever in this area definitely consider this race. They have a lot of people coming 4+ hours to this so I know I’m right 🙂
As for my results…..pretty pleased I must say. I know I need to work on my swimming but the bike and run went really well so I excited for my next tri in 2 weeks. I’m thinking big PR for it based on today’s results. Here’s today’s number’s in one spot:
Run: 8km/5 miles
85 John FULLER Renfrew 384 2:12:31 Men 35-39 6/8 7 98 20:40 6 68 1:05:32 29.3km/h 7 100 46:19 5:48/km
I’ve added a photo gallery here as it was just easier than sticking them in where they belong 🙂