I am so very happy with my results of the triathlon. I bet it would be amazing for some that raced to believe though. For example, I overheard some competitors that looked like they had been done for half an hour that were wandering back toward their car look over at the finish line, yeah the one that I had just crossed not three minutes earlier, and ask, “Are there still people out there?”
So anyway, I did the swim in 13:26. It was a little worse than I thought it would be with the 50 yard pool and the wind blowing the water over the southern edge there was a cross current to swim in. At my pace I needed about a 10 degree angle to stay on course. I did try the rest with the backstroke thing a couple of times, but gave up on it after I nailed some guy in the head. I was sighting off the person behind me and she had gone off course too. The length of the pool was nice to count fewer laps, but less pushing off the wall means more swimming. I was in my first lap and thinking “is the race really started”, I don’t think I was quite ready. I was huffing after the first lap. Then I got myself calmed down and went to what I had practiced. I passed the two people that started before me, they staggered us 10 seconds apart in each lane. When I got done I thought I had only done 8 lengths of the pool (I guess I bumped heads hard) but looked up and saw that fast lanes were empty and the medium speed lanes were mostly empty and a couple of people were getting out of the slower lanes. I waited for the girl behind me to ask if we were done. My wife recorded the whole swim and first transition for me so I know that I wasted about 25 seconds in the pool wondering what was going. She was talking to the camera and she said, “boy he must be tired.” We were laughing pretty good as I watched myself later.
I did the transition in 3:29, including my 25 second “rest” in the pool. It wasn’t too bad but I could speed it up by at least a minute if I got my shoes on faster. We have to get out of the pool and run across the parking lot and the street to a grassy area where the bikes are located. I need to get some of those triathlon socks and the quick tie shoes if I want to go any faster than 2 minutes. And of course get out of the pool as soon as I am done.
I averaged 15.6 mph on the 11.5 mile course. I was still tired from a swim and it beat my best pace which was while on vacation where I was just over 15 mph. So this was all fitness improvements from all the workouts I have been doing. I was passed by 3 people and I passed 4. I had the hybrid moutain bike and that is not the bike to use for a road race. Getting streamlined for the downhills is hard, but still worth doing. I could improve on the time easily by buying a road bike, and I can improve on it by getting more fit. So the next time I do this triathlon I will have improvements available to me new bike or not. The other thing about a road bike is I would get the bike with clips for the shoes so you can pedal both up and down and really increase your speed. I was looking and it will cost about 1000 to get the cheapest of road bikes and a few necessary accessories. I might have to make sure I am still into this come next june before that purchase. In order to convince my wife that is.
This transition was simple. I had no clips in my shoes, I just rolled off the road, up into the grass, dumped my bike and helmet and turned around and was running. It took 25 seconds. I will be slowed down if I get the clipped shoes for the bike. The only way to do this quicker is to dump my bike closer to the start which technically would then add to the first transition time cause you should be going back to the same spot you started or it isn’t equal for everyone.
This was not easy. The run was 3.7 miles. Not 3 like I had been triaining for, and not 3.5 like I saw online and got worried, but 3.7. This might not sound significant, but I tell you it was hard to take. It put me in the wrong frame of mind. I realized on my bike trip back that the run was quite long. The course is out and back on the bike and then part way out and back for the run all down the same road that follows the river. I know it was part mental but I was also tired from the bike and swim. I could not run the whole way. I kept up a good pace while running, none of this jogging at a slow walking pace stuff, and then I tried to walk fast as I rested. I just had a heck of a time. The only three bursts of prolonged effort I put together were as I was leaving for the run, the turnaround point, and coming back in. These are of course where there are people to see me so I guess I was just embarrassed to be walking in the race. Whatever, I will take all the motivation I can get. I still finished with about 10:45 per mile pace. I need to get my official time before I can tell my exact pace. I know the others from the camera and my bike computer. This was the fastest I ever ran on the treadmill and I did it on the road while walking a third of the way, so I am thrilled with the result to keep that pace. I can make great improvements just getting to the point where I run the whole way without stopping and walking.
My daughter did her triathlon on Sunday. She got all nervous, dreadfully so. So at the start she was crying as she swam. Unfortunately it didn’t stop till she was done. We pushed her to finish it since she had been planning and practicing for it. We did most of it with her, except we couldn’t really keep up on the bike section. I was a little worried that we might have been pushing too hard, but I don’t think so. I feel it is important to finish what you start and this might help her with that. I always think back to things that I rememebr as a kid and she is about the age that I remember specific things from childhood. I wonder if this will be one that she rememebers, and if it is I also wonder if she will remember it as painful. I hope she rememebrs it with pride that she finished. Last night she went to bed with the medal on that all the kids got, very, very proud of it. So I am glad we made her finish. She looked like a little athlete out there running in her swimming suit. Now that we know the course we can practice it with her once in a while as we are at the YMCA working out on Saturdays. This will give her the familiarity with the course and the confidence she needs to just have fun racing. My 4 year old son was very distraught that he didn’t get to do the race. So I think we have a competitor in the making with him.