On Friday, I came down with some virus that is circling this area. Its a stomach/bowel thing. You have diarrhea constantly. I had it a few weeks ago and got over it. But it came back this week — just before my first triathlon. Great. “That was a shitty race” could have a whole new meaning.
The race is called The Great Colorado Triathlon and it was conveniently held 1 mile from my house. We have a big reservoir there. That is where the swim portion would occur. I did a couple practice swims over the last few weeks to be sure I could still keep up with the big boys. I swam competitively from like age 4(?) to 16 so I think I can hold my own.
There were about 100 participants in the race. Not a huge race but that is fine with me. The distances are 1.5k swim, 40k bike, 10k run. The air was freezing at 6:45 AM standing on the reservoir shoreline. I was eavesdropping on people while standing there waiting. Many people were stoked because this was their first Olympic distance tri. I kept thinking this was the sprint distance tri. Whoops. Guess I didn’t get a chance to stress over that. The race got started late too so I was extra cold by the time we got going. However, the lake was really warm and felt great.
I swam pretty hard. My big issue is that I can’t swim in a damn straight line. My right arm is stronger. When I am in a pool, I can see the line and compensate. When in a lake, you can’t see anything at all so you just swim then look up and check. I was Mr. Zig Zag. Sorry everyone! The swim was 2 laps so after 1 lap you had to get out and run down the beach. I hate this part. Its painful to come out and go back in.
After my swim, it was off to my first transition to the bike. Nearly everyone has these cool triathlon 1-piece suits that you just wear throughout. Not I. So I had to do a full change and gear up. I wasn’t quick. I could feel the minutes ticking away. Getting your socks on is a pain in the ass. Most don’t wear them. I thought I would try without. The dude next to me had his shoes clipped on the bike and he started riding without the shoes on. Then as he rode, he put it all together. I need to practice that one.
I did alright on the bike. It was a 4 lap course. I got passed by a few of the leaders and then by some people that were probably closer to me. I passed a few. Felt like I held my own. Its just painful to try and get your breathing relaxed after the swim on the bike. I used my Lance Armstrong training guide to keep my cadence really high (for me) and it worked wonders. I was able to hang and let my dead legs do minimal muscle work.
The transition back to running was slow to but I didn’t have as much to do there. The run oddly enough was back up the road to my house and past. My family came out to see me. Its great to have your own cheering section. I knew they were going to be there so it was my big goal all through the swim and bike. Wanted to get to them.
Unfortunately, after I passed them, my bowel virus decided to turn my gut into a knot. I kept running but my pace dropped by 60-90 seconds at times. Lost some spots there. It hurt. But then again I was happy because I knew I had this thing in the bag. Had to run back by the family once again.
I got my pace back under control for the finish. Felt good. This wasn’t the hardest thing I had ever done. Maybe I should have pushed harder. But I was just glad that I finished and didn’t shit my pants! So the bar is set. Next year, I know what I need to do.
So the stats. I finished 5 out of 7 for my age group. I was 60th overall out of 100 or so. For my age group, I finished the swim within 50 seconds of the leader. Pretty good there. But on that transition to the bike I was way way too slow. Almost 5 minutes! The winner did it in 1 minute flat. Clearly something I need to practice. That lost my edge on the swim. Held my own on the bike but was the slowest. Hey, just got my bike a few months ago. But not bad. Need to improve. On the run, I did the 10K in 56 minutes. I did a 10K race in June and did 51 minutes. So that didn’t seem terrible after the swim and bike and with gut issues. Over all, it was 2:13 for the whole thing. Here is my section out of the results table for my age group.
|Overall||——- SWIM ——-||T 1||——- BIKE ——-||T 2||——- RUN ——-||Total|
As always, I had my fancy GPS with me and I posted my bike and run results. Can’t wear the watch in the water. Darn. Need to do some analysis on this and see how I can improve. However, one thing I found in the GPS data was that the bike distance was less than the advertised distance. We were supposed to do 4 laps on the course and I did. But its not adding up. Gotta send email to the course official and see what the deal there was.
I have some more gear to get. This is the clear case where if you spend some money, you get to transition faster. I think I can do better. I was right in there with my age group this year and I didn’t train for this specifically. I swam twice and my biking is just moving from beginner to intermediate.