So over the past couple months we have been slowly ramping up our distance for our weekly run with our friends because some of us are going to do a half marathon on Labor day. On Tuesday the 7th one of our friends mentioned that there was a Triathlon. So naturally Beth had to do it. And well I couldn’t get stood up by my wife so I had to do it as well.
But the Triathlon was on Saturday the 18th, which meant we had all of 10 days to “train.” I ended up only getting two swims in. The first was at the Gym, which wasn’t too bad, but I was able to stand up at the end of each lap. The second was the Saturday before the event on the lake that we were going to swim at. Which wasn’t too bad, but I started to get worried about the distance since I didn’t have the option to put my feet down. But it didn’t really sink in that we had done about 0.2 miles and the race was 0.25 miles, which actually is a decent percentage increase.
Just to make sure we understood the transitions, the next day we did a bike ride and then run. Which wasn’t too bad, but I realized that my normal running pattern of running for about a mile and then going into a run/walk pattern wasn’t going to work, I was already too tired. Also that I need to make sure I had plenty of food and water during the race.
At this point I was hoping to finish in under 2:30, figuring that it would be completely reasonable, but I wasn’t sure about being able to chain all three things together.
So next thing I knew it was Saturday… We got there VERY early, which is maybe good, but also meant that there was a lot of standing around time. Most of the people were insanely fit looking and all looked like they had way better equipment than me with my hybrid bike that is more on the off road side of the hybrid. Also there were few people without wetsuits, it made me feel a little better about not having one, but I was still in the minority. Then I saw a guy in what looked like regular swim trunks, and though “Yes, I am not the most ill prepared”.
So the waves of swimming started and well, there was more waiting. I was in wave 10 which was close to a half hour of waiting. Wow did that swim portion feel long than I had done before. I started out easy, but even with that, 2/3rds of the way through I was nearly done. But I couldn’t “fail” and get help, so I just kept inching forward. It was sad when I got passed by some of the people in the heat behind me. By the time I got out of the water I was dead. Everyone else ran to their bikes, I needed to walk.
Then onto the bike portion! I started out kind of easy. I probably could have pushed it a little harder early on and taken the downhill portions a little faster, but oh well. There were several people that I didn’t pass because well I normally don’t pass people when biking. Going back up the crazy hill was tough, and for whatever reason it seemed like there were fewer good places to drink. As I crossed the line back into the transition area I was happy because I was actually going to do this, I was going to complete a triathlon. Of course the kid that was helping out at the entrance to the transition area yelled at me “You aren’t supposed to be smiling. This is supposed to be hard work. I Expect tears when you are crossing the finish line.” And well, how can you stop smiling after someone says something like that to you.
Running was good, as I expected I was rather tired. I think I ran for less than a minute before giving into walking. The trail was oddly marked, there were several places that I wasn’t 100% sure where to go. There was definitely one place where I think I ended up on the wrong part of the route. I am not sure if it added or subtracted distance since it was a trail that ran along the road. I just kept pushing through and was so glad to see that I was passing other people on the run. I knew I wasn’t going to be the slowest!
For whatever reason, they stopped updating the time sheets after I finished, so I didn’t get to find out my time until the day after, but we were trying to figure out how I actually did for the Clydesdales people (over 200lbs). Beth was positive that I had a chance. So we stuck around for the awards ceremony. They called out the overall top 3, and yeah, that guy that was in the normal shorts, he got 3rd, so much for thinking he was more ill prepared. Talking with him afterwards, since he was in our row, he said that he didn’t really try because this was just a short fun one for him… Part of the marking process, everyone had their race number and their age on their legs. There were a lot of hot women as normal for athletic events and such, but wow, most of them were way older than I had expected.
So here are the final numbers for how I did:
- Swim (.25 Miles): 10:39
- Swim to Bike transition: 5:51
- Bike (13.8 Miles): 57:47
- Bike to Run transition: 3:05
- Run (4.3 Miles): 45:17
- Overall: 2:02:39
- Division Rank: 13 / 17
- Gender Rank: 214 / 231
- Overall Rank: 314 / 351
So now I am kicking myself for not pushing a little harder on the bike or run because I probably could have pulled off a sub 2 hour!