Yesterday was my first shot at the Olympic/international distance (1.5K swim, 40K bike, 10K run) at the Evergreen Triathlon. Despite predictions that the temperature was going to be akin to the surface of the sun, and several ominous warnings about heat and humidity from the National Weather Service, the weather was excellent. It really couldn’t get much better.
What surprised me is that this distance felt WAY better to me than the sprint distance. I’m going to assume it was because of the good weather and the extra month of training. Nonetheless, I see that I need to devote more time to the swim and my transitions.
For the swim (no wetsuits allowed because of temps) I was in Wave 2 (black caps) and as usual started at the end of the group to avoid being trampled. The problem was that when it was time to start I took on a lot of water. I guess my body was trying to be ultra-hydrated by drinking half of the lake. For two minutes I tried everything to correct my breathing: changing stroke, treading water, swimming with head down, head up, etc. All of these resulted in me taking even more water in. I considered holding onto the dock for a minute to calm down and catch my breath (the fact that was an option should show how crappy I was doing) but male pride forbid me to do that with so many spectators around. Finally when the gun shot for the next wave, the blue caps, to go I had gotten it together. That’s good because I had almost decided on calling a kayak for rest. Didn’t need to, but it cost me minutes. Swim time 39:05.
The time is ok. It was what I predicted and the rest of the swim went fine. I did find myself thinking during that if a friendly dolphin would show up an tow me along I could get those two minutes back. Of course that’s ridiculous because there are no dolphins in Lake Evergreen. I should have wished for some friendly Muskie to show up instead. I wonder if that would have been race legal?
The transitions went fine, but were both over two minutes. I am sure I can shave at least 30 seconds off of each of those. The bike was also great. I credit regular participation in Tuesday Night Time Trials and a 54-mile ride at Pedaling for Kicks for making me prepared for that. Always room for improvement on the bike, but my times were actually a little better than expected. Time for the bike: 1:10:09.
Now the run. Man I love the run–especially that day. I didn’t even get lead legs from the bike when I started running. I kept a solid 8-minute pace the whole time and was able to move up 61 places by the end of it. The only issue with the run is that I really had to pee and didn’t think I wanted to carry it around for six miles. I eneded up stopping at the Port-a-John. Unfortunately I don’t have that time, but I am sure if there was a trophy given for speedy urination in a triathlon, I would have walked away with the trophy (and the $10,000 check they would also give out for it in my mind). The rest of the run was great. Can anyone tell me what the heck those sponges are for? I had some energy left near the end, so I really gave it hell during the last leg. I should have managed my energy to keep a faster overall pace, but that will come with time. Run time: 49:42.
Afterward I got my big plate of food and spinal adjustment. I passed on a massage because the line was long. Oh! And I paid $1 for a kiss from a blind and deaf Australian Shepherd puppy. This came with the added bonus of the little guy licking a bunch of the salt off of me. Win-win!
So great race. Overall time of 2:43:13. Still deciding if I’m going to pick up another this year, but I think I’ll definitely make triathlons my priority this next year.