My First Triathlon

July 29, 2007
Blue Lake Park – Mid-Summer Sprint Triathlon.
Swim 1/2 mile, Bike 12.5, Run 3.1

For over 6 years I’ve been wanting to participate in a triathlon but I kept coming up with excuses. The main one being that I couldn’t run 3 miles. However, after a full year of inconsistent training, I finally had the legs to do something.

It was a nice Sunday morning, 65F, with a hazy over-cast.

I rode the 15 miles from my apartment to the park in less than an hour with all my gear on my back. A quick trot by the registration desk and setup in the transition area, I was ready to rock.
I wandered around a park for a little bit trying to take in some of the course, find out where we would be swimming, where the run would start and the exit of the bike course. I was nervous, anxious and unsure if I would even make it all the way through the swim course since the only time I’ve spent in the water since 2002 was the day before at this very park.

The thoughts rattling in my brain centered on trying to make it through the 1/2 mile swim. I don’t recall ever trying to swim that distance in open water and after seeing a small boat place the floating course markers, it seemed even more difficult than anticipated.

Even with many stops to get my bearings, catch my breath and re-adjust my goggles, I crawled out of the water in 21:06 and stumbled my way to the transition area (T1). The temperature in the air was a bit cool and had me at a slight shiver until I toweled off a little before putting on my jersey, bike shoes and helmet. I snatched my bike from the rack and trotted to the exit of T1 and hopped on my steed.

This was my best section since it is something I do all the time. I quickly passed many people that had beaten me out of the water including a few in my own age division. But, I was passed by quite a few other riders but each of them was on a time-trial bike with aero-bars and lots of carbon fibre parts. I finished this section about mid-pack in the division.

I pulled up to T2 in 37:11 and trotted with my bike back to my gear. I quickly removed my helmet and bike shoes and put on my running shoes and cap.

Did you notice what I didn’t put on?

SOCKS!

Arrgh…I took the advice of some fellow racers that I could easily do the run without socks. Man-oh-man did I pay for that in the first 1/2 mile. I quickly developed a blister on my inside arches of BOTH feet. The next 35 minutes were just agonizing.

I can normally run 3 miles in about 24 minutes without much effort but today was just pain pain pain. I had two large blisters and my right calf was really developing a sharp pain like someone had hit me in the leg. It was 35 minutes of limping, trotting, and hobbling along as best I could to finish. I felt so embarrassed to be past by several 12-year-olds.

I eventually crossed the finish line, had a volunteer cut the timing chip bracelet off my ankle and collected my finishing medal.

Final finishing time: 1:42:20.

Division Place Ages 30-34 : 23/25
Swim Time: 21:30
Swim Place: 24/25
T1: 4:59
Bike Time: 37:11
Bike Place: 18/25
T2: 3:00
Run Time: 36:03
Run Place: 25/25

Despite the pains, I still had a lot of fun!

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