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July 9th, 2007

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01:21 am - Triathlon, take two: "success"

In April, I declared my goal for 2007 was to finish a Sprint distance Triathlon.

As of Saturday, mission accomplished. I competed in, and completed the Butler YMCA triathlon at Moraine State Park.

One could nitpick and note that it was "only" a seven (not 12.4) mile bike ride. I certainly did. But after dealing with the particularly nasty hills of this course -- it didn't matter. Biking is my strongest event presently. I've been biking to work at least once a week, with my round trip (taking the long way) of >25 miles, in Pittsburgh. And I struggled on some of the hills.
  • The results are not in yet. I did ok, and based on course time, I would guess I did a 13 minute swim, 35 minute bike, and 30 minute run. Not what I wanted, but...
  • Had there not been a mix-up with directions, I would have been there on time, started in the right wave and had a properly established transition area. As it was, there were a series of incidents...
  • ...like leaving my shorts on over my trisuit [a one-piece jersey and padded shorts designed to be a solo garment for triathlon use. Mine is a former USA Team's uniform, bought cheap on eBay] during the swim...
  • ...and leaving my goggles in my bag, safe on land...
  • ...and almost losing my (required, provided) swim cap...
  • ...because I put it on while sprinting from the beach into the water at the start of the later wave of people (who started chest deep)...
  • ...and had I had time, I would have put my bike into place and made sure it was ok. Instead, I made Tessa place it. In doing so, she was injured and the bike was dropped. Only after running across the line out of the transition area did I discover that the chain had been forced off the deraileur. My biking portion started off slowly.

Other lessons:
  • Seriously, don't wear cotton socks even if they're the only thing you have on hand. It is not just the blisters. It is the crappy feeling of spending the next hour feeling clammy.
  • Lace locks, or whatever other kind of quick-tensioned shoe lace, do not seem like just a "nice to have". I didn't have them, and I really didn't like having to stop to tie my shoe early in the run portion.
  • Don't wait til the last moment to check your sock inventory.
  • Arrive on time. It is not just nice for the race organizer. Running around before the race means your heart never had a chance.
  • It really is as fun and as nice a community as described.
  • There are a surprising number of very very fit and conditioned triathletes willing to show up to small county triathlon.
  • There are a surprising number of people who do not look at all like fit and conditioned triathletes that still kicked my butt.

Now that I have completed my goal for the year... well, I'm going to keep doing it! That was fun. The picture above, taken two minutes after I crossed the finish and about twenty second after I stopped moving, is only partially indicative. An hour later, I felt fine. By mid-afternoon, I was plotting stuff to do for the rest of the day.

I had already started to plan on other triathlons I might like to try. Now I'm committing to them. Crazy fun. Time to start training again.

Side note: I skipped Philly. I had put off the logistics planning, and then I faced the situation that even though I was already $120 committed into the event, it was going to be a precious vacation day and another $300 between driving and sleeping. That was money to be better spent on swim training and gear, and another day of vacation for visiting my sister. And yes, it does so happen that the weekend I was planning to visit her in Charlotte there is a very interesting Sprint Triathlon 45 minutes away...

(4 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:July 9th, 2007 03:10 pm (UTC)
Go you! That rocks :)
[User Picture]
Date:July 9th, 2007 06:52 pm (UTC)
Congratulations! (I must say though that this picture did not exactly motivate me to leap up and do a triathlon myself :P)
[User Picture]
Date:July 9th, 2007 11:29 pm (UTC)
I can't believe you even own cotton socks you could run in. They are the worst evarrrrr.
Date:July 12th, 2007 02:01 pm (UTC)



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