First Triathlon = DONE!

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Surprise!

I did a triathlon this morning. I had registered for it a few weeks ago, but wanted to keep it under my hat; I didn't want anyone to come watch, because I wasn't sure how it was going to go. Fortunately, it went pretty well, all things considered. I didn't win my age group, but I finished 9th out of 17 (only 15 in my group actually finished - two were DNF), with a time of 1:40:xx (I don't remember how many seconds it was). I got edged out by a guy right at the end, otherwise I would've finished 8th... I didn't even know he was behind me - I had tunnel vision and couldn't really hear anything, probably because of adrenaline.

My friend BJ went along to help out (thanks again, Beege - you were a life saver) and to take some pictures. He used a combination of a crummy disposable waterproof camera and my normal camera. The disposable photos are horrible; my plan was to carry it with me throughout the race and snap pictures along the way, but I gave it to BJ at the last minute.

Highlights?

+ Getting kicked about 25 times during the swim - once in the forehead, which caused my head to plunge into the water while I was trying to take a breath... I started choking, and thought I was going to die. I rolled onto my back, coughed water for about a minute, then got back to swimming.

+ Getting passed during the swim by 5 girls... who started five minutes behind my group. My swimming sucks - I need to focus exclusively on improving my swim times.

+ Cutting a 1.5" long gash on the ball of my right foot while exiting the swim portion of the race; there were so many rocks, and it was slippery - I stepped on a rock, slipped, and s-l-i-c-e! That made the bike/run really fun.

+ Being horribly slow in the transition areas. I need to get some tri-specific bike shoes, so I can skip the socks. Putting socks on while you're soaking wet isn't really easy or fun.

+ Passing about 60 people during the bike portion. I flew on that section - my average speed was around 19mph, which I was super happy with. According to the results, I was one of 57 people with a bike time of under 50 minutes. The fastest bike time was 38.xx minutes, and was set by the race winner.

+ Laughing with a 52-year old lady while on the run. She passed by me and said, "tell me again why we do this?" I started laughing - it was pretty funny at the time...

+ The weather; it rained 2.75" between midnight and 7:00am. Our race started at 7:20, and I had to be there by 6:30. So, for a good 45 minutes or so, we got soaked, and so did everything else. My bike got absolutely filthy during the ride... But thankfully it didn't rain much during the race, and just as fortunately the temperature was fantastic - about 75F the entire time.

+ Not dying.

So, without any further ado, here are some photos:

Here's me in the water, getting ready for our start. I was in the 2nd group to leave. There were about 80 people in my group.

swim1.jpg


Me, swimming (or as some might say, sinking):

swim2.jpg


I think I had cut my foot about 1 second before this picture was taken...

swim3.jpg


In the transition area, between the swim and the bike. I was so sloooooow!

slow_transition.jpg


Out on the bike - just leaving the transition area:

bike.jpg


Finishing the race (man, I need to lose another 25 lbs... hideous!!)

finish.jpg


To give you an idea of how much it rained the past few days:

underwater.jpg


And here we are, leaving the race - I'm all smiles:

done.jpg


And the bike - it got a little dirty:

fork.jpg


Race summary:

Swim = 500 meters
Bike = 15.44 miles
Run = 3.25 miles

Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes; 183 out of 274 competitors, 9th in my category

Finished: 9/17 (15 actually finished)


My next race is in Conway, AR on September 14. I plan to swim a TON before that race, and hopefully improve my transition times/speeds. I can't wait to try it again!

Areas to improve:

- Swim time. I did the 500m in 15.xx minutes, which is terrible. I need to get into the 11-12 minute range.

- Transition time. My T1 (swim-to-bike) transition was almost 4 minutes; for comparison, the winner did it in 32 seconds. Socks = the devil.

- Run time. I do a pretty consistent 10-minute mile (6.0 mph) pace. I'd like to bump that up a bit, to like a 9-minute mile or better. Distance doesn't appear to be an issue; I need to speed up a bit.

- Gear. Get some tri-bike shoes (no socks needed) and some zip laces for my running shoes. Everything else appears to be in good shape.


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