I guess I’m officially a triathlete





From the team in training bracelet

I’ve done it!

I swam 500 meters, biked 10k in a bitch of a course and ran 5k… all in the same morning and right after the other; so I guess that makes me a triathlete.

I can’t really begin to tell you how I feel; some adjectives to make a start: Accomplished (the last 6 months of training were worth it), elated (that I managed to do it without major incidents), satisfied (that the training and the ethics worked out) and determined (not to give up and continue training for what’s next not afraid of the challenges.)

It’s hard to believe but it’s been six months with this insane regiment and I can’t really see myself doing anything differently. The first thing that came to mind is discipline… you wouldn’t believe how hard is to keep proper nutrition when you’re starving after a 15 mile bike ride, or the times I haven’t wanted to work out because I was tired of plain lazy and went anyway.

I used to laugh when friends and teammates from TnT told me that once you did your first race you’d fall in love with the sport and want to do them over and over again. I hate to admit it but it’s true; I’m so looking forward to my race in July that I can almost taste it. I want to do endurance races as long as my body tells me it’s ok and I want to enjoy it as much as I did the race today if not more; I want to improve my time to where I hit top 10 in my age group, not easy considering that next year I move to the 35-39 group along with all the other 34 year olds out that raced today.

Time Splits

Swim ( 0:12:55.2 ) t1 ( 0:03:07.9 )

Bike ( 0:56:25.3 ) t2 ( 0:02:47.4 )

Run ( 0:42:15.1 )

Check the organizer’s site if you’re interested in times overall.

Wow, for some reason the split times feel a lot different than they fell on the race, Particularly the swimming. 

Lessons Learned

"In Japan we have the phrase Shoshin, which means 'beginner's mind.' The goal of practice is always to keep our beginner's mind. Our 'original mind' includes everything within itself. This does not mean a closed mind, but actually an empty mind and a ready mind. If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything. In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few."

Shunryu Suzukin

I did learn a lot today and I’ll attempt to summarize these lessons below:

What needs improvement:

  • Your swimming can definitely use some work. I’m surprised to say that, I thought that my swimming would be stronger than it actually was.
  • Use short sleeve shirts even though it may cause sunburn, short sleeved shirts are better; easier to put on and they cool you off better
  • You need to build better running endurance. It was ok but towards the end you really were running on the last reserves
  • Need to figure out a nutrition strategy while on the bike and run. The gel tasted like shit but did the job at the beginning of the run. It is also very hard, still, to get the bottle out of the front cage. I managed to do it but would like a more consistent way to get my water/electrolyte replacement/Gatorade or whatever I decide to drink (camelback?).  See this article or this article about fueling up before a ride in active.com for possible solutions

What needs to be done differently:

  • Try to do the course at least once before a race. I don’t like surprises and the technical level of the bike course was an unpleasant surprise, particularly the uphill from hell.
  • (buy and) Bring an extra pair of shoes, especially for a Mountain Bike tri. There was a stream crossing and it was deep enough that my shoes soaked, so I ended up running with wet shoes. Don’t think it really made that much of a difference but it’d pay to have another dry pear around just in case.
  • Do consider clipless pedals. Several times I wished I’d had the clipless, particularly when I was trying to get pedaling on the uphill.

What worked:

  • Transition worked very well. All the visualization work on the transition paid off. I think both of them went without a hitch.
  • The run wasn’t as hard as I thought it’d be. Even though endurance wasn’t quite where it needed to be, the technique I learned through Team in Training helped a lot. I could run even after the murder bike ride
  • I was comfortable in the bike. Even though the course was very technical (biker’s way of saying the course was a bitch), I felt good on it, despite the wipeout.