Monday, April 20, 2009

First Tri Complete

Can you believe the day has finally arrived. Six months ago, I decided to start training for a half Ironman. Sunday, I completed my first triathlon. A very short sprint in some heavy rain. Below are my training partners. Without there push at swim practices, this would not be possible. Thanks to both of you.
Can you believe on such an historic day, I forget my camera. Thses were taken with my trusty cell phone.

I have to admitt, I did not feel very nervous setting up. Both Phelps and I got there early and the bike racks were first come, first serve. We picked a rack that required less running in bike shoes and a longer exit in running shoes. We saved a place for Phil and the three were set.

Once set up, I snapped this picture of road bike turned tri-steed. A faithful animal ready to slay any and all who get in it's way.
This is the 25th yrs the TriDeltathon has been ran. It is sponsored by the tridelta of Univ. Tenn.
It is a fundraiser for the Children Hospital.
We decided it was time to warm up the swimming arms, I am not sure if this really helps me. I always feel great the first 200m of the warm up. The whole swim was only 400m. I think at age 38 7/8ths , maybe I only have so many meters in my arms to sprint? I have only been swimming for 6 months. I have never swam competitively.

Ok so it is time to race, all contestants 384 of them are lining up on the side of the pool. Supposed to be by swim time. Problem is, too many think they are going to all of a sudden swim 3 mins faster than they ever have. I began to look around trying to find a good spot not to get ran over and not to be behind a Sasquatch. I ask a young man what time he would swim and he tells me 6:30 - 7:30min. I pause and try to understand/rationalize his comment. The swim is only 400m you should n\know your ability to within 5-10 secs. At this point I am thinking to myself of shit it is going to be a cluster in this pool. The swim starts on one end of the pool and you have to swim done in one lane and back in the next. Racers start every 5 secs.
I settled into a bunch of racers, a couple I Knew from spinning class and just watched as the event evolved. I was right, there were people way too far up in the line. Some standing on the walls, just like I like to do, and others bunched together trying to maneuver around each other. It wouldn't be so bad but every 50 you have a wall turn and that leads to more confusion. The next thing I know I am watching Phelps move up on another swimmer. he is on the left and they are coning up to a right hand turn. He has a half body length on the other swimmer. He dives to his right and takes the turn. I cheer and think to myself, it is going to be rough out there.
Next thing I know, I am at the start. I have not thought about my stroke, pace or breathing. I jump in and am off. I am following a young swimmer and we begin to move up in the first 25m. We pass one swimmer and then head down the second 50. I move up on her left, STUPID MOVE, it is a right hand turn coming up. I know her and decide I will not cut her off. Now I realize, I have swam 100m and not yet got into a pace or rhythm. My breathing is all over the place and I am anaerobic for sure. I wisely get on her feet and swim the next 50. As we turn I am all over her feet. She is slowed by 3 other swimmers. I start to panic and am looking for a hole. I move left , no not a good move. I decide to go with Sara and go straight up the middle. I am swimming side by side with some poor girl and I am not moving. I take a stroke and pull hard. I am back on Sara's feet. Three more hard pulls and we are threw. Over half of the race is complete, we turn and head down to the 300m mark. I realize at this point, I am very anaerobic. We reach the wall and there is a road block of sorts at the turn. At least that is what I saw and the reason I stopped for a brief 4 sec rest. I dove under the rope and was now all alone finishing my last 100m. I got to the end and pulled my self out of the water to run to the bike. I striped my goggles off and began to run. I then dropped my goggles and had to stop and pick them up. I was worried if I put my head down, I might pass out. Things are a little blurry at this point.
I got to the bike and it was raining hard. I was not sure if I would put a shirt on or not, now that decision was made for me. Too wet to even consider trying. I jumped on the bike and had my sunglasses in my hand. I tried to put them on and it was a no go. With a quick toss, there go by back up sunglasses. Ok, my heart still running around 160bpm, I am off on the bike. This is a very short bike course only 6mi. I start to overtake riders almost right away. This continues until I believe I have passed all those who thought they could swim 6min 400m. The road is sketchy, I almost go down on turn 3, luckily I have cat like balance and saved the fall. Rain is pouring and wind was 6-8mph. Being this is my first event, I did not know how much I needed to hold back on the bike to feel great on the run. I finished the bike strong and transitioned into the run. I must have left some strength because as soon as I began the run, I passed about 10 more racers. So far, I have not been passed. Then a 21 yr old goes by. I see his age and let him go. I am very reserved today on the run. It was a hilly coarse that I had never ran. I wasn't sure how much to hold back. Looking back, I left too much in the tank. I came in 15/384 racers. Not bad for a old man who just started this sport. I know one thing for sure, I want a longer course with much less anaerobic time. My body like it right at about 87-89% heart rate. I can sustain that pace for hours. It doesn't like 95-98% efforts for 48mins.
I am happy, now just a week away before we leave for St. Croix. So much prep work to do before we fly out on Sat. morning. Sphere: Related Content

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