Monday, August 28, 2006

Bayside YMCA Triathlon - Race Report

I completed my first sprint triathlon. It was awesome!

We arrived about an hour early so I could check in, get my number and setup my stuff. It was so cool when I got into line to have my number written on me, I was starting to feel like a Triathlete. I was a little nervous, this being my first time, that I wouldn’t know where to go or I would do something wrong like put my bike on the rack wrong. Everything went fine, I met a few guys in the transition area that were very helpful and willing to answer my questions.

After setting up my stuff I went over to spend a few minutes with my children before I went to warm up for the swim, they have a way of relaxing my nerves. I gave them both a kiss, called my wife on the phone so she could wish me luck and headed out to the start. I remember walking down the beach looking at the little orange buoys thinking .5 miles is not as long as I remember…piece of cake. We didn’t stop at the little buoys, we just kept walking and walking past the little buoys to the big orange buoy all the way down the beach... Oh S#!T

The .5 mile swim was great, a little windy, but not bad. I was happy that the water was warm, other people had wet suits and I was afraid all morning that I was going to freeze my butt off. We all stood on the beach while they made some announcements and then it was time. The gun went off (no gun just a guy with a load speaker) and off they went. The first group (40+) took off and it was then that I decided to take some advise I was given and move to the outside. I'm a fairly strong swimmer but my age group was big and the thought of someone swiming over me didn't sound like fun. Three minutes passed very quickly and it was my turn... here we go!

About half way through the swim I started to catch the wave that had gone before, that made me feel good. It was just about then that I started to get that feeling... you know the feeling that someone is sneaking up behind you. I looked back only long enough to see a wave of purple caps coming up behind me. It was the woman’s wave that had started three minutes behind me, they were hot on my trail! I braced for the worst, but I only felt a gentle hand on my side... excuse me she said. I held my own from then on and finished in good shape.

The 12-mile bike was fun! I made it into the transition area and started getting ready for the bike. I washed off the sand from the beach, put on my shirt and had a hammer gel with some water. I had a little trouble getting my gloves over my wet hands so that slowed me down for a minute. The course had a couple hills, but for the most part it was flat with lots of turns. At one point this little old lady decided she wanted to drive in my lane and almost hit me. If one of the volunteers didn’t yell and stop her she probable would have plowed me down.

After getting off the bike my legs felt like rubber for the first ¼ mile, but once I got my legs back I was able to get into a comfortable rhythm. The 3-mile run course was flat and tree covered so sun was not an issue. I had a blast on the run, the road was lined with people cheering and giving works of encouragement. At one point I started talking with another runner about the course and what part was our favorite. I was having such a good time that I forgot this was a race... for me it was just fun!

As I approached the finish line I could see my children cheering me on. I crossed the finish line in 1:28:50

It was a great day! I can’t wait to do another one!


Iron Pol said...

The first of any race is always the most difficult, and usually the most exciting.

This is my first triathlon season, after years of marathoning. Each of the three races I did had something that made it special.

And for at least the next few years, there will always be something new on the horizon. Find and sign up for that next race to motivate you to train. And remember that you're setting an awesome example for your kids.

Papa Louie said...

Congratulations on your first triathlon. For a sprint distance you can do without the gloves. Keep up the training and enjoy the triathlon experience.