First off, I apologize for the delay in posting. The triathlon was 2 hours from home, and after I finally got home and showered, it was time to meet our friends to watch the Blue Jackets playoff game on TV. After the game, I went to sleep, and today I had an all day event.
Secondly, this is going to be a long read
My fiancee called at 12:50 am to tell me she got home safe, as I had asked her to (out celebrating completion of her Athletic Training Licensing Exam). I had been asleep since 10:30. Of course, I then couldn't fall asleep for almost an hour. The alarm went off at 5:30 AM, but knowing I was organized and ready, I reset for 6:10 and went back to sleep.
When the alarm went off, I dressed and ate. 2 Clif bars and a 16 ounces of gatorade was breakfast. Grabbed my pack and drove to the race. I loaded the bike with 24 ounces of Gatorade, and promptly realized I forgot my race snacks. Thankfully, I had left the "5 Hour Energy" shot that was in our goodie bags in my pack.
I had checked in the night before, so I already had my number (#602). I went to the transition area and set up. Stacked stuff in the following order from top to bottom:
I put my glasses in my goggles case so I'd remember to put them on, and grabbed my goggles. Now what you're not seeing is that I'm now standing next to my bike in the transition area, in just my my pajama pants over my tri shorts, because I didn't think about the fact that I might want extra shoes and a shirt before the race. I wasnt the only one who did this, but at least I wasnt standing there in just my Tri shorts, because I had my pajama pants on. (It turns out they were on for the last time, because I left them in locker #115 in the mens locker room when i left LOL).
Anyways, so you may remember my number was #602. This is important because it was an indoor swim and we started in number order through the pool. So I got to sit around for about an hour before I got in the pool.
The swim: The pool was about 5 degrees colder than I was used to, but it wasn't too bad. By the time I got in the pool most of the anxious energy had dissipated, so I was nervous but more relaxed than if I'd gone sooner. The swim went well, and I felt good in the water. At the 200M mark, I'm fairly sure I was almost 2:00 ahead of schedule. I am only guessing as I don't know what time I got in for sure, but I do feel like I did pretty well. I passed at least one of the guys who had been in front of me.
Transition 1: This was a smooth. Other than sitting down to put on socks and shoes, it went quick and easy. Dried, dressed, and downed the energy shot fairly easily, grabbed the bike, and walked out.
The Bike: Ok, I know this is bike forums, and I've gotten a ton of help and advice here, but it's clear I didn't listen very well. I didn't ride even close to enough to prepare for this race. I drove the course the night before and learned in horror that it is MEGA-HILLY!. The biggest hill in Columbus is right by my house, and there were two climbs of that height, along with a bunch of moderate slow climbs, and some rolling hills.
When I got out there the rollers were pretty easy to handle, but the general slow continual climbs got to me early. I walked inside the second mile on an ascent, and on a majority of both big climbs, along with various spots in the race. I needed help from the safety truck when my chain came off and got stuck between chain rings up front. I kept going, and pushed myself to keep riding even when I knew I was the last rider on the course. I did ride a lot, and I gutted through the last climb. I would have been ok for a flat ride of this distance, but I need to keep working. Anyways, it was a punishing ride that showed me I couldn't take the ride for granted as the easiest part. 12.7 miles of suffering.
I learned on the ride to wear a watch or a bike computer (or both) to help me know how I'm doing. The safety truck shouted the time to me when I asked (They had nothing better to do, because they were 20 yards behind me for the last half of the ride LOL).
Transition 2: Again pretty easy. Ditch the bike and the helmet on the rack and start walking.
The 5k: Yeah...um... walking after riding makes you feel like your legs don't work right. But I think I did ok on the walk. I was exhausted, but I put in a pretty good effort. I stopped at the water table both times and drank a bunch. I had spoken to a woman on the course who was the last person I saw during the ride, as she pulled away, and she was some distance ahead of me during my walk as when I saw her she was on the return part of the loop.
The finish: As I approached, there was a large gathering of people at the finish, including the woman who finished ahead of me. They announced me and people started cheering, so I thought what the hell, and "sprinted" to the finish. When everyone was so nice to me, I admit to tearing up. Further I doubled-checked to make sure I didn't need to self report on the help from the safety truck. I would have been fine with DQ'ing as long as they posted mine finishing times still. They said I was ok, because that help was universally available to all riders if they had a similar issue.
The time on the race clock said 3:47 when I finished, and at first I went from feeling like a superhero, to feeling a lot less so. Then I remembered the hour or so I had spent sitting around at the start. Knowing I had finished, had done so under 3 hours, and that while I finished last I was able to be successful in a couple of ways (gutting out the ride, and feeling like I did ok on the swim).
The race totals were posted today. One of the interesting things I learned about a triathlon is that staggered starts can be deceiving! I DIDN'T FINISH LAST! My final time was 2:40:11 seconds.
The woman who had passed me on the bike finished in 2:47:35! I must have seriously outswam or outwalked her, because she had to smoke me on the bike. I don't have the splits yet, but as soon as they post them, I'll post them here.
Oh, one other small bit of news....I'm doing my next one May 9th!