Well what can I say, crossing that line was one of the greatest physical challenges I have ever put myself through, as well as being the most rewarding. I say bring on the next one. This was my first ever tri (any distance) have only done 2 small club duathlons prior to this) I only started cycling again last year after a 10yr laf off. Only started swimminh and running in the last 6 months. Never having done either in my life time.
I got to the GC 3 days prior to the event and was it hot. Hotter than any day I had experienced in the last 6 months, with the forecast to get hotter until Sunday.
So on Thursday I do a 1hr ride with a few small efforts as ordered by coach and find that I feel awesome and strong on the bike. I also do a 1/2hr run with similar feeling, feel strong smooth and really confident of making my goal of 5 to 5 1/2hrs.
Next day friday go out to look at course and swim part of the swim course. Feeling nervous about swim as I only learnt to swim less than 6 months ago. In my first few months made lots of progress, got down to 1.35 100mtrs. I am now back to 1.55 100mtrs so I am feeling stressed and worried about even getting out of the water. Do a 800 mtr or so swim feeling alot more confident as the wetsuit helps me so much.
Upon exiting the water I tread on a rock slicing a 20 cent piece size of flesh off the ball of my right foot. I dry off drive back to my hotel cursing and unable to apply any pressure to my foot. I now start stressing thinking that all will be lost and i will be unable to run etc. Wife buys me liquid bandaid to protect wound as any other dressing will not stay put. Think to myself that I am cursed but start dealing with it.
Saturday final training ride, same as per Thursday and I feel awesome. Greatfully my foot does not hurt whilst riding so this helps inspire some confidence. Pack gear that afternoon, head out and register whilst putting bike into transition area etc. Nervous as, as I have never left my bike before overnight and have a great attachment to it. off to hotel bed by 9.
SUNDAY. Oh my god have the runs 3 times before leaving hotel (nerves). I arrive at the course around 4.50. Feeling better than when I left the hotel. Have my number written on my arms etc Set up transition area, feel great that my bike is still there. I then go to the toilet, apply sunscreen, rub off number, go get number re applied. I put on wetsuit and the race briefing begins.
SWIM. I go down on to the jetty and watch the first 2 waves (pro and open) swim off. I jump in and make my way to near the start. Now for some dumb arse reason I think my caps (yellow) and lime green are going off together, which makes no sense due to cap colours otherwise we would all be in yellow. So I wait behind all yellow and lime caps so not to get swamped as they take off.
The horn goes and away go the yellow caps, but not the lime green ones. So I am instantly 25m behind and all I can hear is the lime green caps laughing as I swim through them having missed my start. My googles then proceed to leak on me. After 3-4 attempts I get them to reseal and begin swimming, noww 75 or so metres behind.
I find my own rythym and swim wavy line. As each new wave starts I am slowly swamped by new groups of swimmers but I just keep kicking and pulling. I finally arrive at the ramp which if you havent heard in damn steep and slippery. I get out and look at my time, expecting to be around and hour I find that I did it in 43 or so minutes (official time 43.28). I run to transition trying to protect my injured foot as we are running over gravel in a construction zone.
BIKE I make it to my bike find I am the last of my age group (easy to fing you bike that way) have the slowest transition as I have only done this twice and am poorly organised. I then get on bike poor GU all over bars and brake levers, cannot clip in as i am rushing etc. Finally I am away.
This course is awesome and I feel great riding it. I am now overtaking people like a man possessed. Ride is totally uneventful for me. No flats no problems etc. I only get overtaken once, which was in the first 3-4km by a teams rider. Other than this it was all one way traffic. I pass 250+ people on the bike incuding 3-4 peletons/pacelines that seem to go unpunished by course officals. I record a bike split of 2.27.45 on my computer. Official time with transitions is 2.33.35.
RUN. get off bike and start running after another slow transition. Foot feels quite good no real pain. I feel great so I am running around 5min/km. It is hot but dont seem to notice to much as I keep my focus on task at hand. HR is spot on and pace is great then around 5km mark I feel something I had forgotten about and never planned on..................my ITB begins to hurt. I stretch it a little, change stride etc but can still feel it. It is hurting but not enough to stop me as yet and I am thinking maybe it is just teasing me a little. So I keep running all stays the same until near the 8-9km mark when whilst looking where the run is going I find the only peice of steel reo. My right foot clips it and forces me to over correct jarring my left knee as I prevent myself from going arse over head. With in the next km my ITB now really hurts.
I continue running, every so often my leg gives and I nearly fall, the spectators who were awesome keep yelling encouragement and I keep running. Crossing the half way mark. About 1km in on lap 2 I have to walk I can no longer push through the pain. I now begin the walk run cycle as the pain builds during the run and subsides during the walking stages. I start setting time goals for around the course and concentrate on getting to each point by that time goal. I go from 100m running and 200m walking to 50m running 500m walking. Every emotion is going through me as I am still set on making my goal time. Other athletes pep you up as they come by with words of encouragement. Finally I see the 20km sign. I try to run but it hurts so I hold off and wait till 500m to go. I now commit my self to running the home straight regardless of pain. As I hit the final 50m it is nothing more than a painful shuffle, unable to put any load on my left leg. I hit the line and my wife is there and I have done it. Totally stoked I am. I collapse unable to support my weight due to the pain. Medical staff ask if i am ok which I am, i just had to sit and left the pain subside a little. My wife helps me up and takes me to the food and shower tents. I am so emotional that I even got slightly teary eyed. I then estimate my time around 5.30 to 5.35 so I am just over the moon.
I find out later that night my overall time was 5.30.09. Splits as follows 43.28 swim 2.33.35 bike and 2.13.06 run. I am as happy as can be as I still made my target goal with problems I never anticipated.
To everyone who competed I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did and hopefully I will meet some of you next time.
On a final note I say bring on the next one once my ITB has recovered. Oh forgot to mention also going to get foot X-ray today as it is swollen and very painful. Think I may have broken one of the fine bones along the top. Hopefully not as I want to start running soon to be ready for the next 1/2 ASAP.
Thanks for the great report! I can't believe you chose a HIM for your first tri! I'm new to triathlons, and I'm training now for my first sprint in the spring and plan to do an Olympic next labor day. I love reading these reports, and they will surely help me once I get to that start line next spring.