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Old 11-07-05, 09:05 AM   #1
merlinextraligh
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confessions of a Bike Racer

Just completed my first triathlon, The Boca Bop in Boca Grande Florida, a sprint triathlon.
I have to confess that this was way harder than I thought it would be. I'm a reasonably competitive Masters Bike Racer, with a few accomplishments this summer (Silver Medal L'Etape de Tour, 10th place Brasstown Bald Century, 4th place Deland Road Race, 14th Florida State TT championship.) So I thought a sprint triathlon would be pretty easy (hey I can't swim or run, but it's short). In fact, it was much more difficult than I expected.

The swim was my downfall. While I practiced for several weeks, read the TI book, and thought I was ready to swim at least a mid pack time, when I got in the water, everything I had drilled on just fell apart. I had huge problems sighting (fogged goggles and being near sighted didn't help) was on the edge of panic, and nearly quit. Fortunately my fear of humiliation trumped my fear of drowning and i sucked it up and finished the swim, with a terrible time (19:31, compared to the first place time of 7:13)

Starting the bike leg my HR was sky high because I had used everything I had just to finish the swim. So the first half of the bike was way below my planned pace. (Also, my self esteem, and willingness to push myself was about zero at this point.) Fortunately, I pulled it together a little bit, and I ended up with a decent bike split (1st in my division, and top ten overall).

Suprisingly, my run wasn't half bad (2nd in my division) and I ended up 3rd in the Clydesdales overall.

Conclusions: 1) I am very impressed by those of you that do all 3 of these disciplines well. 2) even a sprint triathlon is an accomplishment 3) I'm never swimming in open water again, without more practice and instruction.

As for the race itself. The Boca Bop is a fantastic race. Wonderful Course, great support. And Boca Grande is a fantastic place to visit. We stayed at the Gasparilla Inn, and had a great weekend.

And the best part of the weekend, My daughter won the Female under 14 age group!
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Old 11-07-05, 09:12 AM   #2
timmhaan
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i've heard that a lot of people have problems with open water at first. it seems pretty common to get freaked out and lose your bearings.
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Old 11-07-05, 02:14 PM   #3
cjbruin
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Congratulations Triathlete! Can't wait to hear your next race report. Awesome about your daughter...hope she stays with it.
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Old 11-07-05, 02:37 PM   #4
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congrats man, that is why I stress lots of open water practice before the race. Mas starts can cause panic. For first timers, just wait about 30-30 seconds after the start, and go then, less confusion, easier swim,l so you finish stronger for a better bike start.
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