Well, i am hooked. first triathlon, half ironman distance.
background: rower all four years of college, won a few large races, raced the big names, had fun. rode my bike during my free time in college. ran sparingly, and never swam. graduated in may, took a few weeks off, mostly because i didnt have anything to train for. raced my bike a bit, won some beer and gift certificates, nothing much. maybe one or two 100 mile rides for kicks and giggles. late july came around, and decided i needed a goal.. so i signed up for a half ironman triathlon, go big or go home is what my friends say.
Then reality set in, i have SIX weeks to train...i hate running... i dont swim, at all... sleeveless shirts?!?!?...uh oh.
well, i went to the race really unsure about my fitness... the only pool close to me closed august 15, and hadnt done much swimming since. i moved out of one place, to my parents, and then out to a new place in the space of two weeks, and kinda had a hard time training during the moving process. I almost got lost going to the course due to a detour and the thickest fog i have ever encountered. I got signed in, set up in the transition area. luckily i had read up on setting up the transition area. I realized that i was swimming with the elite and under 29 year old males...yikes. i swam in the lake once this summer... those little kids in the roped off swim area is sorta like swimming with elite triathletes... right?
Got my rental wetsuit on, and stepped into the water for a 7:40 am start, and had a blast for the next few hours.
The swim: 2 laps on a rectangle. I started a bit towards the outside and towards the rear of my wave, Ive heard horror stories, so i did not want any part of it. heard go, and ran as far as i could, and dove in. i felt great, and was passing people left and right, im sure the fish saw one dude with a huge grin on his stupid face the whole way around the course; i can tell you its hard to grin and not swallow the whole lake though.
33 minute swim, which was 12 minutes faster than i had planned on being.
T1: out of the water, i pulled my wetsuit to my waist, and ran up the stairs(more on those later) to the parking lot where the transition was. wetsuit came off without a problem, helmet, bike jersey(see comment above about sleeveless tri suits), socks and shoes, quick clif bar, and i was off.
times are not posted yet, but probably less than a minute thirty. not too bad considering no practice or fancy bike-with-shoes-already-attached tricks.
Bike: 2 laps on a 28 mile course. first three miles is all up hill(relatively speaking..) then fairly flat. no fancy aero stuff, just my trusty road bike, and mtb shoes. ended up feeling great, and rode with some super nice guy for close to 40 miles. its really nice to have someone there to pass the time. about halfway though the first lap, pace line came zipping by.... yes, there must have been 12 guys working together with no attempt at hiding the drafting going on. the cyclist in me really wanted to jump on and go for a free ride. but, ive heard that is frowned upon, especially given its apparently a no-draft race; im just here to finish, and enjoy the race, ect, so i let them go by with a slight bit of dissapointment.
I ended up riding with some super nice guy for close to 40 miles. its really nice to have someone there to pass the time. i had planned on averging 18 mph, to save some energy for the run. well, i felt great, and it was a race after all... ended up averaging 19.6 mph. have i dug myself too big of a hole?
T2: really had to pee, so i racked my bike really quick, drank what was left of my gatorade, threw my running shirt and shoes on, and ran to the bathroom. the course marshalls were telling me i was going the wrong way, and missed the part where i told them i had to go to the bathroom, but otherwise a big thanks to the volunteers. again, quick transition, maybe two minutes?
run: non-stop rollers out 6.6 miles and back. the way out felt great, but it was warming up(85 or so for a high) and there was no shade anywhere. ive dealt with heat exaustion before(first time seeing the back of an ambulance there..), so i walked the water stations to make sure i drank enough. the way back was a struggle, the last few hills really made me hurt. considering that the running i had been doing in preperation was flatter than a pancake, i was happy to not have to walk anything between water stations. ironically the run was the only one i predicted about right time wise, and i was secretly feeling good about going faster on the run. the finish line was down by the lake shore, which was amazing because i went right for the water after i finished.
run time, 1:50ish? not quite sure, i forgot to check my heart rate monitor before leaving for the run.
...those stairs going from the lake to the transition to gather my stuff almost killed me after everything.
overall time 5 hours 22 minutes and some change. unoffical position(from my cheering section) 65 out of approximately 300.
my goal for next summer is sub 5 hours, which is very reasonable considering i felt really good on the bike. training for more than one month might help too.
thanks for reading.