Thursday, April 17, 2008

Why do I tri - Part 2

Picking up where we left off with Part I, I completed my first triathlon on June 10th 2008. I arrived early and picked out my spot in the transition area. I staged the transition area with my triathlon gear exactly has I had mentally prepared, laying out each item as I expected to use it. I was a bit nervous, but excited nervous. I took a quick dip in the pool to warm up, as Greeley is a 500 m pool swim. The Greeley Triathlon pool swim is a snake, where you start on one side of the pool and swim up and down the lanes until you get to the other side, completing 500 m in a 50 m pool. Seeding is important and I wondered if the time I submitted was accurate. I used to be able to cover 500 yards in about 5:20, but that was almost 20 years ago. I submitted a time of 10 minutes, hoping to go faster, but at the same time not embarrassing myself.

I waited and watched 105 competitors go and finally it was my turn. I can't recall being so pumped for competition, probably back to high school. I took off feeling fresh and strong. By the end of the first length, I was ready to pass the first swimmer. I passed about 10 other people on route to a 9:20 swim, which I was really excited about. I hopped out of the pool and headed for the transition area. I quickly toweled off and prepared for the bike, just as I had mentally envisioned. In fact, I felt like I had a lot of time in transition. I came out of T1 in about 1:30.

Since this was my first triathlon, I rode my 8 year old Specialized Rock Hopper Mtn Bike, big fat tires, panniers and all. Like Slow Fat Triathlete recommended, no need to run out and buy a road bike or triathlon bike. I completed the two lap course in approximately 45 minutes. I was gassed and getting passed, but I still had a great time. I was encouraged and cheered by my family, in particular my two boys dressed as pirates. Arrrrr!!

As I entered the transition area, my legs were weary and tired. I quickly transitioned from biking to running in about 1:30. I came out of the transition area strong, but I was gassed. I was just hoping to make it past the wave of spectators, at which point I'd take a breather and walk / run. I continued to walk / run and finished the 5k in about 37 mins for a total time of 1:30 minutes.

In hindsight, Greeley was the perfect 1st triathlon. It was small (200+) and an excellent introduction to the fun and friendly triathlon community. We made several new friends, just sharing in the spirit of the day. I also liked that I got a number of door prizes including Road ID braclet, Tifosi sunglasses and a bunch of snacks.

I drove back home with my first triathlon in the books replaying the day already identifying areas for improvement. It took 17 years to get here, but I did it and now I'm hooked! I challenged one of my college buddies and we competed in the Sodus Point Sprint Triathlon in Sodus Point, NY.

June 10th also marked the birth of Family Fan Club. More on that in another post.

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