Let me start this post by asking, why don’t we have sprint fun runs? Why don’t we have community track meets where I can run a 100 m or 200 m dash? I would ROCK at those kind of runs. Why are they always distance runs?
I once again undertook a triathlon without being properly prepared. I had only three weeks to train and only trained two out of three of those weeks. I am embarrassed at how poorly I did.
I’ll say it, it was a hard race and I was humiliated when an 80 year old participant beat me by 4 minutes. I spent most of the day sulking when I saw that I placed 101 out of 104 finishers. That hurts a girls ego, and it hurts to admit it on my blog. Any regular readers know that I’m a slow distance runner and now you know I’m a slow swimmer and biker as well.
But I like to repeat to myself “No matter how slow you go, you are lapping those on the couch.” I am taking time to reevaluate my athletic endeavours and to start looking at reducing the distance and increasing speed. Anyway, let’s run through this thing shall we?
This year, my swim went a lot better than the last time!
I didn’t do any swim training besides one open water swim, but during that swim I practiced my sighting. And this time I knew that I had to stay on course and really pay attention to my direction to avoid going off. I was probably 3 minutes in when I got tired and had to flip over and back stroke. I saw how little of a distance I went and began to worry. Could I finish? I kept telling myself that I did this swim once without training and I could do it again. When I was on my back I watched the swimmers behind me to make sure I was headed in the right direction.
By the time I hit the halfway point my body warmed up and I started swimming! I wasn’t going fast but I was going steady. One problem was my borrowed goggles had a leak and I hadn’t washed all my make up off so I swam with a stinging eye the last half. I came out of the water in the middle of the pack which made me really happy.
My swim time was: 18:54 (almost 8 minutes faster than my last one!)
Lessons learned in the swim
- Do a warm up swim ahead of time. It won’t make you more tired but it will loosen and warm your muscles.
- Forget the wetsuit. The water is cool but not freezing and wetsuits take time in the transition.
- Practise this transition! It is the hardest because you have to dry off and put on shoes.
- Do 12 weeks of swim training ahead of time! Seriously- be prepared!
- Spend money on better goggles
I thought I was cruising on this ride! I had borrowed a nice road bike from a friend and though it didn’t have cages on the pedals for me to pull it had way more gears than my old bike so I pedaled away. I was still being passed, a lot, by the Olympic bikers. These guys had swam double the distance as I did and were biking double the distance and they flew past me. I pedaled harder and was still being passed, one lady passed me and was she pedalling at half the speed I was. What the hell? Am I just biking wrong or is there something about a tri bike that is superior to a regular road bike? My legs died the last 4 km of the bike. In past tri’s I have had energy gel taped to my biked and ate it while biking. I forgot to do that this year and I could have used it toward the end.
My bike time was 1:10:45 (2012 bike time 1:11:55)
Lessons learned in the bike
- Must have cages or actual proper clip pedals and shoes. That pull really helps!
- Have a better hydration strategy. A flip cap Powerade is hard to pull out, drink, and put back. Need something better.
- Have energy gel accessible on bike ride
- Get tri shorts with pad in the butt! Ouch my butt was hurting at the end.
Does anyone have any advice on the bike? I really thought I was killing it until I saw my time!
I am most disappointed in my run! I thought I was doing ok. Yes, I walked more than I liked but I was able to plod along for a good portion of the 5k. I didn’t have too bad of jello legs because of the brick runs so that was good.
What was nice AND annoying at the same time was how supportive the other runners were. I was being passed by all the Olympic runners which made me feel like garbage but almost all of them would say something encouraging as they passed. “Good job, you’re almost there!” “You got this” “Just put one foot in front of the other.” I wanted to hug and strangle them at the same time.
As I was approaching the finishing line I heard the announcer congratulate the oldest competitor in the race, an 80 year old man who competed in the sprint. That’s when I mentally shut down. Usually I try to sprint across the finish line but I didn’t bother. I was so upset with myself. When the announcer asked me how it went I was a brat and said “awful.”
My run was 41:03. (one minute slower than 2012)
Lessons learned in the run
- Pack a hat! I forgot and was so hot and uncomfortable
- Actually be a half decent runner! If you can’t run a 5k on it’s own, you can’t run it in a triathlon
My final race time was 2:10:43 (About 8 minutes faster than my 2012 time of 2:18:33- but that was all the swim) As I said, I spent the day beating myself up. Being competitive when you are an adult and not in sports anymore is not a good thing. But after a good sleep, I am myself again and I’m still proud of myself for “tri’ing”. I will NEVER do a triathlon without training at least 12 weeks ahead of time- and I mean it this time. But I’m going to focus on improving my running through the winter. I am sick of being a plodder, I want to be a runner.
In the mean time, here are a few more pics: