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Time for a new challenge
Time for a new challenge
When I got out of college I found myself 50 pounds overweight and working 2 jobs, and working out was not a priority. Then one day it changed. No great inspiration other than my wife was losing weight, and I wanted to as well. I started by telling friends and family that I was going to run a 5k. Then I moved on to a 4 mile race, and last year a rather hilly and challenging 7 mile race (The Bix in Davenport, Iowa). But triathlons have always fascinated me. So that is my new challenge.

Earning the title

phunt77by phunt77Sep 28th 2010
Earning the title
I am a triathlete. As of about 10:45 on Sunday morning. I had never called myself that before because I felt I should complete a race before taking on the title. I even made (both) my goals. My stated goal was 3 hours. But the week before, I realized that wouldn't be much of a challenge. I changed my goal to 2:45 but didn't tell anyone other than my wife. But before I get to times, let me set the scene a little.

2:30 Sunday morning. My daughter starts crying. My wife (the trooper that she is) got up to go calm her down. When the crying didn't stop after a couple minutes, I went to help out. My poor little girl was sick...really sick. She was chipper but just kept throwing up in her sleep, which woke her up and she would start crying again. We didn't get anymore sleep. We crawled into bed at 10:15p. But I had a hard time getting to sleep, so I know it was around 11p before I fell alseep. And so we headed out for our first triathlon on 3 1/2 hours of sleep. When we arrived to set up our transitions, the temp was 41F/5C. I didn't hear the announced water temp, which was 64F/18C. So it was a brisk morning. I took my warm up jog and realized I didn't have a lot of extra energy and that was going to be a problem. In the bag of stuff the race folks gave us were some Chomps energy chews. I had never tried them before, but I was feeling a bit desparate. So about 35 minutes before the race, I ate a bag. And everything seemed fine, so I was lucky. We had a good cheering section there for us. My mom, dad, brother and his girlfriend, mother-in-law, and my aunt and her roommate all came out. Now on to the race specifics.

Overall time: 2:43:30 (59th out of 109)
Yes...I made my goal!!!! It was painful, but I did it.

Swim: 30:50 (60th overall, 1:53/100 yards, Personal Record)
The first 100-200 yards were hell. I was really questioning why I wanted to do this. I hadn't found my rythym, the water was cold, people were crowded around me. Then I found my rythym and started passing a few people. It felt good and I was having fun. Then about 50 yards from the shore my right calf cramped up and stopped me cold. I managed to get it to stop and get moving again fairly quickly. Then I was out of the water and on to the bike.

T1: 3:56
I made a big mistake and didn't ever practice a transition. I realized my mistake as I tried to get ready for the bike. I also made the quick decision to chug a gatorade prime (sort of energy drink) for a little extra boost. My wetsuit came off quickly, but I had no organization to all my other gear. Hopefully I won't make that mistake again.

Bike: 1:21:22 (74th overall, 18.3 mph average, PR)
This was my week point and I knew it. My best practice ride I averaged 17.8. But this ride was different. There was a light head wind on the trip out and that was what I was hoping for. In all my training, it was much easier that way. I felt good from the start and I was expecting a 1 1/2 hour ride. But I knew something was different from the start. I even got to pass several people on much fancier bikes. On the return trip I was able to pick up the speed. The difference was that every intersection along the course was controlled by police and volunteers and I barely had to slow down. Keeping up that momentum was a big advantage for my ride.

T2: 0:58
Not much to say. Parked the bike, took off my helmet/gloves/glasses and donned my head band. Then back out for the run.

Run: 46:26 (37th overall, 7:29/mile, PR)
Wow...that's my only reaction. On 6 1/2 mile practice runs, I had averaged 7:48 at my best. When I did bricks, I would always take off fast on the run. I usually reigned myself in and slowed down. This time I didn't. I told my wife the night before that I was going to leave it all out on the course...and I defnitely did on the run. I passed quite a few people who had passed me on the bike course. It was a flat course and I always ran on hills so that made it much easier. The only hill was .3 to the turn around. And really wasn't all that bad. About 2 miles to the finish, I started to run out of fuel. Fortunately I was behind a guy making his final push. And his pace was what I had been running the rest of the race. That kept me going to the finish.

After crossing the finish, one volunteer took my timing chip and another gave me my finishers medal. I made it out of the chute and collapsed to my knees. There was nothing left in the tank. I finished third out of six in the novice category, so I got to take the podium. To me though that's another example of trying to make everyone feel special. I was passed by the 2nd novice finisher near the end (after I had passed him earlier), but I can't bring myself to feel dissappointed. I had nothing left and I gave it my best.

Overall, it was a great race. The volunteers and staff did a wonderful job. They even had a raffle at the end with some cool prizes. Couple of wetsuits, airline tickets, a trisuit, an iPod Nano just to name a few. I definitely want to compete in this race again. And I want to find other races too. I have become addicted to triathlon, and I love it!!!
prhimby member: prhim, Sep 29th 2010 10:54
Sounds like you had a great first race, congratulations!
 
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