Skip to content

Triathlon Recap.

26 June 2017

Well, my friends, I am no athlete. I never was and I never will be. But I had a pretty good day for me out on the race course yesterday. But before you read it, I want you to pop over to my friend MC’s page. At 66 years old, she just had her first podium finish in a triathlon. Worried she’d finish dead last, she crushed her event. I’m so, so, so proud of her.

My day was ok. Sadly, the swim was canceled. Heavy thunderstorms Friday night and Saturday morning in ECC and north of us resulted in the river we planned to use for the swim being swollen, choked with debris, and with a fast current. There was no safe way to swim in it, and the race directors made the right call in canceling the swim.

So, the race was still broken up into three pieces. We did a 2 mile run, followed by the 24.8 mile bike, followed by the 4.2 mile run. I think the courses were a tiny bit short, but not enough to make much of a difference.

The first run I went ahead and ran hard. It was cool in the morning, I’d had a 4 mile ride to warm up, and I figured the day wasn’t going to be as hard as I’d planned given that the swim was out and the run was dissected. So I did the 2 miles at an 8:30 pace, pushing pretty good. It was a bit warm (about 70), but the humidity wasn’t oppressive. I felt good about that pace.

My first transition (to the bike) was uneventful. All I had to do was don gloves, helmet, and glasses. And my Japanese dragon bandana. The bike course was tough. It was much hillier than anything I’d trained for. The first mile included a 200 foot ascent. Three more steep uphill sections really challenged me, and that was only the first of two loops.

My goal going in was to keep up a 16 mph pace, in order to test my fitness for a longer ride. I figured if I could keep up 16 mph on a hilly course for almost 25 miles, then I ought to be where I need to be to do 56 mile at 16 mph on a flat course in a few months. (Depending, of course, on the weather.)

On the second loop, going up the third steep hill, my chain came off when I tried to shift into my hill gear. Because I was already in my hill gear. I forced the derailleur, the chain slipped between the gears and wheel, and shredded the plastic wheel guard. I hopped off the bike, assessed that it was something I could probably deal with, reset the chain, hoped the plastic guard wouldn’t catch on anything, and kept going.

It worked. I charged back into the race, up the hill, down the other side, and back into transition in 1:29 and change. 16.5 mph. I’m quite happy with that.

The final run was 4.2 miles. I did not try to match my earlier pace. I went out at a slightly sub-10 minute mile, and held that for four miles. I finished in 41ish minutes, at a 9:48 pace to finish in a total of a bit over two and a half hours. I was really happy with my pacing, and even had the energy for a little sprint to the finish line.

I didn’t finish last. I didn’t even finish last in my age group. Though I was down toward the bottom. Recreational triathletes tend to be a pretty athletic bunch. And so comparing myself with them makes me look pretty sluggish. Sixty-some men in my age group finished ahead of me. Less than 10 finished behind me. Overall, almost 600 people finished ahead of me, and only about 200 finished behind me.

I wish I were faster and better and stronger. But I only have what I have. I can only give what I can give. Yesterday, I did a weird franken-race of an Olympic Triathlon. I finished healthy. I’m proud of myself. When I compare myself against others, I am pretty damned piss-poor. But when I compare myself against what I used to be? It’s kind of amazing.

So I’m happy. And I think I’m on track for my half-Ironman.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 26 June 2017 07:11

    Awesome! Congrats on the good race. And thanks for the kind words.

  2. Aimee permalink
    26 June 2017 12:40

    You got a pretty exclusive definition of the word “athlete,” there, Bro.

    • 27 June 2017 07:09

      I agree. I have been told that once you click that “register” and sign up for a race, you have just become a “real” athlete.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: