I completed my second sprint triathlon yesterday and I still have a long ways to go before I feel comfortable at every leg. I picked up my packet and attended a Course Talk on Saturday with my wife since I had to work on Friday. We loved the layout of the park and she decided to come watch my on race day and be my personal photographer!
400m – 14:13 (included a 100+ yard run to transition where the timing mat was)
The water was around 80 degrees so it wasn’t wetsuit legal. Even though it was wetsuit optional if you weren’t competing for a podium, I still opted not to wear it for this race. I thought I considered myself a decent swimmer but most of my training has been in a pool and at this race I realized that I’ve probably never done a full 400m without catching my breath at one end of the pool. I did freestyle almost to the first buoy then I struggled with my breathing and had to do the breast stroke to finish the swim. This swim was my first one in an actual lake with a time trial start of 4-5 people at a time. I lined up among faster swimmers than I should have. My first race was one at a time. Definitely more contact than the last time with people grabbing my legs. Looking back, I think I would have benefited to doing the backstroke after the first buoy because it was a straight swim for a while and I think backstroke would have been faster than breast stroke. Not to mention I swallowed quite a bit of lake water. I was in the middle of the pack after the faster swimmers passed me in the beginning.
T1 – 3:47
Not much to note here. Found my bike okay. I don’t have clipless pedals so I put my running shoes on. Drank some of my energy/electrolyte drink and headed out.
12.5mi – 44:12
The bike course was rolling hills on a street with one lane closed the whole way for the race. The inclines weren’t bad and I got up to about 30mph on some of the downhills. There were some areas with bad pavement and some of the worst spots were spray painted by the race host which was nice. I usually passed people going uphill and got passed going downhill. I stayed in the middle of the pack for most of the bike.
T2 – 2:01
It was easy to find my row and rack my bike again. No need to change shoes, so I put on my bib belt and took my helmet off, drank some more electrolyte drink and started on the run.
5k – 38:42
This is where I got passed the most I think. Being 6’6″, I’m not a very fast runner. Once we got out of the parking lot, the race started on a sidewalk. Well, barely a quarter mile into the run, the sidewalk was uneven and my toe clipped part of the sidewalk that was uneven and i fell forward. I had some scrapes on my palms and knees. Most people in this sport are nice and encouraging and a couple people slowed down as it happened and asked if I was okay. I got up and kept going. I had a little pain in my knee and the scrapes burned some as the sweat reached them. The run also had some rolling hills but it was mostly shaded so that helped. I usually average 10-12 min/mile pace, so this was a little slower but it was a faster pace than my first triathlon.
I’m not competing to podium, I’m just competing with myself. I look at the results just to see how far off I am in my age group or clydesdale division and which areas I’m slower in so I know where I can focus my training to get the most improvement.
Garmin Edge 520 Plus
I had my Garmin Edge 520 Plus mounted on my bike for this race and when I got to transition, I turned it on and quickly navigated to the Extended Display Mode screen so it could pair with my watch while I was putting my helmet and shoes on. It worked well and showed me my triathlon total time and the other data fields I had setup including speed and heart rate. It didn’t freeze at all and worked well for the entire bike portion. Even though I don’t think I would have a problem, I used the strap that came with it and put it between the mount and my handlebars so that someone either needed the tool to unscrew the mount or a pair of scissors to steal it. I think it is too easy for someone to just walk by and twist it off of the mount and walk away with it. Am I missing something? Is there another way to secure it to the mount to prevent theft?
I have two more races for the year. I have the Naperville Sprint Triathlon to finish off the Experience Triathlon Triple Challenge, then a few weeks after that I have the Chicago Olympic Triathlon. The Chicago Triathlon is a little intimidating to me right now since I’m doing an Olympic distance instead of a Sprint and the fact that the swim is in Lake Michigan. I’m hoping it’ll be wetsuit legal and I think I’ll be doing the backstroke on the straightaways. Either way, I’m excited about them and even though on race day I ask myself “What the #%$* did you get yourself in to?”, I still feel accomplished and proud when I cross the finish line.