Sunday, August 19, 2007

First Tri!

The Swim

'Twas a tad cold, air temperature-wise. Most of us stood shivering as the race announcer did the announcing thing; I borrowed a page from marathon racing and wore a disposable sweat shirt.

Thankfully, water temperature-wise things were much better. The water was significantly more comfortable then standing about in the air, but this led to something even more scary... wisps of fog making it hard to see much of anything. Buoys, kayaks, other swimmers... everything (at least, from my myopic vision) was pretty well obscured. I found myself swimming off in kind of random directions, as much as 90 degrees from where I should have.

Of course, this happened to me in practice, too, so I shouldn't have been taken too off guard. :P

I did have a scary moment when I caught a lung full of water, and as I coughed, gasped, and tried to suppress my gag reflex, I felt long tendrils of seaweed grasping at my feet. Gross! But worse, it also messed with my kick. Scary! And then, I realized, it was a really shallow part of the lake, and I could stand up, cough to my heart's content without fear of drowning, and even take a bit of a rest. Whew!

I don't know if it saved my life, but it was like that unexpectedly awesome meal when your starving, or a cup of amazing coffee when going through withdrawal. It'd be wonderful under normal conditions; in extremis I makes me wonder if there really might be a benevolent God watching out for me through no fault of my own.

Anyway, I finished in pretty good time (for me) and without swallowing too much water. And my first words when hitting the transition area to the other people around me were: "Whew. I'm glad that's over!"

The Bike

The second leg had us zooming around a subdivision, going through two loops of tight corners, puddles, and the occasional resident who I'm sure will never vote for a triathlon to happen near their place again. Rain pelted us pretty constantly through the whole ride, and the intersection between those starting, those halfway done, and those who were finishing left about a single bike width for each of the above, and an awful lot of congestion.

It was especially scary because it was coming down a hill, and braking was a bit nerve wracking...

But other than that, the bike was nice, relatively flat, well marked and the race volunteers were troopers! The definitely had it harder than we did, standing out in the cold, dreary weather rather than riding through it.

The Run

Strangely enough, the run was my favorite part of the tri. :) The course was about 2/3rds asphalt roads, 1/3 trail. The trail was a wood chip forest thing. There was just something so cool about running through it in the rain- a sort of rain forest type feel that was absolutely flipping awesome!

It was also nice to be able to encourage my friends as I saw them pass by during the run- it's a lot easier to tell if someone is a friend or not at a run speed then at bike speed, especially with rain-fogged glasses.

General thoughts:

I love my friends! They are the coolest people evar! They also all got AG prizes, so they are cool and awesome athletes!
I'm extra, extra glad that I put everything into my car the night before.
I'm also happy that I was smart enough to put my keys and wallet into my jacket; I just wish I had also done so with my camera.
Rain isn't so bad, so long as you're a paranoid person like myself and have the garbage bags, extra set of dry clothes, and the courage to change in front of everyone. :) I did have to use the race t-shirt as a towel, tho...
Need to do more early morning swim practices, as well as more swim practices in general.
I just might be addicted to triathons, now... *sigh* Like I need another addiction. :)

Half mile Swim: 25:54
T1: 3:54 min
12 mile Bike: 35:23 min (Garmin- 11 miles)
T2: 1:18
3 mile Run: 21:06 (Garmin- 2.9 miles)

Anyway, Yay! :) And I feel even better after a nap! :)

Still was in the cellar of my AG; 14/14. Though I was last in swimming by a good five minutes, I was eighth in biking and second in running! Cool, eh? And I'm pretty sure I can only improve on the other two events- and transitions, especially!


Tina said...

Great job on your first tri, I'm so happy for you! And a bit jealous!;-) Did the swim stuff we went over last weekend help at all?

Fritz said...


I'm sure it did... it probably made me more efficient for the first leg, but after that it was just about survival.

Sadly, of the two main things we went over I forgot the breathing one the entire time, and the arm thing maybe half the time.

Needless to say, I need bunches more practice... :)

Special K said...


Wonderful blog entry and GREAT race performance! The seaweed and fog sounds very scary, and then you belted out just over a 7-min pace for the run! The rain would've really scared me on the bike, cuz I haven't ridden with those skinny tires in rain at all and I hear it's easy to wipe out...I'm glad none of you did. Safety first!

I was out till 2am just like I thought, and I set my alarm to watch you guys and slept right thru it like a BIG LOSER!

Fritz said...


You were there in spirit, right? :)

Jeremy said...

Nice job on the Tri! I can see why a 10K might seem passe against a race like this! Your swimming should improve with practice, I bet!

You've done one event I don't think I will ever do again. We used to do Triathlons as our first race at the end of the first week of Summer Practice, and I couldn't swim, so I used to doggy paddle my way through the event. I'm lightly phobic of immersing myself in bodies water I can't touch the bottom of, so it's not high on my list of things to do!

You did a great job working through the initial swim and finishing strong! I'd say those 50-60 mile weeks are starting to pay off!

Fritz said...


I kinda hope I improve on the swim; it'd be hard to get much worse, ya'know? :)