Monday, October 12, 2015

Lessons Learned from my FIRST Triathlon

So I completed the Golden State Triathlon on Sunday.  This was a 0.5 mile swim (in open water), 15 mile bike ride, and 5K run.

  1. Swimming:
    1. I had "trained for the event", but I was not prepared.  I don't have access to a pool or swimable body of water.
    2. I had to rent a wet-suit, now I am not a slender man.  I looked like Chris Farley wearing David Spade's coat, or a sausage that had been cooked a little to long and was starting to burst open at the seams.
    3. The wet-suit was too tight, it felt like trying to swim with an elephant on my chest, I could not get enough air.  This tends to be problematic when swimming in a RIVER!
    4. Swimming in a river, with a current, is not like swimming in a pool.  If you want to do a triathlon I would highly suggest training in a body of water like you are going to participate in.  By the first 100 meters I knew I was in trouble.  I had to switch to swimming breaststroke which is really slow, but it was that or drown.  I think I chose wisely.
    5. I started 10 minutes ahead of the "elite" women, several of them passed me in the river.  I knew it was going to be bad when I showed up and saw the "other" peeps.  But the worst was yet to come.
  2. Bicycling:
    1. I routinely ride 12 - 15 miles on my bike, so I was not overly worried about this part.  I should have been worried.
    2. I was rocking a 100 dollar Schwinn, I bought from Wal-Mart.  The other peeps had better rides.  Sort of like racing a Ferrari in a Ford Fiesta.  I passed NO ONE on the bike, not a single person.  I was pedaling hard the whole time and I was being passed like I was riding backwards.  On my third lap around the course (5 mile course), people were already leaving. They had finished the ride, run a 5K, drank a beer, cleaned up, chatted with friends, probably had a good laugh at Chubbs Peterson in the tight wet-suit all while I was still on the bike course.
  3. Running:
    1. The 5K was the easy part, except for the fact I was basically all alone at this point.  
    2. I did actually start to pass other people here, including a couple of guys.  I bet they felt bad when I jogged past them.
    3. I still had energy and my legs still had a little juice, I was able to run most of the 5K without breaks.

I finished last in my heat, and was two or three from the last male, and only finished a few minutes ahead of the last females (some of whom started 15 minutes after me).  OUCH!

It was a great experience, and I would do this again, following some training and a better bike of course!