So this past Sunday was my official taste of a triathlon. My training consisted of swimming as much as I could over the last 3 to 4 weeks. I knew my legs would be strong coming off of the La Jolla Half and so my focus was to not drown out in the ocean. Going into the race I was filled with more excitement than nerves. I felt great about the progress I was able to accomplish in the swim and this being my first race I really had no clue what to expect and because of that I felt as if there was no pressure other than to go out and have fun.
Race Day Morning and Transition Area
Had it not been for the anticipation building up I probably would not have raced. For the second straight race my alarm on my phone failed me or at least I was too tired to wake up to it. I set it for 4am in hopes of leaving the house at 4:30am to be at the transition area by 5am only to wake up on my own at 4:50am. Rushed, I woke KC up and began to get ready. We were out of the house by 5:10am and were at the transition area by 5:30am.
Setting up my transition area was very interesting being that all I knew about it was from what I watched on youtube. I found it intimidating too, because there's the guys that just look like pros. They have the helmet, the bike, everything...and I could just feel the "newb" stamp being placed on me while I looked for my section. Following the instructions I got from youtube I got my area set up without a hiccup and hung out until the area was closed.
Now leading up to the race I had only swam in the ocean once and that was the Friday before the race at La Jolla Cove. I had also only swam in my tri wetsuit once before the race and that was done that Friday at the Cove. I really thought the Cove swim plus the years of bodyboarding would come in handy for the swim.
When my wave started, I hung out in the back and took my sweet time getting in. I didn't want to get smashed by the pros. When I was out there there were a couple things that started to mind f*ck me. Swimming in the open water with no board sucks when fighting waves. Swimming at the Cove I was protected from waves and so it felt somewhat like a pool swim but I could still feel myself being pushed around by the waves. It wasn't until I hit the half way point that I felt comfortable and started to find my stroke.
When it came to the bike, I knew I'd be ok cause it's not foreign to me. The transition from swim to bike can be time consuming and I tried to be quick. When I was out on the bike it wasn't all that bad. I had hoped to average 18 mph while I was out there. I did get yelled at by some pro lady though. I was by myself for a good stretch and was a bit to the left and the lady came up quick on me and told me to move right. I sort of froze up and by the time I realized I had to move over she was to the right of me and yelling "GOD DAMN YOU!" That incident aside, the bike was a flat and fast ride.
Prior to the race I had only attempted a brick once. I felt good the time I did attempt it. A little funny though in finding your stride, but good. I had the same problem at the race but this time I was fighting calf cramps for the first half mile or so. They eventually went away and I felt good the remainder of the race.
When I got out to run it felt like my feet were stuck in cement, but after the first mile I clocked in around 7:37 I knew I was moving so I pushed and brought it down to a 7:24 in the 2nd mile and a 7:11 in the final.
Overall I'm very happy with everything. All things considered, I thought I did well. I trained for 3 weeks for this race and I was able to finish 37 out 74 in my age group and 243 out of 449 males. I know I'm not going to be some pro at this tri thing, but it felt great to put up a good time for my first crack at it.
I have about 5 weeks to get ready for the SD International tri. This should be good as the distance is longer than the Sprint.
Remember the cramps in my calves? Well, it's Tuesday and my calves are SORE! It's as if I've been doing calf raises 8 hours a day non stop. I'm so damn sore.