I have an unofficial list of things to do before I die and competing in a triathlon was one. I decided back in late April to enter the Tri the Midlands triathlon and made a promise to myself that I would limit the training days to 5 each for the other 2 disciplines - swimming and running. Reason being, I have limited access to a swimming pool and the only time I'm running is if I'm being chased. I held true to my word and swam 5X but only 4X - 1X running a full 5K.
With this being my first triathlon, I entered the Novice category and we had a total field of 42. Of the 3 disciplines, the swim would be my biggest challenge. 500M isn't far but when you only trained 5X and couldn't string more than 75M of freestyle together at one time, I knew I was in for a long swim. I made a Novice mistake by lining up in the middle and being a left hand breather, I should've started on the inside or outside. For this course, the outside would've been preferred as it would've been the shortest line to the first bouy. I'm always amazed how body fat keeps people afloat and allows the heavier people to outswim the skinny ones.
The official time with the long run T1 was 13:52 and I was 18th out of 42 coming out of the water.
Next up, the 12 mile bike leg. I knew I had alot of ground to make up as I was in the water way too long. The new Scott Plasma was amazing but I wish I had more than a week to get acclimated to the bike and position. I started out a little conservative as I had no idea what to expect coming off the bike and running a few miles. On the flats I was able to maintain speeds of 26 - 27 mph and had no problems powering over the rollers. I was a little frustrated at the local police as I had to come to almost a complete stop at one of the intersections as a person they flagged through stopped in the middle of the intersection to take a picture of the cyclists and the cop just stood there and waved at the person taking the picture. On the final right turn before heading back into Lake Carolina the same cop allowed a car to turn right in front of a group of 3 riders and the car was in no hurry to pull away and all three of us had to brake and lost all momentum coming out of the turn. Once in the neighborhood, the number of riders tripled and people were not staying to the right and the faster riders had to weave in and out, trying not to lose too much time.
T1 was 1:19 and now that I've done a tri, I know how to shave some seconds in this area. I completed the bike in 31:16 and finished 1st out of 42 and 20th out of 240. T2 was 57 seconds.
The legs felt OK off the bike and they finally came around in mile 2. I wasn't anticipating the course being as hilly as it was and the 4 days I trained for the run were on a flat course. The walking trail was a little awkward to run on but once I got over the last hill and onto the flat towards the finish, I opened it up and pretty much sprinted to the finish line. My time for the 5K was 23:45 which was 8th in my group.
Total Time: 1:11:08, 2nd place Novice division, 70th place overall. Congratulations to Nick, my Harrell's teammate who finished 1st in the 30-34 division and 8th overall.
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