Yesterday I got to do my first triathlon of the season, .75 mile swim, 13 mile bike, 4 mile run. The run portion was 2 miles out and back on the beach.
I must admit that I was a little nervous as it had been 2 years since I had last participated in a triathlon. However, this was a local race and there were several of my friends that were doing the event too. There were only 3 waves for the swim start, so a lot of us were together right up to the last minute.
As expected, I did well in both the swim and run portions. I was near the front at the end of the swim. There was very low visibility in the water, but the conditions were nice otherwise. Very little swell and there were only 2 turns for the whole swim. There was only one point where I was close to another swimmer. We touched for a couple of strokes and then it stopped. Fortunately, I did not kick anyone or get kicked. It is something to be prepared for, but it is nice if it simply does not happen.
The bike portion was uneventful. A bit wet, not from rain, but merely the morning fog that made the road a little slick. It was something to be aware of an prepare for on turns. The bike portion is not best event and many triathletes are not as strong on the swim and favor the bike. The bike portion is typically the longest, and if you are better at it, you can do well in your overall time. With this, I did see about 10 people pass me on the bike. Some had the wacky fast bikes with aero bars, fancy light wheels and time trial helmets. All things that can make you go faster. At a price.
The run portion was quite interesting. Running on the sand is always a challenge. The run was on the beach along the water line. The hard parts were at the beginning and the end where you had to run in the deep sand. At the start, you had to run from the bike-run transition area to get on to the sand. At the end, there was the run from the water line, to the finish line. That too was in the deep sand. The only other part of the race that was tricky was staying as close to the water line as possible without getting your feet wet! That went well for me for 3.5 miles and then one ‘sneaker wave’ came up a little higher than I had estimated and my feet were now soaked! I had a pretty fast pace(6:50 minutes per mile) on the run. I had started it just ahead of the first woman competitor, she passed me and then I passed her shortly thereafter. At the time, I did not know it was the fastest woman. Later I figured it out when I did not see any others. Near the end of the run, she passed me. It may have been due to my feet getting wet or that I may have slowed slightly. It does not matter. She had a 5 minute head start on me as I believe she was in the first wave. I was in wave number 2, males 35 and older.
I felt great at the end of the event. I was fast in all three sports with my swim and run being the fastest. My age group, 45-49 continues to be competitive. While I was in the top 40 finishers, I was the 6 person in my age group!
Next for me will be the second in the Dip and Dash series. That is a swim/run series in the town where I live. Then a break for a month before the third and final Dip and Dash. After that is an Olympic distance triathlon.
The training continues. I learned a couple of little things on this race that I can use to be better next time. Some in the nutrition area. I still need to take in more liquids on the bike portion. I have to make up for none on the swim and the small amount on the run. It adds up after a while. Second was that I could have been better on the bike to run transition. I did not have my shoes pre-tied for the run. I could have saved myself as much as 30 seconds! Every little bit helps.
I can only imagine what my heart rate was. I know I was going quite fast and was breathing hard for the swim and the bike. It slowed on the run, but that is not a surprise as my back is more straight and I can breathe as quickly as I want or need.by