So as we begin fall here in the northeast its time to close out my first ever (sprint) triathlon season. My first ever tri in April, another in May, the cancelled one in June, another in July and capping it off in September, never having ridden a road-bike before March and never having done laps in a pool before.
Jumping into the deep end, both figuratively and literally, pretty much accomplished what I was looking for. I’ve learned a lot about doing a triathlon; from training, techniques, event logistics, transition techniques that I just frankly would not have gotten if I did all the training first and waited to compete in one until I was “fully ready.”
More than anything I’ve had a blast, I’ve really come to love road cycling, I’m hating myself a little less in the pool, and running is actually a little more more fun when coming off a transition. I will say that training for and doing tris really goes well with my other foray into Adventure Racing as both similarly have multiple disciplines and transitions and break up the monotony of just running longer and longer distances.
So how did my 4th and final sprint-tri of the season go? Well, this was going to be the longest swim yet (425m, 17 laps in a 25m pool), so… good and bad. That said, I managed to get a class podium and a sweet handmade medal! The field wasn’t gigantic for this event (I was 2nd of only 6 in class) but I managed top 40 overall out of 101 so I see some definite progress there, there were some very competitive people in the event so I got to get some good data points to compare to.
So whats the bad/ugly? I’m still a very TERRIBLE swimmer. That is easily the understatement of the year here, the thing I need to work on the most over fall/winter break. Of 101 participants, no joke, I came in 98th place in the swim… The reality is thoug that my first 100m was my fastest of the year thus far, but I just totally gassed/ran out of air right after that so required much resting and letting people by for the remainder…
But the good is that I’ve been able to turn up the dial on the cycle without killing my legs where I see a lot of people coasting or slowing I’m usually powering through much of the bike portions. For this event I was 22nd on the bike and just a hair out of the top 10/15.
And then came up 44th in the run, which frankly I was conserving a bit too much on, didn’t realize how close I was to being higher in the field. So I will say the last 2/3rds of the race are quite encouraging, I don’t feel like I don’t belong… I just feel like an awful swimmer 🙂
What I really want to shoot for is just being a respectable swimmer, If I can do that the cycle and run should bring me that much more forward. Looking at the local schedules means my next sprint-tri won’t be till March next year so that is 5-6 months to figure out more breathing technique and stamina in the water.
But as this season closes for me let me take a moment to reflect on how great these race organizations are and triathletes in general, I would say both in tris and adventure racing I’ve found that while these is sure competitiveness there, the competitors themselves are so friendly, helpful, and it just feels like such a great new activity to have taken up as everyone is so willing to help, give tips as you join in.
Looking that much more forward to my next triathlon… but first, capping my 2019 race season next week with an 8-hour VentureQuest Adventure Race 🙂