Tri This: One Year!!!

One year ago today, I began my triathlon training adventure. I had been inspired by a report in my local newspaper about a sprint/mini-sprint race held at a rec center the previous weekend. I looked at the distances involved and thought “I can do that”. More importantly, I wanted to do that.

Starting out, my goal was to do a sprint distance race about a year from when I began. I’m on track, with that race scheduled for a week from Saturday. I’ve done two mini sprint races in the interim, one last August, and an indoor time rather than distance based race in January. As I’ve mentioned before, this upcoming race is a leap both in terms of distance covered and the swim is open water, in a reservoir. Open water adds some challenges; a more congested group start, staying on course without that black line on the bottom of the pool, and wearing a wetsuit, which will need to be removed before starting on the bike leg of the race.

Since my last update, I’ve done one open water swim, and will do my second tomorrow morning. This time, I’ll add a transition practice, taking off my wetsuit in a hurry and going for a bike ride. The swim itself went okay, although I can certainly use more practice with navigating and seeing the buoys that mark the course. And I managed, which as a beginner is the point.

Sunday, I did a full competition distance bike ride of 10 miles, followed by a 5k run. I did just fine, and my legs held up without the problems I had at my first race. It was hot, over 80 by the time I was finishing my run, and that was a challenge. I was very thirsty by the end, even though I drank a fair amount before I started and some more between the bike and run. This tells me that if the heat continues, I’m going to bring my water with me. Generally, with my shorter distances, it hasn’t been necessary.

Sunday’s run in the heat also gave me a huge appreciation for the triathletes who were doing the Boulder Ironman race that day. My dentist, who is a bit younger than me, was among the participants. He started his marathon at 3 pm when it was 90 degrees. I admire all those who do such events, and its very clear to me that an Ironman is not in my future. It does not look like fun. I’m happy that my running has improved to the point that a 5k run is routine and I can run longer distances, and at the same time, I have a strong sense that my body does not want to be pounded by running for hours on end. That’s part of the triathlon appeal to me, not too much of anything. For me, an Ironman would be too much of everything.

I’m getting a bit tired of the training drill at this point. Life and other obligations have interfered a fair amount recently, so I haven’t been following my training plan as written. That I was able to do my full race distance bike and run on Sunday was particularly satisfying given that my training has been a bit off. The base is in there. That gives me confidence going into the race that I will be able to finish.

Pre-race goals: Finish. Enjoy the process. Fantasy time: one hour, 40 minutes. Realistic time: two hours. I’m feeling ready, and looking forward to the event. Results coming up soon!

18 thoughts on “Tri This: One Year!!!

  1. Hi, Steph,

    I’ve done about 35 open water swims, and 20 Olympic distance tri”s. There is stuff called body glide which helps you get the wet suit off. It is at Colorado Multi Sport, near McGuckins, which has a lot of tri stuff. Also, I wear neopreme socks, which let me run on rough surfaces to get to my bike. They are sometimes illegal, but I do it anyway. I remember my chip on my ankle. I carry a small back pack with my stuff, and wear my wet suit pants while walking to the transition area. My goggles and right colored swim cap are stuffed in my jog bra. I like a small towel at the beach, but then forget that I have to collect it later. My bike is in gear for the start of the race, and has numbers, a zeroed cyclometer, and a full water bottle on it. I tape gue with caffeine to the handlebar. My car key is on a string, and is attached to the back pack. At the transition area, I put the stuff I need for my bike (small towel, shoes, shirt with my number, socks, helmet, sunglasses?) before the stuff I need for the run, (a visor, running shoes, a water bottle, gue,) on the towel. In my small backpack are some dry clothes for after the race, sun screen,even shampoo if there is a shower. My wallet stays in the glove compartment, locked. I usually can’t get to my car until I leave the tri, and it can be a quarter mile away.
    I stay well to one side for the first part of the swim, and start slowly, or even breast stroke until everyone spreads out. Sometimes you can sight a tall tree on the land, and keep it at the right angle, until you are closer to the buoy. Sight every four strokes or so. Raise your hand in the water if you need help. You can hold on to a kayak as long as you need to, but no forward motion. I am always quite dizzy on leaving the water. I pull my wet suit zipper strap down and get it off my arms, on my way to the bike. I don’t worry about my times, just a continuous effort, maybe a seven or eight out of ten.
    My last tri in May was rained out for me anyway. Be glad you don’t have to deal with glasses and non-water proof hearing aids.
    I’m sure you will do well, and just let them time you. You have no idea where your competition is anyway. I bet is is a glorious day.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Judy, that’s an impressive string. I’m looking forward to this next event. I leave my hearing aids at home and am grateful that I don’t need glasses. Cheers!


  2. Amazing stuff, its particularly awe inspiring for me as someone who can’t swim or bike! You’ll do great on the day!


  3. Reblogged this on bone&silver and commented:
    Steph was the first WordPress blogger to sponsor me for my ‘Refugee Rations Week’ – thanks Steph! And she can’t do it herslef because she’s running her first Triatholon- very inspiring for anyone over 50- we can do [almost] anything ❤ xx G

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m behind on reading, but YAY for a year long commitment to training coming to fruition! That alone is admirable!!! I can’t wait to hear how your race goes – I hope you exceed your expectations and have a great time!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is so inspiring, not just to the older triathletes, but to anyone of all ages and abilities to just get up and give it a go! This is awesome, good for you and keep it up! You talk about having the confidence, and I think that the mental abilities are just as important as the physical elements of training! Moose

    Liked by 1 person

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