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!