Despite developing a nasty cold less than 24-hours later, I finished the Ventura Triathlon Sprint in 1 hour, 38minutes. For the past 20 months and after losing 60 pounds, I finished my first triathlon and feel better than ever.
After setting up a and participating in the “pre-race” meeting, I headed down to the beach. I was surprised to see the ocean so calm. I didn’t hesitate to jump in and get warmed up. After staging for the swim, I was shocked to hear other participates in my wave talking about how they have never been in the ocean before. Hmmm… it wasn’t just my first triathlon. Anyway, in the seconds before the horn, my heart rate went from 92 bpm to 127 bpm. The initial dive didn’t go too well and I ended going a lot wider around the bouy than I expected. In the end, I finished the 200m swim in 12:20. Two participants from my wave were hauled back to shore via the lifeguards.
The run from the beach to the transition was harder than I thought. My heart rate was really high, 177 bpm and I was in no shape for sand running, so I walked it. Afterall, I wasn’t going to win. This is when I got confirmation that my wetsuit was really too big for me. As I was walking, it kept slipping down… next year I will buy one that fits (really, I bought the wetsuit when I still had 20 lbs to lose).
Transitioning to the bike went a lot quicker than I thought. Stripping the wetsuit was easy, I threw the socks on over my sandy feet (the sand actually helped me get the socks on), my jersey, gloves and helmet. It went so smoothly, that I stopped, took inventory and then proceed because I felt like I was forgetting something.
Cycling is one of my favorite past times. Cruising along on two wheels under the bright sun is a great way to experience nature and the urban environment. Needless to say, the bike was steady and fun, cruising at about 18mph. I definitely started feeling a little fatigued in the latter portion of the ride. This was after passing a number of cyclist that kept speeding and slowing down. My objective was to keep a steady cadence and let the gears work the hills, etc. I was quite disappointed to arrive back at the park after 4o minutes as I wanted to keep going. The final dismount before the transition area was disappointing as a cyclist stopped well short of the dismount line and I almost ran into him. Oh well, just farther to run.
- The Bike Data – Notice Smooth Heart Rate
I didn’t have a clear plan in my head as far as what I was going to wear for the run. I knew I had to change shoes, shed the gloves, and trade a cap for the helmet, but I couldn’t decide whether to continue with the bike jersey or switch to the running jersey. I ended up keeping the bike jersey, throwing on the shoes and cap before heading out. Since I was at the far end of the transition area in relation to the run course, I had to run quite a distance before I could even start running.
I was not that far out from the transition area when I really felt the fatigue of the day. My body and in particular my legs were shot and I felt every step. I could only manage running in short spurts and then my stomach started feeling odd, possibly from too many fluids. I knew the run was going to be hard, but I didn’t expect it to be this hard. Looking at my GPS, it seemed like it was taking forever to cover the distance. To make matters worse, I hadn’t scoped out the course, so I really didn’t have any reference to the turn around. However, I pushed on and found inspiration in the other runners. Coming around that corner and seeing the finish line really helped me push it too. The run was 11:00 minute pace, not bad considering that I swam and biked prior to the 5k.
- Ventura Triathlon Run Data – Notice the sporadic speed.
Crossing the finish line was awesome!
Finished in 1hr, 38 minutes, 16 seconds. Overall, I placed 312 out of 373 and placed 24 out of 25 in my age group (30-39, M).
The initial video reaction to finishing the triathlon: