July archive

Triangle Triathlon

It's been over a year since Beth and I moved back. A big reason why we wanted to move back to was be closer to family and to be more active. To me there was nothing that represented that more than the Triangle Triathlon. Beth and I have watched Matt and James compete for a few years now and I've always wanted to do it. I spent all year saying I was going to do it and this Saturday I had to put my money where my mouth was. I wasn't really racing against Matt and James because they were going to crush me for sure. It started as a race between me and the clock but became a battle between my will and a strong urge to just give up. It was brutal, much harder than the half marathons.

It all started with the swim. Didn't really do a lot of training. Matt and I had gone to the pool a week before and I felt pretty comfortable. Race day was a different story. The water was hot and I wasn't ready to deal with the people. It was hard to keep the pace I wanted. When I got out felt like I was sweating and my body was already cramping up. After a slow transition I was on the ride course.

The bike is still fairly new to me. I've borrowed Matt's road bike for a few months of training before. I had gone out to do the course (before they changed it) a couple times and felt like I had a pretty good idea about what I could do. My body was still feeling the swim but I felt like I was off to a good start. Around 5 miles I was still on my pace but I hadn't come up to the biggest hills yet. The longest hill is where things started to break down. I just couldn't keep my speed up. After 10 miles I knew I was behind my pace. I knew rest of the course was just rolling downhill. I could hear Matt in my head telling me this is where I need to pick it up but I had little left to give. Finishing out the last 7.5 miles I rolled into the park feeling a little defeated with still a 5K of running to go.

I did get a little perk up seeing everyone cheering for me as I finished the bike and started my run. Unfortunately I saw James there which meant I didn't meet my goal of finishing the bike before he finished the race. My legs were feeling pretty rough but I knew from training that after awhile they would start to feel more normal. My heart rate wasn't too crazy so I felt like when I got my legs under me I could pick up the pace. Around one mile my legs were feeling a little less like Jello but if just couldn't seem to go any faster. Some old guy was riding a mountain bike around the course. He passed me and I saw him later at an aid station just before 2 miles. He was chatting with the girl volunteers passing out water. One of them asked how far the run was and this guy said it was "just 3 miles." One of the girls was kind enough to point out that there was a swim and bike beforehand but the guy said the bike was "just 15 miles" (which it was 17.5). I wanted to punch him. First for riding around on his bike on the run course. Then second for being a jerk. After 2 miles I caught up to Frisbee Jenn. I ran along with her for a little bit and when she slowed for some water at 3 miles I just went for the finish. Over 2 hours after I started I was finally done.

In the meantime Matt had done better than last year and James ended up winning his age group. Overall I was a little disappointed because I thought I could do a lot better but I did finish. My swim was weak, my bike was slow, and couldn't even manage a 30 min 5K. Even though it was one of the most exhausting and humbling experiences of my life, I will do it again next year. Time to get my own bike and start training now.

Posted on July 11, 2010 by Mark | View Comments