Tri For Old Glory

It’s been some time since I last updated this bad boy. It’s been a weird few months.

I’ve only completed one triathlon, a Sprint Triathlon previous to this past weekend. Sunday, July 1st, I completed my first Olympic Triathlon in San Marcos, TX that consisted of a 1500m open-water swim, 23 mile bike ride and finishing up with a 10k run. As many know, I’m training for an Ironman that will be taking place on August 26th in Louisville, KY and I wanted to get in a race before that event. I signed up to complete a half-Ironman in San Jose, CA but since then, I moved halfway across the country again. I wasn’t about to fly my bike and all out to CA once again just to kill myself in a race. With that said, this Olympic distance is the next longest event that I could do to try to get some semblance of a race feeling in before August.

I took it extremely easy this past weekend trying to get into how I’d prepare for the Ironman race weekend. I had everything packed the night before so when I woke up Sunday morning at 4am, all that I needed to do was shower and load my bike on the rack(city). I don’t know why, but I have to shower before I go workout. I’ve been doing that for I don’t know how long and it’s weird and pointless but it’s part of my routine. I got everything loaded and made my way to San Marcos, TX, about 40 miles south of Austin. I arrive at the location, unload my bike, pump up my tires, and make the trek into transition. I was one of the earlier ones as I got body marked, got a good spot and transition and made it to the nonexistent bathroom line with quite a bit of time to spare.

One thing was confirmed well before the start of the race and that is that the majority of triathletes are snobs. I don’t really look the part of a triathlete or a runner for that matter because I don’t own all the “good” equipment and I really don’t have the body of an endurance athlete. Athletes notice these things for some reason and usually make a point to ignore those around. None are friendly and most have the elitist mentality. My Nike Dunks and basketball shorts that I wore over my swimsuit didn’t help my cause. For that reason, I try to talk with new people and less experienced runners/triathletes any chance I get. Sidenote: the running community is way friendlier and more willing to help out and talk with those around.

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Now for the race. It started with a 1500m swim, a touch under one mile, in a “ski lake” with a time-trial start. That means that people go one at a time and not a mass start. That’s how the swim will start and Louisville so that is awesome that I get to practice that. The water temperature was extremely comfortable and was calm as anything. I really enjoyed the swim. My breathing was amazing and I didn’t feel weak at any point. Steady comes to mind when describing this leg of the race.

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The bike was a 23 mile (that I thought was 22 miles the entire time) loop that went through a few small towns and country roads east of San Marcos. I hammered it the entire time because I just figured that 22 miles, I can knock out. I averaged right at 20mph through this leg finishing in 1:10:26. There are some very fast cyclists out there but I held my own considerably well and man, what an improvement over that last triathlon that I did.

To finish up the race, a 10k (6.2 mile) run needed to be completed before crossing that finish line. Running is my thing and it showed again during this triathlon. I felt strong the majority of the way and only found myself slowing down through the middle miles a touch. It takes a while for me to get in a rhythm I’ve discovered but once I do, I usually stick with it. I go out fast for the most part and I breathe heavy from the beginning until I find my zone but I can only imagine what it sounds like when I come up on someone… like I’m about to die for sure. I don’t think that the run was exactly 6.2 miles because I finished it in 39 minutes and 7 seconds. That would definitely be an all time record for me, but I don’t know if I ran it thaaaat fast. Either way, everyone had to run the same distance and I finished 8th overall in the run leg of the race.

I learned a tremendous amount from this short, considering what’s to come, olympic distance triathlon. I know kind of what I need to when it comes to the bike portion of the race which is still what I need to learn the most on. It was an all out sprint for all of the bike portion this time around but I know that I can’t do that in my Ironman and still expect to have the legs to finish the run. I’ll have to pace myself and I imagine I will knowing that the ending is 11 hours down the road compared to just over an hour away. Next up… this race times 4 and a half!!