Well it's been a long week. I am tired and sore and still training as hard as possible. the weather has been nice out here in Colorado except for a few showers. But at least it's not hot yet.
Last weekend was my first Triathlon of the season. This was the Littlefoot Triathlon held in Morrison Colorado. It was an open water swim of 750 yards, a 15 mile bike and a 5 K run.....
I always get nervous on my first triathlon of the season. I don't' know how many other athletes get that way every year. It seem kinda natural to be a little nervous. Questions tend to pop into your head..... have I been training enough?, am I ready for open water?, is the equipment ready?All of these questions tend to take up a lot of room in your head. Trying to focus on the race and your mindset is harder to do on the first race of the season then on any others.
The morning started out great, there was a light wind kicking up the waves a bit on the lake. I was able to pick up my packet early since my girlfriend and I spent the night sleeping at the local campground. I got my packet, body marking and headed to transition. I had the same area in transition that I had last year. I like being on the end, that way no one is next to me at least on one side. I got into my wetsuit and headed down to the lake.
The water was pretty friggin cold!!!! I believe they said it was around 59 degrees. I wore my ORCA wetsuit - sleeveless, smart move!!!!. Most everyone else wore full wetsuits. I got in and started a swim - the cold hit my face and wow - that woke me up. It takes your breath away. the same thing happened last year so I was ready for the shock, I promised myself I would not let it slow me down this year. After a quick swim I got out and huddled like everyone else on the beach.
The Elite/Pro athletes got to take off first. They were pretty fast, although we watched one of the get fished out of the water. I don't know what happened but imagine that he might has lost his goggles or something. The younger men and women went next and the 40+ athletes went last. Are we that slow? Once in the water getting this race started I felt better. Although I had to hold up a couple short times to slow down my breathing I did get into my rhythm fast than last year. The course was different than last year, I think it was longer as well. There were quite a few swimmers picked up this year. but I swam well and finished the swim in 16.53.
I left the water glad to be finally out of the extreme cold. I could not feel my feet at all. My arms and hands were numb and I fumbled to get off my wetsuit. In T1 I stripped my wetsuit off and put on my helmet, gloves and attempted to put on my cycling shoes. I brought the wrong shoes with me - I had my road shoes not my triathlon shoes. So when i went to put them on - guess what. Wet feet do not go into regular cycling shoes well. I struggled for what I thought was an eternity to get them on. I finally go them on and headed out.
The bike course was great this year. They changed it from last year. The course was a little more difficult with S turns and some technical riding. Some short hills and some longer grades. It was a 2 loop course for a total of 15 miles. I still could not feel the bottom of my feet.....I pushed as hard as I could muster. I figured I had a lot of T1 time to make up. I was able to pass a lot on the hills. I pushed every hill in a standing position, gaining ground every time. I finished the bike in 50.25 for 15 miles. That placed me 1st in my age division for the bike portion.
T2 went a little better, I was off of my bike and running in 2:09. Still not real fast but those darn shoes did not come off any easier than they went on. Out for the run, I left transition.
The start of the run was real weird. It felt like I had golf balls in my shoes. I was unable to feel the bottom of my feet. I just kept running but it was real weird - almost like running without any feet at all. The problems is it really messed up my stride for the first 1.5 miles. Finally - I could start to feel my feet. They were at first painful - but being able to feel them - I could finally concentrate on my stride and I opened it up. The course was was a 1.5 miles loop. With the second 1.5 miles being downhill a little. I felt good as I crossed the finish line - glad to have the first one out of the way. I finished the run in 27:34 or 8:50min/mi.
My total time was 1:41:40.5, this placed me in 4th in my age division. 1 place out of getting a medal.This my best finish yet. After looking at the results - I found out that the difference between 4th and 3rd place......was the 2 minutes - about the amount extra I needed to get through T1. Lesson learned - I could have placed if I would have had my triathlon shoes... Bummer.
But I am pretty happy with my results. I proved to myself that I can compete, that I can at least put pressure on the faster athletes. Who knows what the future could hold. So I have been training hard this week as well. I gave up my Monday evening Spin Class so that I can have another day of cycling. I have not been running as much as I should be but will start concentrating on the run more from here on out. I did get in a one mile swim this morning in the pool in 24 minutes. I felt good afterwards. I need to get in the open water again soon. I know now that I have to work on my transitions as well. The time is right, this is my year. Look Out -----Here I Come........Ciao!!!