Sunday, October 21, 2012

My First Triathlon (in 11 years)

A couple of months ago I talked a friend through her first triathlon. Yesterday (Saturday), was my turn.

1/3 mile swim. 10 mile bike. 3.1 mile run.

It was my first race in 11 years, to the day. On October 20th, 2001, I competed in the Great Floridian, an ultra-distance (i.e. ironman) triathlon, 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile ride followed by a 26.2 (marathon) mile run. I quit at about mile 20 or 21, it was 10:30 PM, 15+ hours after starting the day. The biggest reason I quit was because it was a loop run, we ran around a lake three or four times. After the second time around and coming up towards the finish line (for everyone else), I was applauded and cheered for...but I had two more laps. I simply couldn't take it anymore. The smaller reasons were; I didn't really train that year and I didn't feel like losing my mind that evening. Results for that race are here.

Anyway, I competed and completed my first race in over 11 years. I entered as a Clydesdale, a polite way of saying "fat guy" division. Results can be found here. I finished 7th in the group and 307th (top 56%) overall. I'll sum it up though.

Swim, 1/3 mile, 12:27, 3rd out of 20 (Clydesdale Group). Considering this is the second time I've swam in many, many years, I'm happy. I didn't have to tread water at all. I'm really glad I got in that great swim in San Francisco.

Transition 1, 4:02, 10th out of 20. I took my sweet ass time. I was tired. I was also able to finally get my glasses on, so I could see again. Sucks being blind.

Bike, 10 miles, 34:37, 12th out of 20. Overall, I'm pleased. I did this on a mountain bike (15.91 17.33 mph) while (most) everyone else had road/tri bikes. Looking at the times in my group alone, I probably would have been at or near the top. Winning time was 27:30 (in the group).

Transition 2, 2:18, 14th out of 20. Meh, I've never been good at transitions. I didn't care much about this one anyway. I was just there to finish the race.

Run, 3.1 miles, 27:55, 3rd out of 20. That's a 9 min/mile pace. Caught my tri-buddy (John Thompson) within the first quarter mile. Left him and was feeling mighty chatty. So I ran and talked with some other guy further up. When I realized that I was still talking, I told him I shouldn't be talking because my heart would explode and left him. I might have finished a minute or two faster had I not been so chatty. Who knows? I managed to actually run the entire thing too, no stopping for me. I can't remember the last time I ran 3.1 miles in a row.

Now, I can lose about 19 lbs and still compete in the Clydesdale division and possibly place. Get a "real" bike and I can take off about 7 or 8 minutes. Stop lolly-gagging in transition and I can shave off another minute or two. Get down to 7 minutes/mile on the run and that's another 6 minutes. Now the fun begins.

Lest you think I'm getting all cocky...I did this race in 1:21:07. I've done this same distance in well under an hour before. I think my best time was just under 54 minutes. I'm one or two years older and just one or two pounds heavier now...I don't expect to be there again. It'll certainly be fun (and healthy!) trying though.


amy c said...

I love thinking about how to make little changes and how it will affect performance. Sometimes it is gear, sometimes it is strategy, sometimes it is different inputs (weight, course, etc.). It's not too different than software tuning actually. I'm glad you have the ability to "compete with yourself" and see this as a game to reach your goals...I relate and know that determination will pay off with great health benefits. Job well done, Chet!

oraclenerd said...


I'm a sucker for games. Ever read this one?

It definitely helps to motivate. I want to be as good as I can be...I think. It's fun to race against myself. Or something like that.

Tim... said...

Awesome dude!