Race report: Best in the West Triathlon

Finished my first olympic triathlon! 37:32 1,500 meter swim, 1:44:08 40 km bike ride and 48:30 10 km run for 3:13:12 total.

Today, I happily completed my first olympic triathlon with a total time of 3:13:12. An olympic triathlon is a 1,500 meter swim, a 40 km (24.8 miles) bike ride, and a 10 km (6.2 miles) run. Overall, I finished 36th out of 38. My 37:32 swim put me at 35th out of 38 for the segment, my 1:44:08 bike ride put me in dead last, and my 48:30 run put me at 14th out of 38 (beating my friend David by four minutes too).

The course was spectacular. Sweet Home is a gorgeous area to begin with. The race started with an open water swim in Foster Lake with the temperature at 70 degrees. Our bike segment then journeyed through pretty stellar countryside with only a few minimal hills. The run finished up with a quick out and back near the lake.

What I did right:

  • Trained properly. I’ve been running or swimming up to six days a week for the past several months, regularly far exceeding the distances on the course. Both of those segments were a piece of cake.
  • Hydrated and fed myself well. Not perfectly, but good enough that I didn’t feel like throwing up, have low energy, etc. I ate a big dinner Saturday night so I wasn’t starving when I woke up, and fueled myself with Gatorade and Gu before and during the race.
  • Paced myself. In a race, it’s very easy to get caught up in the energy of the moment and push yourself as hard as you can out of the gate. This generally leads to burn out. I had the mindset that all I wanted to do was finish the race, and it made things much less stressful. I also wanted to make sure I could
  • Sprinted the finish. Not many others could say that about their finish…

What I need to do better next time:

  • Swim in a straight line. This was my first open water swim so I won’t be too hard on myself, but I lost momentum a few times when I veered off course. They even had to send a jet ski after me once to get me back on course.
  • Train on my bike. Biking was the most difficult segment, and it wasn’t made any easier by the fact that I hadn’t ridden my bike for almost a year.
  • Fix my bike or ride a road bike. I have a Novara Buzz urban bike I had shipped back from NYC. Last night, when putting it back together, I discovered the front fork was bent in such a way I couldn’t get the wheel back on. After fixing that with a vise grip, I thought I was back in business. As it turns out, both rims were also bent in such a fashion that the back wheel had a significant wobble and both had the disc brakes partially engaged for the entire segment. No coasting made biking exceptionally painful and slow.
  • Push myself harder. Now that I’ve finished my first, I know what it’s like to complete the entire race. I should focus on improving my time a bit.

This triathlon was an incredibly enjoyable event for me. I’m looking forward to another (half Ironman, possibly?) when the season starts again.

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