Triathlon? Is that what the title says? Yes it does!
I decided in January, to attempt a triathlon. Coming from a such a heavy competitive swim and cycling background, I have heard from everyone that I could be pretty decent, even if I am not a runner at all. So Bethany and I signed up for the 2011 Pigman Triathlon in Palo (Cedar Rapids) Iowa. This was a sprint distance, 550yd swim, 15.5 mile bike and 3.1mile run. It is located in the Pleasant Creek State Park, and is a great venue!
I was not worried about my swimming as I am still going to be better then most of the athletes, without a lot of work. The running needs a lot of work though, as I had never run 3 miles in my life! The cyclist is self explanatory, with hundreds of hours of practice already this season. I have spent the last 3 weeks or so trying to get some kind of swimming and running shape to have some type of chance to complete it in decent times.
Bethany and I got up at 5am on Sunday morning, had breakfast and drove to Palo. It was 70 degrees, and just amazing, sunny with little wind. It is amazing how popular triathlons are getting, with people as young as 12 and as old as 80 competing yesterday. I decided not to use a wetsuit, and this seemed like an ok idea, I was never cold in the 71 degree water. We got the the venue, placed everything in the transition area, and got ready with the other 900 athletes!
The swim started at 7:45, with an individual going off every 3 seconds. I entered the water and settled into a rhythm. It didn't take long to start catching some of the other age groupers, Clydesdale and team swimmers. I actually ran over a couple, it is amazing how many people struggle with the swim. I thought most everyone took swimming lessons as little kids, but I was mistaken! I came out of the water in a 7:40, which was good enough for 38th place swim overall. Not bad, but not as good as I thought, I suppose a wetsuit would have helped with the buoyancy and speed.
Next was the biking segment, where I could lay it down! I didn't have any aero equipment other than my helmet, and just road my stock Trek Madone! I settled into a nice rhythm and was happy to be picking off bikers ahead of me pretty nicely. I was never passed on the bike. After 15.5 miles, I recorded a time of 40minutes (23mph) average. This time ended up being good enough for 13th fastest on the day. Not bad for no aero equipment! Would be nice to see how high I could have placed with a bike, wheel combo!
The last part of the race was the dreaded 3.1 mile run. Run?? Who runs!!! Anyway, I settled into some kind of pace, I really don't know what pacing for a run is. Anyway, I was passed by 4 people or so during the run, and actually passed around 7-8, so that was surprising. I came home with a 20min30sec 5k, which was good enough for 7min8sec paced miles. I don't believe that is horrible, ended up in 59th place out of 500+ run times. Really have a lot of work to do on the run, but was very happy with the race overall. I had never run a 5k in my life, and proved to myself that I could do it.
So I placed 2nd in the 20-24 age group, only passed by the 1st place guy with .75miles to go...SHOOT! But it was very fun, for the lack of swim/run work I had done. I ended up with the 29th fastest time of the day out of everyone! That was really surprising to me, and I was extremely happy to see that. It was awesome hearing everyone cheer for me, I didn't know that many people at the event would know or recognize me.
Bethany also had a great day! She placed 12th in her age group, and improved her sprint triathlon time by 30minutes from last years TriHawks race! A big improvement, and her new Madone really helped out! She continues to love the bike!
So that is my report from the Pigman! I will post some pictures when they become available!
Back to bike racing this weekend with the American Equity boys, looking forward to it!