Last Sunday, 25 July 2010, I “competed” in the TriWaco, a triathlon. I signed up for it back in February, hoping it would motivate me to get in shape. I signed up for the Sprint Tri, the shorter of the two, the Olympic being the longer. The Sprint required that I swim 400m, bike 12 miles, and run 3.45 miles. I was pretty sure I could do the bike and the run (or walk) but I have never been a strong or good swimmer. To try to help I signed up for the 5k run for the Bearathon, but it was canceled due to lightening.

So, I really began training in late April, I used school as an excuse to keep from training. So, one would think I would have started training with swimming since that was my weakest of the three, but no. I started mostly with biking. I enjoy riding my bike so that came the easiest of the three. So I slowly worked on my biking, but did not really push myself.

After a few weeks of riding my bike, I attempted to add in some jogging afterwards to little avail. I have an aversion to longer runs, preferring to sprint. So I pretty much stopped trying to jog, just assuming that when the time came I would just do it.

After dreading the swim, I finally starting training for the swim, only two months out. My first swim did not go well, especially when I found out how many laps I needed to swim to make it 400m. I became quite discouraged. However, I kept going to swim and gradually got to where I could at least float 400m. The Waco Tri Club held open swim meets in the Brazos to help simulate course. I went to my first one, two weeks before the race. After finishing my first open water swim, I was unable to ride my bike. I went again the next week and felt better but would have still struggled to bike afterwards.

Based on my training I assumed breaking the 2.5 hr would be a good goal for me. Now this is not considered a good time for a Tri of this length, but at least I would be finishing. So, you know the winner in 2009 finished 1 hr 9 min and I think most finished under 1hr 40 min. So, I did not expect to be very competitive but I would finished.

The day of the race is here. I wake nice and early, thanks to Shelby deciding to volunteer. I get there and get my bike racked and my shoes and things laid out. Since I signed up so early, I got the rack closest to bike exit and reentry point, which is nice so I did not have to run with my bike very far. Then we had he pre-race meeting. Ironhead Race put the race on and the director is a very serious man and tends to yell instead of speak but hey the race went as it was suppose to.

I am on the right side still standing on the green turf in a blue shirt about to enter, click to make larger.

Following the meeting the race began. The Sprint went first, in five heats. I was in the second heat. I tried to as hard as I could to stay calm and remember to take it slow for the swim and not try to stay up with everyone. So the swim started and I took it slow, the heat behind past me, and a few from the next heats caught me as well. But, I did pass one person from the heat in front of me. Overall I did well for myself on the swim, nowhere near competitive with most but hey I could continue on afterwards. From the swim I had to run up a ramp to get to the transition area. My transition went okay, took a little longer than I was hoping it would.

So now I am on the bike portion. I cross the line that allows for me to get on my bike. Seconds later my chain derails, so I have to spend about 2 min getting my chain back on. I get the chain back on and take off. The bike is a straight out and then straight back in. So on the way out I am passed by more people than I pass but hey I am going. After the turn around, I pass more people than get passed by, but it is clear at this point I am in the back of the pack. I struggle a little at the end of the ride but finish. I re-enter transition, and have a good transition from the bike to the run. I had an above average time for the transition. While entering I hear the times of some of the first people finishing, only at 1 hr 14 min, now I am thinking I have a real shot at breaking 2 hr, which would be a great time in my opinion.

Now it is time to run. I start off at a good pace, however about .5 mile in my calves are burning and I have a shin splint. So from this point on I have to walk then run. I unfortunately did a lot of walking but I was still going. I was still hoping for a sub 2 hr time. After the halfway point on the run I find a good pace to run and then walk, run then walk. As I near the finish, on the Suspension bridge I slow down a little so I can sprint the end. I walk up the ramp from the river walk to the bridge mentally preparing for the end. I get up to the bridge and prepare to run. I see the finish line and the running clock. Just as I begin to sprint I see the clock click pass the 2 hr mark, so I did not make it, but hey I will sprint it out anyways.

I am done, I have done it. Yes I came in close to the last of the Sprint competitors, but I beat everyone who did not compete. Then a thought entered my mind, I finished when the clock said 2hr 2 min area, but I did not start in the first heat so I probably did beat the 2hr mark. I remained hopeful that was the case but did not want to become convince of it in case I was wrong.

So we get home, I look up the results on online and find I came in with the official time of 1:59:05. I did it I broke the 2 hr mark. I plan on signing up again next where I hope to break the 1 hr 40 min mark. I figure if I continue to practice my swimming (by far my worse event) and work on the other two as well I should be able to quite easily, and maybe even the 2.5 hr mark. My next challenge is to train for the Bearathon and try to do it.


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