Since I had mentioned here that Dadman and I were running in a sprint-triathlon last month I thought it would be the decent thing to do to post my results.
First, the sprint-triathlon is comprised of a 400m swim, 20km bicycle ride and a 5km “run”.
I had expected when I first signed up that the run would be the hardest part. Dadman messaged me a few months before the event and warned me that the swim might end up being the worst. So based on his warning I began a weekly swimming training and by the time of the event, I was fairly confident that the swim wouldn’t be that bad.
I was wrong. I had neglected the dynamics of the race. In my training I was in a generally unoccupied pool, with maybe a couple of other swimmers doing laps, and I would, I think naturally, take the least obtrusive lane I could find since I didn’t want to annoy other swimmers. So all of my “training” was done in a smooth, calm pool where I could control my pace, my breathing and my turns at the wall.
In the race it was some sort of mad free-for-all. They promised that they would space swimmers out so that we had our own “slot” but in the actual race we were basically all just sort of in the water together. As we were racing I was running into other swimmers, other swimmers were running into me, I was getting whacked by arms from behind and feet from in front. And I was completely knocked off my breathing, and multiple times choked on water splashed into my mouth as I was taking a breath. At one point a person behind me actually grabbed my ankle, jerking me to a stop. He apologized as he went by, saying it was an accident, and I don’t doubt him, the whole thing was like some sort of melee. Swimming as a contact sport. In the end my time in the 400m ended up being about 13 minutes, when my training times were right at about 9.5 minutes. So the start of the race was very depressing for me. Dadman beat me by almost three minutes.
But then we did the bicycle portion and it seems I did a fairly good job of training for that. Most of my training regimen during the weeks leading up to the race was at my office gym on a stationary bicycle, where I had gotten up to one hour bicycling sessions without killing myself. While I did not push myself, and actually spent a good part of the bicycle route coasting and enjoying the beautiful Phoenix scenery, I actually regained strength throughout the bicycle portion of the race. By the time I hit the finish line I actually felt fully refreshed and ready for the final jog.
About a kilometer into the final jog, my calves started cramping up. Again, like the bicycle portion, I wasn’t pushing myself, and was jogging/walking the route. And while my calves never fully cramped up, they hurt enough to make the jog a rather onerous activity. Also, the way the route was laid out it appeared that you were halfway through the race when you were actually only about a third of the way through, so the final third of the jog I kept expecting to see the finish line around every corner and it was never there, which is a sort of demoralizing thing.
In the end my overall time was 2:09, which is nothing at all to be proud of. In fact it’s a rather dismal time. It wasn’t the worst time, but there were only a few male runners behind me, so I know it totally sucked.
I do believe I could have improved my overall time considerably by pushing through the bicycling and risking a full cramp in my calves on the run, but the whole point was to participate and even had I pushed myself to the brink of exhaustion I wouldn’t have been competitive. So I’m fine with how things ended up. I competed and completed, which was really my only goal.
Would I do it again?
I dunno. Maybe.