June 1, 2014 was my first tri in 2 years and my first ever Olympic distance tri. The sensation to throw up and hide in a cave was slightly less then my desire to finish with out dying. I’ll give a recap of how the race went at the end but thought of some do’s and don’ts for triathlons and training for the average athlete.
Do- Have fun!!! When training for your tri (or any race) make sure that it doesn’t become another chore, job, task to do, etc. once it no longer becomes fun what’s the point.
Don’t- Think that if you take an extra rest day your full training is blown. Listen to your body! This will help you train better and avoid injury. Now while I adore my Physical Therapist I would rather have conversations with her over a glass of wine with friends instead of face down on the PT table.
Do- During the race pretend every spectator that is cheering came out just to cheer your on. when I first started racing I didn’t understand why people cheered and yelled for someone that they didn’t know and was in last place. Now I do- everyone needs some encouraging and they really do think your doing good. When watching other people race now I tend to be more impressed with the people struggling at the end. Don’t get me wrong I am in awe of the people that leave me in the dust, but it takes a different kind of strength to sign up for something that you haven’t done or may or may not finish. Or you know you will be last in. Been there done that. That last place finish in the Frantic Frog triathlon the first year I did it made me stronger and more prepared for any race I have done than any amount of training could do. I was last and they didn’t tar and feather me. There was just more people cheering me on then the first place finishers. Mainly because anyone that had a podium finish was waiting for me to get back so they could start awards, be hey they waited.
Don’t- Call people liars when they tell you your doing good or did good. No matter how you think you did they are telling you the truth.
Do- Practice in open water for the swim. It’s amazing how hard it is to go straight with out the line at the bottom of the pool guiding you.
Don’t- let your fears get the best of you. The best way to over come a fear is to look it in the face. I have never been a fan of swimming even in a pool until recent years…. It wasn’t until my 10th triathlon where I didn’t have a panic attack or cry during the swim.
Do- Cheer on racers other racers. You never know who needs a little encouragement.
Don’t- Get mad when a racer that passes you tells you your doing good. (See don’t call people liars)
Now a recap of the OC Tri-
Swim- Couldn’t have asked for a better swim other than to be able to swim in a straight line… Amazing how hard that is when your face is actually in the water and there is no black line to follow. I had a 3 min head start on my friend Jody cause of how the wave starts were and we figured she would be out of the water about 5 mins before I was… But I actually made it out first (she had a faster swim time just not as much faster than we expected) … I was out 5 mins faster than my ideal goal and 10 mins faster than what I really thought my swim time would be based on past open water swim speeds
Bike- was great for the first 16 miles then my lower back/hips locked up (that’s when Jody passed me) … The down hills were so much fun though and I was able to make up for my slow uphill… People would pass me up hill- then I’d pass them down – then they passed me on the up- then I would pass them on the down again… I had zero people pass me going down hill so at least I was fast somewhere 🙂
Run- lower back/hips loosened up when I got off my bike … First couple miles were a good pace for me … Then we hit a hill called “the wall” that was Flippin’ ridicules long and steep… That’s were I lost it mentally and just kind of gave up… My 4th mile was 22mins… Regrouped my self about 1.5 miles from the finish when I realized if I pushed it I could still come in under my goal of 1.5 hours for the run … and did the run in 1:29:50… Impact from the down hill run made my back start spazzing so I just curled up in a ball at the finish line and one of the lifeguards that was doing first aid at the finish brought me ice to lay on.
My overall time was 3:49:51 which earned me 450 out of 465 racers, and the right to say I’m officially a 51.50 athlete. Although some may argue I always have been 🙂