Saturday, June 21, 2008

It's officially official. I'm a triathlete!

That's right. Today I took my first steps into the world of triathlon. As with anything new, it presents its own set of challenges, rewards, frustrations and benefits. And that's not a bad thing at all. It's all about learning and growing with the new opportunity.

Today was the 4th running of the Lake Minnetonka Triathlon and it was a blast. The weather was amazingly beautiful. You couldn't ask for better weather. Not a cloud in the sky, nice warm sun, and tons of spectators. Even a few TNT team members came out to cheer.

Some of the TNT tri team was there to test their hand in their first tri of the season as well as one other rookie. Each of us competed in our own race and while some challenges were presented to them and not me, some they didn't face hit me. Let's run through the day.

I got assigned to wave two which seemed to be a bit out of place (i.e. This was for the 20 year olds and I'm not in that generation any more) but whatever. When the gun went off we all ran into the water in one huge swarm. I stuck back a bit because I didn't want feet in my face but my plan failed. Apparently I'm a better swimmer than I give myself credit for because I caught right up to the back of the pack and had feet and bodies in my way virtually the whole way. Also, one of the leaders of the pack got a buoy lost in his sight because of the glare from the sun so a whole bunch of us from that wave got off track and wound up swimming more than our 500 meters. That's fine with me because as it turns out swimming is a sort of strong point for me.

When we reached the shore and ran off to the transition area to get our bikes I had a little trouble getting my wetsuit off and my bike shoes on so my T1 time wasn't as great as I had hoped. But, what can you do?

The bike really presented my first challenge. This is my weakest point and I didn't do nearly as well as I'd have liked to. My bike is not really a good racing bike. No flat tires. No other mechanical problems. Just a bike that I shouldn't be doing races on. I want to get a tri bike and as soon as I get the coin to do it I'll make the purchase. But for now, biking continues to be my most frustrating point.

The second transition (from bike to run) went very well too. Just one small issue with getting my shoes on but otherwise it was great.

The run was only a 5K but I did great. Some of the time I lost on the bike I made up on the run. It's a good thing I don't totally suck at that.

And that's it. I crossed the finish line and can now add another title to my growing list of identities. I'm now a triathlete.

Here are my results from the day. More detailed results will be available soon.


Kris said...

Congratulations Jim! I'm proud of ya

Ana said...

Okay... I just want to share that your tri times are the same as my Sprint-Tri times!!! You ROCK!
Congrats. =]