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First Triathlon Story - Nathan Crane

Nathan Crane

Here is my first tri story. I hope it helps someone like the other stories helped me. The photo was taken after the event.


My First Triathlon!

If anyone would have come up to me and told that I would have completed a triathlon at anytime in my life I would laughed anyone and loud.

My journey began about a year ago when I made a decision to change my lifestyle. I had been swimming/running regularly for exercise but I wasn't healthy and weighed 212 lbs. So I started my journey with a nutritionist who put me on the path of eating right and exercising. My exercise routine included weight lifting, swimming, biking, and running. I get bored doing only one thing and enjoyed being outdoors. I also found that old injuries would flare up if I ran to much so variety in exercise was key. Over about about six months I had dropped 25 lbs and about 15% body fat. I would sign up for 5k's and was running personal records at each race.

My nutritionist then challenged me to enter a sprint triathlon. I laughed all the way home from my appointment. Anyway the seed was planted and I began thinking about it for about it for over four months. I have a couple of buddies who had done tri's and started asking questions. Their encouragement was great. I also spent hours reading this website and the stories of people completing their first tri's.

While looking for another 5k race I came across a local sprint triathlon that offered a couple of different distances. At first I signed up for the half sprint distance but quickly changed to the full sprint when I did my first brick workout and completed the bike and run with no issues. I only had about a month to focus on tri specific training and was most nervous with the swim. As training progressed I felt better and better about the swim. At least i could do the distance without stopping. As race day approached I felt prepared physically but was having a hard time mentally. I had to keep telling myself to take each task individually. It was hard. Thanks to the website as I would read/re-read athletes stories which helped keep me sane.

Race Day
As normal, I didn't get as much sleep as I wanted the night before the race. I had picked up my packet and was marked the day before. I got to the race about 45 minutes early. Plenty of time to setup transition and walk around to try and warmup.

Swim - 400 meters
I completed the swim much faster than my previous time trials. I passed a few people in the water (which always feels good). Overall I was happy with my time (plenty of room for improvement) and exited the pool towards the transition area. I had to keep putting my prescription googles up to my eyes to see where I was going. I almost tripped over the curb which would have hurt.

There was a breeze out of canyon so it was cold. I made a conscious decision to take my time in transition so as not to forget anything. It was slow but I was able to get my shoes, helmet, glasses, and gloves on and head out. I also learned two towels is better than one especially when it is chilly outside. One to quickly dry off to keep from shivering and one for your stuff.

Bike - 10 miles
It was a two lap course with one solid down and up hill sections. It took me about two miles to get a good cadence. There was a strong head wind for about two miles. About this time I was wishing for a road bike vs my mountain bike with slicks. By the time my second lap came around I had a good cadence and was passing others on road bikes. I used the bike to hydrate and eat but over did it. I had a full bladder at about the 3/4 point.

The transition to the run went well expect for the jello legs and rock hard calves. It was also a two loop course. About half way through I found my grove and was able to finish with a couple of minutes of my 5k times and immediately hustled to the rest room.

What's Next
I am now down 30 lbs with another five to go. I almost weigh what I did in college and I am in the best shape of my life. After sleeping for two days I started looking for another race. Yes I have caught the bug and hope to do three- four tris a year. Who knows I may even try open water swimming.


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