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First Triathlon Story

300m swim, 9.1 mile bike, 3.1mile run Total Time: 01:39:00 Finished 11/16

The Beginning:
The alarm went off at some ungodly hour and I pulled myself from my nice comfy bed. I nudged the wife and only got the response of "I hate you". Thankfully I had packed everything into our Mini Cooper the previous night. I suited up and dragged the wife to the car. Upon arrival I thought we had a pretty good parking spot. So I pulled out my bike and started to put it together. However I could not for the life of me get the back wheel on the bike. I tried and pushed with no luck, but I noticed the brake calipers werent fitting over the tire. I thought to myself did I over fill my tires? They went on fine yesterday, what could it be? So I opened my presta valve and dumped out all of the air in my rear tire. After I did that I was barley able to get the brakes over the tire. I started checking brake lines and everything was fine, a few moments later it hit me that my handle bars were turned so it was putting preassure on the cables.. DOH! Now that I was thinking I was really late, I quickly filled up my tire with the pump I thankfully brought along, grabbed my bag, helmet and the wife to start pedaling over to T1. My half asleep wife was walking with me. I started to hear a clicking noise in my gears, my brakes were spongy.. what was going on. I hoped off the bike and took a look at everything, then I decided to pull off the rear wheel again. Right when I loosened the pin the bike slide down another half inch. In my haste I had not set the tire all the way in. DOH DOH! I registered and went to set my bike up in the transition area. I laid everything out like I had practiced and dawned my wetsuit. Talked with a few people also setting up and got psyched for the start of my first Tri. I walked down to the beach and did a swim to warm up and get used to the water. The water felt good, I felt good, this was going to be a great day. I got out of the water for the opening cerimonies and decided that was a bad idea, for the temperature was rising. I was the 4th heat, so I decided to get back in the water to cool down. However hydrophobic wetsuits dont really let water in. Some grumble and groans with the other guys as we wait for our heat.

Swim - 7:43

3-2-1 GO! I was off and had a clean dive into the water. I had picked out someone larger than me to start behind, hoping I could get a good draft off of him. Everything felt great, group was tight and I kept a spot on the first buoy. Suddenly I heard a thud, my right goggle filled with water, and there was a pain growing on my eyebrow. I tried to keep swimming but I just could with lake water sloshing around in my eye. I tried to empty my goggle while still keeping up, but with the pack around me I knew that wasnt going to happen. I made my way to the outside of the pack, now completely out of breath from fighting my way to the out side. I got my goggle fixed and headed back into the fray. About that time is when I still couldn't breathe and I was boiling in my wetsuit. I still had the second half of my swim to go. I stayed to the outside and did some breast stroke with stints of freestyle. My hand hit sand and I stood up gasping for breath. My wife later described it like I was upset and would never want to do this again. However in my mind I was trying to tell her I couldn't breathe.

T1 - 8:03

Zipper down off comes top half of wet suit, and up the hill to T1. I still couldn't breathe but I told myself and that this was my race so I ended up walking up the hill. I ran into T1 and started looking for my my flag that my rack had affixed to the bike rack. Ok now time for the wetsuit to come off. Wash feet, socks, shoes, clip on race number... oh wait I was going to put on my compression calfs now to try and keep my legs fresh and save time in T2. Ok shoes off again, compression socks on, shoes back on, glasses, helmet. Right then the person next to me runs in from her swim and is rolling on the ground trying to get out of her suit. I run over and grab a leg of the suit, after I get one off she tell me to go and that I was wasting my own time. Oh ya its a race, ok do I have everything? ponder ponder I hope so and off I go.

Bike - 35:31

I mount up to and see my wife cheering and trying to take a picture on her phone. I give a thumbs up to her and im off. I drop into aero, and look down for my water bottle. Thats when I noticed my new tri singlet now has a hole right under the zipper. I try to keep my mind off of it and look forward. Now the website said it was a fast flat bike with some slight inclines. I made my first right turn to find a long steady incline, ok a few hills fine. Hills arent my strong point on the bike, I passed one older gentleman and I got passed by 3-4 guys in gull aero gear. I crest the hill and have a nice long downhill. I tuck, shift, and pedal until its just too fast. I start passing the guys that beat me up the hill... Do they know something I dont? No no its fine just go. I hit the bottom long sweeping turn to stare at a massive hill in front of me. Crap another hill, downshift sit up, and pedal. This went on around the park, hills, slight downhill and then hill. On one of my climbs a fellow racer turned to me and asked, didnt they say falt and fast? I nodded and kept my climb. I tried to keep my pace and not get too over zealous with the hills knowing I had the run coming up and that was my weakest part.

T2 - 4:07
I coasted into T2 and prepared to dismount. I dismounted my bike where they said and went into T2. Only to have officials yelling at me to come back and go across the mats again. Apparently they didn't hear anything when I crossed so I needed to do it over again. I made my way back to the rack and pulled off my shoes and helmet. I put on my running shoes and downed some water before I left. I started running over to the exit and realized I forgot my goo. I turned around went back to my bike and fished out my goo from my bag. Again I am off.

Run - 43:36
I leave T2 to cheers of volunteers, I look down to check out my singlet and now have a half dollar sized hole at my stomach. I hit the first water station and slow down to a walk since my legs were jelly, I hate goo packets and I only take them when I have water. However the sponsor provided gel goo thing was horrible. By now I have walked too far to feel like I should drop my cup so I fold it and stick it in my back shirt pocket. I start to jog again when my feet cramp up, I hobbled to the side and stretched the bottoms of my feet. I tried to fool around with the yanks, because they felt like they were trying to curl my feet. I gave up after a while and swore my regular laces were going back on when I got home. I hobbled for a while and made sure I hit my water stops as the temperature was now approaching 104. I knew I was in trouble when I started pouring the powerade over my head and drinking the water. I rounded the final corner and stuck to my pace to the finish. I cross the line to cheers and the announcer call my name out over the loud speaker. My once black and white singlet had continued to split down the middle and was now had pinkish blotches everywhere due to the powerade. Even after all that it was the most fun I had ever had. I cant wait for my next one.

Rico from California

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Hi Rico,

Thank you for contacting TriathaNewbie.com!

Like we tell everyone: If your first triathlon went perfectly, you wouldn't have such an exciting story to tell. YOU certainly have an exciting story to tell...and we give you big props for helping your neighbor with her wetsuit. Those things can be like small jail cells if you don't know what you're doing or if you don't have a kind person to give you a hand -- well done!

Our readers who are still tire-kicking the idea of entering a triathlon will learn a lot from your story and we really appreciate you taking the time to send it ot us!

Be well,
~Niki

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