Thursday, July 21, 2011

This IS my first rodeo...

Some of you may have been aware of my late evening hatched decision to participate (I hesitate to use race) in a triathlon via the facebook, but if you weren't aware, I participated in a triathlon last night. I will start from the beginning, which is actually around September 2009. My friend Ryan convinced me to go to Madison to watch the Ironman Wisconsin. He wanted to check it out and Madison is a good place to eat/visit, so we went. Ryan had in his head that he wanted to do an Ironman, he still may, I don't know. As we stood around the finish area we watched as folks came down the chute with big smiles on their faces, after swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112, and running 26.2. I saw some folks who didn't look like they should have been able to do it, but you know what? They did. They got to hear the announcer say, "Mr. or Mrs. So and so, you are an Ironman" As the announcer kept saying that to those folks after moving themselves 140.6 miles I got some goosebumps. I also realized that to them, that race was the easy part, the training is what was crazy hard. It was nearly 10pm and those people had been moving since 7:00am. It was then and there that a crazy idea hatched inside my head, "I want to finish an Ironman", maybe my heart said that, either way, something inside of me thought it was cool. After leaving Madison I still thought it really cool, and even thought it cool before I went, and I had done some informal training with a guy at work who has done Ironmans. He showed me the swim stroke, gave me some practice cards, and that was about it. I never did even a little triathlon. I didn't swim, but I did start running. I had already been road biking. Enough of that, onto yesterday.

The triathlon started Wednesday at 6:30pm, a small local race ran by Speedy-Feet, a local timing company. I decided to do this race around 9:00pm on Tuesday. A 1/2 mile swim, a 20.7 mile bike, and a 3.6 mile run. I messaged my friend who had done triathlons before and asked if he had tri shorts as I didn't want to swim in my bike shorts. He had them, and goggles. Oh ya, goggles, those would be useful. They will be on the porch he says, I plan on picked them up in the morning. I go to bed knowing that my lunch hour tomorrow will be spent getting my bike ready, figuring out what to wear, and learning where the heck this race even was as I had never even been in the area before.
In the morning I drive to said friends house to grab the shorts and goggles. He was leaving for a run and wished me luck. If he was more awake he probably would have laughed at me, as he thought I was going to drown/pass out. At lunch I get my things together. I come home from work at 5 and practice changing my shorts with a towel rapped around me as I decided to swim in one pair of shorts, bike in bike shorts, and run in running shorts. The tri shorts that were lent to me had a hole in them, and the elastic wasn't working so well. All is well. Hilary got home at 5:25, I load the car, and we leave. (we only have one car) The race is at 6:30 and we are about 45+ minutes away.

I race there in the car, find it, pay my fee, and line up. People had already left but this was a casual race with no mass start. I put on the chip for timing on my ankle and hope it doesn't fall off. I ask about the swim course and start, no worries, no butterflies or anything. I had no time to worry.

I swim, trying to practice my triathlon swim, minimal legs, jet into the water near your ear, and hold the long stroke. Someone passes me. I keep swimming, looking up to make sure I am going the correct way. I turn the buoy and head back. I pass someone, nice. I swim keeping the guy in the red swim cap to my right, making sure I can stay with him. Soon I exit the water, big gut and all.

I change into my biking shorts, put on my shoes, eat a fun sized snickers and drink some water. Onto the bike course. I think, "I sure hope it is marked well, I don't have a clue where I am going". My legs are tired, but turning. I focus on keeping my elbows bent and my head up. I pass a few people before I get out on the road. I refuse to look at the mileage on my bike computer, just the time. At the 5 mile marker painted on the road I am going slower than I thought I could go, but by mile 10 I've passes another 5-6 people and I'm feeling good, legs loose, high cadence. I pass more people. At mile 15 I'm going downhill and loving it, booyah racing! I shift as I'm feeling great and high tail it back to the transition area, passing another 5-6 folks, nice bikes included. Both of my bottles are empty.

I wanted to slow down because I knew I still had to run, but felt great and going fast is fun. The run is only 3.6 miles, I can suffer through it. I was a bit worried as it was super hot out.

I exit the transition area and start running, grabbing water to pour on myself and one to drink. Thank you Speedy Feet for having cold water in cups. I run for 6 minutes and pass the two mile marker, realizing that I have to do two laps. I drink water at about 1.5 miles at the other water cooler and keep running, passing people. I start lap two and realized I might finish in under 2 hours like I thought I could. I pass one other guy who is walking. I tell him he can do it and he runs with me for a bit. At mile 3 I hear footsteps behind me. "not know I think, all this way not getting passed and it is about to happen". I make the turn into the finish and realize the person on my tail had another lap to do, "Nice" I think to myself. I finish, soaking wet, not totally tired, thirsty for something other than water. Hilary comes over and congratulates me, "way to go Dan". Yeah, way to go Dan.

And for those of you that just wanted this information...


Finished 38th

And for those of you that don't get the people say, "This ain't my first rodeo" instead of "I know, I've done this before"