Well, I just completed my first sprint triathlon, a sprint triathlon (500m swim, 17.6 mile bike, 3.1 mile run) and boy what a feeling! Considering it was my first triathlon and I was new at the sport I went into it with very small goals. Basically, I wanted to finish the race in one piece and after reviewing the results from last years race I set a moderate goal time of 1:45 for myself. I had only trained about four weeks going into the race but since I was a pretty decent athlete and in good shape I figured I could attain that goal.
It was a cold morning and I was real nervous as I stood around the beach near the lake before the start. My wife and my dad were there to cheer me on so I was very thankful for that. As the gun sounded - just like in all the other sports I have played in the past, all those nerves went away as I sprinted into the water. As I expected, my swim time was my best event (7:45 min). I had grown up on the east coast and have always been a decent swimmer. I was actually shocked to see that I was one of the first 10% out of the water. As I ran out of the water I could feel that my balance was a little off as I had just swam that last 100 meters as fast as I could. I told myself to relax and not use all of my effort right off the bat. I regained my strength in T1 as it was time for the bike. By the time I got my shoes and my helmet on and made my way out of T1, I felt pretty good.
Since this was my first tri, I rode a $200 Schwinn Varsity road bike I picked up at Walmart a few weeks before the race. I had only gone on a few five mile rides for training so I was real skeptical about the bike ride. The one BIG thing I learned from this whole biking experience is that having good bike equipment is the best advantage you can have in the race. My bike time was below average as the my chain on the bike fell off once during the race that I had to repair. I probably lost 3-5 minutes repairing on the side of the road as I watched people of all genders and age zip past me on there high-tech bikes. I feel like if I had a comparable bike to most of the competitors, I could have shaved at least ten minutes off my bike time. The bike was a lot more enjoyable then I thought it would be since I have never been a cyclist and thought is was always boring. After the race I found myself looking on Ebay and Craigslist for bike parts, etc., as I have become a big cycle fan in just one event! I finally made it back to the transition after an one hour and seven minutes on the bike. I really felt good pulling in until I jumped off my bike and realized that my legs were basically numb?
As I walked out of T2 I took a nice drink of water and slowly transitioned into the run. My first half mile was slow as I was not sure if I would have enough gas in the tank to run hard. As the run progressed my legs loosened up and I began to run faster. By the last mile I was running pretty hard and as I approached the finish line I kicked it into high gear. Knowing what I know now I could have probably ran harder in the earlier part of the run because I seemed to have quite a bit left in my legs at the finish.
As I crossed the finish line I could see my dad and wife standing there with a big sign and some cowbells. I can tell you, I have ran in 3-4 half marathons and relays and have crossed many finish lines with hundreds of people watching but for some reason this was the best feeling I have ever had once I crossed that finish and I instantly said to myself that I AM HOOKED! I have read numerous forums with people saying that this sport is addicting? Now I can fully agree with them. I could not even concentrate at work the day after because all I have been doing is reading up on triathlon info looking on how I can improve for the next one.