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2014-08-26 4:19 PM

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Lake Saint Louis, Missouri
Subject: Introduction and the journey to my first triathlon
Hi All.

I'm new here. Signed up for the beginner triathlon plan, but never posted. I figure it's time to introduce myself, and share the story of my first triathlon. It's long, but I hope well written enough to entertain.

In September 2012, after a number of incidents made me realize that I was on a very bad trajectory, I set out to turn my life around. At that time I was 220lb, I was 40+ percent body fat, my resting heart rate was 90+, my cholesterol was 250 and I got out of breath running for the bus. Things needed to change badly.

I started out by just taking daily walks, at a pace that would leave me breathing heavy by the end of the walk. In November, I started the couch to 5k running program on a treadmill. Man, was that hell. After that first 30 seconds of running I thought my heart was going to explode. But I persevered.

Fast forward to March 2013. I finished the C25k program, running a 5k in about 33 minutes on the treadmill. In June I started running outside. Rude awakening. Suddenly I couldn't run 5k anymore. But I persevered. At this point I was trying to set a PR every time I went out running. Oh how little I knew. In October(ish) I started a proper running plan - intervals and stuff - and running really started to click with me. I ran in sun. I ran in rain. I ran in ice. I ran in snow. Over the next 9 months I would bring my 5k time down to below 23 minutes and my mile time down to 6m30. I brought my max distance up to 15km.

I started swimming. Suddenly, it was like being back to the C25k program all over again. But I persevered. I would swim as far as I could - often little more than 25 yards, rest, then do it again. And again. And again. I must have looked like a crazy person doing that for an hour. But eventually I could swim a mile in the pool without stopping.

In March of 2014 I bought a bike. I hadn't ridden a bike in 20 years. That thing scared me. Having previously only ridden mountain bikes, I couldn't believe how fast it went (at that time fast = 15mph ). I approached the bike like everything else - I started small and worked from there. Six miles. Eight miles. Ten miles. Fifteen, twenty. On father's day I rode my first half century, my previous furthest being 25 miles. That was a bad mistake. It exhausted me for about a week afterwards. Sometimes you can be too ambitious.

In May of 2014 I began specific training for an Olympic distance triathlon. Running three times a week. Swimming three times a week. Cycling three times a week. Weight lifting three times a week. My family forgot what I looked like. My friends are sick of Endomondo posts on Facebook. I'm pretty sure they'd like to shove a copy of the USAT rule book where the sun does not shine. But I persevered. I took my first open water swim. What a difference. Something primal deep inside kept screaming at me "What the hell are you doing monkey-man, lakes are for fish!". The combination of the murky water and not being able to see the shore (I wear glasses) was leading to near panic. I bought a pair of prescription goggles, and had back at it. A couple more sessions, and I was comfortable in the lake at last.

Then, just six days before the race - disaster! My first crash on the bike. I hit a patch of wet mud on the road and turned the bike over. Road rash and a nasty bruise on my hip. Bike was thankfully mostly undamaged. A trip to the doc and an x-ray confirmed that nothing was broken and doc grudgingly cleared me to race. Relief! The bike went into the shop and they checked it out and tuned it up. A new helmet was purchased.

And that brings us to Saturday 8/23. Race day. Ahead of me was the Lake Saint Louis Olympic tri on a hot, humid Missouri day. It was hard. At times, I wanted to quit, especially during the run. But....



The swim went well, albeit slow. I'm a slow swimmer, what can I say?

The bike was at one and the same time the fastest I've gone, and depressingly slow. I was out of this world (relatively) on the straights and ascents and descents. But my accident had more psychological impact that physical. I was scared of corners and was braking hard for them. I lost a lot of time.

The run was where I was disappointed. I generally run a 10k in about 53 minutes. But I'd pushed too early on the bike leg. My legs were fried. It was 100 degrees and I was suffering. To make things worse, I forgot my race belt in T2, and had to go back, adding a good 500 yards. The one saving grace is that I did manage to run the whole distance, hills and all, even if it was only an 11 minute pace. I was determined to not walk.

As for my health? Well, I'm down from 220lb to 160lb. My cholesterol is in the low 100s. My resting heart rate is ~50bpm, and even dipped into the 40s when my training peaked. This experience made me a new man, and I'm hoping to repeat it again next year.

Who knows, maybe I'll go for a half Ironman.

Edited by douglanglois 2014-08-26 4:27 PM


2014-08-26 8:38 PM
in reply to: douglanglois

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Iowa City, Iowa
Subject: RE: Introduction and the journey to my first triathlon
Wow what a great report and thanks for sharing your journey for how you got to where you are today! Don't worry, you/re not the only one to have mistakes along the way, most people do. Congrats on your race and you were flying on your bike compared to me! Keep up the good work!
2014-08-28 7:24 AM
in reply to: douglanglois

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Subject: RE: Introduction and the journey to my first triathlon

Wow!  That's a great lead-up to your first tri.  Congrats two years later!  Any plans for this winter?

2014-08-28 10:26 AM
in reply to: 0

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Lake Saint Louis, Missouri
Subject: RE: Introduction and the journey to my first triathlon
Originally posted by Ron

Wow!  That's a great lead-up to your first tri.  Congrats two years later!  Any plans for this winter?




I'm trying to decide whether to to do another tri while I'm still peaked, or whether to keep with the slow progression theme and start my off season now. I've definitely been bitten by the bug, and I want to hit sub- 3 hours in the same race next year. My skeleton off-season plan is below, and I'd love feedback from anyone -

http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/discussion/forums/thread-view.asp...

Edited by douglanglois 2014-08-28 10:26 AM
2014-09-02 4:14 PM
in reply to: douglanglois


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Subject: RE: Introduction and the journey to my first triathlon
Doug....
Welcome to the lost a ton of weight and got hooked on the tri thing.
Are you in and around The Lou?

I signed up for Tour De Kirkwood last year, never having run more than a mile, let alone 3! since sometime around 5th grade 30+ years ago. I had been hitting the gym and had lost 60 of my 305 lbs. by then, though. Found out I couldn't go, so I signed up for Newtown, not knowing it was longer!

Kudos to you on hitting the Olympic. I was supposed to do my first this weekend. Got shortened. I'm going to try Litchfield in a couple weeks and see how that goes. Let me know if you're doing any other races 'round here' and we'll high five as part of the former couch potato club.
2014-09-03 2:55 PM
in reply to: jhaack39

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11

Lake Saint Louis, Missouri
Subject: RE: Introduction and the journey to my first triathlon
Originally posted by jhaack39

Doug....
Welcome to the lost a ton of weight and got hooked on the tri thing.
Are you in and around The Lou?

I signed up for Tour De Kirkwood last year, never having run more than a mile, let alone 3! since sometime around 5th grade 30+ years ago. I had been hitting the gym and had lost 60 of my 305 lbs. by then, though. Found out I couldn't go, so I signed up for Newtown, not knowing it was longer!

Kudos to you on hitting the Olympic. I was supposed to do my first this weekend. Got shortened. I'm going to try Litchfield in a couple weeks and see how that goes. Let me know if you're doing any other races 'round here' and we'll high five as part of the former couch potato club.


I am in Lake Saint Louis, about 35 miles West of Saint Louis.

After I enjoyed the LSL Oly, I debated heading over to Litchfield. Ultimately decided against it, and figured I'd focus on fixing the whole raft of problems my first race brought to my attention, rather than just programming them more with another badly run race!

Will keep an eye out for if you are racing in the area, and definitely give you a heads up if I'll be around too.


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