Today was my first triathlon. There wasn't much to the race as a whole, but after a 200+ meter swim, 8.5 mile bike ride, and 2 mile run, I can officially call myself a triathlete. I spent most of the weekend psychologically preparing for the race, because there was little physical preparation that I could do so close to a race. Saturday morning I practiced the swim to bike transition a few times and got to where I felt comfortable racing through the whole ordeal. Sunday afternoon was the pre-race meeting and I tried to size up the competition, but that only made me nervous. I learned that you can never tell who your main competition is, and body type means little in this sport. I had to remind myself over and over again that I was only out there to compete against myself. I decided an acceptable goal time to finish in would be under 45:00. If I could do that, I would be pleased with my performance.
I crossed the finish mat in 44:53.
Update: Split times Swim 0:03:44.02 T1 0:01:54.91 Bike 0:25:32.00 T2 0:00:40.99 Run 0:13:01.75 Total 0:44:53.66
That finish was good enough to secure me thirteenth place overall and first place in the overall male beginner category. I guess that's not bad as a debut into the sport of competitive triathlon.
With all that over with, now I have to work on my distances. I can compete well in a sprint triathlon, but what happens when you double, triple, or even 10X the distance? I know where I have strengths and I know I have a lot of weaknesses. Now all I have to do is buckle down and really get after this training program. Any goal worth pursuing is going to require sacrifice. What matters most is that I now know that I can do it. Today's victory just gives me a little incentive to stay focused on the big goal while working toward the next little goal.
Congratulations to everyone who raced this weekend, whether at the GJCC or anywhere else in the world. You've spent your holiday weekend well.