Third Tri's The Charm

(I added some zazoosh photos, but I should have some better ones soon.)

I finally completed a full triathlon Saturday. Not that I couldn't have completed the previous two - one was canceled and the other was shortened to a swim-run, both because of bad weather. I was starting to believe I was tri-cursed. But yesterday it all came together at the Salem Spring Triathlon.

We arrived around 7:45, got our gear laid out in the transition area, picked up our packets, got our timing chips and numbers and age written on our arms/legs. Scott was in the wave ahead of Matt D. and I. We were casually making our way to the water's edge and suddenly we hear the start countdown, 15, 14, 13... We hustled into the water, put on our goggles then GO.

I always hang back for the swim start. I have no interest in getting beaten up by swinging arms and kicking legs. I'm just in this to finish. I started with the forward crawl, but switched to backstroke after 100 yards. I don't have the swimming fitness and I get less water splashed into my mouth. I had the usual bumping into other swimmers. And I ran into a turn buoy. Otherwise it was just a grind it out ordeal.

I'm in the background - I would hope that's obvious.

Coming out of the water my legs didn't seem to know how to run, but they got going enough for the short jog over to the transition area. It took a while to peel off my wetsuit and get dressed for the bike. My jersey got stuck to my wet back and I struggled to pull it down. The gloves were also a hassle to get on (I won't do gloves again). All this added up to a 5:41 transition time - that ranked 596 out of all 639 racers and the worst time of my 45-49 division.

I trotted my bike over to the exit then got on it and hit the road. Instantly I felt so good to be on the bike. I know the bike. I know how far I can push it. And I felt fast. I passed a lot of other riders. On lap two I passed my neighbor who started in the wave 5 minutes before me. I had a respectable 20.9 mph average. I could have gone faster, but I didn't know how much I need to leave in the tank for the run, better safe than sorry.

I was so fast even a professional photographer couldn't keep me in the frame.

My transition from bike to run was 1:33, which was also slow. But I did remember to double tie my laces (they came untied last time).

I started running at a moderate pace and felt OK. I tried not to run too "springy" since my calves felt tight and I didn't want to risk cramps. Plus a more conservative pace seemed wise. I got passed by better runners, but I caught and passed a few myself. And for only having run once this year, my legs were feeling OK. From all my cycling my aerobic capacity is good which means my running muscles are the limiting factor. I was surprised and happy to to see the 1.5 mile mark - half way. On the downhills I lengthened my stride to go faster with the aid of gravity. I was happy to see the pond and know the run was almost over. I trudged up the last little hill. Since my legs were still feeling OK I kicked in a bit more speed for the final 150 yards. I passed a few runners, one of them a big guy dressed in white and black. With the finish line is sight I picked up the pace another notch. I was surprised when the big guy came by me, but I was almost done and didn't care much. Near the line the announcer said "here comes Chad Lewis followed by Kris". Yes, that Chad Lewis, the formed BYU and pro football player (who now lives in utah valley and is neighbors with 3 guys I work with).

Chad Lewis almost to the finish with me right behind him.

Running to the finish.

After finishing I ate some watermelon, orange and banana slices. I turned around and there was Fisher. It was good to see a friendly face. He said he couldn't find his legs at first on the bike, but they came around and he finished well. I chatted with Scott for a few minutes, he did pretty good. I looked for Matt but he was still out running so I went out to wait and cheer for him. He had a rough run but finished.

Overall I had more fun than I thought I would. having all the gear ready and doing the transitions is kind of a hassle, but it is a worthwhile experience to do three events back to back. I might do a tri or two per year, but I'm so addicted to the bike I don't see myself really getting into triathlons. It was a nice day and good to finally do a full tri.

Overall time 1:31:56.7
Swim 16:25.9 (1:52.8 / 100m pace)
T1 5:41.6
Bike 40:10.1 (20.9 mph average)
T2 2:21.9
Run 27:17.3 (9:05.8 / mile)

Placed 10th out of 18 in my men 45-49 division, 278th out of 639 overall.

Full results


Kathleen @ ForgingAhead said...

Congrats Kris! That's a great race. You're brave to do a run without training...I think I'd fall over.

bikemike said...

here's how it works for me, Kris.

swim, only if thrown overboard.
run, only if being chased.

glad God invented bikes or i'd be about 350 lbs.

good job, man.

Watcher said...

Nice work Kris. I have yet to try a tri. I think probably I'm a little chicken- every time I try swimming (usually when injured from biking/running) I get my clock cleaned by the little old lady in the lane next to me.

KanyonKris said...

Thanks all for the comments.

The triathlon was just something fun to try.

I got passed by plenty of the women in the following wave during the swim. I didn't care, I was focused on: just keep swimming.

I'm tempted to do the Utah Xterra (near Ogden) in September. 750 m swim in Pineview, 19 k mountain bike (lots of single-track), 5 k trail run. This "mountain tri" sounds fun to me.