Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"My First Triathlon" - An Experience of the 2011 Point Grey Triathlon

Hey abandoned blog! How are you??

I started training on June 10th and did my first short triathlon (0.4k/11k/5k) on July 17th, approximately 5 weeks later.  My post-race reaction was disappointment in myself, I didn't get nearly the time I wanted to and I just felt like I'd been kicked in the teeth because of how poorly I did.  In hindsight, I learned some important lessons that I'd like to share with you now:

1. You can't avoid hills forever - trust me, when I started biking, I wanted to, I was extremely out of shape and there's one tall hill before I get home that made me hate my life everytime I had to go to it.  But can you imagine my bitterness when I discovered my race bike course had about 5K of gradual incline?  I decided about 1/4 of the way through the incline that I was going to take some dynamite to every hill in the world and everything would look like Saskatchewan.

3 weeks later: Hills and I aren't mortal enemies anymore! There's a street that kind of leads to the "big" pool in my area from my house that's slightly hilly, so I did that one a few times and the third time I did, I averaged 20.2K/hr for about 5K, which considering usually my average is more around 10K for hills, I will take that with bells on!  I also learned that hills make your calf muscles crazy awesome!

2. If you want to be able to run 5K well, you have to be able to run more than 5K easily  - I knew this, I'd heard it, I believed it, but did I practice it? No! Not even the slightest, my runs were usually between 3-4K.  I still have a hate/love feeling towards running because it's the one sport that doesn't make me feel good about myself.  Biking, I can feel like I'm on top of the world.  Swimming, I can feel like life really is this simple.  Running? Running makes my feet hurt, I move slow so it's hard to feel like I'm really getting anywhere.

3 weeks later: Honestly, I had one of the most de-motivating runs about two weeks ago and I've been focusing on swimming/biking ever since.  I'm not a good runner, one day I will be, but right now, I'm focusing on the part of the sport that I'm loving.

3.  It really is an accomplishment just to start/finish - I didn't really feel this after my poor race, but it's true, most people in the world haven't done a triathlon so you really should feel proud of yourself for pushing yourself to be there.  It really is an accomplishment

3 weeks later: The further I get away from the race, the more "I don't hate myself" feeling I have towards my first tri.  Honestly, it's a start, and I learned an important lesson about hills, and now I can settle into training and focusing on the part of it I love.

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