Monday, September 10, 2012

Race Report - Pittsburgh International Triathlon

Back in May of this year I made the decision that I was going to do a triathlon.  My secret plan was to do a Half IM distance, but to play it safe, I told people I was going to do an international / Olympic distance.  Since this was new to me, I did what everyone does when they want to learn about new things, I Googled it.

My search for beginner triathlon training plans returned hundreds of useful sites and a great training plan that was complete and seemingly doable.  So with a plan in hand, I was off and running (and, of course, biking and swimming).

As I worked through the plan one topic kept coming up over and over again, which was "nothing new on race day".  Seems logical to me.  Of course, what I came to realize is that meant racing should not be new on race day, which meant I needed to get a real race under my belt before my mystical future Half IM.

Back to Google, where I find lots of useful information on the Pittsburgh Triathlon including the fact that it's scheduled for July 29th, which is a perfect spot in my training cycle, so I signed up!

Lot's of training later and it's finally the day before race day.  I cut out of work right at the crack of 5:00 and head across the river to packet pickup.

Packet pickup for my first ever triathlon.  I'm was so excited, I had to take a picture!

Saturday comes and goes and I find time to get in one final workout, attend the prerace meeting, ask all my questions and pick up a few odds and ends and then it's time for bed for a good night of sleep.

Sunday, I'm up before the sun, I gather all of my things and ride my way over to the start.  I setup transition, talk with some new people, run into my orthopedic surgeon who is swimming for a relay team, etc.  Finally, it's time to head off for the start.

As you can probably tell by the name of the blog, I'm not the strongest of swimmers.  Actually, it's the swim that has kept me out of triathlon to this point and it's the challenge of the swim that has me the most concerned and also the most interested as I approach this race.

I spent a fair amount of time in the pool in preparation  plus I took some swimming lessons at the Y from a coach who turned out to be way more knowledgeable than I expected I would find at the Y.  So anyway, I'm feeling prepared, but I'm also feeling like 1500 meters is a long way and all the rain the night before has the river raging and looking like a boiling glass of chocolate milk.  It's also not helpful that the first one-third of the swim is up stream in the aforementioned current.

Of course, the good news is that two-thirds of the swim are downstream and the raging current carries my water treading, freestyle and breast stroking ass to the end in record time!

Here's a shot of my tired ass leaving the water after the swim.
Swim split 31:49

I had some transition practice under my belt prior to the race, so I'm not unhappy with my time in T1 and the good news is I did not forget anything or get lost, etc. so I consider my first ever T1 a success.

T1 split 2:36

Again, from the name of the blog, I think you can deduce that cycling is my strongest event and this race certainly proved that to be true.  The course was a two lap affair where the first half of each lap was nearly all up hill and the second half was mostly down hill.  I tried to find a pace that would leave me energy for the run but still be fast.  I think I did fine in spite of the fact that my watch decided that today would be a good day for a vacation.

Here's a picture of me starting out on lap two.
All-in-all, a successful bike with no major issues other than dropping my chain half way through the second lap and having to get off the bike to get it reengaged.

Bike split 1:16:27

Nothing to say really about T2 other than the fact that I forgot to take off my bike gloves as the picture below proves.

T2 split 1:49

Me leaving T2 for the run, still wearing my bike gloves.  Of course I did not even realize that fact until about 30 second after this picture was taken.

The run was a flat out and back along the river.  I was concerned about my right calf since I was recovering from a bad calf cramp a couple of weeks earlier.  I ran at a comfortable pace until I hit the turnaround and then I started to pick up the pace somewhat.  In the end, I had enough energy left for a pretty strong kick to the finish.

Here are two shots taken at the line.
I'm happy with my run, but I also know that I could have done it faster had I not been worried about my calf.  Of course I'm much happier to have finished with something left vs. pushing and dealing with another calf cramp.

Run split 53:59

I am thrilled with the day and with my result.  I completed a triathlon!  The training plan worked very well, I'm happy with my nutrition plan and I'm happy with my execution.

Total Time 02:46:44

Next stop Half IM?

No comments:

Post a Comment