My recap of my first triathlon, Wild Rose Triathlon in Calgary.
I’m honestly not too sure where to begin with this recap. I know I want to get my thoughts down as quickly as possible before they leave me. This is probably long, and also wordy 🙂
Tri It offered a number of clinics leading up to the triathlon to help newbies (like me!) feel more comfortable with everything going on during a race. Saturday was an hour-long transition walk through, and although I had some idea of what to expect (thanks to Leana and Lindsay) I figured attending would be a good plan.
We walked through what is and isn’t allowed on course (no electronics of any kind), how to set up our transition area, and some tips for things we might want to bring.
When I run races, I don’t typically spend a ton of time looking at the course map, since we’re running in a pack. Triathlons are different. Quite often you’re heading out with one, maybe two, other people, so I figured I really should know the course. When I left, I drove the bike course (I actually ended up missing the first turn when driving, but oh well) and felt good that I had a bit of an idea of what to expect.
When I got home, I loaded my bike on my car (one less thing to need to worry about in the morning) and packed my duffel bag with what I’d need for T1 and T2.
I was supposed to volunteer at an event on Saturday evening, but fell asleep on the couch and woke up halfway into my shift. Oops? The perk being I was in bed nice and early since my alarm was set to go off at 5:30.
Transition opened at 6:30 and I wanted to give myself lots of time to get set up, sight where my bike was, and take care of any last-minute details.
Bow Cycle was on site, so I took advantage and had them make some minor adjustments as my gears were clicking and I figured it was probably best I not try to fix it myself the day of a race. I found a place to rack my bike, and started to lay out my gear. I debated bringing sandals with me for the run from swim to bike, but I figured I’d probably forget them, and opted to go barefoot from the time transition closed until it was time to hop in the water for the swim.
The pre race briefing was a bit delayed while transition was checked over, but soon it began and we were reminded of a few safety points, and were then able to start.
The super sprint (or, try a tri) was set to go first and we were marshaled on to the pool deck and lined up slowest to fastest. The swim was a continuous feed where the lanes were filled until there were four people per lane. When one person exited, another got in. Finally, it was my turn. I walked to my lane, slipped in (no diving allowed) and off I went.
Given my background (I swam competitively for 12 years) I figured it was likely I’d be faster that most people, and was held up a few times in my lane. Not unusual, and definitely to be expected.
As soon as I got out of the pool, I started thinking about the bike and what I needed to do.
I saw Richelle as I was running and gave her a smile and high-five, and found my bike.
Tossed down my cap and goggles, wrestled myself into my shirt (no bare torsos in triathlon), put on my helmet (must be on and done up before touching your bike) and sat down to quickly wipe my feet and put on my shoes, did up my bib and grabbed my bike.
The mount line had been moved closer to the road, so I ran my bike out, tried to get on as quickly as possible, and started pedaling. I read some where to start in an easier gear to warm up your legs, so that’s what I aimed to do.
My goal was to not totally suck on the bike, and worked on sighting people and passing them without putting in too much effort, as I had no idea how my legs would feel on the run. I was only passed once (but I had previously passed her) so I’m calling that a win.
The bike was two laps for a total of 9km and before I knew it I had finished the second lap and was coming back in to transition.
Since I biked in my runners, I didn’t need to worry about changing shoes, I just needed to rack my bike, grab a sip of water and head out on to the run course.
Like the bike course, the run was two laps and then in to the finish. The majority of the run was on grass which was nice on the joints, but made it so I ran a bit slower and had to work a bit harder to maintain my pace. Like the bike, I focused on catching and passing people, and I don’t think anyone passed me. Once I finished my second loop, I tried to run as quickly as possible on the grass to get to the finish.
I knew Crystal would be there, and it was so great to have a friend at the finish!
I am, quite predictably, hooked.
I’m hoping to run two sprint tris before the end of the year and have a pretty big goal of doing the Calgary 70.3 next summer.
I’ve been googling for some tri training plans, since I did this with virtually no training (I mean, I ran, but swimming twice and riding my bike twice doesn’t really count as training) and if I’m upping the distance, training will be beneficial.
I had planned on changing disciplines on my Polar so I could determine my own times, but it turns out fiddling with a watch is not what I want to do when trying to be efficient, so I’ll need to figure that out for the next one as well.
Overall time: 46:09
Overall rank: 5
Age group: 2/10