My first Triathlon: New Jersey State Triathlon 2008

It was great, but much to improve on.   You should definitely do this one next year, btw, if you are thinking about tris…My summary, for the sprint triathlon:

1st thing was that I registered for the wrong wave.  I’m 34, so I figured I was in the 30-34 age group. I should have been on the First Time Male Sprint wave.   As luck will have it, 30-34 was on the 1st wave, along with the Elite/Professionals.  That’s right! I was pretty much guaranteed to come in last on my wave (but I didn’t).  Younger, experienced Triathletes, as well as pros/elite.   One of the pros was like this 12-13 yr old kid.  He was standing next to me, wearing speedos, swimming cap and goggles.   He smoked me.

The swim kicked my ass…11:54. (37:10 pace for a mile)   Water was very warm, very, very murky.  My goggles fogged up before I started! I was blind most the way. A lot of stop and go…also, being on the 1st wave, I was out in the middle of the lake treading water for like 5 minutes…which tired me out before even starting.   The atmosphere was relaxed..people were joking around.  One guy said “It’s your first time? there is a lot of punching/kicking (more on that later)..in fact, punch me now as hard as you can on my face so I won’t get shocked”.   I said that one of the bad things about being short (I’m 5′ 6″) is that I started treading water before most of them.  Someone replied “Wait, your not standing?”.   Funny.   Another guy said “Who can do a 500 meter in 5 minutes? I want to know so I can draft him”.  I replied “I can probably do that, but not sure how much drafting you can do…oh..wait..are you talking about running or swimming?”.  These conversations and joking relaxed me a lot.   I thought I was going to puke before the race started.   Once I started swimming, I realized the HUGE difference between pool and open water swim.  I almost consider quitting, but then I noticed I was almost done ;).   There was some kicking and I accidently punched a guy where you really don’t want to punch a guy.   Sadly, one person drowned.  He was two waves after me.   He was in good shape, had been training for a while.   He was 52.   Felt really bad when I heard this…Accidental drowning.  No heart attack, like originally suspected.
  Out of the swim
 T1 was good, 2:54    Putting on my socks and shirt took the longest.  Will know that for next time (no socks..maybe I’ll have the stomach for no-shirt OR I’ll wear a tri-suit).  I did pass a lot of people on this transition.  Most people were walking their bikes or slow jog..not sure if there is proper etiquette here on passing people, but I did pass a lot..like 12 or so..
 
I kicked ass on the bike, considering this was my 1st one.  36:12 (19.1MPH), and I rode about one mile, sitting straight up, hands behind my neck, just trying to breathe.  I also had an issue with my saddle which made it uncomfortable.  I had to take it off for the trip, and didn’t put it back on until 15 mins before the race.  I put it too high (next time, mark it)
The other problem was that my shirt’s # had only 3 clips and it started ripping off during the bike! I rode holding it for like 2 minutes and then decided to
roll it under my shirt…must have been a funny site..rolled shirt, large stomach sticking out…sexy.  I waved to some people standing on their own frontyard..I passed a couple of people with flats and one guy that got hit by a car (he went off the course right into the traffic lane.  I’m not heartless, he was getting up and was trying to mount his bike, so I figured he was OK)
  Me on the bike
T2 was 2:01.  Easy laces help a LOT…you are very tight and numb..hard to tie laces…here, I just switched shoes, yanked the laces, drank some G2 and took off.
Next time, stretch on the bike before dismounting..may help a bit.  I had my only visual injury here..while running past people here (again, proper etiquette ? was I NOT supposed to run here?) the pedal of my bike ripped right into my right calf…multiple scratches, started bleeding right away..didn’t know this until after the race.
 
Running completely sucked.  30:23 (9:48 pace).   My 2nd half was a bit faster..(35 seconds faster, although I don’t think it was exactly 1.5 mile split).  I was extremely tight…walked a lot at first.  If I tried jogging, I went about the same pace as walking :).  Finally, I decided to run on the grass and started feeling better.   About mile 2, my knee starting hurting, which I feared.   The funny thing is, the last 200, I decided to finish strong and started almost sprinting, so I ended up passing like 4 people, which felt good.
  Trying to sprint to the finish   Trying finish line
 

Final time is 1:23:23.  478 out of 950 total,  314 out of 549 for males.  Comparing myself to first time males, I would have been 42 out 130 in that group, which puts me better than two-thirds :)
 
People keep on asking if I won the race…I keep on saying I came in 8th……478th, to be exact …
 
PS: Last night I was on 476….not sure how two people beat me overnight :)

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