That’s it. I did it and I’m hooked! After a successful Memphis In May Olympic Distance Triathlon I can’t wait to start training harder and push on towards the next goal and race. Man was that a good time!
I must admit, however, that I was quite terrified as this weekend approached. After the debacle in the sprint race a couple of weeks ago I had a rough last 2 weeks of training (or lack of training) and was convinced that something was going to fall apart during the Memphis Race.
As we arrived at the race site on Sunday morning at 5:30 am, a few things were running through my head. Mostly, things like “you know, I haven’t ever swam a mile straight without stopping” and “the longest distance I’ve ridden my bike in the last 2 months is 9 miles shorter than today’s race” and “my wheels are for sure gonna fall off my bike right in front of the spectators.” It wasnt really negative thinking, more observations.
For better or for worse though, I was there and I was gonna race!
We got there early and physically I was feeling very good. It was probably a blessing that I missed several days of training over the last couple of weeks because my body was well rested and I felt solid. I finally had all my own gear (after having different parts of my bike in the shop for the last few months) and my fire red gear was nicely color coordinated!
I setup in transition right by the fence so that my wife could take some good (or funny) shots!
Hey Grant, nice tan! The pink swim cap was pretty appropriate as well (no, i didnt have a choice).
It was a beautiful morning and after a short warmup in the water it was time to go!
Look at that form! Beautiful! Ha!
The swim, the part I was most worried about, went great! I had decided to take it slow, keep my heart rate down, and stay in a groove. I felt great the whole time and came out of the water feeling fresh which was a huge surprise! I only got kicked in the head a few times and finished up the swim in 41 minutes (grandma pace!)
My first transition went smoothly and I was off on the bike! Luckily, I didnt fall down trying to get on the thing!
It was getting hot (like the devil’s armpit kinda hot) so i was taking in alot of fluids on the bike. I finished up the bottles i had on board and there was a bottle drop and exchange at mile 12. This is where I encountered the first hiccup of the race. I felt great on the bike and was rolling pretty fast (for me) and as I swung by to grab the changeover bottle, we botched the exchange and I dropped it! Because of this, I had NO FLUIDS from mile 12 to mile 24. This would come back to haunt me a bit.
I came of the bike feeling really good and my second transition was just fine. 2 out of 3 sports complete and only the run was standing between me and the finish!
I felt just fine through mile run and was right on pace for my target run goal. Then, it felt like someone planted an oven in my gut and turned that bad boy on high! The heat started to really take its toll on me and the fact that I was underhydrated from the bike didnt help one bit!
I started to cramp up and felt like I could vomit at any moment. Now, being that this was my first Olympic triathlon, the LAST thing i wanted to do was to be carted off the side of the road in a stretcher from heat stroke. Talk about a bad way to end a race! I made the decision (or my body made it for me) to take it slow. . .REALLY SLOW, so that I could complete the race safely. I ended up having to walk and I spend some time taking in fluids at the aid stations.
I ended up finishing the 10k in 1:04. It was about 20 minutes slower than my goal pace. You know what though? I wasn’t disappointed one bit. I was just pumped that I finished! Tired, hot, puky, jelly legged, red faced, but finished!
After it was all said and done, I can honestly say that it was one of the most fun experiences I have ever been a part of. It took me 3 hrs and 3 minutes to complete (I’m going pro!) but more than anything I fell in love with the sport again and gained a ton of experience and confidence.
Now there is only one thing to do. I took today off and tomorrow at 5am I’ll be back in the pool ready to train harder and get better! I’m ready to go faster and push on to new goals. Ironman 70.3 Augusta anyone???
“You are either getting better, or falling behind.”
GRANT on twitter @veganormous