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Author: Beerio Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 1104  
Subject: NYC Triathlon Date: 8/9/2011 2:52 PM
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Hi guys, cross posting from Running Fools - didn't realise this board existed!

So, NYC Triathlon! Olympic distance so a 1.5k swim, 40k bike and 10k run. My second ever triathlon (after Escape from Alcatraz last year) and I wasn't really nervous. I'm training for the Florida Ironman later this year, so was viewing this race as just a good training day and practice for my transitions etc. For the first time however I was competing in a race with my wife! Her first Triathlon! We have done a bunch of running races together, but never anything longer than a half marathon - so I was a bit concerned about her. Oh what I fool I am. Little did I know she'd cross the line just over 5 minutes before me!

We got up at about 3:30am aiming to be at Transition to drop our stuff off around 4:45 or 5. Got up to make breakfast and realised we had actually run out of oatmeal as my parents who were staying had eaten it all! I run down the 9 flights of stairs to the street and go to the store to buy some. Come back 5 minutes later (the beauty of NYC) and press the door buzzer for the elevator operator to let me in and come get me. No answer. Hmm. Press it again. Nothing. Lean on the buzzer for a couple of minutes. No answer. Eventually call my wife upstairs to come and get me - neither of us is best pleased about having to walk up 9 flights to get back to the apartment! As a result it's all a bit rushed getting ready, but we get out the door on time and head over to the other side of the city in reasonably persistent and heavy rain.

We arrive at Transition, it's a decent walk down a fairly steep hill from the road, but it feels pretty hardcore to be strolling along in the rain with a few thousand other Triathletes at 445am. As I get my gear set up I glance at my bike (left racked overnight) and at the bikes either side of it. I notice there's something different. Whoops. Mine doesn't have any water bottles - they're in my fridge still! This could present a problem given the upcoming 25 mile bike ride. I have to sprint up the hill and go find a store where I buy 2 bottles of gatorade and two of water before sprinting back as the transition area was about to close and we'd not be able to get in in a couple more minutes.

Eventually all is sorted, and off we toddle to the Swim start, about a mile north of Transition. Still raining. Get to near the start, and don wetsuits - which help keep us warm in the rain. Start is delayed as there is an overturned vehicle on the road we're going to be using for our bike ride, eventually, 30-45 minutes after we're supposed to start we finally do.

Jump off a barge into the frankly disgusting water of the Hudson river - being very careful not to swallow any (wife swallowed some and promptly threw up! Not good for your swim...). The water is pretty choppy, but there's a bit of current pulling us along in the right direction so that helps. After a little while I see a sign saying 500m - "hooray! two thirds of the way there!" thinks I. I keep going, and after a surprisingly long time see another sign saying 1000m - "oh no" thinks I. Turns out I am not a fast swimmer, but at least I survived. The next day I found out that two competitors, one a 60yr old man, and one a 40yr old woman, died during the swim portion of the race. Scary. Apparently they were both members of relay teams for the triathlon, so were only doing the swim portion. It makes me think that perhaps if you're not fit enough to do the whole race, you shouldn't do the most dangerous part of it at all.

Anyway, I get to the bike section and all starts off pretty well, until my speedometer packs in after a few minutes. I tried bashing every button several different times, but to no avail. Eventually I worked out that the sensor on the wheel had slipped to the edge and thus was no longer triggering the sensor. Meant I was cycling almost blind, although my heart rate and cadence sensors were still working ok which helped somewhat. Biking is where I need to work most to improve my times - I thought I was pushing it pretty hard on the bike the whole time here, but it turns out I was only averaginh 18mph, which isn't really fast enough if I want to complete an ironman in any sort of reasonable time.

I get off the bike without incident and start running - back up the steep hill to the deli where I bought the Gatorade! Feels like I am running in molasses as my legs are tired from the bike. I also feel a little sick, perhaps over did the cytomax, gatorade and shot blocks, so I switch to just taking water from the aid stations. It turns out that I also forgot to bring my GPS Garmin watch, so I've no idea really how fast I'm going. Luckily I know the course very well, it being the upper hilly part of Central Park where I do a lot of my running, so I know how to pace myself. I overtake quite a lot of people on the run which is always encouraging. I'm pretty knackered by the finish, but manage a pretty strong last mile. I find out just as I finish that my wife finished 5 minutes before me. Luckily, she started 53 minutes before me, so it's not quite the disaster it would appear ;)

Final time 2:45 - definitely a PR as it was my first ever official Olympic distance. I had hoped to beat 3:00 as that was my Alcatraz time and I thought the race was probably similarly tough (Alcatraz has a slightly longer swim, shorter but hillier cycle and longer but hillier run) so I was reasonably pleased. Felt ok the next day physically, and mentally I was super proud of my wife for losing her Triathlon virginity and finishing looking so strong.

Now we move on to Westchester Toughman - a half-ironman distance!

JB
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