Despite a week of inactivity from back pain, I got up this morning pumped and ready to go for my third triathlon.
Swimming is a big part of my life, and running is getting there. I’ve ran a half marathon, and now I’m really starting to work on my speed. It easy to think that I have been all about the triathlons for a while now, but this was only my third. In fact this was my second longest bike ride in twelve years and only my third ride of any distance on the new bike.
This year I do plan on doing two triathlons and training up for an olympic distance either in October or early next year.
The West Texas Champions Sprint Triathlon is probably inappropriately named for effective marketing, but the field of competition is pretty darn intense. From me swimming to the biking and running of folks like Justin Gable this race has some tough competitors. It still has room for beginners, and there’s a kid race afterwards which is a lot of fun to watch.
The setting was pretty much perfect, just north of Amarillo at Thompson Park not far from the Zoo or Wonderland. It’s 400 M swim, 14 mile ride, and 5 k run. Although, there’s some contention on that last bit. Last year during my relay I tracked the course on MapMyRun and came up with 3.5-3.6 miles. So, it may have been a bit longer than that. The swim and the bike distances are pretty accurate.
A four hundred meter swim is a bit of a joke and is representative of what frustrates me the most about triathlons – the swim is always too short and never proportional to the bike or the run. On the plus side, I got out of the swim first with a 5:59. The next person following me was 1:10 back. Of course on the bike people just passed me left and right and on the run. The joys of getting out of the water first.
The course directors found the hilliest 14 miles of road they could in NWTX which makes my home town in central Texas look down right flat. I could never get up any speed every down hill was coupled with a steeper up hill nearly immediately following it. One section took over two miles to climb a hill, but to my surprise, I managed 16 mph or about 52 minutes for the 14 miles.
My legs weren’t completely shot, but I am still not used to the transition from the bike to the run. I wobbled a bit off the bike. It took nearly a mile to get my legs to feel relatively normal, and after that I just slowly stretched my legs out and let my arms regains some feeling. The last part of the run was a bit of a climb, but I finished strong.
After an afternoon, my legs aren’t really hurting. My back feels better than it did when I woke up this morning. So, I think I could have put some more umph into the race. It was a lot of fun, and the new bike performed brilliantly. I’ll take an 1:29 for my third sprint triathlon with no soreness! But now I really need to work on my run and bike speed.