It was almost 2 weeks ago, but nevertheless I would like to share my experience from the Kids in Crisis (KIC) Triathlon. This is only my 3rd triathlon. After an Olympic distance Triathlon in 2006 and an Ironman70.3 in 2007 I didn’t think about triathlons for almost 3 years. In this time I was pursuing my master’s degree where my shape degraded severely. But by now I have received my master’s degree and started training again.
The night before the event I had a hard time to fall asleep. I am not sure if I was so nervous, or if it was the fact that I went to bed at 20:00. I got up at 4 o’clock in the morning. I started more or less relaxed my morning routine and was soon out of the door to prepare the two transition areas. After getting marked with my number and checking in my running gear. I rode down to the first transition area and checked in the bike. I was ahead of the crowed and had enough time to prepare everything in a calm matter. I put on my wetsuit and went down to the beach to do a warm up. There I realized that the tide was out. And other people were walking far out into the water. As a weaker swimmer, I was almost celebrating that fact until I realized there was a catch to it. There were many stones and shells which made it dangerous to run. After a long walk and a short warm up swim we started to line up at the beach. While we were listening to the last instructions, a 10 inch crab (with about 2 inch clamps) came out of the water and turned around once he saw all the people. I didn’t expect that and spent the next few minutes hoping: “Let that not be me who stands on this crab!”
Finally, we were allowed to run off, and since we had to run the first 250m I was among the first who started swimming. But the swimmers caught up pretty fast and overtook me a few minutes into the swim. I also learned that there is a big difference in swimming in the sea (salt water) or in lakes. 20 minutes into the swim I had this weird taste in my mouth and I was looking forward to drink some water. Another thing which I realized was that one part of my feet was burning and I guessed that I had a cut from running over the stones/shells. At least it wasn’t hurting too bad and I didn’t have to give up the race as other athletes. Towards the end of the swim we had to run again and I had cramps in my calves. Surprised by that I stretched for a second and then went ahead. Luckily these cramps didn’t come back for the rest of the race. Later I learned from an expert that this can happens if the water is cold, and the wetsuit puts the caves in a stretched position without movement. So the next time I should occasionally relax my feet during the swim.
Even though I prepared everything in the transition area, I was confused after the swim and didn’t follow my transition procedures. This way it took me 2 minutes till I finally hoped on my bike. I started off in a moderate pace for the first 5 minutes. Where I drunk some water and also ate half a banana. Then I started pushing hard on those pedals. My goal was to be over a 30 km/h pace even with the hilly course. After I overtook several triathletes with much more expensive equipment I started feeling better and better. Especially up hills it seemed as I would fly past them, but I’m not sure if I should attribute this towards my Swiss roots, the road bike, or my flyweight… Towards the end I forced myself to drink some more water, since I learned in the past that I normally don’t drink enough.
The next transition went smooth. I had a clear head and was out of transition area after only 51 seconds. But I soon had to learn that this forced drinking was too much for my stomach. So I had to slow down and couldn’t run my pace. I was suffering quite a bit. But after half time I started to recover and picked up the pace. Since, I didn’t use my running muscles yet, I was able to sustain a high pace for the last 5km. So the running split doesn’t seem too bad.
Time: 2:21:08, Division place: 5, Overall place: 36,
Pictures from the race!
Overall I am pleased with my time, after all it is 15 minutes faster than my last triathlon.
I am looking forward to Nationals Triathlon in Washington DC with the full length swim and less running
By then I should also have a better nutrition plan for during the race.
Thanks@Rebekka for cheering for me and supporting me after the race!