Welcome to The Other Side

We survived the weekend. We survived our first family camping trip and survived our respective triathlons. I did better than I'd hoped, placing 33rd in my age class and 304th out of all the men in the race and 399th out of 998 total racers. I was slow (but faster than expected) in the water at 11:44 and good for 694th overall, I knew my bike stage was going to be my strength and it was with a time of 42:51 and good for 203rd overall and my run was surprisingly better than expected at 21:03 and good for 619th place overall.

My run was actually faster than my training runs which was quite surprising since I felt like I was crawling most of the way. And, if the run had been any longer, my quads would have started to cramp up on me. I'd hydrated like a mofo the day before, had avoided caffeine and alcohol and had gotten as decent a sleep as was possible the night before my first ever triathlon.

In some ways the whole thing was kind of surreal. I found myself in the transition area laying out my gear, making sure sunglasses and gloves and helmet were ready on my handlebars, making sure my socks were in my cycling shoes and doing all of the other little things to make the switch from swim to bike to run smoother and easier. And then I was standing in my age group on the boat launch ramp watching the previous age classes get sent out into the water. And then I was in the water feeling the icy grip of the water squeeze the air out of my lungs even through my wetsuit.

I made a conscious effort to think out my race plan as I was awaiting the gun to plunge into the water. I was telling myself again and again to not worry when I was passed by others and to swim/bike/run my own race. I knew I would be passed left and right in the swim but I also knew I'd be passing lots of folks on the bike and then I'd get passed again on the run. Unlike the race at the Sea Otter Classic a few weeks ago, I went at my own speed and let the rest of the athletes race at their speed. The plan worked out much, much better than my go like a jack rabbit on an electric skillet plan from the Sea Otter.

From a race perspective I think I did about as well as could be expected given it was my first time. I'm not sure of too many things I would change for next time, maybe less water on the bike ride since I barely even got through half my first water bottle and the second bottle was just dead weight.

And, of course, we've been spending a bunch of time this week looking at other races coming up. There are bunches and bunches of them. I'm mostly interested in the sprint or mountain bike triathlons for now but we might just work our way up to full triathlons at some point. There are several triathlons in Santa Cruz over the summer and I might just jump into one of those, the only big sticking point is that the swim is going to be much harder and much, much colder since it will be in the Monterey Bay and not in a lake.

Overall, I would give the Avia Wildflower Triathlon a strong B+. They could have been much more informative on the web site so we'd have planned better but the actual event was run incredibly smoothly given that there were 7500 triathletes competing over the two days. I would give my performance in the race as a straight B, I did many things right and only a couple of things could be made better.

It was alot of fun and we are planning on returning next year and trying to bring a team of friends along for the fun as well.

I will also add some photos to this post when I get home this evening. I didn't get as many pictures taken as I would have liked but its quite hard to race and think about photo opps, ya know?
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