- West Branch State Park
- International distance (1500m swim, 26 mile bike, 10k run)
The wind was steady and strong early which I knew would have an effect on the bike. I was curious to experience what kind of effect it would have on the swim.
The swim started at 8am and was two laps counter-clockwise around large green buoys. This was my first open water swim and first time swimming in a wetsuit, so I was a little nervous the last couple of days. The starting horn went off and we waded off the beach and started the swim. Everything was smooth for the hundred yards out to the first buoy. After the turn I decided to forget what I was dont and was not exhaling under water which disrupted my breathing. I did some breaststroke, which in the chop from the wind was harder to 'catch my breath'. When I would return to freestyle, I would make excellent progress, but it was always short lived due to poor breathing. Regardless, I finished my 2 laps and was ready to start the bike and my strength.
I was smooth through transition and started the bike. My goal was to not go too hard but to settle into a good pace and not push. The bike course was two 13 mile laps and the strong wind helped push us out of the park where I easily rode at 27mph. After the first turn, the cross wind and headwinds definitely were felt, a couple of gusts from the side challenged my bike handling. I steadily passed quite a few people on the bike leg and felt like I could keep riding for additional laps without a problem.
Bike to run transition was again smooth as I began the two lap 6 mile run. The first 1.5 miles out of the park was slightly uphill and I was worried I was too fatigued from the bike. Luckily I didn't realize it was uphill until the turn and I instantly felt WAY better on the slight downhill back to the beach. As I reach the 3 mile turnaround, I walked through the water station for some water (I learned that drinking water from a cup on the run doesn't work very well the first time through). Legs started to feel heavy as I passed the 4 mile mark and I again walked through the aid station at the turn for additional water.
I finished in a total time of 2:52:09 on the race clock at the finish line. From my brother's digging, this is 3 minutes faster that the last time I completed an international distance triathlon, LA 2006. So that was inspiring but I still have lots of work to do on the open water swim part. Now that I have a wetsuit, I can legally join the local triathlon club on their open water swim practice which I will be doing this coming Monday evening and Friday morning.
Overall, I can't complain but I see the areas I need to work on. Plan going forward is for more swimming, specifically in open water, and to combine bike/run training. The Muncie half-ironman is now less than a month away.
Specific split times will be added to this post once I have them.
Swim - 40:40 (2:28/100yds)
T1 - 1:23
Bike - 1:15:07 (20.8 aveMPH)
T2 - 1:40
Run - 53:19 (8:34/mile)
38th out of 83 total males. 3rd out of 5 in my age group (35-39).