Oldenburger Bärentriathlon, Germany
Sunday 02 September, 2012
70F / 21C
Total Time = 02:47:46
Overall Rank = 59/88
1st ever Triathlon for me was in September 2012 in Bad Zwischenahn, Germany, was the Oldenburger Bärentriathlon Olympic Distance with two months of training behind me. In hindsight a bit more training would have been useful.
I had been nervous for the past 48hours, not eating right, and being relative moody, as I did not know what to expect and being relative scared of the swim section. It did not help that all my swim training was in a 25m pool, and that I had never swam in a lake before and neither had I ever worn a wetsuit. Luckily registration, bike racking & transition zone setup was nice and easy, and everybody around me thought that I had done this a few times before. This was more a result of me riding a pretty nice Tri-Bike and having a top of the range wetsuit. Hard to explain when this is your first ever triathlon and open water swim. Lesson 1 learned ‘Expensive kit does not always make you any faster’.
Suddenly it was 10am Start time and I found myself at the back of my swim block of around 100 Swimmers. This was after I ventured into the water with my wetsuit one, and noticed that was floating like a whale and felt rather un-coordinated. And then there was the start, and everybody went off like a rocket with arms and feet everywhere and with no longer calm water. The short story was that my heart rate spiked and a panic set in. I started breast-stroking, trying to get my breathing under control and trying ways in my head to find the best way to quit without looking like an idiot. Yet somehow I got on with it, thinking I m wearing a wetsuit meaning I float, and I managed to simply get on with it. And 00:29:37 later I was on dry land, having completed my ever Open Water Swim in a relative good time I thought.
Transition was nice and fast, no problem there at all, with the exception that my legs had not much energy after swimming, and that I should have learned how to jump on my bike with shoes already fixed to the pedals. 40km of Cycling was ahead of me with them being divided into three laps of around 13.3km. All was well until KM32 when my energy started to flagg. Call it pacing to hard initially or simply down to nutrition mistakes. Either way the last 8km were slow, with me being overtaken by a lot of cyclists. A lesson learned that for one training is very useful, knowing your nutrition is even better, but learning how to pace yourself is key to the whole race. Bike Split time was 01:14:19.
Running has never been my strong point, partly to do that I m not very good at it, and possibly because I find it really hard. Running through the transition zone after jumping off the bike and pulling on my trainers was very quick, yet the first few steps onto the run course of 4 Laps of 2.7km resulted in my head telling me that this would be painful. 10.8km of Pain to be exact. Having this approach did not help and it was 4 Laps of Pain, where I walked 4 times in the course of the run section, and ended up pacing of a gentleman who was kind enough to tell me his story that he represent Germany in the Senior Olympics. Even with his pace I struggled and was not able to have a conversation. Yet when I saw the finishing line I have never been so happy and finished the run in 01:03:48.
My first ever triathlon completed in a total of 02:47:46. Was I happy that I finished? Yes! Was I happy with my result? No! This was the beginning of my triathlon journey, with the aim of going faster and longer.