Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Grandman Triathlon 2010

The 2010 Grandman Triathlon in Fairhope, Alabama on June 5 was my first triathlon. It consisted of a 1/3 mile swim, 18 mile bike, and 3.1 mile run. I was terribly anxious about this race due to my inconsistent training and a lack of experience in multi-sport events. This is my race report.

The swim was an open water, out and back, in Mobile Bay. We started in the water, and from the gun, I struggled to find my comfort zone within a pack of swimmers. Being kicked and grabbed, I quickly realized the swim was more of a fight or flight experience. At the turn around my heart rate was pegged in the red and my swim form was sacrificed at the expense of my constant gasping for air. As a result of the effort, I was wrecked coming out of the water. I stumbled into transition and got ready for the bike.

The bike was 18 miles with some rollers in the first 5 miles but mostly flat. The first 20 minutes on the bike was torture. I had not recovered from the swim and I was peddling squares. As I battled mental demons telling me to stop, I pushed through and forced myself to take on some calories. I took a GU Roctane Energy Gel and almost immediately I felt better. My form came back, my pace picked up, and mentally all the demons faded away.  I had a huge negative split for the second half of the bike and managed to pass a few age groupers in to the transition. I rolled in to T-2 and quickly was out on the run.

The run was 5K (3.1 miles) with a good hill at the beginning but the last mile was completely flat. I felt good coming off the bike and maintained a good pace. I had not forgot my experience on the bike so I kept taking on calories in the form of  Powerbar Energy Chews. I was aiming for negative splits, slowly picking up the pace. This strategy work well and when I started my kick in the last 400 meters I was able to pass 5 age groupers and cross the finish line with a big smile.

I want to thank everyone who inspired, motivated, and helped me accomplish my goal.

Thanks to you I can now call myself a triathlete.

Official Results: 
Overall 455/545
Age Group 45/51
First Timer 50/61
Swim 13:00    1.5   AG 41/ FT 41
T-1  4:51
Bike 1:13:11  14.8  AG 49/ FT 53 
T-2  2:01 
Run 39:52     12:52 AG 47/ FT 53
Total Time 2:12:55