Another triathlon in the books, the 2014 YMCA Spirit, Mind, Body triathlon. To be honest, I didn’t really know what to expect. I had ridden part of the course and previewed the run portion once (on my bike). I chose to compete in the Olympic distance. Sprint distance (1/2 mile swim, 15 mile bike, 5K run), a duathlon, and a team competition were also options. My first triathlon was last month, and I gutted out an entire 70.3 (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run) to initiate myself into the sport so I assumed (we all know what happens when you assume) the Olympic distance would be merely challenging but not crushing. I was almost right. It was challenging in every sense of the word.
My personal challenge is the swim and for this distance is technically only .2 miles (though some claimed to measure it at 1.1 miles) shorter than my previous tri. This first discipline really pushes my endurance to the edge. The bike route was a great out and back with some challenging (ahem!) hills after the 7.5 mile mark (thank you Anna Demerly for yelling at me on the category 10 hill coming back, to “not stop pedaling”…believe me, my mind said pedal, my legs were saying @#$$%!!! But I did improve my bike time and came in under the goal I set. Route support was great and I really appreciated the volunteers that the encouraged me personally as I rode by. (Maybe I looked like I needed it more!). The run was a 5K out and back that the Olympic competitors ran twice…again…some nice “little” hills to traverse but not frightening. The coolest part of this run were the kids on the backside of the route handing out water and cheering. I am calling out the runner in front of me that refused the high fives from the two little kids at mile marker 1…you are way to serious to not high five the kids…dude! I don’t know your name but if anyone knows who the skinny runner in dark shorts is…smack him!
This was a great race to have in my training towards 2015. Great distance, showed me where I have improved and where I still need to work. Transitions (time between swim/bike and bike/run) improved by over 50%, that was the biggest improvement. The encouraging spot was that I finished the run only 3 minutes off the goal I had set which means I was running the 10K slightly slower than my normal 10K pace. I know where I could have pushed myself harder and probably shaved 2-3 minutes.
This was another race first so I am neither happy or sad with my times…it was about setting benchmarks for 2015 and exposing my weaknesses for improvement. Somebody asked me after the race what was the hardest part, I said, “the swim/bike/run part! Its hard to explain. I don’t look at it as three disciplines but one multi-faceted discipline. They all have to work together to finish.
The YMCA put on great event. Definitely on the list for 2015. MY one slight disappointment is that as I was finishing my bike portion, I so many sprint racers leaving. Our tri community is not a large one and we don’t stop and make sure we are supporting each other through the finish (back of the packers need love to!). Its a big deal to get out and compete. I am going to give a small shout out to the Southern Indiana Triathlon Team…I know there are other equally as awesome groups but it means a tremendous amount to me to have people that I only know as members of the team, see me and cheer me on or encourage me.
And in particular, Anna Demerly, Scott Culiver, Steve Roelle…(there are more, I am just drawing a blank), not once have you three ever failed to encourage me or ask me how I did. Thank you.
This was a great race.
Jeffrey “Previously Fat Guy”