Mock Rookie Tri Overall Champ
I’ll begin this blog by stating that I’ve always respected other athletes and their abilities. After this morning’s mock Rookie Tri I have a newfound respect for swimmers, cyclists, and triathletes. Holy smokes that was an intense way to begin a Friday morning. I don’t feel as bad as I thought I would, but I hurt in places that I didn’t know could hurt like that (aka my ass). I have a stand-up desk at work and it’s been a back-and-forth battle all day of standing up to not aggravate my cycling “injury” and sitting down to rest my weary body. BUT… I did it.
Coach Barny (I think that’s what I’ll call him) has a training deal for Rookies (like me) who want to complete the Rookie Tri on May 6th (you HAVE to be a first-timer!). It’ll be a 12-week program for $400 total. That’s a steal and significantly less than what he normally charges. Plus, I need some training partners. Accountability is huge when training. It makes getting out of bed easier. It makes training in general easier. JOIN ME! Hit him up today and tell him you’re a Rookie who wants to #feelthebarn.
My morning began with an earlier alarm clock than normal, can’t be late to my mock triathlon! I ate a Clif Bar and Clif Bloks for breakfast. I also weighed myself – 195 lbs. Coach Barny met me at Barton Springs after his morning Bomb Run with some of Austin’s finest runners. After running into my *friendly triathlon* arch nemesis (saving his intro for another blog) I become even more pumped to get this mock tri started. It was chilly with some occasional wind. My phone told me it was 46 degrees outside. My bed was much warmer.
As promised, the 300m swim took place in Barton Springs wearing board shorts with running tights underneath. We all know the water temperature (~68 degrees if you don’t know). I’m accustomed to the water because that’s where I relax after my morning runs in the summer. No better way to cool off. Swimming the first 300m of your life on Feb. 1st on the other hand… Yikes. But, I jumped in (yes, I held my nose). The initial shock wore off, I adjusted my goggles to keep stalling, finally started Barny’s swimming watch that I borrowed, then began swimming. Completely unnatural motions for me. I tried to emulate what I’ve seen others perfect, the stroke, breathing in above water, breathing out underwater. It went well for about the first 50m and then I started flailing. Not flailing like I was about to go under, but flailing like I’m only 50m into this and I’m this exhausted? I kept pushing until I reached a point where I turned on my back. Greatest decision of my life (besides marrying my wife, duh). I was able to regain my composure and calm my breathing. I alternated this method until I reached the 300m mark, nearly ran into the wall at one point! Towards the end my goggles started fogging, so I need to look into preventing that somehow. There were also two ladies aqua jogging right in my path and they would not move (unlike the ducks). So I went around them. Read this, print it, live by it: I will never get in the way of a swimmer for as long as I live. I slowly exited the Springs, said some things under my breath while toweling off, and began my ascent to the parking lot where the bed of my truck was Transition. I think Barny and I talked, I just can’t remember what about for the life of me!
This first transition of my mock tri took longer than the second one. I dried off as best I could. I took off my board shorts and put on some running shorts. Threw on a shirt and a quarter zip pullover. I swear half the time spent in transition was trying to get my socks on. I’m finally ready, grab my nuun performance, and load it into a road cruiser that I borrowed from the office. Pro tip, get a helmet before riding. I didn’t get a helmet (I will soon!) and had to ride without one. My course was a safer “course” riding on the roads of Zilker Park, but still, Rookie mistake. Before I took off, I put on my Garmin watch so I could track my time and distance for the bike ride and run.
My 11-mile bike ride begins. It’s crazy, how many memories come back to you when you haven’t really ridden a bike since you were young (like standing up on the pedals to give your ass a rest). It’s also crazy how those memories immediately went away when I left the Barton Springs parking lot, took a left, and encountered my first hill. A few more choice words and lower gears later and I’m at the top thinking I’m out of my league. But by the final lap (the laps were ~1.25 mi) I felt good about the hill, my approach, and plan for attacking it and using different gears. There’s way more to learn, but much was learned between the first and last laps. My muscles really started screaming at me on the last few laps. Passing a good buddy of mine, Paul Terranova, three times while he ran really helped distract and his words of encouragement were truly needed. Thanks Paul!
My ride ends at 11 miles on the dot and I head to transition (aka my truck bed). I hop off the bike and my legs begin wobbling immediately. I thought I was going down for the count. This foreign feeling had me worried about the run. Barny laughed at me and told me I’d be fine (he was right). I took some more hydration, gathered myself, and began my run.
Two miles is nothing for me. Or so I thought. After swimming 300m and riding for 11 miles my body felt as though I’d never run before. EVER. It wasn’t as bad as Uma Thurman in Kill Bill when she wakes up from her coma, but it wasn’t pretty. My motion was different; my stride was off. I was literally shuffling the first half mile. Then muscle memory kicked in. I climbed the hill (that I just rode several times). My stride began to elongate. I started feeling better. I get back to my truck (aka transition) and I still have .75 miles left. But the loop was 1.25 miles. I literally thought to myself there’s no way in hell I’m running an extra half mile. Not today. So I ran towards the familiar Greenbelt entrance. Hit a certain point on the Greenbelt and turned around. I finished my mock tri right next to the Zilker water fountain. Just like I’d planned it. By then I was picking up the pace and feeling better about the day, knowing I was so close to the end.
After my mock Rookie Tri, I composed myself, checked my body to ensure everything was where it was supposed to be, got out some salted watermelon Clif Bloks (my go-to), and got in my truck. I sat for a few seconds to ensure I could actually operate a vehicle. Turns out I could. I made my way home, gingerly took a shower, swatted away Napoli, my blue heeler, who wanted to play, and headed to work.
The end. Right? Wrong. Now the training begins! Check out my splits below.
Overall time – 1:34:43
300m swim – 7:16
T1 – 6:00
Bike – 1:01:47 (5:35, 5:39, 5:37, 5:08, 5:23, 6:01, 6:03, 5:56, 5:44, 4:57, 5:44)
T2 – 2:00
2-mile run – 17:40 (9:06, 8:34)