I just completed my first Triathlon this past Sunday in Philadelphia "TriRock" and I'd like to share my experience with everyone. I was in the Mens 30-34 division and decided to do the olympic distance.
For starters I pick up my packet and my number is, wait for it…1666! Really?? I knew this was going to be a devilish of a Triathlon, but damn. I hoped this wasn't going to be an omen for the race.
So after picking up my packet Saturday, I headed to the hotel. Once in my hotel room I was so excited that I started unpacking my bag. I soon noticed that I ….forgot my cycling shoes! Nooo!!!! Unbelievable, especially since I'm not a forgetful person – Rookie mistake #1, next time make a check list. It was a bit of a buzz kill but I had to keep it together. By this time it was to late to buy cycling shoes from a store. So, it was at this point that I came to the realization that I was going to have to do the bike portion in my running shoes – yes I only had the clip in pedals, bummer.
The excitement enhanced my appetite (I was starving), time for dinner. For dinner I had a large steak and mash potatoes – Rookie mistake #2, don't eat mash potatoes and a huge steak for dinner the night before a triathlon.
I woke up early for the race at 4am (couldn't sleep, was still excited) to eat breakfast and I literally was still full from dinner….Uh oh! For the Triathlon, I decided to go with the 2 piece. I thought that you were only suppose to do the swim in shorts unless wearing a wet suit and put the tri shirt on for the bike/run portions. Once I arrived to the swim start, I ran into some DC Tri folks (super friendly) that told me I was wrong.
So, I started the race and the swim goes smoothly (Former swimmer). However, lets just say that around the 700m mark I felt super heavy (thanks to that Steak and Mash potatoes). After the swim I headed to transition where I tried to put on my tri shirt. Putting on a tri shirt quickly soaking wet is…difficult – Rookie mistake #3, wear the tri shirt on the swim next time.
On to the bike where it was business as usual, except for the fact I was ridding on clip in pedals with running shoes!! Legs were getting tired, but I was still pushing through it. I passed a lady on a hill and she yells out "You have the devils number!!" - damn. I died laughing. Unfortunately I couldn't shake her and we kept passing each other. Every time she would pass me she would yell out "Diablo!!! Diablo!!". I guess that will now become my Triathlon nickname/alter ego.
On to the third and final stage – the run. I think I may have blown my load on bike because once I got to the run my legs felt like jello (maybe they are suppose to feel like that). It felt like I was running at a snails pace. The lady from the bike catches me, smacks me on the buns and yells "Work It Diablo" - her words made me upgrade to a tortoise pace. I get the cup of ice from the ice station, unzip my tri shirt and pour the entire cup of ice down my shirt (since it was so hot outside). However, my shirt was so tight at the bottom that the ice didn't pass through and it didn't melt right away. So I wound up running around for a mile so with an ice gut. Seriously, I looked like I was pregnant with an ice baby.
End of the race, I cross the finish line…SUCCESS!! I finished with out stopping, mission accomplished! After downing the TYR drinks that were handed out I decided to check and see how I did. I go over to the computer, only to not find my name – what the?? There's probably just a glitch. The officials at the computers tell me that there is no record of my computer chip – No!!! I thought this was impossible especially since I wore the timing anklet the entire race. Turns out I chip wasn't ever in the anklet (I thought the chip was built into the anklet). Once I saw what the chip looked like I knew I had messed up. For whatever reason I thought it was part of the race belt at the time and I didn't need it– Rookie mistake #4, make sure your chip is on you at all times during the race. Even though I wasn't able to get my official time and splits, I was able to get a manual time (3:10).
All in all I had a great time. I feel like I've been on a high the entire week. The people at the race were very encouraging and now I know what to expect in my next Tri. Now that my Tri cherry is popped, I'm looking forward to actually competing in my next Tri.
- Nnamnse (Diablo)
I hope those new to Triathlons learn form my miscue's.
Most importantly, have fun!!!
I can hardly wait to see you in a race so I can yell, "WORK IT, DIABLO!" Great story.
HA! Thanks for the laugh, Diablo! The beauty of racing is that you're always able to work out the kinks on the next go around :) Congratulations on finishing & welcome aboard!