I finished my second Sprint Triathlon yesterday. It was awesome! I think I may be obsessed. Of course having my son there competing and my wife there cheering us on made it extra special. My wife even brought along her therapy dog, Dino, for extra support. Dino is a 100+ pound Chocolate Lab, a real gentle giant.
This was my son’s first triathlon and he did well. He is a much better swimmer than I, so he started well ahead of me. They do individual starts at this tri and you can pretty much jump in the start line whenever you feel like it. I might have started a little sooner, but I was chatting with a guy. For some reason he asked me if I ran marathons, well, next thing you know I’m talking about ultras and once that happens it isn’t easy to shut me up. The swim was ok. I was a few seconds faster than last time. I think I swam a little more freestyle than last time, but still swam mostly breast stroke. I guess I just like seeing where I’m going and breast stroke isn’t as fatiguing. Almost half way through the swim I literally ran into one of my friends. I suppose I should say swam into. He was back stroking and my arm caught him on the leg. He looked over and said, hey how’s it going. There was a pretty good breeze blowing across the lake which made the water a little choppy. Consequently I wound up drinking a lot more water than I would have liked.
Finishing the swim is a huge mental lift. I started coming to my senses and running for my bike. I heard my wife shout out “go Jeff”. Dino didn’t say anything, but I think that’s one of the reasons my wife brought him rather than either of the other two dogs, because Dino doesn’t talk much. I was a minute faster in this transition than last time. I didn’t waste time putting on a shirt was part of the difference. Other than that I suppose I just didn’t mess around, wipe off feet, put on shoes, helmet, go.
My bike start was a little slow. I was having trouble getting my shoes locked in. The start is slightly up hill and I almost came to a stop. I managed to keep rolling and eventually get clipped in. Then I was off. This was a very good ride for me. I don’t recall anyone ever passing me. I was constantly passing other riders. My average speed was 1 mph faster than last time. I’m very happy with that. As I approached the bike finish I saw my son heading out on the run. The bike course is an out and back, so I must have crossed paths with him out there too, but didn’t notice. I saved some time by slipping my feet out of my shoes before the dismount. I was a little worried about running barefoot through the rough parking lot, but I had already done it after the swim and this time around my feet were almost numb to it.
As I started the run my son was almost a half mile ahead of me. Again with the run, I was passing lots of people, but don’t remember anyone ever passing me. The run is also an out and back so when I saw my son on the return he was maybe a quarter mile ahead of me. With about a half mile to go it was past time to put the hammer down. The last couple hundred yards is slightly down hill so I was really pushing here. With about 50 yards to go I looked up and noticed my son about 10 yards ahead of me. By this point I shouldn’t have had any notches left to kick it up, but it would be an understatement to say I was determined to catch up to him. Caught him just in time for us to cross the finish line side by side and hear the announcer say, “and it’s the Haights from Avon, Konrad and Jeff”. Excuse me while I go grab a tissue.
My finish time was 4:07 faster than last time. I improved in every area, 15 seconds in the swim, 1 minute in T1, 1:42 on the bike, 53 seconds in T2, and 16 seconds on the run. I couldn’t be happier with the results. All the hard work in the last month really paid off.