Yes, race number 5.   What happened to 3 and 4?  Well, I was away on business for 3, and had a bum knee for 4.  My knee is still bothering me, but I wasn’t going to miss the last Wheelere YMCA triathlon for anything.  It was a full sprint race so I wanted to give it my all.


The morning was pretty normal.  We got there pretty early and I wasn’t nervous at all until I got in the car.  My wife and sister-in-law were doing the race with me.   We walk around a bit saying hi to everyone and trying to shake the nerves.  I thought for sure that I was going to be fine in terms of nerves, but it still got to me even after all these races.

Anyway, after all these months it was great to compete with the same great people we started with.  We headed to the finish line and caught the end of the first and most competitive wave.  Those guys killed it and it was great to see them leaving it all on the course.  After a bit of high-fiving we headed to the pool to setup our transition area and get ready for our start.


During the last race I was too excited and took off quickly.  It wasn’t long before I burned out.  Leading up to this race I had practiced pacing myself.  I can now slow down when I get a bit tired to allow myself the opportunity to catch my breath.  As I stood in the pool waiting for the start I focused on the task at hand and repeated, “slow down” over and over in my head.  Before I knew it the race was on.  I took off at a quick pace but immediately slowed down.  I felt good, things were working out well.  It didn’t take long for me to get in the groove.  I had 18 laps and I figured it would be 20-22 minutes worth of swimming before I was done.  I made sure not to stop on either side of the pool to catch my breath.  I just wanted to keep going.  I did manage to stop twice during the swim though.  The both times were because I had lost track of what lap I was on and had to do a little mental checklist.  For most of the swim I just kept running the lap number through my head.  Once in a while I would think of something and have to recount.  In the end things worked out pretty well.  I’m happy to say that I did the entire 18 laps without losing form.  I got out of the pool before anyone in my wave, and I had plenty of energy left.  For the first time, I was incredibly happy with my swim.


No issues this time.  My shoes and socks were ready to go and I was in and out of transition in a no time.


Unlike last time, I ran into the spin room and setup my bike before getting on.  I spun like a demon and also unlike last time, I felt really really good. I knocked out the 13 miles before I even knew it. As I reached the end of the bike my knees felt fine. I was really nervous about the run. I have the knee trouble when I run with no other exercise. To try to run now after fatiguing my legs with the bike was an unknown.


I spun down and jumped off the bike. My legs were dead so I started slow but by the time I got to the door I was running at a slow clip. Things felt good.


I decided ahead of time that I wasn’t going to concern myself with the run. I would do what I had to do. I managed to run about a mile before things got weird in my leg in the slightest. Shortly after the mile mark I decided to walk. I walked down the first small hill and then started running again. I wasn’t winded at all and I really wanted to run. The last 600 yards or so before the turn around are downhill. By the time I got there my knee was saying hello. I made sure to walk the downhill. I turned around and run up the same hill and another 400 yards before encountering a long downhill slope. There was no way I was going to chance that run. I walked down that hill as the rest of the wave ran up it. I passed my wife, my sister-in-law and everyone else. I felt like a loser walking past them, but I knew it was the right thing to do for my long term health.

Once I got to the bottom of the hill I started running. I must have been running pretty well because I started to get winded. My knee was holding up pretty well actually, although it did still feel tight and a little sore. Instead of being slowed by my knee, I was actually getting winded from the run! I considered walking, just for a minute. Then I saw a guy come running out of his house. He was just starting his run.

I watched him just maybe a block or so ahead of me. I thought nothing of it, except…all of a sudden I realized that I was gaining on him. Those competitive juices started to flow. The thought that I had just swum 1/2 a mile, biked 13, and ran nearly 3 and I was still catching this guy on fresh legs made me run faster. He was oblivious to the fact that he was racing with me, but who cares.

I blasted past him and never looked back. I ran right to the finish without even feeling tired. I cross the line then jogged back to catch my wife. I ran her back to the finish and was happy that everything was done. My knee felt ok. I was thrilled! I had completed my first sprint triathlon and I didn’t feel half as tired as I did after the first short tri.


Swim: 20:03 (1/2 mile)

T1: 5:36 (I think this was miscounted which explains why my bike time was best overall)

Bike: 23:34 (13 miles (I think at least 4 minutes from T1 should be in here)

T2: 0:15

Run: 34:02 (3.1 Miles)

Total: 1:22:30

Place:  24/41  (up 7 places from last race)