Hammie's First Triathlon - Magrath Sprint Tri

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Hammie
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Hammie's First Triathlon - Magrath Sprint Tri

Postby Hammie » Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:19 pm

Pull up a chair - I haven't mastered the art of being brief in my race reports. I figured I needed to write this all down somewhere about my first tri. Carla (CinC) was right – Magrath was a good choice for a first tri. It had all the things that I now like in a running event – small, friendly, and organized by people who clearly put a lot of thought and effort into creating a good event.

Friday afternoon I drove down to Lethbridge (roughly 2.5 hour drive). Nice weather, lots of canola fields, not much else to say. I first got an idea of just how big CinC’s tri group was when I checked into the hotel. One person had booked all the rooms, and when I said what name the reservation was under, the clerk just said “Wow, there sure are a lot of you” :P . I got all my stuff organized in my room, went to dinner at Boston Pizza, got to bed early and then… lay in bed wide awake until midnight.

Sunday started early. I met Mike in the Holiday Inn parking lot just before 6am in the fog. We agreed that this was in fact a very stupid hobby. I somehow got lost in Lethbridge :oops: and missed out on Starbucks, but just headed straight down to Magrath. Logistically, this race left my head spinning. Drove out to the reservoir; picked up race kit; set up T1; drove back to town; set up T2; got on bus; drove back to reservoir. I was more concerned about leaving something at the wrong place than I was about the race at this point. I made it back to the reservoir with everything I was supposed to have, got sunscreen/bugspray/wetsuit on, and got in the water to warm up. We got started pretty quickly after that, and I was in the water for real!

Swim – 750m(ish); 17:38
I didn’t enjoy the swim very much. I can’t really put my finger on the reason why. I wasn’t bothered by all the people, or the open water aspect, but I just couldn’t get into a rhythm. I'm also not very good at sighting, and felt like I kept interrupting myself to look where I was going. In hindsight, I think I felt a little dizzy in the water. I’m using ear plugs next time. My goal by the time I rounded the buoy at the top of the triangle that made up the swim was just to survive long enough to get out of the water, and I didn’t care that I thought I’d be DFL. I was therefore totally surprised to haul myself out of the water and see there were still people behind me! The timing mat was right as you came out of the water, and someone called out to a person behind me, “good job! Under 18 minutes!” and I just thought he was lying. It was the longest 17 minutes of my day, but I was relieved to get it done. I also think it was shorter than 750m, but I'm not complaining about that!

T1/Bike/T2 – 26km; 59:30
T1, the bike, and T2 were all rolled in together in one time. I didn’t wear a watch, so I don’t actually know how long it took me to get on my bike. Once I got the top of my wetsuit off, I flopped down on my backside and struggled out of the bottom. The woman next to me doing the same thing commented that triathlon was such an elegant sport :lol: . I got everything stuffed into my wet bag, remembered to take off my swim cap and goggles, pulled on a shirt, helmet, sunglasses, and number, then headed for the road. Once I got on my bike and climbed the first small rise to get out of the reservoir area, I felt really excited. The swim was the part I was most nervous about, and being back on land was great. I am definitely a land animal. The bike is a net downhill, and it was incredibly fun. It’s on rural highway, and I found that the few cars going by were really good about giving us lots of room (even though we were on the shoulder) and honking/cheering as they went by. Right as I was approaching the wind farm, CinC flew past me (doing the Olympic distance, which started before us but added the extra 14k on the bike in the other direction). It’s always nice to see a friendly face on the course. The last 4k of the bike started to feel a bit harder – it was flat, windy, and hot, but I could see town, so I knew I was close. When I got to T2, I learned an important lesson – always untie the laces on your running shoes when you set up T2! If that was the worst mistake I made that day, that’s not so bad! After racking my bike, I ran out to the second timing mat to start the run.

Run – 5km; 25:55
I did a 5k race last weekend, and my new baseline 5k time was 24:33. This course had a few more hills and a lot more heat and sun... oh, and a swim and a bike before it! I grabbed some water, dumped it over my head, and got moving. I just tried to concentrate on keeping my feet moving quickly. The course loops out, then becomes a sort-of-out-and-back (turn is at 3k). Just before I got to the turn around, I caught up with CinC again. We chatted for a minute, then she said to me “You’ve got this – the run is your strength”. That carried me through the last 2k in the heat. I normally struggle a lot more in hot weather (partly physicial, mostly psychological because I don’t like hot weather), but I just kept reminding myself that this was my strength, and that if I could run 50k, I could sure as heck run 5k. I passed a lot of people on the run in that last 2k. There’s one last small but cruel hill right at the end, but by that point I could see the finish line and there was no holding me back!

Final time 1:43:04 7/17 in my AG (11/17 in swim, 8/17 in bike, 3/17 in run)

This was a fun race - yes, even the swim, in hindsight :D . Hanging out and cheering for all of the Olympic finishers was fun, especially with pastries, freezies, and chocolate milk at the finish! I drove home wearing my “I swam the dam” shirt in a car that smelled of sunscreen, sweat, soggy wetsuit, and McDonald’s fries and enjoyed all of it.

I’m now signed up for the Banff sprint tri in September, followed by a duathlon later that month (thanks to Mike, my enabler, who kept sending me links to events!). My plan for the summer is just to get more time in swimming and on my bike & see what happens, and to use that as my crosstraining for the Portland marathon in October.

Many thanks to Mike (Turd) and Carla (CinC) (and all of the Healing Mochas) for their help and company for the race!
2014: the year of new awesomeness!
Rogers Insurance Run for L'Arche Half March 22 - done
Calgary Marathon Wild Rose 50k June 1 - done
Stampede Road Race 5k July 6 - done
Magrath sprint tri July 12 - done!!
Jog for the Bog 10k July 27 - done
Seawheeze Half Marathon August 23 - done
Subaru Banff Sprint Triathlon September 6 - done
Blitz Duathlon September 21 - registered
Portland Marathon October 5 - registered

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Re: Hammie's First Triathlon - Magrath Sprint Tri

Postby Spirit Unleashed » Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:37 pm

I'm pretty sure you're hooked. So cool you liked it and had fun.

Thanks for the report.
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Re: Hammie's First Triathlon - Magrath Sprint Tri

Postby purdy65 » Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:21 pm

Well done Hammie! Congratulations!
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La
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Re: Hammie's First Triathlon - Magrath Sprint Tri

Postby La » Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:18 pm

Oh, it can become very addictive! 8) Congrats on a great first race! Glad to hear you already want to do another one. :D
I didn’t care that I thought I’d be DFL. I was therefore totally surprised to haul myself out of the water and see there were still people behind me!

EVERYONE thinks they are going to be DFL! :lol: Only one person can be. ;)
I did a 5k race last weekend, and my new baseline 5k time was 24:33. This course had a few more hills and a lot more heat and sun... oh, and a swim and a bike before it!

Tri runs are notoriously mis-measured, so time isn't always relevant. And, even though you're "tired" from having done the bike and run, you're also much better warmed up than you normally would be for a 5K, so I think it kind of evens out. I've run some of my best times in the run portion of a tri.
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Re: Hammie's First Triathlon - Magrath Sprint Tri

Postby bnn » Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:39 pm

Way to go, nice cherry pop!
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Re: Hammie's First Triathlon - Magrath Sprint Tri

Postby Habs4ever » Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:40 pm

Congratulations Hammie! You swan (and survived) the dam. :D
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Re: Hammie's First Triathlon - Magrath Sprint Tri

Postby Robinandamelia » Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:40 pm

Wow you did fantastic, especially for your first triathlon. Well done. That 5K was super fast especially after swim and bike...nice work!

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Re: Hammie's First Triathlon - Magrath Sprint Tri

Postby IronColl » Wed Jul 16, 2014 3:44 pm

Great job Hammie! congratulations on joining the dark side.
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Re: Hammie's First Triathlon - Magrath Sprint Tri

Postby CinC » Wed Jul 16, 2014 4:24 pm

You missed a day - all that happened on Saturday! :-)

Congrats again - glad you were able to join our crew! Here's to your next one - and many more!
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Re: Hammie's First Triathlon - Magrath Sprint Tri

Postby IronGoddess » Wed Jul 16, 2014 6:06 pm

Congrats on your first triathlon!!!
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Re: Hammie's First Triathlon - Magrath Sprint Tri

Postby Avis » Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:21 pm

Great job on your first triathlon! I loved your report--the description of you lying on the ground to squirm out of your wetsuit! That was a good fast 5k to finish, to boot. Congratulations!
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Re: Hammie's First Triathlon - Magrath Sprint Tri

Postby turd ferguson » Thu Jul 17, 2014 12:09 am

La wrote:EVERYONE thinks they are going to be DFL! :lol: Only one person can be. ;)


Hello!!!!
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Re: Hammie's First Triathlon - Magrath Sprint Tri

Postby turd ferguson » Thu Jul 17, 2014 12:16 am

Glad you had a good day.

I'm the last person that should be giving swimming advice, but everything you said above and to me on Saturday sounded like you were very anxious and the one thing I've learned is that swimming punishes anxiety in a way that running and cycling don't. Its understandable - like you said, running is just about shorts and shoes, this race involved setting up two transitions, two car rides to towns you've never been to, a bus ride, etc. and the whole new experience. Its hard to swim when your mind is racing and/or full. It took me a couple of races to get my familiarity up and my anxiety down so that I could swim as well as I can in training (when my mind is usually empty).
"Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so." - Douglas Adams

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Re: Hammie's First Triathlon - Magrath Sprint Tri

Postby Hammie » Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:34 am

Mike - you're very right about the anxiety part. What's funny is that I was prepared for feeling anxious about specific things (ie the crowd of people) but wasn't expecting just general anxiety about being in the water. Like most things, I'll just have to keep doing it to get better at it. We'll be out in vancouver soon for some vacation time, and I'm going to try to get out and swim in open water while I'm there.

And yes, Carla, I missed a day in there :lol: . The race was saturday, not sunday!
2014: the year of new awesomeness!
Rogers Insurance Run for L'Arche Half March 22 - done
Calgary Marathon Wild Rose 50k June 1 - done
Stampede Road Race 5k July 6 - done
Magrath sprint tri July 12 - done!!
Jog for the Bog 10k July 27 - done
Seawheeze Half Marathon August 23 - done
Subaru Banff Sprint Triathlon September 6 - done
Blitz Duathlon September 21 - registered
Portland Marathon October 5 - registered

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Re: Hammie's First Triathlon - Magrath Sprint Tri

Postby scrumhalfgirl » Thu Jul 17, 2014 10:13 am

Congratulations! Welcome to the sport :)
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Re: Hammie's First Triathlon - Magrath Sprint Tri

Postby Jwolf » Thu Jul 17, 2014 1:49 pm

Congratulations on your first triathlon. :) It's such a fun sport, isn't it?

If you want to go to Kits pool when you are here, let me know. I might also dare to venture in to the open water with you (although I don't have a wetsuit so I don't know how cold it will be. My triathlon is Sunday the 27th... starts in the pool. :)
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Re: Hammie's First Triathlon - Magrath Sprint Tri

Postby Ken B » Sat Jul 19, 2014 3:08 pm

Congratulations on a great day! I love the report and wish you luck on your next tri!! :)

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Re: Hammie's First Triathlon - Magrath Sprint Tri

Postby Mark.AU » Sun Jul 20, 2014 12:19 am

Congrats on your first tri, and even more so for joining the dark side :)
"It's now very common to hear people say 'I'm rather offended by that.' As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more... than a whine. 'I find that offensive.' It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that.' Well, so fcuking what."

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Re: Hammie's First Triathlon - Magrath Sprint Tri

Postby FishPants » Sun Jul 20, 2014 10:38 am

Great report :) Congratulations on your first tri, and exciting to know you've been hooked! :D

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Re: Hammie's First Triathlon - Magrath Sprint Tri

Postby runJrun » Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:55 pm

Congratulations!!! Lots of fun isn't it? So...I have been considering the banff tri as well. Are many of you going?
Jocelyn

I run because it's my passion, and not just a sport. Every time I walk out the door, I know why I'm going where I'm going and I'm already focused on that special place where I find my peace and solitude. Running, to me, is more than just a physical exercise...it's a consistent reward for victory!
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Re: Hammie's First Triathlon - Magrath Sprint Tri

Postby turd ferguson » Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:28 pm

runJrun wrote:Congratulations!!! Lots of fun isn't it? So...I have been considering the banff tri as well. Are many of you going?


Counting you, three
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Re: Hammie's First Triathlon - Magrath Sprint Tri

Postby runJrun » Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:35 pm

turd ferguson wrote:
runJrun wrote:Congratulations!!! Lots of fun isn't it? So...I have been considering the banff tri as well. Are many of you going?


Counting you, three


Hmmm, where you guys staying?
Jocelyn



I run because it's my passion, and not just a sport. Every time I walk out the door, I know why I'm going where I'm going and I'm already focused on that special place where I find my peace and solitude. Running, to me, is more than just a physical exercise...it's a consistent reward for victory!

- Sasha Azevedo

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Re: Hammie's First Triathlon - Magrath Sprint Tri

Postby turd ferguson » Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:56 pm

runJrun wrote:
turd ferguson wrote:
runJrun wrote:Congratulations!!! Lots of fun isn't it? So...I have been considering the banff tri as well. Are many of you going?


Counting you, three


Hmmm, where you guys staying?


Banff Park Lodge. T2 is on Buffalo Street and the finish is on Banff Ave so its a very short walk.
"Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so." - Douglas Adams

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Re: Hammie's First Triathlon - Magrath Sprint Tri

Postby Hammie » Mon Jul 28, 2014 1:30 pm

turd ferguson wrote:
runJrun wrote:
turd ferguson wrote:
runJrun wrote:Congratulations!!! Lots of fun isn't it? So...I have been considering the banff tri as well. Are many of you going?


Counting you, three


Hmmm, where you guys staying?


Banff Park Lodge. T2 is on Buffalo Street and the finish is on Banff Ave so its a very short walk.


Definitely sign up! It should be fun. And they close off Banff ave, so you get to finish right down the middle of town.
2014: the year of new awesomeness!
Rogers Insurance Run for L'Arche Half March 22 - done
Calgary Marathon Wild Rose 50k June 1 - done
Stampede Road Race 5k July 6 - done
Magrath sprint tri July 12 - done!!
Jog for the Bog 10k July 27 - done
Seawheeze Half Marathon August 23 - done
Subaru Banff Sprint Triathlon September 6 - done
Blitz Duathlon September 21 - registered
Portland Marathon October 5 - registered


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