Saturday was the predetermined date of a practice triathlon for Dave, Mike, Suz, Dad, and I. We wanted a chance to practice all three legs of the race together, and Nickerson provided a great place to do so. After nearly four days of debate, we settled on our route, picked an approximate start time, and set out to do it.
Our route was another source of debate. Earlier in the week, some of us had wanted to do the full distance, but I think it is safe to say that, by the end of the week, we were all a little bit tired from all our other activities. We chose to do a tad over a half-mile swim, an 18.5-mile bike ride, and a 5k run. All three phases were just a tiny bit shorter than what we will be doing for the actual triathlon, but not by much.
The morning of was a little rough. I hadn’t really put together my stuff ahead of time, which led to two turnarounds in the car to fetch my goggles and swim cap, and then for my actual running shoes. Valuable lesson learned: pack all of my stuff the night before and make a list of what I’ll need to run through. Finally we made it to the “start line” a little later than we had hoped, but the rain held off for us, so it was okay.
The swim, as mentioned in yesterday’s post, is much more difficult than I originally anticipated . . . but we all got through it. Unfortunately, when we made it to the bikes, my dad’s tire had a flat (actually a puncture), so he had to abandon his bike segment and wait until the T2 transition to run. The actual T1 transition went fairly smoothly. Dave was about five minutes ahead of us at this point, having the best swim of the group.
The bike portion for me, personally, was a little rough. I used my mom’s road bike, which I believe is a 50 cm . . . much smaller than what I actually use. The hills were extremely punishing because of this, and by the time I hit the Cape Cod Rail Trail, I had several minutes to make up. My bike seat also decided to loosen and fully slide down making me look a little ridiculous for a few miles. By the rail-trail turnaround, I was able to catch up to Dave though, so I think all of that Expresso biking at the gym has paid off a little bit.
Finally making it back to the T2 transition, I met up with my parents and dropped off my bike. My dad was waiting there to run. We both set off, though because of my jelly legs, I quickly went ahead of him off onto the rail trail. Mike and Suz were at this point only two to three minutes ahead of me, which was a result of my T2 transition time being extremely fast. The one benefit, I suppose, to not having clip-in pedal shoes is that I had nothing to do to transition into the run. I just gulped down the rest of my water and took off down the trail.
Running on the rail trail is an interesting experience. There are really long stretches of flat paths that you can plod along on. Each two-tenths of a mile are marked on the pavement, too, so you can see your progress go by without any gps devices. I haven’t decided if I liked running there yet, but I suppose it wasn’t horrible. By the end of the run, I had closed in on Mike and Suz, coming in about 45 seconds after them.
It was a pretty good experience overall. It gave me a chance to think out what I’ll eat and drink, and it really told me to pack the night before, and to be prepared for flat tires. Hopefully everything will go well!