Well, I'm officially a triathlete (although my training schedule of late might lead you to believe otherwise). Just got back from my first tri - the MIT Iron Nerd 2009 Super Sprint. My college, MIT, has this once a year to conclude "Wellness Week", a week supposedly promoting good health - I just like the free fruit.
I was nervous - never ridden a road bike before but borrowed one from a friend yesterday. I spent some time this morning fiddling with the cages on the pedals as a warmup and finally figured out how to get my feet in while moving.
All times are guesstimates as I forgot to look at my watch
200 yd swim - 3:30 - I'd never swam 200 yds in a row before - done workouts, but usually 100 yd repeats to try and build up to longer distances. Turns out I was just scared of the distance, as I was 3rd or 4th out of the pool, and close to all but the first (a friend of mine who broke a bunch of school records this year in swimming - also a freshman like me).
T1 - 3:00 - was taking it nice and easy for some reason. Stupid as hell in retrospect - no need to dry myself completely, splash water on my face, drink a little, stretch my calves, and drink some more. One of my friends caught up to me here even though I destroyed him in the swim.
7.7 mile bike - 25:48 - Pushed it decently well, got passed by a few people but that were in MIT cycling uniforms so I felt better. Couldn't hang with the person in front of me, but lapped both my friends that I was competing with (1.1 mile loop 7 times). The speedbumps and turns and having to go slow through this one section of each loop was incredibly aggravating. Also, I'd never ridden a road bike before, so I wasn't prepared at all. Shifting took a little while to figure out but I got the hang of it, tried to keep as "aero" a position as I could. Still got calf cramps - no water cage on the bike so no source of fluids. Plus I was pushing harder than I should have and did the same on the swim.
T2 - 30 seconds - I'm a quick learner - took the lesson from T1 to heart. Quick sip of water, helmet off, bike stowed, and gone.
2 mile run - 16 minutes - Hell. Absolute hell. I came up with the idea to try tris (Oh, I'm so clever) after tearing my hamstring as a collegiate hurdler, so running is not at all new to me. 2 miles is a glorified warmup - used to run 4 before our workouts every day to train for intermediates. I've felt pain on the track before, too, so that's not new to me (although this was bad. Also, pain on the track never involved 2 mile repeats). My legs were done, though, before I even started running. For the first 1200, I could feel my calves cramping with shooting pains whenever I pushed off, and developed a nasty stitch around the mile mark. Somehow, I still held around 8 minute miles even though I thought I was plodding along. Guess since I do most of my training in the low 7 range, even feeling slow netted me a decent time.
Overall time was 48:48 - 6th (ish) overall for men, 2nd in the undergrad division (there wasn't really an undergrad division, but I made one in my head). I'm pretty pleased with my performance, could have improved (mainly in T1). My fitness at this point is sub-par. I tore my hamstring in January, tried to come back, reinjured it, quit track, sat around feeling sorry for myself for a while. Then I decided to go for tris, something I've always wanted to do. Trained decently well for a bit, but MIT is a fairly unforgiving school. End of term in real soon and finals just after, so my free time has started to disappear and I've been lax in my training. However, I had an AMAZING time today, and I think this is something I'll continue to pursue for a long time. Going to train hard this summer and probably join the MIT tri club next fall (they wanted me to, especially since they knew I had been recruited onto the track team). They weren't competing, for the most part, but organizing instead, otherwise my place would have been lower.
Basically, I'm just excited - I've proven to myself I can be good at this and finally found the competitive outlet I've been searching for since having to abruptly end my track career.