I competed in the Wurst Tri Ever in New Braunfels, TX as my first triathlon and milestone #1 towards my goal of Ironman Texas. It was a sprint triathlon with a 400 meter swim, 14 mile bike, & 2.7 mile run. It was a great learning experience for me about all the other details that go into triathlons, not just the racing. I got there early to set up my transition area the way I wanted based on conversations with experienced triathletes to help decrease the amount of time I spent in transition and to maximize my time on the course. I made sure to set up my socks and bike shoes first with a small towel on top to dry my feet as well as my race belt and helmet in position on my bike so that there was as little extra movement as possible and my running shoes ready just behind them. I wasn't worried about nutrition much in this race since it was so short but that will become more of a priority as the races become longer. I was very pleased with the way my transitions turned out with swim to bike time of 1:33 and a bike to run time of :42. The race itself went well by most standards but I am pretty hard on myself when it comes to competition. The race started with a slide into short 150 meter open water swim that didn't go well at all. I started ok but when I went around the second buoy I got kicked and took in some water and I had a quick panic moment. It took me a minute or two to regain myself and finish that part of the swim. Once I finished the short open water we walked about 100 meters to a pool where we swam the remainder of the 400 meters. Moving from the pool to T1 went great, I was able to get in and out quickly and on my bike under 2 minutes. I was happy to be on my bike where I could make up some time that I lost during the swim. I powered out of transition and up a significant hill to start the 14 mile ride. I felt great on the bike! I was riding my new Cervelo P3 and was able to keep an average pace of just under 19 mph on a course with significant elevation change. I passed roughly 50 people on the bike and as I entered the transition to move to the run I was able to remove both of my shoes and peddle on top of the shoe so that as soon as I was off the bike all I had to do was put my running shoes on and go. It worked great! I was out of T2 in under a minute. The run felt pretty good and I pushed myself pretty hard since it was only 2.7 miles. I was able to run my normal pace of 7:45 per mile without a problem. It was great to cross the finish line with a 9th place finish in my age group after a rough start in the water. All in all I think it was a successful first tri. If anyone is interested here is the link the official results http://rrptiming.com/results/2014/WurstTri
After the race I continued to analyze my swim and was pretty frustrated that I didn't perform better. I even allowed it to effect my swim Monday morning. The swim has been difficult for me physically and mentally because I am used to being able to pick things up very quickly. Coach Dawn had to grab me by the face mask like the old football coach used to do and get my mind right. This isn't the same type of training that I have ever done before and I need to enjoy the moment and understand you have to be very flexible mentally to allow the good times and bad to pass quickly and live in the moment. Once I was able to let go I had my second swim lesson with Todd and it went better. So much so that my swim workout Friday was a break through. I felt more comfortable/relaxed than I have ever felt in the water and my breathing significantly improved. I know that I will still have ups and downs moving forward but it felt good to have a strong swim for the first time. My next milestone is an olympic distance triathlon (1000m swim/29mile bike/6.7mile run) in Kerrville on Sept 28.