San Diego Tri Classic 2013

SDTriClassicUp until 6 months before this event, I wouldn’t have ever dreamed of doing this triathlon.

Lets flashback to late 2007. I was training a lot after doing my first triple crown of half marathons in San Diego and decided that year that I wanted to buy a bike for my birthday. I bought my first road bike at B+L Bike off of Rosecrans Street. I was burned out on running plus having my running injury made me want to try something else. Cycling was the next best thing to me. I started riding a little bit here and there. I liked it. I didn’t know many people that did have a road bike, so I went at it alone. Later in the year, I decided I wanted to do a triathlon. What better way to incorporate my running and cycling and to add swimming. I did not know how to swim. I remember going through the training and trying to swim. I felt very nervous in the water. The laps in the pool were tough and I didn’t have any formal training to help me. I was swimming 3 days a week to see if my progress would get better. I even hired a swim instructor that didn’t care about what I was doing and also went to a Total Immersion training weekend that helped a little bit. When I finally got to event day, I was scared to hell with no open water swimming and a lack of confidence in my swim. I talked to someone to get a swim partner that helped me tremendously.

Fast forward to today. I joined Team in Training for a purpose to help others and achieve my own goals. Its probably safe to say that I have raised over $6k in all of my three events with Team. My progression over the 16 weeks really made my experience a lot better. I remember the first week in swimming, I was super nervous. We did simple drills in the pool, but we eventually got to do the real swimming. I finally got it one day. I don’t know how I did, but I did. I almost felt like it was a miracle, because it was the day before my first open water swim and I got through it. The first open water swim was a tough one. I remember stepping into the water with my wetsuit that was over 4 years old and having only wearing it once during my sprint triathlon. I put it on the week before to see the fitment and I was able to get it on. I didn’t know how it was going to feel when I was going to put it on during my open water swim. The first swim proved to be a great day. I did get a wetsuit rash on my neck because I did not use any body glide, but I got through it.

Over the next couple of weeks, swimming, biking and running were my 3 favorite sports. I remember over the whole training period that I wanted to get the triathlon over with. I felt that my training towards the end suffered a little and when race day came I knew why.

We met early that morning at 4am to meet with our team, we did some talk in the morning and we walked over as a group to the transition area as it opened at 4am. I was getting anxious and nervous about it. I had a goal in mind. My goal was ambitious. It was to finish in 3 hours. I knew that was going to be tough. If at all fails, I wanted to cross the finish around 3:15 though.

After getting the transition area ready, we went over and took pictures at the finish line as a group. We were almost starting. I knew the morning was coming because the sunrise was coming fast. I forgot a couple things that morning, which included my water. I did have my gatorade to help hydrate me before the race. I kept drinking that. We walked over to the swim start so that we could get in some warm up before the swim. Our swim coach and team coaches always advised us to do so. The water was nice. It wasn’t too cold and it didn’t seem bad at all after hearing all these stories. I did cut the top of my left foot on a rock and it started to bleed.

I came out to look for my family because my brother, his gf, my cousin and my brother’s friend were doing the race. I found them and we took some photos with my wife and son and also my family who took the time to come out so early to watch me. Then it was off to go back in the water for the start.

When I finally went in and got to the start buoys, I started to feel nervous and anxious. I didn’t really stay at the front of the pack. I knew I wasn’t going to go fast at all. I just wanted to get through it and get to the next two parts. The start of the swim was what I expected. I knew that I wouldn’t be the fastest and I knew I wouldn’t be the slowest. I was able to get a good rhythm from the start. I knew I shouldn’t go out to fast and burn out so I went at a pace that I knew I could go at. If I needed to go faster then I would. I remember through the swim, I kept thinking how much farther. I kept sighting pretty good and there were people in front of me at times that I wanted to get around. I knew also that there would be some people from the next wave that would pass me up. I didn’t worry too much about it. The water temp did start warming up a little bit towards the end. I remember the buoys were easy to see. It helped to navigate around the course pretty easily. I did bump into people occasionally throughout the swim. When I got to swimming back towards the finish I remember having to sight for the last buoy many times. I think that really messed me up on my bike.

After getting out of the water, I proceeded to the transition which was a long ways away. I had to run to my bike and get the wetsuit off. I had to remember my socks, my bib, helmet, sunglasses, halo headband, and cycling shoes. I was feeling good at this point. I didn’t forget anything. I ran with my bike to the bike mount point and got on with a little trouble. I knew where I was going though. My heart wasn’t racing too much but I did feel that I wanted to take a breather. I got to Rosecrans and through the rolling hills, I felt somewhat tired. The hill was a little tough on the first lap. I was trying to get through it but didn’t feel like I wanted to push as much. I knew I had another lap and didn’t want to push hard to finish knowing that I had my fun left.

When I finally got back to the Transition area, I knew I had one more part left. The run started off warm after switching out my bike gear to run gear. I went out initially with a small push and I knew the route. The run was warm, I poured water from the first drink station over my head and proceeded to run. I saw my family and they helped keep my strength up. As I started I felt ok. I knew that the run was going to be a long hour or so. As I got to mile 1 and started to feel that I had some stomach action going on. I knew I had to find something to release. It didn’t happen till I got to mile 2.5. I had to stop a couple times, because the pain in my stomach wanted me to go already. I tried some porta potties that turned out to be locked. I was able to find something better along the course. I did the deed and proceeded. I felt a lot better. It really made me slow down. At each drink station, I took two cups each time, one to drink and one to pour on myself. It was hot. I knew that the last lap of the race was going to be tough. I was already slowing down and couldn’t keep the pace that I wish I could keep. The start of the 2nd lap made me think about how much I wanted to get it over with. I saw my family at different parts of the run and they helped keep my hopes up.

The last lap was run/walk the whole time. I wanted to go faster, I couldn’t. My fitness could have been better. There were many things over the course of my training that I could have done. But it is what it is. I finished at the end. I got my medal and I felt accomplished.

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