First Olympic Triathlon was a very challenging experience. Very windy conditions and some confusion during the swim. Although challenging, very rewarding completing the race.
I completed my first triathlon on November 1st 2019; a Sprint. Since then, I started the training process for my next triathlon; Olympic. I've continued to make slow progress and in the middle of my training, a friend of mine decided to sign me up for the March 8th, LA Marathon. My training had to shift to a more run focus because up until 5 weeks ago, the most I had ever run as about 5 miles back when I was in my 20's. As I attempted to continue to build my swim, bike and run, I did not seem to have time to stack my workouts as much and I felt it in this race. I was able to do the swim in training with no problems along with the bike and run individually. I've been able to get my run up to 18 miles in the last 5 weeks preparing for the LA Marathon. This has definitely boosted my confidence to someday complete a 1/2 Ironman and one day a full Ironman.
On race day the conditions started well. However, the conditions quickly worsen. At the start of the swim, the wind had picked up quite a bit, more than anyone anticipated. I was in the Clydesdale group, about the 5th group up, and by the time we started the buoy's out in the lake had started to move because of the wind. In fact, apparently the announcer had asked us to jump in the water, but because the wind was so strong we could not hear him. The message had to be passed down to us. The water was about 60 degrees and for a 2nd timer triathlete, that felt pretty cold. As I started out I felt good. I had to stop and catch my breath a couple of times because of how cold the water was, but once I got going I was good. It was very difficult to see and once I realized I was close the buoy's I had reached the other side of the shore. That's when the confusion set in for me. There was really no direction and because visibility was so difficult it was almost like swimming in the blind. Some were swimming in one direction others were swimming in other directions. I was in the water for almost an hour and finally heard someone say that we needed to swim to shore, but once I got there, there was no direction really and I did not know if the race was canceled or if it was still on. Some people just waited on the shore and others started walking towards the finish of the swim. I started the short walk to the finish line in the hopes of getting some direction but that was no help. I continued and walked to the transition of the bike. I took my time not really knowing if the race had been canceled. Suddenly, I started to cramp all over my legs and feet! Powered through and started my bike. My legs felt like trash! I could not believe it. All that kept running through my mind is that I did not train enough. I finished my ride and off to the run, but by this time I was truly struggling, but knew I was not going to stop. Fortunately for me, my wife was there and her encouragement got me to the finish line. 3 hours 48 minutes later I finished the entire course. It's a baseline for me and know I will do better next time!