Day 61 – IRONMAN Training (Subaru Grimsby Triathlon)

Entering the transition area to prepare.

A coworker told me there was a triathlon around his area (grimsby Ontario) and that I should check it out. I quickly googled it and became very excited. I could finally test out all of my Ironman training. I was a little sad that they only offered a sprint triathlon and that an olympic triathlon was not being offered. I thought I was ready for any of them. Reality kicked in, I was not.

I have been running, cycling, and swimming but not as much as I want to due to working full time while I go to school full time. To prepare for my first Ironman, I registered to this event thinking it would be a cake walk from my training. It was not. The swim and my stomach decided to destroy me.

Me in my $100.00 wetsuit from Amazon. Weight needs to be lost. This was also a surfer suit. This was not adequate.

As I prepared in the transition area with my age group, I asked the fellow racers in my age group several questions. I was little lost from not knowing what to do. It was also one individual’s first time racing by my side. The other individual I met had all the information we needed to feel comfortable to race. It was his second race. He provided us the info we needed from his veteran status. overall, the triathlon community was very helpful and it showed just by meeting everyone at this event. It was just an inclusive atmosphere overall. What I did notice was how out of shape I was compared to everyone else. I now understand when they say triathletes are all fit sexy people. These people are super vascular with rocking abs and everything that’s goes with it. They are definitely disciplined and it showed. Don’t worry, I’ll be back to my top shape soon!

An outside view of the transition area. This is Grimsby Ontario

The race was about to begin and everyone started walking towards a different area of the beach. The walk was long and as someone who barely walks barefoot, this was somewhat painful. while walking, I met an older man who gave me one great tip. Go into the open water before it starts and warmup. I was only able to do one part. I was able to go into the open water and acclimate to the cold waters of Lake Ontario. I did not warm up. Do this or you will suffer.

The swim started and I was ahead of the group. It seemed perfect except one thing…. I pushed too hard and too fast as a below average swimmer. I was soon grasping for air. My arms were becoming worn out very quickly. My goggles became foggy. There was tons of swimmers around me, the washing machine affect was happening. I didn’t know what to do. It was frightening. Open water swimming is not like pool swimming. I saw a women doing backstrokes and I immediately started doing that. I managed to keep a good pace doing that. A Medic kept looking at my direction since I was mostly just kicking and this is seen as a sign for help. I did not know this. Previously, I had done an Ironman distance in an indoor pool and my world was turned upside down from the different environment I was struggling in. I thought I was ready, I was not. Open water swimming is a completely different animal. Starting tomorrow I will be training at the beach to overcome this challenge.

Me not knowing what to expect.

After finishing the 500 metre swim in 12 minutes, I kept thinking about how bad I did. I felt tired. This was a mix of adrenaline and stress from my first race ever. In short, inexperience got the best of me. Luckily my Ironman isn’t until next month. I have time to overcome this barrier.

I took my time on the transition from the swim to the bike. I wanted to understand it and focused on how it all worked. I hopped on my bike and this is when I demolished the competition. I averaged 32.9 kph and passed plenty of the competition. My bike is my strongest, it was time to catch up. I was hitting 40kph and passing tri bikes, I felt like Lance Armstrong. Only 2-3 people passed me. I finished it and felt proud.

The transition from the bike to the run was interesting. I had a sore bum, that was it. I expected more. I then began running but it was much slower than usual. I then begin to have horrible stomach pains. I did not eat. What was causing this? I knew what it was. I did not clean my system before the race. Before any workout or any sport I play, I hit the washroom and ensure I go just in case. This was a failure on my part, I did not do this. It took me 30 minutes to finish the run because of that. It would have been a much faster if it wasn’t for that excruciating pain.

I mentally pushed myself to finish the race from that dreadful stomach pain and focused on finishing the race. I finished the race in 1 hour and 30 minutes. Only 35% did better than me. I’m proud of my accomplishment. Next week I’ll be doing my first Olympic Triathlon. I’m scared and excited but I’ll be more prepared and ready to take it on.

Finished the race, I head home and rethink my next steps.

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