Last month I began to summarize my 2013 Triathlon race season along with all the related components (If you want to catch up you can click the link in the menu bar or here). This article is the last one of two articles summarizing my season. After my 5k race this weekend I will complete my review with my running season concluded.
At the core of my first season of triathlons and athletics of any kind, my primary goal involved finishing my first triathlon and going one step beyond that to be USAT ranked by the end of the year. At the core of all the components I have reviewed thus far the end results have to be measured by my race performance, triathlon is a combination of all three element done in order for a completed time. When I set this initial goal I had no idea if I would be able to complete even one triathlon. I setup a plan and put my head down and executed the plan. By the time I neared my last races I no longer doubted my athletic ability and I was able to complete a season of triathlons, thus being a USAT ranked triathlete in my first year of participation.
According to USAT rules, to be ranked a triathlete has to complete three triathlons in a year. As I have trained and met other new and expecting triathletes, most were only interested in completing a single race and then moving on, crossing it off of the bucket list. I wanted a bigger challenge and experience, which led to pushing myself to complete a total of four sprint triathlons and an Olympic Triathlon(mechanical issues led to my first DNF on the Olympic race). I am glad I did a season instead of trying one and calling it quits. With each race my confidence grew and my love for the sport grew. By my last race I knew how to prepare myself for a race and what had to be done to be successful on race day leading to stress and an a greater enjoyment of the triathlon experience.
The Ranking Game
To put things in perspective regarding rankings I cobbled together some number from USAT rankings for my age group 40-44 (Everyone grows a year older on January first). Below are the 2013 unofficial numbers:
- Total Triathletes ranked and unranked (male, 40-44): 27,309
- Total unranked: 27, 757
- Total ranked: 4552
- My ranking: 4543
Amazing how many people completed less than three races. My score is really close to the bottom, but I am proud to be ranked and to have completed the volume of work I did this year.
Triathlons in Comparison
The biggest difficulty in comparing sprint distance triathlons stem from their variability of distances.
- Swim – 400 to 800 meters
- Bike – 12-18 miles – most on the lower end
- Run -5k
With this in mind, my numbers include the distances included. While there is variability in all phases of a sprint triathlon, most of these races are completed under 2 hours. Each race is unique and distinct in numerous ways: some have more hills, layout of transition, waves and water conditions and distances of swim and bike legs. A great example is the variation in swim times. Often this time also included the time at the start of the swim to the entrance into transition. At Lake Lanier Triathlon I had a very long 3/10ths of a mile climb from the swim to transition. In comparison Allatoona had a very small swim to transition window and was much faster.
Looking over my races this year I think my favorite race was probably the Allatoona Triathlon. While it had a very long, super hilly bike and running legs, the finish line leading into downtown Acworth was incredible. Additionally all my friends from my various open water swim clinics as well as my brother were there to share in the celebration. This was only my second triathlon and I was still getting the feel for it, nonetheless I really started to gain some confidence as a triathlete from this race.
Best Race Moment
This one is a hard one to nab down as the finish of my first triathlon was super emotional and a moment I will never forget. I had been a life long couch potato who never acted on dreams and was in terrible shape. In less than a year I had transformed myself into a slow but successful athlete.
The second best race moment was in my first DNF triathlon, due to bike tire issues, the Ameilia Man Olympic triathlon. In this race the swim was very memorable because I had never swam in an ocean with waves and riptide and wild life. I overcame this fear and on race morning I had an amazing thirty four minute one mile swim, and ran into a jelly fish. While the rest of the day sucked, this part of the experience was amazing.
2013 Triathlon Race Take Aways
The biggest thing I learned this season was to believe in myself as an athlete. I know what I am capable of and how far I can truly push myself. At the beginning of the season I was reluctant and stressed about completing my first triathlon. I made allot of mistakes in that first triathlon. With each additional race, confidence grew and I learned how to control the factors that were in my ability to control.
Looking at the numbers I am pleased that I finished my final sprint distance triathlon under two hours. This race was not a goal race for me and I believe I could have gone faster if I was not preparing for the AmeiliaMan triathlon a few weeks later. I still had a great race and truly felt, for the first time, like I was a triathlete.
It is amazing to think that at the beginning of this year I was focused on completing one triathlon. Now I have completed four and started an Olympic distance all within a year. Looking at this season of racing, it has been an amazing year of first. Even more incredible is how much I have grown individually with each race, becoming more of an athlete with each effort. Next year, 2014 I plan to reduce the first and focus on building the base further. Of course those plans are still being worked out. For now I am going to enjoy the completion of my first season and for accomplishing more than I thought was possible a year ago. Til next time.
- 2013 Triathlon Season In Review – The Start Part 1 (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- The Hardest Thing (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- 2013 Triathlon Season In Review: The Bike (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- 2013 Triathlon Season In Review: By the Numbers (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- 2013 Triathlon Season In Review: The Swim (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- 2013 TRIATHLON SEASON IN REVIEW – Marching Towards Triathlon (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- Heart and Soles: Katie (solefulmamas.com)
- In The Beginning (goingthedistance263.wordpress.com)
- Missing Triathlon Season (youngtri.com)
- Better Late Than Never (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)