Summer Triathlon – Part IV: Post-Race Reflection

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“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

Over this past May long weekend I raced in my 1st triathlon. It was held in Airdrie, and at 6:30 am on a Sunday morning it was raining – slowly at first and then gradually coming down faster. Fortunately, the rain held off and made for an amazing race day. I really didn’t know what to expect. I had one goal in mind: To finish, and I was able to cross the finish line! Completing this triathlon has been a personal goal of mine and has been 2 months in the making. I learned a lot through this journey & this is an accomplishment I am really proud of.

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Here are the statistics and timing results:

  • Overall time = 1:40:18
  • Finished 53rd out of 98 people
  • Tri breakdown:
    – Swim 750 m = 20:08
    – Cycle 20 km = 51:38
    – Run 5 km = 28:32

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“You can keep going and your legs might hurt for a week or you can quit and your mind will hurt for a lifetime.” – Mark Allen, six-time Ironman Triathon World Champion

Post-Game Analysis:

  1. Swim
    – Went better than I expected, thanks to all the training
    – Felt I was well-prepared and the swim went quicker than I thought
    – Helped having a volunteer count my lengths so I could focus on each stroke
  2. Bike
    – Was windy in some areas, but in one stretch the wind was with me & I was ripping at top speed!
    – Really glad I had a road bike, versus a mountain bike, as it made for a much faster and enjoyable ride
  3. Run
    – I was told my legs would feel like Jello after the bike ride, so I allowed for my legs to warm-up in the first few hundred yards and “touch the ground”
    – The 2nd & final lap was hard as it was the last leg of the race and I was running out of energy
    – Crossed the finish line and finished strong
  4. Transitions
    – Had a great spot in the transitions area at the front so I could exit the bike and run events quickly & efficiently
    – Was well-organized and had all my gear in place and ready to go

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What I learned from this event:

  1. It pays to get to the site early to secure a good spot in the transition area
  2. Importance of pacing myself. From the start I had a marathon mentality versus a sprinters mindset as I had a big race ahead of me
  3. Rain – didn’t even plan for this! But was flexible with Mother Nature, and in the end it didn’t rain but was cool and overcast which made for ideal racing conditions
  4. Having my family there to support and cheer me on was huge (& they took awesome pictures!)
  5. During the run I noticed other athletes encouraging each other and I did the same. This helped me keep going, especially on the final lap
  6. There was one quote I thought about during the race: “Suffer the pain of discipline, or suffer the pain of regret.” This helped me press through at each stage of the race
  7. Crossing the finish line was quite an achievement and was a culmination of a lot of hard work, training, belief in myself & determination to finish the race. And what an awesome feeling it was!!!!

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I’ll end with some quotes that inspired me leading up to this tri:

  • “Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.” – William Faulkner, American writer and Nobel Prize laureate
  • “The pain is temporary, the memories will last the rest of your life.” – Navy Commander John Collins & founder of Ironman
  • “If you set a goal for yourself and are able to achieve it, you have won your race. Your goal can be to come in first, to improve your performance, or just finish the race; it’s up to you.” – Dave Scott, US Triathlete
  • “The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination.” – Tommy Lasorda, Major League baseball player
  • “Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should accomplish with your ability.” – John Wooden, #1 UCLA Coach of All Time

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  • “Just go out there and do what you’ve got to do.” – Martina Navratilova, Professional Tennis player
  • “Sports creates a bond between contemporaries that lasts a lifetime. It also gives your life structure, discipline and a genuine, sincere, pure fulfillment that few other areas of endeavor provide.” – Bob Cousy, NBA player
  • “If you can believe it, the mind can achieve it.” – Ronnie Lott, NFL player
  • “To succeed you need to find something to hold on to, something to motivate you, something to inspire you.” – Tony Dorsett, Dallas Cowboys running back
  • “The more difficulties one has to encounter, within and without, the more significant and the higher in inspiration his life will be.” – Horace Bushnell, American Congregational minister and theologian

Thank you to everyone for your encouragement & support for me in this endeavor!

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