Last weekend I participated in my first triathlon. Why did I do such a strange thing? Well, I was talked into it of course, by a friend who is a triathlete. I hate running and in the last three years I was out running maybe 10 times. The last time I was swimming with an exercise focus was nine years ago in high school. Good idea, eh?
Luckily it was only a short-track triathlon, called “Volkstriathlon”, and consisted of 500 meters swimming in an outdoor pool, 20k cycling and 5.4 k running. I went out buying new running shoes, goggles and a bathing cap and made a training schedule. Unfortunately I only had two weeks for practice. In that time I was running 15k, swimming 1.5k and cycling 410k. Probably I could as well have skipped the swimming and running part.
We drove over to Waiblingen close to Stuttgart where we connected the race with a family visit and lined up for the start early Sunday morning. It was freezing cold, for July, with only 14 degrees and I felt really uncomfortable in my swimming shorts. However, the swimming part went much better than I thought. I was even able to overtake some guys and needed less than 11 minutes. We jumped out of the pool and ran into the transition area. While all those freaks were directly jumping on their carbon time trial bikes in their (wet) triathlon suites I had to change into my BWR-uniform and went out on the course. What I had estimated my strong part unfortunately became not as fast as I was wishing. My goal was to complete the 20k in less than 40 minutes which I clearly missed with 44 minutes. Additionally I wasn’t able to catch one guy in the end that I was chasing for the whole cycling part. Pretty frustraing. However, I have to add that there were some hills in the course, we had some head wind and slipstreaming was forbidden. All in all those triathlon guys have more pressure on the pedal than I thought. But it became even worse: Running. I was simply slow. My legs couldn’t keep up with my lungs and I really felt the lack of running training. In the end I finished in 1 hour 22 minutes as 101st out of 152. Nothing I am proud of.
All in all it was fun, but not as much fun as a Mountainbike race and so I didn’t get infected with the triathlon virus. Will I do it again? Maybe next year, maybe on a longer, the so called “olympic”, distance. Now I am looking forward to Christmas, which is in less than two weeks. At least in Weidenthal. We will drive over to Schlaflos im Sattel on Thursday and have some relaxing time: Hanging around with friends, going to the Schlammbein-concert, having a couple beers and doing some little fun-laps without any pressure – that’s what I’m looking forward to now. And tonight I will go for a group ride on some fun trails, hoping to find my motivation again.