This was my second year competing in the Rage Triathlon. Last year, didn’t go so well. It was my first olympic distance event, but high winds and inexperience slowed me down. This year I was able to make so me major improvements, but I also learned some valuable lessons.
Getting to the Rage Triathlon is the first accomplishment. It’s quite a drive from Colorado out to Lake Mead. This year I decided to break it up into two days. I left Thursday after work with Lauren. We drove out to Grand Junction and stayed the night. We continued on the next morning to the Hoover Dam Lodge, which is located right next to Lake Mead. Wile the drive was still long, splitting it up this way made the travel much more tolerable.
It was funny, at the Hoover Dam Lodge it seemed I repeated much of the same things I did before he race last year. Ate at the same restaurant and maybe even had the same meal. I got off to bed early so I could enough rest before the race.
Race morning I woke up and started getting ready. I made my race fuel, which was just UCAN, Fat Fiber and some essential amino acids. I also had my traditional morning coffee although not Bulletproof coffee, unfortunately. I woke up Lauren and we headed down to Boulder Beach.
I got there a little latter than I had last year. We had to park a fair ways away from transition. And once I got into transition I realized I had a hard time finding a spot to rack. But I eventually did and proceeded to get ready. It’s funny, because for my first triathlons this time was super important to make sure I got everything right. But no I feel I’ve done so many I know exactly what I need to do and check. It’s nice, takes the pressure off.
I wasn’t really feeling particularly ready for the race to start. I was standing on the beach talking to Lauren and she kept telling me to get into the water. Finally after they said two and a half minutes until the start, I realized I better get going.
And just like that the race was off!
The water felt a little cold at first, but I quickly got used to it. I kind of relaxed and just found my stroke. For the first couple of minutes I could see many people around me. I felt like I was doing good keeping up with everyone. Well, that quickly changed about halfway through I started to notice red caps coming though meaning the second wave was catching up with me. I swam on and make it to the end. As I came out of the water, the rocks hurt my feet so I slowly made my way to the bike.
I sat down and too the wetsuit off. I remember Lauren being just outside transition and she tried to grab my suit. I told her she couldn’t and set it on the bar. Transition actually went really smooth. I didn’t rush just got my stuff done and I was happy with the length of time it took. I grabbed my bike and said I’ll see you in an hour. I was off on the bike.
Compared to last year, there was almost no wind this year. I was very excited about that.However, I did learn that at 20 or more miles per hour the wind is a little more noticeable. There were many times on the bike I felt it was too much and wasn’t able to push myself as much as I would have liked. The lack of confidence on the bike lead to me getting passed a few times, something I’m really not used to.
The second half of the bike course felt better to me and I was riding along with another guy. We kept leapfrogging each other. I would pass him going up a hill and then he would pass me going down. I think I finally passed him at the end on the way back to transition.
I got my bike racked back up an threw on my shoes. Lauren was there again and I told her I just needed to go for a little jog.
I was feeling good as I started the run, but it was all up hill. Basically running from the beach to the trail. Once I got to the trail it felt so much better and was nice and flat for the most part. I was really happy about the pace I was holding.
The way the course was designed, there were a couple turn around points. It was a little confusing. As I came up on one of them a guy passed me. He looked like he could be in my age group so I was concerned. He didn’t have any markings on his legs so I didn’t know for sure. A little bit further up I so a guy peeing on the side of the course. I thought that was strange, turns out it was the same guy. I got ahead of him but only for a little while, I couldn’t go any faster.
Towards the end of the run I could here someone right behind me breathing. I kept waiting for them to pass, but it wasn’t happening. I almost wanted to slow down as it was getting really annoying. Finally they did pass. It was a younger girl who was making good time. Although I was on my last lap and she was just starting.
The end of the run felt pretty amazing. It was all downhill! Although once you got to the final stench on the beach it was all large rocks which were very difficult to run on. So there was no sprint to the finish.
I crossed the finish line and my first triathlon of the season was complete!!! I felt good about this race but didn’t where I would end up. I checked my results and saw that I got 5th in my age group. Not where I wanted to be, but a major step up from last year.