Sunday, May 24, 2009

You can now call me a Triathlete :)

Yesterday was that day, the day I would become a Triathlete.

It all started out on Friday, I took the afternoon off from work to get all my stuff ready to leave by the end of the afternoon. We had a 2h30 drive to get where the Triathlon was, so around 4pm we jumped in the car and drove there. We stopped at the Triathlon site to see where it was, where to park the car etc and to get my race packet. Then we headed to the hotel and I then tried to sleep ...

I finally got up at 5am Saturday morning and started getting ready. On the way to the race we stopped at a coffee shop and I had a bagel and a coffee. Then off we go to the Triathlon.

Once there I prepared my transition zone with everything hoping I didn't forget anything. After that I walked around a little bit to talk with people and get used to the transition, where we would get out of the water. Then me and my wife we walked the run lap. After that I went to start warming up.

I ran a kilometer, then jumped on the bike and ride the track once. It was a really nice 4km track that we had to do five times. We were riding on the Formula One track in Montreal, believe me that place is like heaven. I had never seen such nice pavement :) After I came back from my warm up I realized I was almost late for the race talk. So I grabbed my wetsuit and ran to the beach, listened to the race talk and then I went into the lake to swim a little bit.

It was a run start, I was a bit nervous, well not a bit ... I was really nervous. Water was not too cold and I got maybe a 300 meters warm up so I was confident. But still I was nervous.

After talking with Steve yesterday I decided to stay outside so I wouldn't have any problem at the start and I wouldn't be in the washing machine too much. It was a good idea, but I still got cough into that freaking washing machine a little bit. I had people all around me, at some point I figured I could stop swimming and they would push me to the finish line ;)

The first 150 meters or so of the swim were a bit harder, I was not swimming at my pace and I was a little bit out of breath. Swimming too fast and the nerves are no good for the breathing.

After maybe 30 seconds in the water I realized I was dumb ... I should have go to switch my goggles, they were getting full of water, and I mean FULL. I had to swim the entire 750 meters with my left eye closed to make sure my lens wouldn't start floating into my goggles.

I swam to the third buoy, then turned right, swam to the next buoy, turned right again and start swimming to get back to the beach. I was by myself at that point and I figured everyone were already on their bike but whatever I had to finish it anyway. Then out of nowhere a guy in a kayak came by and told me "Turn left". this is where I realized that I was not out by myself, just 30 feet on the right of the pack.

So I moved back with the pack and swam to the beach.

As soon as I felt the sand with my hand I got up and started running. Removed my cap and my goggles and then removed the top of my wetsuit while running and stuck the cap/goggles into my left sleeve.

Ran to the transition zone and to my bike, had no problem to spot my bike. Once there I removed the bottom of my wetsuit, right foot got out well but had some problem with left one. I think that the timing chip didn't help. I had to sit down to remove it completely, which didn't help my transition time.

It was a bit chilly so I decided to put a jacket on to ride. I had a little battle with the zipper which cost me maybe 10 seconds too. Then helmet and sunglasses on and off we go.

Jumped on the bike and started riding. I got up to speed and then I tried to put my shoes on. Damns the velcro was all stuck together and I was unable to put my feet into my shoes. I had to battle with them for a little while which made me lose some precious time during the bike portion.

The track was a 4km lap that we had to ride 5 times. It was flat and really nice, such a great place to ride and get some speed. Besides the little problems I had with my shoes at the start it went really well. I pushed hard but tried to keep enough in the tank for the run portion.

As usual my bike split was my better leg of all three. I passed a lot of people on the bike, but got passed by the leader of the triathlon and of the duathlon too. Some of those guys are so fast it's incredible. I guess it shows I still have a lot of room for improvement ;)

I jumped of the bike and ran to my spot, racked the bike then put my shoes on. While putting my shoes on I got a little cramp in my left calf, that scared me a little bit but it went away pretty fast.

I then started fighting with my jacket's zipper again, I was not happy about it. But it still went pretty well.

After my T2 I went out and my running speed was good, I was around 4:30/km (7:14/mile) Ran the first 2k at that pace then I started getting slower a little bit. I wanted to push but I was not sure it was a good idea at that time. So I just slowed down a little bit for the next 2km and then finish strong with the last one.

On my last lap I crossed the finish line and walked around a little bit trying to get my breathing back to normal and then I realized I just finished my first triathlon, at that exact moment I had a HUGE smile on my face and I was really proud!

Thinking about it I now realize how much of an amazing day it was. I am so happy and so proud of what I accomplished over the last year. I am getting closer of my dream of being an Ironman one day :)

Official time - 1:13:54
Swim 750 meters - 14:27
T1 - 1:35
Bike 20 km - 34:21
T2 - 1:09
Run 5 km - 22:11


  1. Excellent job. Next stop KONA? Do you have the bug now? You can call yourself a TRIATHLETE.

    Prepare for dumbfounded expressions on the faces of friends and co-workers.

    I suggest a cold frosty beverage or 2, and a day off today.

  2. GREAT JOB ! Great race report and great race - so impressive, Robert ! So ... when is the next one???

  3. Congratulations, Triathlete! Great pictures and race report.