The post is a little late.. but better late than never..
I decided to celebrate Memorial Day by participating in a small (not an understatement) triathlon in my hometown, Fountain Valley (“A Nice Place to Live”). The race consisted of a 750-meter pool swim (at Los Caballeros Sports Village), 12.93-mile bike down the Santa Ana River to PCH to Newland to Courreges Park, and a 5k run around the Greenbrook Neighborhood block (Talbert, Newland, Ellis, Magnolia). My goal was to get a good workout in, and I think I did.
The swim was interesting, to say the least. Everytime I’ve ever swam in a pool, I’ve had to share my lane with (at most) 1 other person. In that event, we split the lane and each stays to their own side. For the FV Tri, they set up bouys around the pool that we had to swim around. Seven and a half laps around these buoys and then get out of the pool. There were about 30 or so ladies in my heat (Women’s Competitive). The start was odd because we started in the pool (no dive start). Also, it was really congested that first half lap because people were positioned oddly (some faster swimmers started in the back and some slower swimmers started in the front). It was hard making such hard right turns around the buoys. I managed to do pretty good for myself (about 18 minutes). I did, however, get kicked in the ribs on my fifth lap, which totally caught me off guard (never been kicked in a race before, not even in open water). Also, I tried to position myself in the middle at the start, but somehow ended up in the back, which put me behind right from the beginning. Occasionally, I would find some feet to draft off, but they would inevitably be a bit faster and gone by the next buoy. I exited the pool somewhere around midpack.
The first half of the bike ride was familiar, so I just put my head down and tried to crank it out. I pretty proud of the speed I was keeping (somewhere around 19 mph), considering that there was a slight headwind. About halfway down the river, I got passed by one of the ladies in my group who was being pulled by her husband. Her husband who was not even racing that day. Her husband who could obviously keep a faster speed than she could on her own. I was shocked to see such blatant drafting during a triathlon, USAT-sanctioned or not. That may not technically be cheating, but it does put a damper on what is supposed to be a fun, community race. The rest of the bike leg was uneventful. I got stopped at a couple lights when we got back onto Newland, which slowed me down a bit, but it wasn’t so bad.
The run was something else. I don’t know if it was because I was using my road bike or if it was because my legs were just tired, but I felt like I was running on spaghetti for the first mile. It didn’t feel like my legs were ready for the run, so I had to jog it out pretty slowly, I just took it at my own pace and tried to keep a consistent speed. I knew I wasn’t doing too well, but I tried to keep the amount of people passing me to a minimum. After the first mile, I was able to pick up my speed a bit. I finished just over 30 minutes (I think), which is a decent 5k time for me.
Overall, I finished 86 out of 212 adults (in all heats: Leisure, Family, Competitive) with a time of 1:35:15. A little slow for me, but not too bad.