And so it begins…


Left to right: Me, Mike, Katie, J$, Mike 2.0, Katie 2.0

Spudman Triathlon

Total time: 2:43:14

Swim 0.93 miles (1.5k) 21 minutes

T1 5 minutes

Bike 24.8 miles (40k) 1:18

T2 4 minutes

Run 6.2 miles (10k) 45 minutes

Spudman was an excellent first triathlon. A few of my friends were also participating, and I had friends thee supporting me.

We arrived in Burley, Idaho around 5pm and Swiss Miss and Gadget Gnome setup our tent on the golf course next to the river while I went and got body markings and checked in. J$ and I took our bikes and cycling gear to Transition One. We picked a spot where we could get in and out pretty easy.


Next was dinner with Gadget Gnome and Swiss Miss.  We went to a local soup sandwich and salad shop because I couldn’t eat the prerace dinner on my low-carb diet. After dinner, J$ and I took our running gear to Transition two and set it up. Gadget Gnome suggested we line it up with something outside of the transition area so we could find it. We lined it up with the Ice Chest.

Gadget Gnome told us about spotting while swimming and following the current. He is a river guide and knows a little about reading rivers. We sat in awe of Gadget Gnome and his great white beard.

040 Snake River

We all snuggled into our sleeping bags as the sun ducked behind the mountains. At four in the morning, the high school volunteers arrived. They did not use their inside voices. I suppose since they couldn’t see the rows of tents and sleeping athletes they just didn’t exist. As the sun came up, they quieted down.

Swiss Miss and I snuck out of the tent trying not to wake up her son and the Gadget Gnome.  Coffee is a necessary item in my prerace checklist and Swiss Miss had scoped out locations the night before.  I slammed my coffee fix mixed with chocolate isopure whey protein, pulled on my rubber duck suit, and prepared for battle.

EZ was in wave two at 7:10 am. We went down to the water to see her start. She was psyched. Once the gun went off, wave three filed into the corral. I was in wave three. I got into the water right off shore and waited for them to give the one-minute warning. At one minute till start, I swam out to where the current was. I didn’t want to get in too early because the current would push me across the starting line, or I would waste a lot of energy fighting the current to stay behind the start line.

The gun went off, and I glided through the water. I love the feeling of swimming, it’s the closest thing to flying you can get (jumping out of a plane is falling not flying!) I bumped into a couple of other swimmers, but it wasn’t a big deal. As I climbed out on the beach, I unzipped the rubber duck suit and made my way over to my bike.  I sucked down a Mama Chia pouch for some calories while I dried my feet, put shoes on, and buckled my helmet.

I had been warned that there are thorns in the gravel beside the road. I didn’t want to start with a flat tire. Sopping wet, I carried my bike out to the road and clipped into my peddles. Freaking Freezing! I was able to maintain about 20 mph on the bike. The bike is  my weakness in a Tri. I just don’t love the bike. I knew going into this that I had not spent enough time on the bike to get a good time, but I would be all right. I kept my cadence about 90-100 rotations per minute and resisted the urge to gear up to get more power, but a slower cadence, which would have sapped my legs for the run.

Tons and tons of athletes passed me on the bike. I was frustrated and humbled by their speed. It has also encouraged me to spend more time on the bike. Of course, the whole time I am thinking, oh it’s because my bike isn’t as awesome as theirs is. No, it is because I don’t ride as much as they do end of story.

I rolled into transition two and couldn’t find my stuff on the rack. I wandered for about a minute and then remembered the Ice Chest! Thanks Gadget Gnome, saved my scrawny butt yet again.  Pulled on my shoes and hat and out I went for the run.

Run, come on legs, we know how to do this. We do this all the time. Gadget Gnome had warned me that it takes a while for the legs to change from the rotation of the bike to the movements of running.  It took about a half mile for my legs to remember how much they love to run. I kept telling them, “This is your game, get in there and act like you can play!”  They responded and I was able to maintain a 7-7: 30 minutes per mile pace for the run.

044 I’m done!

Would I do it again? Hmmmm. Absolutely!

The appropriate question after I finish a race is how many more have you registered for? My typical pattern is to get home from a race, unpack, shower, stuff my face full of ice cream and pie (Race day= cheat on low-carb diet day), and register for another race.

So what is next? My heart is set on The Vikingman Half Ironman. Go big or go home, right? Who’s in?

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