Bangs Lake Tri – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

I felt really good leading up to Sunday’s Bangs Lake Triathlon. I felt prepared for the swim. Jen told me the bike course was fast, so I knew I could kill it. And I had a solid plan for the run.

I felt like I had learned a lot from all my training and the 8 hours I spent grinding away on the Mooseman course. Bangs Lake was my race… I owned it, and everyone else racing was just along for the ride….

Thats how I felt all Sunday morning while I set up my bike in transition and geared up for the day…. Then the race started.

At 7:21 my wave went off, the water temp was 77 degrees, most people opted to go with a wetsuit and so did I. The downside of wearing it was that I got REALLY hot.

Everything else about my swim seemed great! I was keeping up with my wave, towards the half way point a few of the faster swimmers from the group behind me passed by. I didn’t care. My plan was just to swim from point A to point B and get on my bike.

I was feeling fast in the water, my target time was to finish the swim in 25ish minutes. I didn’t know how long it took because there was no time clock when I got out of the water (or anywhere else for that matter).

I jogged into transition, peeled my wetsuit and was off on my bike. I was following my race plan perfectly.

Jen was right (of course) the bike course WAS fast! Excellent! Averaging 18mph I was flying. During the 1st loop I decided that I should finish the 25mile ride in 1:15.

I was a little bummed when I pulled in to transition and my Garmin said 1:20. Damn! I racked the bike, laced up, fueled up and was off running.

My race plan had me starting off slow with 12min/miles to get my legs back after biking and then picking up the pace until the last 5k where I would give it my all!

When Jen reviewed my plan she made a note saying “do NOT go too fast out of T2!”

I my legs felt like Jell-o, I felt like I was barley moving at the beginning of the run. At the 1/2 mile mark I looked at my Garmin only to see that I was running a 9:23 mile! CRAP!

I slowed down, after 1 1/2 miles I looked and I was running a 9:58 mile. Still too fast, but I felt good and figured at this point of the run I should have picked up the pace anyway. So I kept going.

After about another 1/2 mile my legs started to feel like lead. I took a Clif Shot thinking the double shot of caffeine will fuel me enough to push through the finish at my current pace.

At the half way point my “current pace” had gone from sub 10 to 11:10/mile!

My race was falling apart. I started to get angry. Seeing the runners who had already hit the turn and were heading to the finish made me more angry… HOW DID THEY LOOK SO FRESH!

I was moving slower by the second and these people looked like they had just started!

Panic set in. I checked my watch and started doing the math to calculate my finish time. I was estimating and thinking WHY WERE THERE NO TIME CLOCKS?!!?! As if knowing my time at this point would have changed anything.

With just over a mile left a woman started to pass me on the run. She looked like she was hurting just as much as I was, but she seemed happy.

“Only a mile left, I’m going to finish 45 minutes ahead of my goal time.” she told me.

I wanted to punch her in the face… I thought to myself (in a not so nice tone) I think I’m 45 minutes BEHIND my goal time.

It took everything I had to go faster just so I could get away from her. I pushed through that last mile and crossed the finish (where there was no time clock).

I was furious with myself, I ripped off my time chip threw it in the trash, packed my stuff and left.

Several hours later I got the results:


The “Good” – I Finished my 2nd Tri and for the most part I felt ok about it.

The Bad – I completely crumbled during the run because I didn’t follow the plan.

The Ugly – The results came in and I did WAAAAY worse than I thought.


4 thoughts on “Bangs Lake Tri – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

  1. Hey, you completed it…and that’s all that matters!!! I too did worse than I thought I would do….but you know what….who cares! We got in a great workout and for that….a HIGH FIVE to you!

  2. I can totally relate to having the “this is MY race!” feeling and then getting let down. I am finding triathlon to be a MUCH slower learning curve than running was.

    Congrats on a new distance! Sorry it didn’t go as planned.

  3. Welcome to triathlon my friend. You are now “learning the sport,” and how to manage it. Take these lessons and make yourself better for the next race and the race after that.
    You made it across the finish line and that’s all that matters.

    Good job!

  4. Yes, Triathlon is a tough tough one…b/c in training things progress nicely and you feel more fit and faster…then, something small like Over pacing OR nutrition mix up – and the race falls apart sometimes. You are learning! You will get better and better for each race!!!!

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