My name is Chad Soileau and
this is the account of my swimming, biking and
running the T-Gator Series Triathlon #2 in Lake
Charles, LA. Lake Charles Triathlete Club
holds a series of 3 sprint triathlons called
T-Gator of which I have participated in the
first two and plan on doing the third as well.
The distances were 500m open water swimming, 13
miles on the bike and a 2 mile run.
I had such a great time at
the first T-Gator tri that there was no way I
would miss the next two even though Beth wasn't
able to go with me. Her nephew was getting
baptized so she was out for this one. This
weekend would also mark the first time where I
would attempt a two triathlons in the same
weekend. I was very tired but I got a good
nights sleep the night before.
Lake Charles is just over 2 hours from Baton
Rouge so I had to roll out of bed again on
Sunday at 4:30AM to make it in time for the race
start. I loaded up the Element the
night before and after taking care of the dog
and parrots I was out the door by 5AM.
I arrived in Lake Charles
just before 7AM. After a little
gastric distress from the coffee and toast that
I ate during the ride I had to make a pit stop
at the BK Steakhouse on the way to the race.
I knew that registration was supposed to close
at 7:30AM and I would be cutting it close.
I parked and ran with my bike and transition bag
to the pavillion to register. I JUST made
it as they were packing up and getting ready for
the race. I got marked and headed to
transition to setup my gear.
I chatted with BR Tri members
Caroline and Beth as I laid out my gear.
WETSUIT LEGAL again so that was a plus.
With all my gear set and ready to go I took off
my Crocs, put on my wetsuit then started the
walk to the swim start.
race started promptly at 8AM. I was in the
third and last wave so I started at 8:06AM.
8:06AM came and the race director signaled us to
go. There were only around 20 - 25
people in my wave so I had plenty of room to
swim. No swim is every easy for me
but like the Twin Cities triathlon I did the
freestyle stroke for pretty much the entire race
only doing breaststroke to navigate.
A couple times I found myself drifting heavily
to the right which I am assuming is caused by my
difficulty breathing on my left.
It seems like every time I attempt to breathe on
the left I sink like a rock! I
exited the 500m swim in 10:59.22.
Compared to the first T-Gator triathlon I've
improved a bit. The T-Gator #1 distance
was 400m and I completed that in 10:29.67.
No clips on the bike today.
I borrowed Chuck's Speedplay's for waaaay too
long and got them back to him on Saturday
afternoon. Thanks for letting me
borrow them Chuck and sorry I kept them so long.
Philippe is selling me a set of his that he
doesn't use anymore so I'll be good to go for
TriAmerica this weekend. I had the
baskets for pedals so I knew that my T2 time
would be quick since I didn't have to change
shoes. I pulled off the wetsuit with
little trouble, slid on my BR Tri hot pants and
my Team 464 race jersey, grabbed my bike and was
off to the bike course.
bike course was fairly flat with a few small
rolling hills. I knew that my bike
time would probably suffer a bit because I
wasn't clipped in but I still tried to maintain
over 20mph average. The bike was
really uneventful and I was at the turn-around
pretty fast on my way back to Sam Houston State
park. I don't think I was even
passed once during the bike which is a first for
me. I was wrong about my average
suffering too. 20.2
bike average speed again today!
I barrelled into the dismount
point at T2 and prepared myself for the run.
Since I wasn't wearing my bike shoes and I
planned to do the run in my BR Tri hot pants I
had my fastest transition ever.
TWENTY FIVE seconds! I think that
was the fastest transition for everyone for T2.
I got out on the run course
and really struggled for the first mile.
Some of it was physical but a lot of it was
technical malfunctions. For some
reason my watch wouldn't pick up my pod on my
shoe so I had no idea what my pace or distance
was. That's aggravating to say the
least. It was only two miles
but I'm very anal about looking at my watch
often to see what my pace is and make
adjustments accordingly. I guess the
battery may be dead because when I ran on Monday
my watch wouldn't pick it up then either.
I picked up my pace just before the mile 1 mark
to what I thought was around 7:45 or so and
finished strong with an 8:12 minute per mile
pace. I crossed the finish line in
1:09.11. I'll take it and see what I
can do to improve for T-Gator #3.
Next up is the TriAmerica
Long course this weekend. It will be
my biggest challenge to date. The
swim is 1.24 miles, the bike is 40 miles and the
run is 10 miles. Should be fun!
I hope you enjoyed reading my
race report of the T-Gator Series Triathlon #2
as much as I enjoyed writing (and living) it.
Best of luck on YOUR life journey!
May you reach all your goals and achieve all your dreams!