Sunday, August 28, 2005

Triathon: Something went majorly wrong.

Did the Triathlon at Folsom Site Games (Event put on at work for all the employees) this weekend. I signed up for the competative division even though they said you should have already done at least one tri in the past. this was my first, but I thought I'd fit in with the competative division better.

The Swim
Water temp was great, even at 7:30 in the morning. The water was even clear, with out all the boats around stirring things up. It turned out that the length of the beach's bouyed off swim area was much longer than I expected, so the 500m consisted of only going partway across and back. My plan was to go slow and steady, hopefully free style the entire way, and see how it goes. The course consisted of following the bouys across a curve, though, so I kept drifing off. I decided to start throwing in some breast stroke just get a chance to look around and get my bearings. This is when things started to go wrong. As my head was bobing up and down, I noticed that there were many other heads bobbing up and down. I started to do more breast stroke to observe this phenomenon. I started to notice that not only were others doing breat stroke, but we were keeping pace with a lot of front crawlers. I decided, what the heck, and started to do front crawl, to actually start passing people. Equipoise and JoJo should realize that this isn't right. This is very wrong. No one in our family should be passing anyone when the word "swim" is involved. Regardless, I continued on, got to the bouy and turned around, alternating between breast stroke and front crawl. I passed one more guy, and passed at least one more running up the beach. I quickly threw on my jersey, put my shoes on, grabbed my helmet, and I was off. After the race, I found out that I hit the bike after 8 1/2 minutes, including my transition time. I was actually expecting worse. Later when I checked times, I saw that I was still in the lower half on the swim, but still, I had no right to be beating anyone out of the water. Also, I've found that spandex swim caps work great. I just threw my helmet on over it, essentially using it as a bandanna. I didn't take it off until 3/4 of the way through the run, when I needed to dissipate more heat to do my kick.

The Bike
The bike started out well. One strange thing that happened right away, was that I felt a strong poking in my stomach under my jersey. For the first 1/4 mile, I was riding down the hill with only one hand on the bars, as I was trying to find what I thought was a loose safety pin on my number. Eventually the poking feeling went away and I continued on. (After the race, I saw that I had two large red bumps under wear my number was pinned on, although all the safety pins were attached. The bumps hurt a bit also. It wasn't later that night that figured out that some sort of bug had apparently flown into my jersey when it was layed out on my bike, and stung me when I started riding. They don't look as bad as yellow jacket stings, but it was deffinitely something) I had switched the campus pedals on the Puge for the regular SPD pedals off Identity Crisis, so I felt much more confident taking the sharp corners at speed. (I had also lent Identity Crisis to a guy doing the "For fun" triathlon which was along the same course, but starting ten minutes after us. I'm sure he appreciated the campus pedals also, since he wasn't wearing bike shoes.)

I ended up biking the first half of the bike more or less with two other guys, one on a Trek and one on a Cervelo. The guy on the Cervelo was all decked out, the cloths the gear, the whole shebang. He passed me right away on the downhill, and I expected him to dissapear, but then as soon as we hit the first slight, small, uphill, he was already up in his saddle. This lead me to think that he probably wasn't that solid of a biker. Since the race consisted of going six miles down hill, and then returning 6 miles uphill, my plan was to go strong and steady out, and then hard back. I switched back and forth with the Trek and Cervelo, which was good, because I would have missed the turn around had they not been in front of me. After the turn around, there was about a half mile or so of completely flat biking before starting the accent. The other two guys were actually pulling away from me here; I didn't want to burn out to much. Then we hit the hill. I don't consider myself to be a great peddler, having just recently buying into high cadence biking, but I do know that my old running legs and my biking legs are pretty good at climbing. Still, it was kind of ridiculous. I took off and left the Trek and Cervelo out of sight behind me. I came across more competitors, and just kept passing them until I eventually ran out of people to pass, or so it seemed. I credit this to both the spin classes and commuting to work. I saw a bunch of the people in both the competitive and fun race coming down the hill. I waved tothe guy riding my mountain bike w/slicks, although he didn't look like he was enjoying himself much, and didn't see me. I'll proudly point out that I was the only one doing the competative race with a steel bike. There were couple of carbon fibers, and everything else was aluminum. Only a handful of the aluminum ones weren't riding with triathon drop profile bars either. I finished hard, and made a quick transition to the run. This transition consisted of running over to my tree while taking my helmet off, throwing my bike and helmet down, and starting the run, still just wearing my bike shoes with no socks.

The run
The run went was pretty non-eventful. It consisted going 1.5 miles out, turning around, and then coming back. A little less than a mile into it, I passed another runner coming back. This was actually good. I was getting worried that I might be in the lead. Then I passed two more, who were both doing relay teams. Finally, shortly before the turn around, I came across Elizabeth, the defending female champion from the year before. She organizes weekly hill running, and this is her second season doing serious triathlon training. I had actually thought I had passed her early in the bike, but that apparently not. She yelled a little bit of incouragement to me, saying that I should be beating her. After turning around, I was just able to see her ahead of me, which gave me a great target to shoot for. I probably didn't actualy get to her until there was about a 1/2 mile left. She was really booking it. Right about when I passed Liz, was the time that I needed to start my pre-kick. Generally my kick has three stages, pre-kick, kick, and sprint. I found I had a lot of energy left. I saw one of the the relay runners ahead of me, but I couldn't get to her in time, but still ended up having an awsesome finish. I felt great.

I finished second for individuals, and fourth over all, counting the the two relay teams that finished ahead of me. This is really cool, but I admit that I had expected it to be more competative. Plus, with so few people competing, second doesn't mean much. I'm guessing that there was probably somewhere around 8-10 minutes between me and the winner. In a real race there would be a lot of finishers in that time span. I found out that the first guy that I came across on the fun, who won overall, was Lee, who I've ran hills with a couple of times. He's simply phenonomal. Generally when I run hills, there only a couple of guys who can beat me on a regular basis, but with those guys I know that if I started training more regularly, I'll have no problem taking them. Lee, on the other hand is a different subject. He has competed in iron mans on numerous occasions. I don't mean participated in iron mans, I mean he competes. He totally blows me away on hills. If I was back in decent shape, I might be able to try to run with him, but not actually beat him.

I think there were numerous places where I could have shaved time off. I could have gone out harder on the swim, and swam more front crawl. Hell, I could have even practiced swimming maybe. I was way to conservative on the bike also. I easily could have shaved minutes off that time. Who knows what I could do with a race bike!! The run I could have done faster. I think the key to that is to do more brick running. I felt a little tight after the bike and I think my body missinterpretted it as being tired, and kept a slower pace. I have to practice running through that feeling and getting used to it. Overall, I think I might have to try a little bit more of this triathlon thing. Definitely considering Wildflower next spring. I'm hoping they'll send out pics from the race, but I'll have to see.


Blogger Frick said...

tiss, tiss, what's with the obsenities little girl

12:57 AM  
Blogger equipoise said...

Nice finish, Frick. Sounds like a good race to get your feet wet, too.
Way to go!

5:00 PM  

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