Special thanks to Yehudah for coming/taking his as-usual stellar pictures, Yitzy for coming, Greg Ostrin for being Greg and everyone else who helped with training tips and whatnot.
Going into this race, I was pretty nervous – I wrecked my tt bike and road bike in the past 2 weeks and Yitzy was hit by a car wrecking his tt bike too. We seemed to have a lot of bad luck going for us as far as this whole triathlon thing was concerned.
I woke up today at 3:15. Early, especially compared to the 4:45 wakeups I’ve been enjoying the past few months for the local road races. What scared me most was the 110 mile drive, not the 7 am start time.
I used the restroom once.
Showered, shaved (legs, not face), ate a bowl of cheerios and we were off.
When we got there, packet pickup line was a little long , as were the (5) port-a-potty lines (not too many port-a-potties for ~500 athletes and their support crews, but that’s what it was), and so I began to wait.
I used the restroom a second time.
It was good to set up transition again after being out of the sport for 8 months (it’s been that long?!) and I had two secret weapons today – my speedo (courtesy of Tim Andrus) and my pink helmet. I knew today was going to turn out well.
Swim wasn’t what I had hoped for, but I only swam once in the past month, so to expect anything different was fooling myself. I was shooting for 8 minutes, I came out in 9:45. I went out nice and smooth and found my rhythm early – apparently others did not. I was in a draft the first 2 minutes, then hit a huge pack. I got kicked in the face, tried to swim around, got kicked in the chest, and decided to slow down for a bit, rather than swim over these guys. Never found my stride again. I think it cost me 1st place, but it’s easy to pin problems after the fact 🙂 I caught up to many 40+ swimmers who started 3 minutes or so before us, and that was heartening.
Out of the water, I had the worst T1 of my life. I was disoriented worse than I’d ever been before and fell over as I tried to pull my wetsuit off and get my shoes on. I didn’t start the bike leg with my shoes clipped in because they were new shoes and I didn’t feel comfortable with that. T1 time: 1:40.
At long last, the time had come to unleash all hell on the bike course. My weapons, which had been kept on the down low up until today, were ready and raring. The last quarter of a year was spent carefully crafting my technique as a cyclist and today it was time to collect. Today, I was expecting a payout. Today, it wasn’t about me. It wasn’t about the competition or Yitzy or anyone else. It was about one thing and one thing only. Those seriously dope wheels.
But seriously, I picked up this SWEET Beyond wheel (the first one I’ve ever seen) from pro triathlete Nick Hayden and today was my first ride on it. Paired with a disc, that thing is fast. It’s STUPID fast. As I hurled my 171 lb. frame screeching (literally) down the asphalt, I crushed dreams and took names every 5-20 seconds. I absorbed the souls of wandering triathletes in the fields of gold and stored them in my wheels. With a sneer on my face and a speedo on my buns, I let out a steady stream of “on your left”s. Before I knew it, the bike was over, but I was hungry for more, and so, once again, I unleashed all hell on the run. Bike split: 32:36 which is 23 MPH for the 12.5 miles recorded by my Garmin. The first mile was a 16.6 average split, due to the long run out of transition.
T2 was blazing fast. I wish I had the time for this, but I kinda forgot to hit the transition button on my Garmin 310, so it just reads :05. I’d estimate it was close to 25 seconds.
In my Saucony Progrid A4’s coupled with my speedo, I felt light and ready to go. I couldn’t wait to start crushing dreams, and so the little voice inside my head cautioned myself not to go out too fast. Being the obedient runner that I am, I heeded his words. With a 20:00 even split for the 5k, I needed an act of God to keep me on pace and not going out too fast. Naturally, I think that I may have actually gone out a bit too slow. On the run I was passed twice (once by the eventual 5th place finisher with a 16:55 split. I felt a part of myself wither away as he sprinted on by me, taking 1.5 steps for each of mine). The second time, I managed to reel him back in to within view and pace myself off a combination of my watch and inspiration drawn Randy White’s M-dot tattoo(Randy went on to finish 17 seconds before me). Run split: 20:30 for an average 6:37 for the 5k.
My total time was 1:04:59 which landed me 18th Overall and 2nd in the 20-24 age group.
I had a great time and will probably be back again next year to shave 65 seconds off my swim/t1 and take 1st place!
I’m glad to have gotten the first race of the season out of the way – I now know where to train more and where not to train as much. It’s time to drop 11 pounds. My legs are getting too big.