My latest installment of triathlon racing has taught me many things: 1. Staying at someone else's house to save travel time the night before a race doesn't always work. 2. Babies will always take priority over a race. 3. Hills suck! 4. Triathlons are awesome.
1. Since I'm not a big fan of the morning in general, and the race started at 8 AM and I had to be there before 7 AM to get registered and set up transition, I decided I would stay at my brothers house so the drive would be 1 hour instead of 1 1/2 hours... Turns out I like to hang out with my brother, so we ended staying up until about midnight hanging out. Normally not such a bad thing, and the least of my problems the day before a race, but a contributor non-the-less. It also turns out that my other brother and his family had planned to spend the night at my brother's house also, so we were relegated to the couch/airbed.
2. For those of you who don't know, Adorable Wife's sister is great with child and is ready to pop at any moment. This is actually why I decided to stay at my brother's house. Adorable Wife's sister had started having contractions and decided it was time to head on over to the hospital and see if she could squeeze that kid out of her. So Tressa went with her to let her know when to breathe and I was left alone (the boys were spending the night at their grandparents house). So I figured I would stay at my brother's since I was
Fast forward to 1:30 in the morning... Adorable wife receives a frantic phone call from a heavily breathing, obviously in labor, woman.
3. On to the actual race... I got to Bonney Lake in plenty of time to pick up my packet, set up transition, and sit around for an hour before my race. It wasn't too bad because it gave me plenty of time to set up everything perfectly and stretch and all that good stuff. The race was set to go off at 8:45, right after the Olympic distance finished with their swim. The swim was just an out and back in Lake Tapps, so I figured it would be easy for me to not get lost on the swim... WRONG!
At first the swim felt really good, I was cruising along at a good clip, noticing that I was even passing a few people that had decided that 500 meters was a little farther than they thought. I was about 50-75 meters from the buoy (or so I thought) and I looked up to check my bearings. It turned out I was about 15 meters from the steam of the rest of the pack and was going into oncoming traffic. Right as I noticed this, one of the leaders just about swam right into me and we did like a full body glide across each other (a little unsettling). I spent the next minute or so
Swim time: 11:43 T1: 3:23
It must be because I am not the best swimmer in the world, but when I came out of the water, my head was spinning and I found it pretty difficult to make it over to transition and put on all my gear (hence the incredibly slow transition time). However I did make it, GU'ed up and headed out on my bike ride. I thought the bike went very well, I did feel a little tight from the swim, but nothing that kept me from being able to ride. I was able to make up some good ground on the bike. I don't know if it was because I did well on the bike or because I did so poorly on the swim, but I passed quite a few other racers on the fairly hilly course. Little did I know that the hills on the bike course were but an appetizer to the feast of hills that would be on the run course.
Bike Time: 39:09 T2: 1:08
I tried to stretch out my calves in T2 because I had problems with my calves cramping in my previous races. Apparently I did not stretch them well enough because as soon as I started my run it started to cramp. I stopped to stretch two times during the first 400 meters and was wondering if I was going to be able to finish the race. The cramp actually went away going up the first hill (go figure), and thankfully didn't really bother me for the rest of the race. I was left with the tired feeling in my legs from working hard on the bike. Then came the hills. I have never run on any course that had so many hills. It was just a roller coaster of hill after hill. And they were not gradual hill either. (A testament to the brutality of the hills- there was only one sub 20 min time (19:39) in the whole race). These suckers were steep, up and down. It took everything I had to keep from walking. I was able to find a buddy about halfway through the race and me and my 49 year old buddy were able to push each other over the last mile and a half. We picked out another 40 something that was about 50 meters ahead of us and made it a goal to catch him before the end. This was good because it helped us push the pace a little more. I did end up catching him, but he passed me back on the last 20 feet of the race to finish a second ahead of me. Overall, I was happy that I was able to finish the run and didn't die.
Run Time: 24.40 Overall Time: 1:20:04
4. The best part of the whole thing is that I actually placed in my AG! I got a shiny 3rd place medal. I was beside myself with glee. I think the other placers were laughing at me in their heads. I don't care, I placed! I can't wait to do my next Tri.
|Me posing with my fancy 3rd place medal|