Saturday, April 25, 2009

2 Triathlons, 2 hours

image Last Sunday I decided to do 2 triathlons in 1 day and basically 15 minutes apart because I was there and neither were half ironman distances, so it wasn't a bad idea.

Last year I did the Ice Breaker Triathlon - a .5 mile swim, 13 mile bike and a 4 mile Xterra-style trail run.  Since I generally try to do a race 2-3 times - I was headed back for try #2.  They hosted a super sprint race before the Ice Breaker called the Baby Ice Breaker 200 yard swim (yes, 200), a 6.5 mile bike and a 2 mile run.  Race 1 was at 8am and race 2 was at 9am.  I looked at the results from last year and the winner finished the first one in 43 minutes, I could do that I figured and still have 17 minutes to get reset for race 2. 

I thought the race was 1.5 hours away but as I kept driving - I found out around 7am that it was still a good 20 minutes away.  Small panic but I was still ok. 

I got there but there was a line to pay for parking - actually 2 lines.  I went to the shorter of the two but didn't realize the guy at the gate was unable to do math very well.  It was $8 to park, I handed over a $20 and it took him close to 45 seconds to figure out that he owed me $12.  A new low for humanity or at least 1st grade math.

I got to the parking lot at 7:30 and got my stuff - now 'less stuff' than before (lesson learned at New Orleans 70.3) and raced over to the transition area.  They had a special area for people doing the first race- so I had my own rack! 

I still had to register, it was 7:40am - the pre-race meeting was called.  Medium-sized panic and run to registration. 

I got through quickly and had 10 minutes to go number my bike, get my transition set up and get to the water.  I finished in 5 minutes and still had a few minutes to get wet, warm up with a few strokes and get to the start line. 

I think there were 75 people or so and one very pregnant lady.  She said 'please don't kick me'.  Not the smartest woman I thought. 

Since it was small, there was one mass start - fun for only 200 yard swim. 

It started and I probably swam 225 yards including my 747-esque buoy turn.  The swim was so shallow, I think I swam 150 of it and ran the rest.  The run up to the transition area was about a quarter mile - so I went as fast as I could and passed just about everyone.  Getting to T1, I used the Ben Collins 2-step ITU style wetsuit strip and managed to get out on the bike 3rd - catching 1 and 2 in less than 1/4 mile down the road. 

The course was REALLY windy and hard turn after turn - most were blind and if there wasn't a turn, it was a short hill - just steep enough to have to change gears.  At one point I was flying around a sharp turn and some guy decided to ride the course backwards and we almost collided at about 30mph.  I gave him my customer feedback special which I'm sure went well with the soiling of his bike chamois.

I kept pushing and rode it into T1 - literally.  This is the only race I've done where you can ride in transition - which is sort of fun.  I got out onto the run only to see a wall of people standing on the road watching the bikers come in - blocking the entire lane. 

I forgot to mention that in my hectic morning - I dropped my number belt - so this meant I was going to just carry my race number.  So there I was, running out on the course holding my race number.  Sort of retarded.

I ran hard and after about a 1/2 mile looked back and so no one at all but kept pressing.  I got to the 1 mile and still didn't see anyone but kept up the same pace - maybe 6:40 or so.  I looked back a minute or two later after seeing the final 1/3 mile ahead and slowed down - seeing no one behind me.  I ran in and they almost missed me entirely - I had taken 5 minutes off the course record.  38 mins - another 2-3 mins wouldn't be hard to strip from this time. 

image I immediately shot under the rope and back to transition to change the numbers on my bike and reset transition.  The guy in 3rd place came in and asked me if I had completed the course because I had gone so much faster than the previous winner (not to mention him) - I assumed so, since I had done the race and told him so.  He said he never saw me pass him and I wondered if he had contemplated that he wasn't ever ahead of me.  He was also the only other guy doing both races.  I passed nearly everyone who beat me in the swim in T1.  Thanks to Ben for showing me how to get a wetsuit off without in record time.

The 2nd race started in a few waves, so I actually had a good 30 minutes to recharge and sit in the 60 degree water cooling off. 

My wave was #3 for the race - which started from the beach.  I got into a decent rhythm and swim about as straight as I ever have - but really not too fast.  I tried to go faster and faster but without a black line or wall to hit, I could only assume my effort was 'moderately hard' in intensity. 

I got out of the water and began the great chase to catch as many as I could on the 2 loop bike course.  I hopped on and got out pretty quickly.  I rode pretty hard but never felt like I got going very well - barely creeping into the 170's.  I was never passed by anyone and thanks to the loud rumble of my disc wheel- people got out of the way pretty quickly.  I finished up ok and moved out onto the run. 

Once one the run I passed runner after runner - only getting passed by 3 people on the whole run (pretty good for me these days).  I had intended to run in my Under Armour trail shoes but my regular UA Spectres worked really well on the off-road run course.  At one point there was a guy in front - maybe 40 yards ahead and out of no where- he goes up in the air and falls into a ditch on the side of the road.  He tripped on a flat, smooth surface.  I ran by - he didn't look hurt and began immediately adjusting his shoes. 

The run course was very sandy - both deep and sort of a lose covering on a trail.  I kept at it - but never feeling like I was going very fast - but was still catching other people.  I definitely felt better than last year - but wasn't digging deep, likely a function of having only done base efforts and having limited quality training of 3-4 weeks this year. 

I finished the race - with some good publicity for having already won the first race.  I ended up 5th in my AG - won by pro Jeff Pilland.  I won a really nice swim bag and 2 trophies - getting more kudos for doing both races and placing pretty well in both.

The guy who doubted my course-following ability was crushed by the way.

After the race - one of my readers Rik came up to me and introduced himself!  We chatted briefly before he got called to his awards - since he finished 5th in his AG.  Bravo Rik!  Always fun to put a face with a name.

I got home and gave the trophies to Sada -who immediately asked if I did a mountain climbing race?  I asked why and she pointed to the mountain (iceberg) on the trophy.  I explained it was an iceberg, not a mountain, and that I only swam, biked and ran. 


Greg Remaly said...

well done!

i'm baffled though that you were almost in the lead coming out of the 1st swim. I know it was only 200 meters, but must be improving.

Rik said...

It was great to finally meet you. Sorry I got called away so quick - I thought I finished higher in my age group. Those other guys must have cut the course. ;)

That's my least favorite run course around and my lack of run training so far this year killed me on it this time. The bike course is fun but nerve-wracking.

Very impressive for you to do two races back to back like that. And you get to wear the crown as the King of the Babies for a year!

Chris Westall said...

I would like that to be the title of your next post... "The King of the Babies".

Congrats buddy... ttys