I did a race – the Seafair triathlon. It was a SWIM/bike/run. Lots of swim. Not enough bike and just the right amount of run, well maybe another mile would have been ok.
It started all lovely – like the nice 14 mile ride to the race start at 5am. It was a treat riding my TT bike in the cool morning – down the middle of a 4 lane road without anyone around – complete with fancy wheels, helmet and of course my sexy compression socks. It was also below 60 and I had to wear most of my winter stuff – so the photo here isn’t from this race because the sun never came out and my # was 47.
The only risk that comes with riding to the race start is of course getting a flat or getting attacked by a pack of single women who love compression sock clad men.
Because the single women were probably still plotting their attack I got a flat.
So around 5:30am, I was trying to shove this foam stuff into my tubular wheel (there is no inner tube to change with these $80 a piece tires) – then a C02 cartridge. Seems that I got enough foam and air into the wheel to get me to the race start – but with about 90psi of air vs 130. Though I’m pretty sure the difference isn’t much and Lance could make the bike go 32mph with 90psi and 32.01mph with 130psi. But in my head there was a difference and of course the possibility that I could have some sort of spectacular Tour Day France type of crash as a result. And yea, I know it’s Tour de France.
Arriving at the race venue, I handed the bike to Brian who happens to own a bike shop and who is a neighbor of ours and I also knew him. He was there with his shop helping people with bigger worries than mine. In the few mins I was there explaining my issue to him (I needed another wheel or hoped the foam would seal up in time to start on it) – I witnessed: a woman who had broken cables on her borrowed mtn bike (this rig was a good 15 years old and it was clearly a victim of domestic abuse) and a lady who had a flat tire because the tube had to have been 11 years old – continue this same string of sad preparation for the next 40 people in line.
I set up my stuff, got my bike and had 2 people (thanks Betty and Brian) continue to watch the tire pressure while I was warming up for the swim. In the end, Phil Spencer had found me one of his spares JUST IN CASE. He finished 10th OA or about 8 mins ahead of me.
Then the horn went off.
I swam. And if you’re not a strong swimmer, don’t hang your beans on not getting dropped even before the horn sounds. I got dropped by everyone except for this one guy next to me for the first 400 yards. Please note that I raced in the elite wave because I have this belief that I can ride a bike and really didn’t want to be on the course with 500 people ahead of me and I’m always reminded that your AG place doesn’t really matter, it’s overall – so blame Ben. The guy next to me was good for helping me stay on pace up until he threw me a real haymaker in the face which left me choking on about 11 liters of lake water. I also swam wickedly straight. Like I sighted 3 times and hit 2 out of 2 bouys with my hands!
Despite giving up 5 mins to these people, it was still the best swim I’ve ever done. But a good .25 mile too long for me given the short bike – I would have preferred a half mile swim and a 40 mile bike and 2 transitions and no run followed by a bacon festival and a Miss Sweden Swimsuit/Beer Pong Competition.
I swam the last 200 yards watching the leaders already out on the bike . My T1 was slightly better than my swim and then I hopped on the bike after checking the front tire for a sign of going soft. The bike went fine- tried to hold 24-25mph on the flats. Not spectacular, but it went fine. I felt the legs come in around mile 11 where holding 24+ was pretty effortless and I caught 3 people. Too bad I only had .8 of a mile to enjoy this level of awesome.
Then of course, you have to get your shoes on and run which is generally not a challenge for me, but I had my laces a tick too tight (it could have been the barely 60 degree air too) or something and I struggled getting them on. I felt a bit clown-like but got going on the flat 5k run.
Except I think I had too much juice before the race and my stomach felt like I had an entire punchbowl of drink in it. I still ran but my HR was pretty flat – about 10 beats lower than what I’d normally do – which I don’t understand. My RPE (rate of perceived exertion) was up there like an 8, maybe 9 but my HR was saying it was more like a 6. The old lady serving the punch clearly didn’t like running either that or the Kool-Aid dude was about to blow out my mouth.
Then the flat run suddenly wasn’t flat.
And there was a hill.
And I couldn’t see the top and I think the people coming down it had snow on them. I got depressed and jogged up it and got passed by some girl who was having an asthma attack or was just running harder than I was.
And then I had like 500 meters to go and it was over and bleh. dumb.
I still beat like over 1,000 people but that doesn’t help me feel any better. I then rode home and ate bacon and waffles and listened to smooth jazz.
I bought a juicer too and found that I’m not really big on broccoli/spinach/carrot juice.