Monday, August 2, 2010

Federal Escape Triathlon aka I Kicked a Rock

I’m challenged physically you know. 

If I don’t have some sort of freak accident I had probably spent the week prior in bed, sick or on vacation (because I’m usually pretty safe then).  There’s even a sign on the door of my office that notes the # of days that I go without an accident or incident or injury.  I think my team gave up and has just left the counter at zero.

But despite still having a mostly useless hand (try not using your thumb to swim, change out of a wetsuit (or into one), put on shoes or ride a bike) I raced this sprint race.  It wasn’t long: 400 yard swim, 12 mile bike and a 5k run. 

Because my race didn’t start until 9:30 (or 2 hours after the Olympic distance event had started) – I was able to watch most of the Olympic race and give Chris Tremonte his splits after the swim and on each loop of the bike – all the way through T2.  He held 1st place at a 1:10 gap going into the run – then I had to warm up, so it was a sort of nail biter, except I pulled my thumbnail back and it hurts to touch, so no nail biting. 

rrockBecause a sprint triathlon is basically exercising on the bring of throwing up for about 1-1.5 hours, I had to do a little warm up – so I decided to swim the whopping 400 yard course before the race.  Except as I was swimming the race director was out in the water moving the buoys around and I swear he made it longer.  Then I got back to shore and kicked a rock on the bottom of the lake that made me see stars and they weren’t nice stars, they were angry.  But at least they weren’t dogs, except I probably wouldn’t have smashed my foot had I run into a dog in the water. 

They started the women’s wave in front (always a bonus) and given the 5 min spacing in between, the lead women were about 50 yards out when our race started (to be clear, I did NOT do the kids race, it was really the men’s race).  I was on some guy’s feet and realized that I could probably swim a whole 400 without being on someone’s feet, especially when that someone stopped dead in the water to look around – probably for rocks or dogs.  I swam and I’m pretty sure it was longer than 400, but I’m not going to complain much about 25-40 more.  Let’s just say, I swim consistently now in the 70th percentile and that I was 3:02 back from 1st place. 

Since I’m magic in the transition area, I have to really focus on do everything right 1-time.  So I got in and got out – no issues and I’m pretty sure I passed 10+ people in T1 alone.  I made up almost 20 seconds on 1st/2nd place.  At least I had the fastest time. 

Then I got onto the bike – which was a 2 loop x 6 mile course.  By the time I got to the first corner, my HR was 177, which is about 340-350 watts for me which isn’t entirely sustainable for 30 mins, so I had to slow down and because the course was pretty hilly with what I remember to be 13 turns – it was tough to get into any sort of rhythm – so I’d go hard until I couldn’t breathe anymore, then rest on the downhill for a few seconds, then go again – out of the saddle on the uphill.  I felt like poop, but more like a poop that couldn’t breathe very well and I probably had asthma.  I don’t recall ever breathing so heavy on the bike (or anywhere for that matter), so I sort of worried I was going to have a heart attack (I don’t want to be that guy who wrecks a race by having a heart attack during the race) – so I did slow a tick and never felt good. On the final turn into transition, this guy zips INSIDE on the turn like we’re going into the final turn before a sprint finish.  Proving that triathletes are generally the worst cyclists out there. I’m sure this is the guy I see out training in his aero helmet on Mercer Island every week (almost as noob-ish as riding with deep dish carbon wheels everywhere – you might look fancy now, but you’ll race dumb later and that isn’t fancy). 

I had the fastest bike by a whole 14 seconds over the guy who won, but seconds matter in these silly short races.  Then I add some insult to my injury or something like that and had a good T2, which was the 5th fastest time but the people faster in T2 took 50% longer to ride, so they were way fresher and I’m sure were wearing their running sneaks and it’s possible that the timing was wrong.  But I did get 2 more seconds on the guy who eventually won the race. 

Then he passed me about 100 yards into the run and I gave him a thank you card and watched the 22 year old speed off for the win.  It’s ok, because I must have weighed a good 30lbs more than him.  As a fat person, this was a fine showing for the overweight.  Pass the tater tots.

I ran pretty well, probably the strongest all year but the guy who took 2nd ended up running past me with about a half mile to go. The whole run I must have sounded like I was actually the guy dying in a triathlon as I coughed and ‘heck-hemed’ the whole time.  I was definitely NOT library friendly without all of that noise. 

Then it was over in 1:02 and I ate a sausage and 2 pancakes.  I had no idea I was 3rd because when 2 races are run on the same course with multiple loops, it got really crowded and I stopped looping for skinny people who looked like they were going ok.  I was mostly lucky and happy to be done running around in spandex in redneck country. 

So I got 3rd OA, 2nd age group and about 31 things of body wash, facial scrub, shampoo and it’s all minty fresh – if you want to smell me, let me know.  I’m delicious and fresh smelling. 

And Tremonte won his race and my friend Gina was 3rd OA in her race. 

It was actually a good race, well run and they had TONS of stuff after the race.  I wouldn’t hesitate doing another one of their races again. And they’re super nice and even before the race, they gave me coffee.  Mostly because I think I started to cry at 5:30am. 

When I got home, the girls ALWAYS want to know if I won and why there’s a 3 on my trophy instead of a 1 and because I physically forced my kids to watch the Tour de France this year – Sada wanted to know what color jersey I won: yellow or white and did I get a lion?  I told her I got a white t-shirt and that seemed to be ok with her.  It also helped that I gave her 92 Larabar samples. 

And I got to swim in a bright pink swim cap. 

And my foot and thumb totally still hurt.

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