Sunday, September 30, 2007

On The Road Again

It has been over a year since I competed in a triathlon (off-road), but it has been 3+ years since I had raced a road triathlon. As my leg is starting to heal and I can run again, the itch to do any race is intensifying. With the triathlon season winding down I decided to compete in the Black Diamond Sprint Tri held September 23rd.

The plan was to have a solid swim and bike and try to hang on during the run and lessen the damage, both to my ego and legs. I was extremely nervous for the race. Lack of any speed work definitely increased my anxiety, as the thought of only racing for 60-70 minutes seemed frightening fast.

The water felt reasonably warm for being in September and Deep Lake is synonymous for being a bit on the chilly side. I had a great starting position and when the gun sounded I found a nice swimming lane to find my form. Unfortunately my form never came. In all honestly it was the least amount I had been hit, bumped or pummeled at the start of a race, but for one reason or another I could not find a rhythm. I was hoping for a sub 14:00 800m swim, but instead settled on a 14:58...ouch. My swim was good enough for 25th fastest among the men, but I knew I had some work to accomplish on the bike.

The aero position, once a common position, could not have felt more foreign. It took a few miles to warm up, but once comfortable I started picking off competitors. I had a great battle with a gentleman in a QR Lucero tri bike. He passed me and I tried to encourage him to keep hammering, but he looked at me as if I was speaking Japanese. I will never understand why fellow competitors do not reciprocate a compliment. This really pissed me off. C'mon, we are not in Kona racing for world championships and we are certainly not professionals racing for a paycheck. We are recreational triathletes racing in the backwoods of Washington state. Give me a break. Regardless I used this energy to smoke by him and his $8000 tri bike. That's right chump I was the one who passed you on the road bike riding on the hoods. PUNK! I then went on to pass 7 more competitors to finish with the 7th fastest bike split.

I felt amazing coming into the run transition, but I knew the pain had not begun. Both my transitions were a bit slow since I hadn't practiced them in some time, but my second transition was quite funny. My legs were a bit wobbly from the bike and my hip is not strong enough to balance on my left leg so trying to put on my right shoe caused me to fall over. It wasn't graceful either. I could only imagine it looked like a tree falling in the forest. One fluid motion, no hands to catch me...wham on the ground. I quickly sat myself and my dignity up put on both my shoes while sitting in the grass and started the run. My current run gait is somewhere between Egor and a kid with polio (not funny, but sets the visual). I somehow managed to maintain a 7:10 pace and only let one racer to catch me on the run.

My final time was just over 1:10:00, which was good enough for 2nd in age group and 11th overall. I am usually not satisfied with any results, but I must admit I was not expecting a finishing place this high.

As all competitors I sat back after the race results where posted and tried to determine where I coulda, woulda, shoulda placed if I was completely healthy. I could have posted :45 faster on the swim, 1:10 on the bike and 2:15 on the run. I also could have eliminated close to 1:00 on my transitions. With all being said this would have put me in the top 5 of finishing times. Looks like I still have some worked to do if I want to podium.

Again, great race and definitely a nice spring board into winter training. I doubt I will do any more road tri's next year, but this revs the motor Xterra in 2008.

1 comment:

DARTvg said...

Way to drop the punk! Whatever it takes to dig deep...gotta love it! Nive work AV.