Triangle Triathlon 7/14/12
750m - 17.5mi - 5k
I drove up to Cary, NC to drop off some bikes at Inside Out (unfortunately I had brought the wrong ones with me; further, I would forget to bring one back that I had said I would...alas) and register for the race (since I had forgotten online registration) on Friday afternoon. Besides me being out of whack, mentally, everything went fine and I headed to Mark Carey's house in Chapel Hill to spend the night. We made a trip to the ol' Harris Teeter where I made the fateful decision to purchase a pint of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ben and Jerry's (well, I suppose the fateful decision would be eating the entire thing in ~10 minutes, not necessarily purchasing it). Needless to say, it was delicious.
We woke up early Saturday morning and headed to the race site at 5:30am. I was a little nervous because I felt as though something...wrong...was happening inside me. We made it to the race, loaded up and rode that bikes to the transition area where I set up on my rack pretty quickly (I was a high # since I registered at packet pickup, unfortunately not in the same place as the other opens in whose wave I was racing) before realizing that I needed to hit a porto. I needed to to hit it stat. Unfortunately, the stop did little to clear away my issues. Having never dealt with something like this before; I didn't think that much of it. I figured I could get away with a lot in a sprint. Any maybe I could have, but not this time. Oh well.
Swim - 12:27 (7th)
I lined up to the far left next to Mark and Doug and as the gun sounded took off at an extremely ambitious pace. Almost immediately I felt hands slapping my feet nice and gently and I looked up to see only (who I assumed was) Doug ahead of me. Only a minute into the swim he already had what appeared to be a 50 yard lead. Ridiculous.
I made it to the first buoy ahead of everyone but Doug and pressed on until at about halfway Mark, Chris (Tommerdahl) and Greg took a different path. I thought my line was straight so continued on directly towards the second, and final turn buoy. I saw them off to my left the whole time and they weren't gaining any ground so I was content to remain where I was. At the second buoy our paths naturally merged and I found myself on Chris' feet, with Greg off to the left and Mark ahead of her. A little ways onward Mark let Chris take the lead and got on her feet while I stayed behind him; it was like being in a jacuzzi staring straight at a couple of the water jets. There was a lot of noise in the water, so I was content to sit there and enjoy the draft as my arms and legs tingled from the effort level. I exited the water close behind Mark and Chris and a little further back from Greg (and we were all 2+ minutes down on Doug).
T1 - 1:37 (27th)
The run up to transition was a long one and I didn't push it for fear of dying. I got to my rack space (which was close to the swim exit but far from the bike start/finish) and had a not-perfect transition before heading out onto the bike course.
Bike - 41:34 (2nd)
Once out on the bike we had to negotiate some fairly narrow bends marked by cones and I pulled ahead of Chris as she was doing up her shoes and kept pace with Mark. After the cones were gone I concentrated on not doing anything stupid. A little ways onward I passed Mark with Greg only a bit up the road. Once I caught Greg and passed him I looked back to see Greg pacing with me and Mark a little ways back, which surprised me as I expected him to be right there as well.
Regardless, I pressed onwards but without my watts I was unsure of my effort level. I mean that in the sense that I don't care if I'm OVER my target, I care if I'm UNDER my target. I'm a slave to the numbers and, for the most part, I think it's a good thing. I think I should have ridden this course harder, but with Greg being a constant presence it became "easy" to use his pace as opposed to setting my own. Oh well, tangential word vomit.
Greg and I swapped the pace setting duties a few times as we tried to catch Doug. As the course continued it became clear that it would take almost the whole bike to do so (hopefully, anyway). It was exceptionally humid and my visor was fogged over completely so I kept trying to push it up but it didn't want to. I kept expecting my legs to warm to the effort but unfortunately they never did, and Greg and I continued onwards until we caught a glimpse of Doug a ways up the road.
Unfortunately, we didn't catch him until literally T2. I hopped off my bike with expeditiousness, hoping to run my way into the lead.
T2 - 00:45 (3rd)
I had a long run with my bike but had a quick transition. My T2s do not appear to be a problem. It is T1s that need some work...
Run - 22:21 (69th)
I went out and over the mats only a couple of feet behind Doug, but could tell almost immediately that my stomach was going to have none of this fast running. I managed to hold him in my sights (that doesn't mean I was close to him sadly) until we turned onto the trails but after that I slowed dramatically. My stomach felt very knotted and/or riled up and running fast made the sensations extremely unpleasant. So I basically resigned myself to a nice trail run and tried to cheer (lamely, because I suck at cheering) everyone I saw. Anyway, I ran slowly (very slowly) to the finish. A bit disappointed, but happy to still finish 5th OA.
I was not happy with the outcome of the race, but since it was my first bad race of the year and it's July, I can't take too much away from it. I made a bad pre-race decision and paid the price. That's the way the cookie (dough ice cream...bang!) crumbles sometimes.
Next up is a good week of training, then a little more training, then Giant Eagle 5150! I'm excited to see how fast I can do a true olympic distance and still get my butt handed to me by some legit professionals. Hopefully I don't slip up and ask for any autographs!