This year's Memorial Day was a family trifecta on the triathlon front... but let me start this blog entry with this... I crashed my bike twice this past week during training rides... once when I threw the chain shifting... and suffice to say that when you are going 24.6 mph and fall onto asphalt... it leaves some nasty road rash... the first wreck resulted in mostly backside road rash and one nasty one on my right elbow. The result of the wreck caused some damage to my handlebars, shifter/brake hood as well as my pride as this was my first ever wreck.... but I picked myself up, dusted myself off, fixed my bike as best I could on the road and finished the ride. Now... one thing I noticed on the ride home was what appeared to be the front tire wobbling... I thought the wreck caused the front wheel to be out of true but upon some investigation I found out that the front tire was significantly damaged. So... I swapped out the front tire with a new one and prepped my bike for the next ride. A couple days later I mounted the mighty steed and headed out on my ride... but just as I went into the second turn and not yet even out of the neighborhood... the front tire went flat followed quickly by the bike and then me going flat... fortunately there was minimal damage to the bike but my front side did not fair so well... I pretty much landed on my palms, chest and right knee... my hands were bloody, my Navy cycling jersey torn and my right knee was a mess... but I walked my bike home... changed the tube... and went back out for what turned out to be a great ride!
Okay... onto the event... Colby and I were signed up for the Sterne Agee LJCC Super Sprint Triathlon being held in Birmingham, AL on Memorial Day. The race had a 0800 start time and consisted of a 200 yard swim, 8 mile bike and 2 mile run. I knew it was going to be an early morning given we had to drive 90 miles, get our race packets, get setup in transition by 0730 and mentally prepare for the race... and that meant we needed to hit the road by 0530. So Sunday night we packed up our bags, filled our water bottles, loaded up the truck with our bikes and secured our cheering gallery (Sherri and Cassidy).
Monday 30 May 2011
Standard up before the alarm... shower and shave... put on the race kit... head to the kitchen for a nice bowl of steel cut oatmeal. Sherri was up early as well and started the coffee for the 1 1/2 hour drive to Birmingham. Colby and I scurried around the house making sure we had everything we were going to need... and checking the checklist one last time just to ensure we would not forget something. At 0535 we loaded up the truck with bowls of oatmeal in hand, water bottles and travel mugs full of hot coffee. The drive was uneventful... but the chaos would soon follow... we found the LJCC with no issues and quickly made our way into the Gymnasium to get our race packets... then t-shirt and swag bag pickup... then timing chip pickup... it was just after 7 am and Colby got the last Youth Large tech shirt and I scored a nice Women's large as I did not want the remaining XXL... so Sherri now has a keepsake from the event and she will put it to good use at the YMCA during her workouts. But I digress... by this time it is 0714 and bikes have to be in Transition no later than 0730... so we head back out to the truck to get our bikes and gear and make our way to Transition... queue panic... this race included temporary TriTats vice Sharpie body marking and the full monty numbering system... Now... this may not mean much to most but the numbering system includes a lot of numbers that have to be placed very specifically in various places... fortunately for me.. while Colby and I were getting our first pre race pee out of the way she was listening to a woman demonstrate the proper placing of all of the temporary tattoos and stickers.. and I will say this at this point... had it not been for her being there I am confident that I would not have been able to get Colby completely situated in Transition as well as my stuff... THANK YOU SWEETPEA for being there!
So... Sherri tells me to go get my stuff set up and she will take care of Colby... So I head up to my spot and start the assembly process of sticker placement.... I get my stuff laid out how I like it... "5 mins to Transition closing"... AHHH SNAP.... I am way behind... and not completely set up yet... I throw on my HR strap... find my goggles... flip off my flip-flops... step on my half consumed GU Roctane (read: GU now all over my Transition mat and shoes)... can I mention that this stuff is appropriately named... GU is gooey when out of the package... but I quickly make my way down to Colby's station... I quickly help him finish setting up his gear... verbally go through the process of each transition... he is ready and getting nervous about not heading to the pool as there are only a few left in Transition... Sherri quickly puts on my number tats... and we are off to the pool..
We walk through the Community Center to the pool... find someone in charge and ask how the swim is going to work... it is a serpentine swim starting at the far end of the pool... swimming up the lane then under the lane marker and back down... for a total of 6 lanes... then after the last lane we shoot off at a 45 degree into the shallow play portion of the pool and swim around a buoy then straight line to the stairs... not ideal but a great option for Colby's first event. I am number 29 and he is 92... ying and yang... they call out on the PA that we need to line up by number... everyone gaggles around trying to sort it all out but eventually we all get in order... we are ready!
The person wearing #1 is a 14 year old boy on the US Junior Olympic team... he ends up winning the entire event... the kid was a stud!
SWIM- So the plan is to get in the water on the edge, working your way to the corner and each swimmer will go in 5-10 second intervals... at 0800 they send off #1... and so the race begins... standing in front of me was a guy that did 10 years in the USMC.... we idly chit chat while we wait... he tells me that he will swim to one side as he knows I am going to pass him... within 60 yards I am tickling his feet and eventually pass him on the 4th length... the swim is going great... I feel really good despite the mayhem at each turn... I quickly round the buoy and make my way to the stairs... I exit the pool and start the long run through the Community Center and out into the parking lot out front... it was a long run...
BIKE- I find my bike... throw on my shoes, helmet, glasses and Garmin (read: I really wish I had at 310xt at this point)... I run with my bike and THIS TIME I execute a flying mount with perfection... quickly lock in the cleats and I am off... we exit the parking lot and make a right hand turn up the road... where right at a mile there is a 180 degree turn around... I pass several folks to the first turn... once I make the turn I get out of the saddle and accelerate as quickly as possible... back into the aero position and settle in for my attempt to really ride as hard as I can.. the course had some rolling hills but nothing like my training rides... I pass several more people on the bike and then eventually get passed by a guy on a tri bike... ARRRGGHHH... I end up in a position where there were 3 of us and we end up trading positions for the entire bike ride... they pass me on the flats and downhills and I pass them on the climbs... fortunately for me the last mile was all uphill and eventually I pass them both on that last section... at 5 miles there is the second 180 degree turn around... and a quick acceleration back up to speed follows... as I am approaching the 7 mile mark of the ride I see Colby coming the opposite direction and he looks great... I yell out to him "GO GET EM COLBY T"... he smiles as he heads out... as I approach the parking lot I unstrap my feet from my shoes and pedal in on top of my shoes... I come screaming up to the dismount line and execute a perfect dismount into a quick run with my bike... I rack my bike, slip on my shades, take off my helmet, put on my race belt (stupid) and then left shoe... perfect... then right shoe... NOT PERFECT... the shoe gets stuck on my wet skin and curls under... it costs me a few extra seconds but I am now off on the run...
I quickly find Sherri and Cassidy... we head back out to the road to wait for Colby to come back by on the bike... after just a couple of minutes we see him coming... he is powering up the hill and looks good... we make our way over to the outside barrier of the Transition area... Sherri positions herself across from his bikek location... I walk up towards the entry point... as he comes in... he is walking his bike... I can tell by his body language that he is tired... I ask him "Great ride... How you feel buddy?"... to which he replies... "I'm tired"... in a really weak tone... head down... I think to myself... he may be done... I encourage him as he walks his bike down to his spot... trying to pump him up... Sherri is praising him for an awesome ride... "How are you doing Colby T?" she says... "I'm tired Mom... and thirsty"... he racks his bike, takes off his helmet... gets a drink, puts on his shades.... grabs his Sport Beans... and heads for the run start... ALRIGHT.... he is headed out... we cheer him on!
POST RACE- we make our way into Transition and gather up our stuff... then head to the truck... put our bikes on the rack... grab our change of clothes and head for the showers.... after a quick shower and wardrobe change we head out to the pool area where the post race festivities are going to take place... we grab some food and drinks... when Sherri comes over and says... "I think you finished first in your Age Group"... WHAT? I walk over to where the results are posted... well I'll be damned... I DID!!! What a great feeling given I was not at my peak having taken an entire week off after the Peachtree Olympic as well as trying to heal from the two bike wrecks... just goes to show you... on any given day... well you know the rest!
Colby becomes a Triathlete... I get my first AG win... my Brother runs a spectacular race in the CapTexTri Sprint Triathlon in Austin, TX honoring me and remembering our Dad for Memorial Day... not sure it gets much better than that... love you man... what a memorable day!
This event taught me a couple of things but also reminded me that having family support is critical to the individual success... yeah it is you against the course come race day but without the understanding and love of your family you cannot be properly trained to execute at your best... huge kudos to Sherri and Cassidy for getting up early and being our biggest fans on Monday... it meant a lot to both Colby and I to have you guys there.
So.. What I learned is this... you need more time to get 2 people settled in Transition when you don't have the luxury of picking of your race packets early... and don't... DON'T ever put your half consumed GU down... hold onto it until you done with it!
200y swim- 3:07
8mi bike- 23:51
T2- 58 seconds
2mi run- 16:15
Total time- 45:50
Attitude trumps pain!