Sunday, May 13, 2007

Clemson sprint tri

As promised...

So, we wake up at about 5:15 for the day's events. I say we woke up then, but I didn't really sleep much over the 5 1/2 hours I was in bed, mainly because of the b/a rating I assigned to this race. I was too wired to get to sleep, woke up a lot, and the stupid alarm broke the still air much too early. "Better get up and moving, so I'm not sluggish at the race," I thought to myself. Skin suit and tec shirt on, final (Grace) preps made, and we are out the door.

We made good time, and were on the highway with several other competitors - the only other idiots out on I85 with bikes strapped to their car at 6AM - and watched the increasing glow of sun through the overcast skies as we traveled through the very nice campus of Clemson University. Mendy was the expert navigator, and Grace gave us other observations from the back seat. I can't believe she stayed awake! What a trooper.





So, we get in and parked, and I started pulling my gear and bike from the car. I decided to just take everything at once, since I have a huge roll-behind bag that carries all my race and transition gear. I pick up my race packet, get marked, get Mendy and Grace settled, and start my transition area preps.





I see a few folks from my YMCA Clemson Tri clinic, and make small talk, wishing them all well. Lots of stuff to prep. The weather was looking great for the race, though. Not too hot, absolutely no wind, and not too humid...yet


Lots of stinkies in the port-a-potties, and tons of competitors. I briefly spoke with Chris Giordanelli, and Holly DiGiovine stopped by to chat before a warm-up ride. Hmmm, I may need to start warming up before these things. Grace, as always, is looking for lots of attention. I try to give her as much as possible before I disappear for a bit more than an hour. Uh oh, time to pull on the wetsuit and head toward the swim start. Hopefully our friends will arrive soon!


I head down to the beach, talk with Holly and her mom, chat with some more of the tri clinic folks, and take a quick dip in the water. We observed colors (the anthem was played), and it was race time! I was in the 4th wave, which gave me some time to analyze (worry about) the swim course, and my T1. I finally got in the water and felt okay. I was more focused on staying out of other swimmers' way than going fast, which may account partially for my dismal time (16:18 for 750m and a LONG run to transition). I also took my wetsuit off just before transition to keep from being in any one's way and limit my T1 time. Off on the bike!



The humidity had really skyrocketed by the time I got on the bike. It was a rather pedestrian course out to the road, and we got bunched up a bit. One dude passed me, whom I later passed when I got my stride. Like Chris detailed, it seemed to take a couple of miles for me to find my legs in this route. It was a decent route, but I wasn't in full stride until about 4.5 miles in, and really started picking people off. During one descent just past the airport, I was passing some folks and one drifted toward the center for no reason. I crossed one yellow line only, but I bet the infraction could have been noted had a course Marshall been there. I even called out, "On your left!" Oh well...


On to the run, which was a different course this year. T2 was 1m01s, which I was happy about. Mendy gave me some quick encouragement and advice, I gave a "How 'bout some of THIS" to Scott, and I was off. I was expecting a much better time on the run, but the course was challenging to me, and everyone I've heard from (at least near my level). "Holy crap, it's HUMID! I'm soaked. Are we ever going to see the turn-around?" As I reached the half way point of the race, I put the hat on back wards, a la the rally cap. Time to turn it on! So, I made my way back trying to play it smart. Some dude passed me, but he's not in my age group: Have a nice run, young punk! (Grrrrr) Running around my home gives me some hill experience, so when I encountered a couple of dudes in my AG I was able to pick them off on the hill. "Ahhh, striding out now!" One last climb toward the park, one more dude in my AG to pick off, and I'm feeling good. Really good!


It's go time! I enter the Y grounds, see a dude just ahead of me in my AG, and decide it's on like Donkey Kong. I pace up to him, and about 120m before finish start my attack. He reciprocated, but I went to full-on sprint. And kept speeding up. And up. Whoops, maybe I left too much back on this run. I crossed the finish flat-out hauling ass. Jeremy Davis of SetUp Events even commented that I was finishing strong. Of course, I thought I was going to vomit when I stopped, but it was totally worth it. I looked AWESOME at the finish! Ha ha ha.


I caught up with Mendy and Grace, got my props from Scott and Robin (all my homies and my bitches say "Hoh"), and somehow avoided passing out as I chatted with Jason and Bob. I look up and see the G-Man going for a run. Freak! We walked around and spoke with some other racers and joke about stuff. Good times.


All in all, it was a good race I suppose. I had hoped to place higher (of course), and thought my swim would be a bit faster. Must be my open water swim ability, I guess. Here's the breakdown:

Swim: 16:18 AG Rank: 20 T1: 0:51 Bike: 31:04 AG Rank: 8 T2: 1:00 Run: 22:06 AG Rank: 8
Final: 1:11:18 AG Rank: 9th


So, I'm not sure yet where the series rankings will fall out, but I suppose I'm kinda happy about my performance. Or at least the results. I need to focus on my training to improve my times, and I hope that competing in all races in the series will help my overall ranking. We'll see, and thanks for joining me on this journey!
David


8 comments:

Gotta Run said...

So focused!! Mendy did a great job getting this photo!!

Mendy said...

Yes, I'm quite the photographer... hehe. It was pure luck I got him in stride, considering he was sprinting by us, and very FAST. I also have a lot of shots of pavement (where I missed getting him in the pic). Wanna see....

Chad in the Arizona Desert said...

Well, at least we know you made it to the run...LOL!

Jason The Running Man said...

Great photo, I'm especially quite fond of the smooth legs!!:) You big stud!

Jason The Running Man said...

Show off!

Scott said...

You (insert Austrian accent here)"B-U-R-L-Y MAN"...

Wes said...

Damn dude! Have you been putting on weight? I'm surprised you could lift your butt out of bed, much less do a triathlon! LOL. Don't keep us waiting, damn you!!

Wes said...

Now that's what I call SERVICE! LOL. I've already learned to be humble around young people. My 15 year old is faster than both of us :-) Some one told me I need to smile for the finishing photo, but I'm always trying not to puke so I look like I am in pain! LOL. Nicely done, David!! Keep up the good work.

Wes (One of your new beyotches)