Monday, June 11, 2007

My impression of a concrete donkey swimming...

I don't think I've made it a secret that swimming is my weak part of triathlon. Well, the Olympic distance tri just happens to be my kryptonite; the swim is almost Half IronMan distance, while the bike is about half of a HIM, and the run is less than half of the HIM. So, with my current weakness on the swim, I have even less chance to make up for it in other parts. But boy did I try!

(to skip the race report, some other info near the bottom of this post)

We jetted down to Greenwood and grabbed some food (boring details: baked potato and 2 trips to the salad bar). Back to the room, and my perfectionist nature decided it was a PERFECT time - the night before a race - to do some fairly significant maintenance on the Chariot of Dreams. I replace on shifter cable and also the chain, then do the tuning required for those changes. That took a while, and I was looking for the pillow and a cup or two of wine to sleep heavy.

Should have left for the race site early: a long walk, long lines, and 2 freakin porta-johns for the nearly 300 racers and however many spectators buzzing around transition. Standing in line was my warm up, unfortunately. I noticed the wind kicking, and was concerned about water conditions and the bike ride. I was right on about the water; it sucked! BIG time!! My pace was way off, I felt awkward, I couldn't plane out (legs sinking), the waves caused me to ingest lots of stinky brown lake water. It finally ended, and I exited the water quite obviously disappointed. Mendy noticed me shaking my head as I looked at my watch. Almost 36 minutes for 1500m. Then came the transition from hell: I just couldn't pull my head out of my butt and get going. AHHHH! I was so frustrated, so I took it out on the bike.

I started to gain speed slowly, finding my legs. I traded places with one of the fastest Elite females, and then passed finally for good. Then it was hammer time: I just kept passing and passing - probably about 2 dozen other riders. It was a nice course, with some significant headwind in places, and plenty of chip-and-seal pavement for "texture", but it was a nice challenge. No steep hills, just long shallow grades. I felt on, but I had to be to make up for my swim. Did I mention how bad it was? Anyway, the weather was beautiful, and I was looking forward to the run in reasonable temps as I entered the home stretch on the bike. 1:03:17 for 24 miles

Then someone turned on the sun, and it was instantly about 90 degrees! Holy crap! Transition went better this time, but not great. Next time I won't wear a fuel belt, since the water stations were plentiful. Once you exit the park, it's a long stretch of hilly road about 38 feet from the sun. I could feel my temp rising and discovered that I had totally failed to consume calories on the ride. DOH! What was I thinking? Turn right and into the shade for the middle leg of the run. Some words of encouragement to the faster runners, and the turn-around - more water dumped on the head (whoa...I'm getting dizzy). At about 3.5 miles in, I'm feeling good (in the shade, mind you) so I turn it up a bit. On a down-hill some woman comes trotting by me. On the next up hill I went by handily, showing what terrain she trains in. This happened a couple more times until I turned it up a bit more at about mile 4. I kept cranking it up a touch more every 1/3 to 1/2 mile until I was alone on the road between any groups of runners. I thought I was going the wrong way a couple of times, but I found my way. Man, the people of Greenwood are so supportive, and were cheering us on like crazy. It felt great! The last 100yds to the finish are up a hill so steep it's almost a wall. Seriously!

Total time: 2:29:08 - 7/23 in male age group, 63/192 men

I was never so glad to be done with a run, and stood under the shower tent trying to cool down. As sensation was returning to my body, I started to feel the lack of nutrition shutting my muscles down as they tried to rest: I was stiffening up faster than a 12 year old boy with a hot substitute teacher. I began to eat anything I could keep down; cookies, Gatorade, sandwich, chips, more Gatorade, protein bar, more cookies. Wow, it was hot, and I needed to stretch. We hung out for a bit and then headed home. I was bushed, but it wasn't long to Grandma's house and our reunion with Grace. She's such a sweetie, and grew another 2 inches over the weekend I think. She hadn't napped, so she slept the entire way to Mellow Mushroom, and the whole time we were there gorging on pizza and Blue Moon!

Sorry for the extremely long race report. I'm sure those of you still awake are nearing hysteria by now. So, on to my 6 thangs 'bout me:

1) toilet paper absolutely must come over the top of the roll, and can not ever have a part of a square remaining. Only a whole square at the end will do.
2) like Mendy, I have to eat candies in a certain order: damaged first, then until all colors are even in number (from darkest to lightest), then in order from darkest to lightest one of each at a time.
3) Marcy's new profile pic makes me think some one's spying on me.
4) I would always rather skip lidocaine (novocaine) injections when getting a filling in a tooth: 2 seconds of blinding pain is worth it to not deal with needles in the mouth or warm puffy face.
5) somehow my body knows when Mendy is nearby, and decides it's the perfect time for gas to be released. It's uncanny.
6) I'm starting to enjoy running (shhhhh! Don't tell Mendy or Robin!)


Mendy said...

You did Great, David! You will get better on that swim! Good race report!

Oops, no pics peeps! That's because I haven't downloaded them yet!

Enjoy running, what?

Nikki said...

Wow...great report!

Downing brown lake water had to suck!

Great job on the race...what was your final time?

Congrats! :)

I have to think that a few of your weird things are freeking CRAZY! heheheheeeeee

J~Mom said...

I was totally rolling at #3. OMG that was so funny.

Great race report. I am so happy you are starting to like the running part! Maybe that means I have hope for the swim part. Even the yucky parts (drinking brown water) really make me want to do one that much more! I totally can't wait!

Awesome job on the whole thing! You didn't give up when the swimming was tough!


Marcy said...

You did GREAT!!!! Especially considering the conditions! Sounded like a hell of a time between the water (yummy LOL), temps, hills and stuff. I think you did better then you give yourself credit for (especially on the swim part :) )

Dang are you insane? No novocaine? I did that once and only once and will NEVER ever ever do it again LOL.

How do you know I'm not spying on you? See that person outside your window with the binoculars, hunched down beside a bush? That's me :P LOL JK!!

sunshine said...

Sounds like a tough race but way to work through it!

And... toliet paper over the top and in full squares - ABSOLUTELY

As for candies (especially Skittles) I'm a ROYGBV order kinda girl. I'm proud to say I line them up in order of color and eat the "extras" until there are an even number of each color. Then, I proceed to eat them in ROYGBV order. Hahaha - glad I'm not the only crazy OCD person in the world.

Wes said...

Nicely done! Next time I want you tell me how great the swim was and that I'm going to love it the first time I do an Olympic distance :-)

Gotta Run said...

Did I miss the part of your report where a large part of the athletes cut the corner on part of the swim? Very important detail!!

Just take a minute and look back at how far you have come in the past year. Amazing!! Next tri on a month so don’t go to mad on us and crack out too many intense workouts. Keep in mind that it is major hoottttt these days.

Normally I do not carry any fuel belts of any kind during races. Aid station should provide all the support you need during the run portion. Keep you body light during the events are smart.

Fantastic race report. You are doing great!!

Chad in the Arizona Desert said...

Great job!! Don't kid yourself, that is a rocking fast time for an Olympic, especially your first one with a slow swim and suspect nutrition. You averaged about 24mph on the bike and that is not easy to do, much less leave anything for the run. You keep that up, and you are going to be taking a lot of hardware home in the future.