Thursday, August 21, 2008

Greenville Sprint Tri

At 5:22, lightning was flashing and the rain was washing against my window. "Sweet!" I thought, "I don't have to race today!" I don't dread racing, and began to look at it as a training day. What I do dread, however, is constantly doing really well, only to have several dudes in my age group do just a little bit better. Mendy and I tried to talk each other out of it without looking like we were wimping out. We agreed to just go and see if it was going to happen. Yeah, that would the *the sign*.

It stopped raining on the way, but I knew another small cell was on the other side. We arrived to sprinkles and more natural fireworks. Setting up transition was reminiscent of Langley Pond, and I feared I would be dumping cups of water out of my helmet and sloshing around in my running shoes. There was some talk about it being a duathlon, but I was getting the feeling we were going swimming. We headed into the pool building, and I got in line for the ole morning constitutional. Yes, that time was again upon me. Hopefully I could make up some time on the bike...

So, I knew I was woefully mis-seeded on the swim. I entered a conservative /100yd swim time, but didn't get back into the website in time to change it to a more accurate number. I started about 1/4 back, at 172, but should have been around 110 I figured. I went off the wall with a lady and never saw her again. I quickly caught one swim pair, then another. Then I caught on the tail of another mis-seeded swimmer, and drafted him as we picked through the slower swimmers. This was good, until I found myself on the last lap, approaching the exit ladder with two other swimmers. Probably a good 5 seconds urinated away there.

Out of the pool, through transition (which felt like a leisurely picnic in the park) and on the bike. Wow, the legs felt strong and warm right away! Time to put the hammer down! Oh wait, it's still sprinkling. I was cautiously aggressive, hammering the straights, careful in the corners, pushing the hills, and passing everyone. One guy I passed came back by me while I was recovering from a climb, and once my legs were back I up shifted and blew by him like he was standing still. Nobody ever passed me. Quickly back into transition...

I pulled my socks on so fast, they were way up my calf. And these were no-show socks! Oh well, it's just another 20-ish minutes to the finish. I took off and immediately felt my effort on the bike. My HR was still soaring, and I had a tough time catching my breath. I was keeping decent time and seeing some team mates ahead of me doing well. We did the "Go man!" thing, and I tried to stay steady. On the second lap, a racer I encountered and finished just ahead of in the Clemson Sprint, then spoke to at Tri the Midlands, came up behind me and said, "Come on, Dave! Let's bring this in." Damn! I was just at the point of cruising in, but I wasn't going down like that. So, we paced each other in, and hopefully I pushed him as much as he pushed me. Down the rocky trail back to the parking lot, I started to feel strong again, and began my finishing kick as I got back on pavement. Not quite a dead sprint across the line, but I was pushing hard. I just about un-swallowed after I stopped. Great race, and one I didn't even want to do!

As we were hanging out near the finish, a girl came across and began holding her mouth. I told my teammates, "She's gonna hurl!" She walked around, and then as she came past I yelled, "DO IT!!" She replied, smiling, with "SHUT UP!!"

So, the results:

I came in 5th in my age group. 4th place was 2 seconds ahead of me. 3rd place, the guy that pushed me in, was 19 seconds ahead of me! 2nd and 1st place (way to go, Nick!) weren't even close. I was irritated because I'd rather lose a podium spot by several minutes than a handful of seconds. My friend Olivier helped me put it in perspective, though, saying that it means I'm *right there* with them, so it's a good thing. I guess it makes sense, but still no less frustrating. Maybe next time...

The day was capped off with some hanging out with the team, a party for the opening of the new Go Tri Sports store in G'ville, and a party at Team Long training central. Good times, great day, and lessons learned. Also great results from Chris O, G-man, Pete E, Pete R, Stephen, and Jonathan from the team! And great efforts from Mendy and Eric, too! It's the hanging out after that makes these races REALLY worth it! (until I start winning, that is) ;-)

13 comments:

Kevin said...

Great race report. You did a kick ass job. I cant believe SC 1/2 is almost like 6 weeks away

Lily on the Road said...

Way to kick butt David. I'm still laughing at you yanking on your no-see socks...LOL

Marcy said...

Sweet job homie! You'll get to where you want to be, I'm sure :-)

ROFLMAO! Leave it to you to egg a chick on to puke HAHHAHAHAHAHAAAA

Erin Leigh said...

I guess I can understand your frustration but the fact that you are right up there amazes me. You will get it!!! Great job.

Wes said...

Excellent effort, homie. You'd a podiumed for sure if you didn't have to climb a ladder to get out of the swim :-)

Eric said...

Great stuff! I love the "Un-swallow" comment! THAT is a keeper! It was great to see y'all there. Congratulations on a great finish...regardless of how the others finish. Yeah, I know it's a "Race" and that's why they have "places" and awards but is that why you do it? You're right, Olivier has a great knack for putting things in perspective!

Hope to see y'all soon!

Gotta Run said...

Where do all these fast people come from?? I never get close enough to placing high enough in my age group. Would be cool though!!!!

So glad that you and Mendy went and did not skip the event. Sounds like it was a good one!

Fian said...

GREAT race! You really slammed in a fab performace. I know it's frustrating to miss it by a few seconds, but you'll catch 'em next time. You know it. We know it. Can't wait to hear about the next one!

Marathoner in Training said...

Great job on the race. The only way that I could get that high in my age group is if I was the only one that showed up, and then I might get third or something.

paul said...

Nice work! And you can't cruise, gotta take it all the way in. Too funny about that chica. At the last club race I did, this guy crossed the line, walked over to a trash can and just hurled...too funny.

Jess said...

Great job! For some reason, you kinda look like you have a mustache in that last pic, and I was really trying to figure out how you grew one in the course of the race.

J~Mom said...

You are SOOO close to podium!! What you ought to do is come out here and race on the flat land! Whatcha say?!

Mendy said...

Listen at Lisa.... She needs to pony up some cash, right? j/k.

You did GREAT at that race, especially under those conditions. She's right - you are so close to podium.