Sunday, September 13, 2009

A taste of the win.

Yesterday was the OUC Orlando sprint triathlon! Horray! This is the first time I have ever done a relay, and the pressure was on. My company had done this race last year, and had gotten 1st place in the corporate relay division. The guy who did the bike last year blew out his knee, so they were down one member. I let them know that I would be interested in participating, and that if given a choice, I would prefer the bike leg. Kirby is a pretty kick-ass swimmer, and Craig is a really really great runner, so that seemed to be perfect. We called ourselves the Pale-Ails, since Kirby was recovering from a bulged vertebrae, and Craig had recently had abdominal surgery and was still in recovery. Kirby said he would be going a little slower cause he hadn't been swimming lately, so would only be putting up 1:30 100's, and Craig said he was slow and would only be doing 6:30 miles. HOLY COW! So I was the weak link, but still we had a pretty killer team, and I just had to make sure that nobody passed me on the bike.
The race started, and I waited....and waited...and waited. Our swim heat was 30 minutes after the race started - time enough for transition to begin seeing elite people transitioning from the bike to to run by the time we transitioned to the bike! I got the signal from Craig that Kirby was about 2 minutes out, so I got ready. Then I saw the first silver colored cap - it was a 13 year old kid! but right behind him was kirby. He was easy to notice since he is 6'5" and pale. (hence the pale-ails) we ran into transition together, and ran to the bike. I already had shoes and helmet on, and he threw over the chip for me to velcro onto my ankle. Then I grabbed my bike and was off! Running, running, running, running. All the way down the bike racks, then all the way back to the beginning of the transition. I crossed the mat and jumped on the bike. I pushed down the pedal, and there was no resistance!!! NO RESISTANCE! My chain was not even on in the front.
Ok, the day had not started on a great note. I woke up and put on my racing outfit, including my long-sleeved UA heatwear, and headed out to put the bike in the car while eating some yogurt and oatmeal. Flat tire in the rear. I pumped it up to see if it would hold air, but i knew it would not. Once I got to the race, I decided to change it. I am thinking that is when the chain slipped off without me noticing. Note here: the markings guy(his name must have been Richard because he sure was a d..) did our markings, and insisted I needed arm markings. He also mentioned that I should take my UA shirt off. Why? Because it is too hot. But this keeps me cool! Dick shook his head side to side, so I put my UA shirt back into my bag, and donned my bike shirt - WHICH STILL COVERED THE BODY MARKINGS COMPLETELY! Anyway, back to the race. resistance on the pedal! I reached down and spent 15 or so seconds to pull the chain up onto the sprocket and I was off! The little part at the beginning was kinda fun, and I started passing people. "On your left" I would call when I passed someone. It became kind of a chant after a bit into the race, and it was fun. I whizzed by whole groups of people and if I saw a medium speed person getting ready to pass a slow person, I would call "ON YOUR LEFT" and whiz by. The first straight stretch down South street must have had some grade to it, and the wind must have been at our backs, because I flew down that road. 27mph whoot!. Then a right turn (I would rather have had more left turns, but eh, what can you do?) There was the wind. down to 20mph, then another right turn and full headwind with a slight incline. I tucked into aero and maintained 18mph. Then a series of right then left then right turn, then another straight stretch. Weird, when we got to the place where the second lap starts, people are weaving around in the middle of the street! GET OUT OF THE WAY! Then the second loop. I was ready for the straight stretch and belted into it. Bike computer says 30mph, then right into the wind, then right into full headwind, then a little squiggle, and I am in the final stretch. Idiots! get out of the way! I passed 15 or so people in the final area leading up to the transition area, and was still calling out "On your left" and to one guy, "Hey man, I have to pass you on the left, so MOVE OVER!" I will be civil after the race. Another pet peeve of mine is people slowing to almost a stop on corners. It is not raining, GO! So I get to the black line a little quickly and the bike is not stopping. I ended up planting my foot, trying to unclip my right foot, while pinching the front brakes at the same time - back tire goes up! I am sure it looked a little goofy, but I did not cross that line.... Transition was easy, since I was one of the first of the relay people into transition, I threw my bike at the bar, and took off my chip to hand to Craig. Then he flew. He was starting out at a jog that was faster than my fastest run, but I cheered him past and sat down to figure out what planet I was on. It doesnt look like the official results are up yet for this year, but we won the corporate division this year with a time of 1:07. I did 11.5 miles in roughly 33 minutes, and we almost got the best time in all of the relay teams. I think only the first place men's team beat us, and they only got us by a couple seconds.
Overall it was a great experience, and I got that taste of a win. I have a half IM in two weeks, and even though I do not plan on coming home with first - I am going to see what it is all about, and then, who knows? I got the bug. I also found it interresting that several people in what would be my age group got under an hour. 400m swim, 11.5 bike, and 3.75 mile run with two transitions in less than an hour. That is awesome, and scary at the same time. But it is also cool to be able to see how fast it can be done, and I will work to cut my times for all three disciplines down. I just started this sport less than a year ago. I feel great about how far I have come, and at this point, I have not found a reason not to go lots farther - and faster!

P.S. Thanks CB!

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