Saturday, March 13, 2010

Bug Day

Did my first triathlon of the year at Moss Park this morning. Let’s iron out the wrinkles and get the rust out of the old tubes. No pressure, just fun. A good workout to start the spring off. Ah, such a good thing.

If only it had turned out that way. Bring on the travesty of the century.

One of the many excuses / whiny-ass complaints I have about today is this: WTF is up with a 7am race in March? The sun is barely up! The 58 degree water is bad enough without the 56 degree air when the sun is barely peaking over the horizon. I guess I’d have more of a valid beef if I had known the race was at 7am and I was there on time. Oh no. Not me. I thought it was at 7:30am.

Shit. This is a bad sign.

So I’m at registration at 6:46am having the volunteers looking at me like I’m an idiot.

“You’re missing the racers briefing.” I’ve done this before lady. This isn’t my first rodeo. “Yeah, well the race starts in 13 minutes.”

She handed me my race packet while I sat in silence for a second. CRAP!

I looked down and I was still in my running shorts and sneakers. I was way more than 13 minutes away from being ready for a triathlon. My bike was still on my car for crying out loud..


So I guess my warm up was going to be my sprint to my car. OK, tri-suit on. Transition bag, uh, ready. Bike off the bike rack. I was the last one to rack my bike so I just kind of threw it along the edge. No final check for me. I had a starting line to get to.

I walked onto the beach, wetsuit in hand to hear “2 minutes till start”.
How does that account for the fact that it takes me at least 3 to peal my wet-suit on?

I asked Z, the race director, if I could have a minute. Hey, I know the guy, I figured… 1 minute. At least me legs were in.

Hey buddy, can you zip me up, 15 seconds…

Thanks. GO!!

I guess putting on my goggles can be something that I do after the race starts.
OK, brand new, never worn goggles, on my head and into the freezing cold water. Eyes fully immersed in a goggle capsule of water. Stop and fix. Good to go.

At least I was in hip deep in the water the first time I stopped. The second time I was over my head and had to tread water while I tried to adjust my goggles so they would accomplish their goal if keeping H2O away from my eyeballs.

It’s been a lot of years since I’ve had a water safety guy in a kayak ask me if I was OK. Thanks dude, I’ll be fine. Off I went. At least there were a few people behind me.

It took about 15 seconds once I got going for my left eyeball to again face the water.

Have you ever poured freezing cold water into you eyeball? No? Well let me tell you what happens. You turn into the biggest spaz in the water. No lie.


Halfway through the 750 meter swim there was actually a guy in front of me that was doing the back stroke. What a disaster.

Mercifully the swim ended.

Off with wet-suit and into the bike shoes. My day couldn’t get worse. Or could it?
Before I could mount my bike I had to run through the dirt and mud for about 50 yards. Of course my cleats got clogged with mud. I rode the entire 12 miles without being able to get my shoes in the pedals. This was a MASSIVE speed disadvantage and safely issue.

Of course my bike was making a crazy noise. What the hell is that? I actually STOPPED. Why not, I did it three times in the swim. Brakes fine. I wonder what that could be.

It was leaf and it make the most obnoxious, annoying, and downright Chinese water torture-ish sound the whole way.

Who upstairs did I piss off to deserve this?

I came out of the water in around 20th. I worked my way through the field into 6th place off the bike.

I then proceeded to kick ass on the run and ended up 3rd. I was surprised and shocked to run 16:30 for 2.8 miles. At least there was a silver lining. After the race I wasn’t even tired. I felt like I just went for an easy bike ride or something. Amazing.

So what can we learn from this class? How about double check what time the race starts before you go to bed at night. Wearing your goggles at least once before a race is a good idea as well.

Even if I swam well I likely would have finished 3rd. Today was all along intended to be a workout. Tomorrow I’m going to learn from today and go back and do the Olympic Distance race. This time I’m going to make sure my goggles and cycling shoes work.

Today was one of those bug days. You know the saying: Sometimes you’re the windshield and sometimes you’re the bug. Tomorrow I am going to be the windshield.
Remember that Friday March 19th is the first of the “Lake County Trail Running Series”. Race is at the Emeralda March in Lisbon. Check it out on Facebook.