Monday, September 17, 2007

Really tri-ing

After much whining on my part about missing the See Jane Tri, due to my families trip to Vegas, I roped T into doing another tri. It's going to be my last of the year, sadly, as the season is quickly ending. We debated for most of the week and I even emailed the guy running it to make sure we could register on-site. :-)

This was the "Tri for Real", run by the same folks that did the "Tri for Fun" series we had done earlier in the summer. So, the 'real' tri is a bit longer, which is one of the reasons we had been debating about doing it. The swim is 700 yds vs. 400 yds., the bike is 18 miles vs 12 miles, and the run is 4 miles vs 3 miles. Are we up for it? Hell, yeah. Why not.

So, T was at my place at 5:00 on Sunday and we were off. We got to the park, scored a prime parking spot, and headed to the transition area to claim our bike rack space. Then it was off to registration and body marking. Interesting difference at this tri, they mark your age on your right calf. Niiiice. I always wanted to see the ages of everyone passing me. So by this time we still have about an hour until we start. Back to transition, set up our stuff, and then just hang and watch the battles for space that ensue between late comers. One guy takes his bike out for a test spin and when he comes back someone has stolen his spot. It's pretty entertaining actually.

We head down to hear the pre-race briefing and watch the lifeguards haul the buoys out into the water. Um, they just keep going. What!?!? Way out there?!?! Sadly, yes. It looks unbelievably far. Sigh.

Eventually it's time for the pre-race briefing and then we wait for our wave to start. We're wave 5, as evidenced by the big, black "5" written on our right hands. Finally it's our turn to head out and we make our way into the water. No one seems to want to be at the front, where the elbowing and running over takes place. We're off! Roughly 15-16 minutes later we're into the transition area to switch to bikes. Amazingly the swim wasn't nearly as bad as I expected. I could have kept going if I HAD to.

Now for the weakest link, the bike. Up a hill and out onto the course. Hmm, what's that strange wobbly feeling? Damn, it's not the road, it's my bike. Hop off and check it out. Looks okay, but it must be 'out of true'. Nothing I can do about it now but hope it doesn't go flying off. Eventually we hit the big downhill and it feels like it might fly off, but it holds. Another loop around the course and we're off the bikes in about an hour of riding.

Slip into the running shoes and take off. Hmm, still sucks but the legs feel a *little* better than last time. Maybe those bricks do work. I find it harder to run a course when I have no idea where I'm at distance-wise. So I concentrated on reading peoples calves to see who was kicking my ass. Basically everyone was. I did pass a 70 year old guy and some 20-somethings. But mostly I got breezed by. We do the 4 miles in about 40 minutes, which I'm pretty amazed at. Overall time: about 2:03. Not bad. A satisfying end to my tri season. :-)

Last scheduled event for the year: Nike 1/2 in about a month. I think I'll be glad for the break. It's just going to be tough to keep the activity level up and the eating level down thru the winter. We'll see how it goes. Wish me luck. :-D

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