Well....., lets start by saying this! Not my favorite race, but living in Northeast Ohio cabin fever has set in "big time" by April, and being a multi sport athlete it is our first opportunity to compete and see where we stack up against our best local competition, including a couple of pro's this year.
The course is a 5k run, 15 mile bike, 5k run, does not sound too bad huh! Well the bike course is 5 laps of the run course, which is all hills, this course has no flat, it is either up or down, starting with the biggest hill right off the bat and a couple of hair pin turns at the bottom of steep hills, reminds me of a crit course! Sorry to be crying like a little Bitch, but as a 175 pound triathlete climbing or running hills is not my forte, I consider myself a power cyclist put me on a flat or rolling course like Muncie, and I can average 24mph for 56 miles, on this course I can find no rhythm.
So, enough with the crying let me get to the details of the race, I had just come off a great 3 week training block averaging 16 hours and was feeling pretty good, last year I was able to pull off a 1st in A.G. and 5th O.A. placing and was hoping to better this! and see where I stacked up against the 2 pro's registered for the race. The starting temp. was 37 deg. with sustained winds at 25-30 mph, with up to 50mph gusts, I watched 4 of the bike racks topple over, there were some unhappy duathlete's and some scuffed up bikes by the end, lucky for me I brought my own bike stand and since this was not a USAT sanctioned race I could rack how and where ever I wanted too.
I must have had the pre race jitters because I was just not thinking clearly at the beginning of the race, First I did not make sure my garmin 500 on my bike was reading my power meter, no signal detected and no power reading, Second I turned my timex GPS watch on too late before the start and could not pick up a signal before the gun, so no speed or distance either on the run. Anyway the race started and the rabbits took off up the first and biggest hill, after the first 800 they were dropped. My goal of the race was to keep the leaders in sight into transition, I managed to have a great run and and came into T1 in 4th place and the leaders still in sight, my transition was fast and I believe my first run split was around 18 minutes flat possibly faster, without my watch working I will not know for sure untill results are posted.
I headed out of T1 on the bike and started climbing the big hill again, caught my breath and started to pick up the pace, I was thinking to myself, wow I feel great, mentally I started going over the rest of the race, just grind out this bike and prepare yourself to suffer on the last run and you will have a killer race, and then it HAPPENED!!! the sound that no one wants to hear in the bike, yep a flat tire. So in one instant my mentality changed, from being in contention for an overall place, to OK I will change this flat as quickly as possible and see how many people I can reel in and still get a great workout in for the day, pretty positive attitude huh! Well it did not work out that way either. I started to change my tire and realized I had switched to latex tubes and the spare tubes in my saddle bag had smaller valve stems that would not reach through my wheel and allow me to inflate them.
I sighed deeply and began the 1.5 mile trudge back to the start in my cycling shoes, amazingly enough I had about 5-6 athletes ask if they could stop and help, what great people we have in our sport!, about a half mile into the walk back I stripped the shoes because I could no longer stand the clacking of the cleats and I did not want to buy a new pair either, that just cost me 40 bucks. I finally arrived back at the start with soaking wet socks and shivering, the wind chill was below freezing, I put some warm clothes on and cheered my fellow competitors to the finish.
I can say this about the race, I had a great first run, I am not injured and I did not crash my bike, so all is ok and I am looking forward to my next competition.
Peace, until next time!
The summer of no triathlon
2 weeks ago