Riding with the wind. When I'm sad, she comes to me.
With the thousand smiles, she gives to me...

Fly on my little wing.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Charlevoix Triathlon

So my return to triathlon took place today at the Charlevoix Triathlon. The last tri I did was Kona, which was 1 year 10 months and 10 days previous, so I had high expectations for myself. I won't bore you with the training details up to the race, but let's just say I hadn't swam much, had biked a lot and had ran enough.

The day started out at 5:45am and, while still zombie like as I left the house, a Beastie Boys compilation increased my level of coherence on the drive over.  The race was run by a new company called Tri to Finish. The course map is here for reference. The race plan was to swim comfortably, hammer the bike and come into T2 with a lead. This is in contrast to almost every tri I've done previously, where the raining strategy is "run them down." It was announced early that the bike course was shortened about 2.5 miles, due to a water main break, which gave me less time to build a lead.

Going about my normal pre-race routine I discovered, sometime between yesterday and this morning, my front tire had a leak via a pin hole in the sidewall. Thus I had to change a tube, which stressed me out for time slightly. But I got my stuff set up, did a warm up swim and was ready to go. I didn't really know who were potential challengers in the small field of about 25, who were in the water for the Olympic Distance.

The swim was mostly uneventful. I was reminded I still can't swim in a straight line. I exited the water third, in a disappointing (but not surprising) 26:54. Dad shouted out I was two plus min down.  The space between racks was pretty tight and there was a guy puking in the middle of the "aisle" near my spot. I announced, "Hey man. I know you're puking.. but you're gonna have to move a little bit." Truthfully, he wasn't in my way at the moment, I just didn't want to smack him with my bike as I was leaving. It's all on video here

To dig myself out of a small hole, I just went hard on the bike, rather than settling into a groove. I caught one guy around 20 min into the bike. I looked up the road and couldn't see anyone else, so I thought I was in the lead, however I was sure there were two guys in front of me on the swim. Once I got to the turnaround and hadn't seen the other guy I was 100% sure I was in the lead. I had about a minute on him on the third u-turn and pushed on for several more miles, before settling in for the final three.

I came into T1, unable to get one foot out of my shoe prior to dismount, and couldn't get my running shoe on as the insole kept bunching up. But I managed to remedy the issues and was on my way out on the three loop course. I'm used to the "cement legs" sensation for the first 3/4ish mile, before getting in my running groove. After that I just churned my consistent 6:00-6:10 miles. At that pace I doubted anyone was going to run me down, but you never know who's back there.

A super flattering picture of me. 
Half way through I hadn't heard any split updates from my "fan club" (more on them later), nor could I see anyone closing behind me, so I felt pretty confident. I continued to run hard and crossed the finish just under 2:01 for my second W in 8 days. Fantastic! I felt like my old self, not even noticing my knee injury once during the race. So I am super happy with the results, but not satisfied. There is always more time to be found. It is a good starting block for Ironman Lake Placid next summer.

Grandpa and myself. Post Race.

I'd like to give a big thank you to the "fan club" that took time out of their weekend to come cheer me on. The course was very spectator friendly, which also benefits the racers as I get to feed of their energy multiple times during the race. I had the biggest cheering section there! So thank you to Bob and the South children (more of Bob's race videos on the No Boundaries FB Page), Rob and Danielle, Brandon and Leigh, and of course Mom, Dad and Weasel. Two days prior to the race my Grandpa announced that he would like to come watch, which was very special for me that he was there. Thanks Grandpa. Now you know what a triathlon is all about. More fun than watching golf? 

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