Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Tri, Tri Again.

This was my second year competing in the lifetime triathlon. It was HOT out--82F water and 98F air. Hot enough for them to shorten the bike leg and cut the run in half. I was disappointed when I heard it was shortened, but not when I got to the run.

I had a par time in my swim, but it could've easily been much faster. I have a difficult time swimming in a straight line, and it doesn't help that the water is so murky that you can't see past your elbows in front of you. Also, since there wasn't a mass start, I wasn't able to get up in front of the slow people, and I wasn't able to find any fast people to draft on until near the end.

In transition 1 to the bike, my new singlet bunched up. dammit. I'm swimming with it on next time--problem solved.

I had a way fast bike leg. I was cranking hard, holding a strong pace, and the heat wasn't getting to me. In the last quarter of the race when the course started to head uphill, I started passing lots of people. Especially those fuckers with $4000 bikes mounted on zipps. On the way back to nokomis, I crouched way down on the downhills, cranking my bike over 30 mph.

On transition 2 to the run, when I jumped off my bike, a guy swung his cleated foot out front of me and hit me in the leg.....or maybe I hit him. Whatever.

I had a difficult time getting into a good running pace, but it could be from the heat, or the fact that the run was too short to build into a good pace, or the fact that I was smoking on the bike. There's an exposed out&back on the cedar ave bridge over nokomis that was really challenging--just you and the sun. They had a couple firetrucks blasting water on all the runners, kids had buckets of water, etc. Strangely enough, I had lots of energy in the last half mile......it might've been just the energy of being about to finish.

I think that I'm not going to do the lifetime triathlon again next year. My second year completing the race (2005 sprint distance, 2006 shortened olympic distance), I've become a bit annoyed with the race. I was attracted to do the lifetime as my first triathlon, and I am one of many. The ratio of first time racers at the lifetime is huge; there's more marketing for this race than most ironman races. Therefore, the swim--even the olympic distance--was chock full of beginners in survival mode zigzagging around, doing breaststroke, and cavalcades of slow swimmers in wolfpacks that I had to go around or through. I was quite frustrated.

It doesn't help that they had the men's 25-29 age group swim immediately after the women's 40-44 group. WTF kind of planning is that?

My next problem was the same people on bikes. 95f triathlons do not allow drafting or blocking, but there were tons of people doing it. Even yelling "on your left" to the goofballs riding on abreast ahead usually yielded little result if any. Also there was many people on the bike course, and that obviously created lots of bunching up around tight turns......the same tight turns I'd been practicing to hold at high speeds. So I got held up many times there.

Lifetime was concerned about the safety of the race, and that was good--they cut half of the run out. (which actually swayed the race heavily in my favor, since I'm a crappy runner) But why also clip 3 miles from the bike? It's 25 miles; what the heck is 3 miles? Either clip it substantially, or don't clip it at all.

Anyways, here's the breakdown.

Swim (1.5k/0.9 miles): 25:45.98
T1 (swim to bike): 2:35.94
Bike(shortened to ~22 Miles): 59:14.99
Bike Pace: 22.6mph
T2(bike to run): 1:52.01
Run(5k/3.1 miles): 25:31
Run Pace: 8:30/mile
Total Time: 1:54:59.93

Official Results:

overall 64/1040
age group 6/82

Oh yeah.....If I would've registered as a Clydesdale, the 200lb category, I would've taken first.

Moral of the story here---don't plan to lose weight.

Sidenote: Emma Snowsill, the women's pro winner who, after pocketing $80,000, immediately got on Lifetime's private jet and flew to New York City to compete in the NYC Triathlon the next day. She won.