Sunday, June 05, 2005

What a weekend

(subtitled: And you think Rhode Island roads suck...)

I raced my first triathlon of the season today. This year I skipped the "warm-up" races, you know the short one's intended to get your feet wet (no pun intended). No, for some reason I opted to do a 1/2 Ironman (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run) in Bristol, NH right out of the gate. By the title of this post, you're probably thinking that I was fast, well...., yes and no. The race had much more good than bad points today, but if you're stuck on "box scores" here it is: I was 55th out of 500 and finished in 5:01 (that's hours). Not bad, but below what I used to (top 20, and age group podium). However, it doesn't bother me the way it would have two years ago. Today was full of positives. I swam a 30 minute 1.2 miles (at Ironman in 2003 I averaged 34 minutes per 1.2 miles). Also I was definitely one the strongest climbers on the bike, a good thing because of all the hills. Finally I finished despite the 90 degree weather (where did that come from). My warmest training run to date was in mid-60s, and only one of those (last week in fact).

I was feeling really bad during the first 1/2 of the run and was starting to get light headed. Common sense was allowed to prevail over ego, and I dropped the pace and started walked whenever I hit an aid station so I could make sure to rehydrate and cool down a little. I also walked for almost 5 minutes at the 6.5 mile turnaround as it was the only area under trees. By the last three miles I was recovering and managed to run in at a respectable pace.

The day's excitement came on a highspeed decent that very easily could have ended with me going over the handlebars and breaking my collarbone. The poor pavement caused my handlebars to vibrate lose and they "let go" during the decent. One minute they're pointing out parallel to the ground, a second later they're pointing at the ground. Let me tell you it was scary. Fortunately I got the bike stopped and with the aid of an allen wrench repaired the bars and finished the final 16 miles of the bike. The worst part was seeing all the people I had passed in the last 40 miles come by me again while I was stopped. Oh well...

The worst part of this weekend was being away from Leanna and Alexandra. I was all mopey last night. I don't want to travel over night to a race again without them. If they can't come, I won't go. One thing of note, one of the towns we biked through was named "Alexandria". Okay I know her name is Alexandra, but try to imagine you're tired and dehyrated. The "i" sort of vanishes and the name becomes in fact, Alexandra.

So now I have just the aftermath of the race; the chafe (world-class, by the way...a 3 inch x 4 inch patch on my left inner thigh), the analysis of my strengths and weaknesses for adjusting my preparation for Ironman (more hot runs are a must), and of course the R&R. Tuesday I go for the deep tissue massage. I wonder how the oils are going to feel on the chafe!!!!