Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tri the Quay – 8/15/10

Well I did it. Yippee. Tri the Quay was my second triathlon. This was at my “home club”. It was a great day. This was another pool swim and just like Smithfield the start times were based upon your swim time, so faster swimmers first, slower swimmers later and you know which category I fell in to. I was 217 of 275. I was scheduled to start my swim at 9:04. So I knew again I would have a long wait. Have I told you I am totally impatient?
So let’s talk about the day.
Woke up at 5:45am, feeling pretty good and I slept really good. I was focused but not worried or nervous. I was approaching the day like a “training day”. Linda and I were out of the house by about 6:00 am. Packed up and ready to go. Went through my mental checklist again, not wanting to forget anything. Yeah I packed the night before but I wanted to double check. All good.

We made it to the club at @ 6:40. The parking lot was surprisingly empty which was again great. Grabbed my bike and bag and headed off to the transition area. I decided to just drop off my bag and bike and would unpack after I was marked and had my timing chip. I had plenty of time.
Picked up my chip and strapped it on. Next was the Line for body marking. And to my surprise my marking was done by my swim instructor. I was thinking to myself that this was a great omen. This is awesome. She will be really encouraging and I would be even more relaxed. And it totally worked. She is an excellent motivator. She’s like that football coach who tells you to run through a wall and you believe that you can run through the wall. I would tell everyone her name but since my swimming is still not up to par I do not want to tarnish her reputation. But just send me a message and I will give you her info. She is the best.

So now I am back at the transition and ready to setup and the people around me have not setup properly. It really sucks because now my transition area will be crowded. No room at all. AUGH.
So I now I have to start talking to myself again. It’s going to be alright. No worries. I get setup and I look over everything and it is perfect (to me). Now time to find a spot and relax until time to get started. The guy from Set-Up Events announces that we have about 45 minutes until the first group needs to start lining up. I decided I will go ahead and relax by the pool. We walk up and watch the guys practicing swimming. As I sit there watching, I thinking that I should practice as well, but I am dreading the swim so I will not get in the pool until I have to. No practice for me. We find a nice spot; I put on my IPOD and start relaxing and just people watching, a great way to pass time.

With about 20 minutes to go I decide to go double check my transition area. Good thing I did. My bike and helmet had all been moved. My towel and shoes were all changed. I was a little angry. But deep breathe, relax, it’s going to be ok. I set back up again.

Race-time. The first swimmers were starting. OMG they are good. lol. Yeah yeah yeah, I know. They practiced. And practiced. Ok. Ok. I get it more swim practice.

This is a snaked swim. You had to go up and down the same lane. Swimmers started every 15 seconds. And yes they would be in the same lane with you. So now I have to use the rest room. Just kidding. I just watch and take mental notes. Everyone was burning themselves out in the first 100. They were all getting jumbled up by the 150 mark. And they were not being very polite with other swimmers. They were not allowing faster swimmers to pass. Shame on them. Now I have finally lined up. Standing there in line and the people around me again instead of getting focused they are just chatting away. I guess I am weird. I really wanted silence so I could think about swimming. 210 starts and going, my breathing starts to get a little more shallow. Ok, just stop thinking and start doing. 215 has now started. Ok, lets do this.

I step up and the starter says relax Ken, it’s not that tough. I am not sure why the starters always talk to me. He was straight with everyone else and wanted to joke with me. Lol. I look at him and smile and say I am good.

I hop in and listen for the countdown. My swim goal was to just not get stepped on or kicked. GO! Finally, I am ok. I swam the entire first 25. I remembered to breathe. I took it easy and made it all the way to the wall. Yeehaw. Just 11 more time to go. Started back and took a quick peak to see where 218 was and I noticed I had time and space.

I make it ¾ the way back and here comes the walking. But I must say that I spent more time swimming than the first time. I was only passed by one guy and he must have fudged his swim time. I actually caught other swimmers. I was very excited about that.

So I am out of the pool and headed to T1. This time I had a plan. Shirt, socks, shoes, shades, helmet and off to the races. I was doing great initially. Then since I was still wet, the shirt stuck. Oh well still moving. I didn’t take the time to buckle my shoes so I had to slow down to keep them from falling off. Finally to the mount area and now I am off.
Phew, a segment I can handle. I beat all the people that started with me out of transition. They seemed to forget that the transition was part of the race and not an untimed pitstop.
The first mile of the bike course was mostly flat so I hammer it out. I decided that I would hammer the entire course. It’s only 11 miles. I want to be done in 35 minutes.
The bike course was fun. It had ridden it a couple of times since it was published and I knew when I could turn it on. I got into a rhythm and start passing people. With each person, I past I felt more energy. But then it was over 90 degrees and that was draining that energy. At each turn there were people cheering us on. At one intersection my swim instructor was shouting encouragement. At the last intersection was the facility manager from the plant. It was great seeing him out there as well. I keep hammering and start changing gears in my head and start preparing for to the run.

I make it smoothly off the bike at the entrance to the transition. It was down hill into the parking lot. I rack my bike, change shoes, grab my number and head out. For the run I just want to get it done. I know that this is easy. Again, just do it. Heading out of the transition area, there was a water station. I grab a cup and pour it on my head but I forgot that I had a hat on and got nothing for my head all on my shirt. OMG I am so dumb. But oh well, I keep going. I hit the course and start really taking it easy. It was hot. I was tired and I knew I could do it. I was really relaxed, hot but relaxed.
At the turn around I was thinking this is it. All downhill from here. I head back and just cruise home. I really didn’t have any idea my time. At this point was not really concerned with it. I knew that I had given my all in each segment and I would be happy regardless. When I reach the finish chute and approached the finish line the starter was there announcing every one as we finished. When he saw me he announced “Ken, I told you it wasn’t that bad”. I gave him thumbs up and crossed the finish line. I was so happy and even more, I was so hot and ready for shade. I was greeted with a bottle of water and big hug from my biggest cheerleader, Linda. Thanks for sitting out in the heat and waiting for me.
As I look back, this was awesome. Unfortunately I really slacked on my training over the last couple of weeks and my swimming really showed it. But I am really excited about the future. Next year I am looking forward to getting into the open water. I think I am going to do a series. Either Set-Up or Finish Strong.
Oh yeah, I forgot the results:
Swim 7:07
Bike 36.22
Run 20:11
31 overall.