A little worse for wear after taking a spill on the bike, I was able to finish my 2nd sprint triathlon last weekend. Here’s the breakdown.
Swim 500m — 10:21
I’m positive that the timing, at least for my wave, was off. There’s absolutely no way I came close to a pace of 2min/100m. I felt remarkably comfortable for the first 300 or 350m. Having learned from my last race, I didn’t wait to start at the back of the pack (there was plenty of room anyway) and stayed off to the right side. The course was L-shaped with a single right turn about 350m in, where I was crowded by everyone hugging the corner. Bumping and kicking wasn’t too bad until after the turn where I just couldn’t manage to get away from a guy backstroking. We’d bumped a few times earlier, but it was more frequent at the end and really took away my steam as I was already tiring. Coming out of the water I was well winded and my legs were especially tired, which shouldn’t be the case during the swim. I may need professional help in this arena :-/
T1 — 2:06
My first transition was reasonable — above average — but I was dragging a bit coming out of the water. Still winded, I added a few seconds getting shoes on. It was nothing major, but I certainly wasn’t smooth as I rushed, upset about being worn out early in the race. Leaving, I ran a long way with the bike before hopping on because I wanted to be good and clear of folks stopping to mount or shaky starting the bike uphill on a turn. My mount was flawless, but it did take a few tries to get the second foot clipped. Still, there was no significant loss of time and I’m sure it was better than anyone that didn’t have a running start.
Bike 14.3mi — 1:01:04
The bike leg was where all the excitement was for me. Starting out, there was a tailwind and I was passing folks constantly (it’s easy to do when you’re a strong cyclist coming off of an embarrassing swim) and cruising between 25 and 26mph. Just a mile and a half in I was passing a man when we got to a change in the street surface from concrete to asphalt. There was a pile of asphalt at the transition that popped me off of my bars and I swerved for a few seconds while trying to grab on before ultimately laying the bike down. There was a police officer right there that hopped on his radio and started asking if I needed an ambulance as another officer made his way over from a block down the road. I had a few scratches, but hadn’t broken anything too badly, so I scrambled to get back on the bike, thanked the officer, and left, leaving behind my bike computer which had been thrown into traffic. The front brake was rubbing slightly, so I pushed it into place as I rode.
2.5 miles later I flatted from damage to my front tire. When I replaced the tube, I saw that the outer wall of the tire was badly scraped, but didn’t see any damage on the inside. I guess I should’ve looked closer because the new tube popped immediately after I pressured it up. Sure that this time I was out of the race, I started walking. Several minutes later, when a support vehicle stopped, I was certain he was going to pick me up and take me in; instead the driver shouted from the median, “What size tire?!” He was a great guy from Webster Bicycle and fixed me up with a new tire after also popping a tube. If you get a chance, throw some business their way. I know I will!
Back on my way, some of the adrenaline had worn off from the earlier excitement and I was painfully aware of the chunk of skin I’d lost from my left hand. It burned like hell if it touched anything and made my tape slick with blood, but I settled in and think that I averaged around my target pace of 21mph, discounting all the down time. There’s no way to know, of course, since I lost my computer :-(
T2 — 1:31
The second transition was exceptional as a dismounted without stopping, racked quickly, changed shoes, and belted up with my race bib. My T2 was 3rd in my age group and close to the best in the race. Looking back, though, I think I stood at my spot while putting on my race belt where I should’ve been clipping it on while running.
Run 2.1mi — 17:34
I’d expected to make an improvement over the run at TriWaco, but instead my mile splits were almost identical at 8:23min/mi. The run was short, only 2mi, but my body was exhausted. I don’t think I’d pushed too hard on the bike and felt fresh coming off it, but there just wasn’t much motivation left. Perhaps it was knowing that any hopes for my goal had passed long ago or the emotional roller coaster that I’d been riding as the fate of my race took turn after turn that left me so burned out. Regardless, I was glad when this one was over. I received my finisher medal, which I immediately bloodied, and was thankful to go and sit amongst friends.
Finishing with an overall time of 1:32:40 was not exactly what I was hoping for, but given the delays I’m pleased enough with my performance. I may still throw a race in this weekend to feel a little better about myself, though the TriRock Austin that I’m looking at has a longer 700m swim.
Despite all the drama, hanging out after the race was totally fun. My friends Trent and Alissa both finished well; Alissa really cleaned up with a super swim and ride. And the Hagemeier fam, sans Erica, was there to cheer her on and chill out after the race making for a really pleasant time. Here’s to great friends and an amazing God that kept me safe!
Blessings and Shalom,
Here are a few pics of some of the resulting injuries. If you’d like more details of the wreck (including the colorful description of a friend that witnessed it from behind), just fb me or email. I also had some bruising on my belly and back, scrapes on my arm, and a strawberry on my hip. Most importantly, the bike is fine.