Monday, May 19, 2008

Race Report

2008 Tower Triathlon Niles, Illinois
Sprint Distance SW:1/4 Mile, B: 18K, R: 5K

The Tower Tri is a pretty good little early season race to break the monotony of training while you wait for all your Midwest 'A' races to arrive along with the warmer weather. The swim in indoors with everything else outside. This was the 23rd running and by now its like clockwork. Well run, well organized. Good volunteers. Closed course. That's all I need.

His Race Report:

I had my normal prerace intestinal nervousness. Always. A little more than normal today which added a little anxiety that I just didn't need. Since this was an indoor swim at a club I had the benefit of clean bathrooms as opposed to port-a-pottys. But enough about that. We got up at 5:00 to get out the door by 5:45 and be to the race by 6:30. Of course we pack the night before except for the car. Cold morning in the low 50s but looking plenty sunny. It was only a sprint distance (an hour or so of work) so I didn't feel the need to grab anything big nutritionally. In fact I was only taking a 16oz bottle of Heed (electrolyte/calorie drink) on the bike for the race itself. Was only going to take a gel on the way to the race but that packet exploded. Jen had an extra bar. And good thing. We had two hours until race time and I would have been plenty hungry by then. What was I thinking with only the gel anyway. Jen and I were both racing which makes pre-race interesting. Its hard to look out for each other when the only thing you want to do is take care of yourself. Especially in triathlons. In running you show up with your shorts, shoes and race. Triathlons you have all your gear and your set up. I am a mentally disorganized person and I overcome this by getting my stuff organized and accounted for the night before and keeping everything the same. That way I don't have to think. I'm only there to execute. Got to the location and chose to rack in the back row by the shoot coming in from the swim. That put the Bike in and out in the opposite corner and ended up slowing me way down on the out of T1 and in of T2. Found a couple friends (Jess and Kim K) and chatted a bit then a lot of standing around or running to the potty (nervous bladder too - oh, I'm a fun time prior to a race). Was able to warm up just a little in the pool and around 8:00am in wave 7 in lane 3 it was go time.

Eased into the swim. I wanted to see where my HR was. I didn't want to shoot out and spike and then be out of control. I felt good in the swim but my shoulders were unnaturally tired. I'm just an OK swimmer. I have to get faster. I loose way too much time in the swim which makes my margin of error very slim for the rest of the race. I did lap the dude I was sharing a lane with - little victories I guess. T1 was just ok. Its a bit of a long run to get out the pool and outside to the transition area. It was still only 59 degrees so I put on a long sleeve running shirt in T1 as opposed to racing in a tri-jersey start to finish. Although it was still sunny at that point it was plenty windy - out of the north and the bike course offered only a block or so of tailwind (5 times around a looped course). The Bike bwent off without too much difficulty. No stories or weirdness. T2 went off fine (although I have to remind myself that I'm racing when I'm in there. Transition is no time to stall - the clock is still running!). Purchased the new Zoot racing flats just for T2 and they worked perfect. Slipped into them with no bending over leg cramping, pulled the quick ties and away I went. The run was an out and back. Out was straight into the wind. Came up lame in the first mile for 20-30 seconds with a side stitch. Went away quickly but forced me to run conservatively for the next mile or so. Ran the final 1.1 in about 6:40 to try and reel back in all that lost time. Finished in a sprint.

Got the medal. Cleaned up the gear. Got my Recoverite (protein/carb drink with added stuff like glucosamine (sp?)). Saw Jen in T2 since she swam in a later wave. She looked strong going out for the run. Hung out with fellow Salt Creek Tri Clubber - Jessica. By this time the clouds rolled in and it was down right wicked cold. Wished I had brought some dome coverage. Cheered Jen to her finish.

Overall: 36/240
Age Group: 6/20

Two insights about us - They missed taking pics of Jen at the finish and the race is small enough that they gave her the opportunity to go back and finish again. So she starts pulling her hair back under her visor and adjusting things. I've never seen anyone primp for their finish photo before. The other thing gives you an idea of the way my wife actually sees me - on the car ride home she said she was watching me from the side as I was waiting on the deck of the men's pool and when she lost site of me she just looked for the skinniest, whitest, bald dude and sure enough it would be me. Just call me mighty mite.

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