Monday, September 8, 2008

Big Kahuna'd

I now walk like an old lady. And I walked down the stairs backwards today. Sad.

Yesterday I did my first road tri of the year (and it's September!), the Big Kahuna 1/2 Iron in Santa Cruz. It was soooooo much fun!

I went into it with the mentality that it was just a long training day as I had not done anything even resembling distance in like two years. It's been at LEAST a year since I ran more than a 10k. On top of that, I was riding my TT bike for pretty much the second time ever (trainer sessions don't count), and had not ridden it at all since I had my fit re-vamped, a different saddle put on, and changed the tires so they didn't suck any more. How's that for being unprepared?

The swim was the part I was most prepared for, but I was still anxious because it was in the ocean and there are scary things that could eat me. Happily, I managed to avoid the scary thoughts and was fine as long as someone was swimming near me (so I didn't look like a lone little fishy begging to be picked on). Unfortunately I seem to have lost my ability to swim in a straight line. I swam all over the place. I kept wanting to sight off the pier, but the course had us swim away from it. I was all screwed up. I came out of the water at 38 min and change, which is way slow for me (five minutes slower than my last 1.2m open water swim). Based on conversations I heard/had/read, this happened to pretty much everyone. I also felt like I weighed 400 pounds when I stood up out of the water. That was fun.

Ran forever to transition, jumped in the little swimming pool for foot-washing, got all my bike crap on, and hit the road.

I got going and felt surprisingly good. The course was rolling, up Highway 1 heading north along the ocean, with gorgeous views. As I was coming up a hill I noticed a rhythmic bumping going on in the front end of my bike. I looked at the front tire as best I could, but didn't see anything amiss. As I was rolled down the hill it got worse, and at the bottom my tire blew off the rim. Awesome. I pulled over and got to work untaping my wad of tube/CO2 and accessories (I had taped them to the bike so I wouldn't lose them). Changed the flat, and mentally pleaded with the bike not to get another flat as I only had enough stuff to change one flat, and a second would make my day very bad. The spot I had stopped at was in between two hills, so I got to start riding again up a hill, with no momentum to help out. This was at approx mile 8. Suck.

I kept feeling good on the bike and at some point I realized that I might be able to hustle and break three hours, so I hustled. I didn't quite make it and finished with a bike split of 3:05, so if flatting is taken into consideration, I TOTALLY did it. Whatever, it's just a training race.

T2...same old shiz...

Started the run at a snail's pace, but I was actually running so I'm fine with it. Almost got hit by a pigeon. Kept running slow. Thought about making it to the next aid station instead of the miles because one mile-ish is shorter than 13 and a much happier number. Walked most of the aid stations, made one potty break (shhh! Don't tell Elliott!), chugged along like a sad little train. I actually felt good all things considering. The last part of the run where you are forced to run in the sand is the worst thing ever though! Running along the wet part wasn't too bad apart from being at an angle and having to dodge small children. The last 75 feet though: pure evil. Racers have just traveled 70 miles and change. Making them run in loose sand in front of a large crowd of people is not nice.

But they did have free burritos. So it was all good.

I ended up finishing in 6:11 and a few seconds. Which is about and hour and nine minutes faster than my previous 1/2 iron. Granted I was undertrained and kind of fat then, but still, I think that's pretty good. I've just been training for short stuff this year.

I got to see some people I used to race with from Fresno, so that was fun too. Good job Ben and Abby! It was fun seeing you in the porta potty line and transition (respectively)!

I was thinking about doing the Silverman 1/2 in November after XTERRA Worlds a while ago and changed my mind. I might have changed it back. I want to break six hours.

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