So this past Sunday I Finished my second Finger Lakes Olympic Distance Triathlon. Going into the race I had very low expectations due to my lack of training. I had knee pain related to an IT Band issue that didn't clear up until August. Unfortunately the first run I put in post hip injury caused some other problems that I have tried to work through. Take it from me, the term "no pain no gain" should really be rethought. I vote to change it to "some pain equals negative gain. I tried to put in small runs all year when I felt better but that always set me back. In the future I will wait until I have felt better and then wait another week or so and then go for a run on the track first because I always push to hard on the road.
Back to the race. Rose, Bella and I left the house at 5:30 AM because I got so busy on Friday and forgot to pick up my race packet. This didn't turn out to be as big of a deal as I thought it might. I showed up on Sunday and spent an extra five minutes picking up my packet and then walked over to transition and got my area all set up. I wanted to make sure I didn't make the same mistake I made last year and forget to take my nutrition on the bike portion of the race so I put it in my shoe. Now that I was all set up I had time to mill around and chat with other athletes before the race or just bump into people I know and haven't seen for awhile. I found my good buddy Jim Bassanno and David, one of his three sons handing out race bells. Thanks Jim! Now my almost 3 year old has 6 cow bells to ring at home! I also saw Tim from the Y volunteering this year and not racing because of an injury. Thank you volunteers for pointing us in the right direction, handing us water and keeping cars from running us over at every intersection. With out them the race could not happen
All things considered I am pretty happy with my swim time. I didn't really train and I was only a minute slower than last year. I did feel a little bad for the first time racer getting ready for the swim next to me and the total and absolute look of terror I could see in his eyes. I know a swim in the lake doesn't sound that bad but when you are doing it in a pack of about 70 men that will mix in with two other waves that went off before you that can be a little nerve racking. Add fact that you are going to swim a half mile out into the lake with arms, elbows, legs and feet all around hitting and kicking you and the prospect of drowning I totally understand why I see people throw up before the swim. The worst part about the swim at this particular race is the run from the water to the transition area. I am going to say that it is about a 500 meter run that doesn't offer a lot of grass or any type of soft surface for your cold wet bare feet. We must run on s stone path and then across a paved parking lot to your bike. It isn't the worst thing I have ever had to do but I don't look forward to it.
The bike course was changed up this year due to road construction and this turned out to be a good thing because the new course was a little easier. I expected to have a terrible ride this year based on how I felt my last ride before the race. To my surprise I had a pretty good ride. It certainly wasn't what I am capable of but I averaged about 2 mph faster than I thought I would but still about 1 mph slower than what I could have done with out the injury. I am also about 10 lbs heavier than I should be. A tip from me to you is if you can't train for a triathlon than don't eat like you are training! The only thing really notable about the bike course was the detour through FLCC to add some distance to the ride. The FLCC portion of the ride offered up about four speed bumps. Speed bumps are the last thing I expect to see on the road race course. It wasn't the end of the world and I did get a laugh out of it.
The six mile run went much better than planned!! I had zero hip pain and kept a faster pace than I though I thought I could averaging about 7:45 per mile. The longest run I have been able to put in over the last 2 months has been 3-4 miles and I ran 6 miles only a handful of times earlier this year. I love this run course because it is a 3 mile loop that you need to complete twice so you get a chance to see who you might know out there and see people you didn't expect to see. I saw Chris Leonardi, Van Travis, Rich Voci and Mitch Ball. That right there is one of the great things about this sport. You always bump into people you don't expect to see and didn't know had the same sickness for the sport as you do. I haven't seen Mitch in at least four years so that was pretty cool. Last year I saw a friend I hadn't seen in about twelve years. I worked with a kid named Dan back in 1998 that ended up joining the Navy, becoming a Seal and getting hurt in the line of duty. Last year he came out of the water about a minute behind me even though one of his arms doesn't really work all that well because of a road side bomb that blew up his Hum V and then passed me about halfway through the bike course. The Navy Seals are no joke!
It is a few days later and I am feeling really good. I didn't really have any sore mussels after the race other than my hip but I knew that was going to hurt. Even though I didn't really train and I didn't place in a race I know I can place in I still had a great time. I am not sure if I am going to do any other races this year. I might just take care of my hip but you never know. There a few events I would really like to do that I haven't done before so I might race if some of my tri buddies do them.
I am out! Train smart and safe!