Friday, September 2, 2011

Now I know what a salmon feels like

Way back in January when I convinced my friend Scott tondo antriathlon, the one that inwas aiming for was lake Norman YMCA. I'd seen the signs around the last 2 years and had been too late to sign up. Little did I know that tri fever would strike and this would wind up being the third triathlon of the summer.

The good parts for me about this tri were the following:
1) local race-so I'd get to go on roads I was familiar with in the town of Davidson, which I love
2) people I know - in addition to Scott, my own personal Yoda, Tony Read would be there, as well as fellow dart-er (and blue ridge relay teammate) Chris Brown (yes Mark Ippolito you can insert your Rihanna joke here).
3). Family - since the race is right around the corner Johane and Julia would be able to come by without having to get up at the crack of dawn.

Scott stayed over the night before and we were up at 4:45 and out the door by 5:30. In my Apparently misguided) mind I figurednwencould park at the y since we'd be there early. No way. Totally packed by the time we showed up. Luckily we parked on a side street right around the corner and packed up our 2 tons of stuff and made our way to the transition area.

After setting up our gear we headed for the lake to check out the swim. On the way down we passed the medical tent and I saw dr Duffy from Greenapple sports & wellness and got to chat a little bit. The water was actually colder than I expected which was good nits been so hot recently, I was figuring very hot water, but thankfully that wasn't the case.

After checking out the water, I still had plenty of time and plenty of nerves. So after checking on my gear again, I made my way to look for Tony. I knew what number he was and found hisbike, but no Tony.

At that point the race was about to start and I was full of nerves. Part of the problem is that the swim portion makes Scott nervous. So his panic attacks make me nervous too.

Luckily, he hit the water 3 waves ahead of me and I ran into to Tony. Tony is probably one of the most upbeat people I know. He's always able to lighten the mood. Plus he's been a great help to me training wise, even having me over to his house to swim in the lake for practice.

After Tony reminding me that at the last tri I wasn't even in the water when the race started, I headed into the water and made my way towardsnthe front of the pack. After waiting anxiously for a few seconds the horn sounded and we were off. I was almost immediately kicked in the chest and then shortly thereafter in the left shoulder. About a minute later I got kicked in the hand. At that point I decided to back off a little since I could ill afford a broken hand. I tried to swim away a little from everyone else. That worked for a little while when cardinal rule # 1 was broken. I felt a hand on my ankle and was suddenly yanked backwards as some guy (cheater) tried to use me to launch himself ahead. Unfortunately, this wasnt the only cardinal rule of racing that was broken that day. At that point I started to pick up the pace and started passing people. It worked pretty well for a while, until the end when it was a bit crowded getting out of the water.

After the beating I took in the water, I was already a little tired, but I headed for my bike. The bike route took us up into davidson, and out on davidson-concord road. The route took us past Dave Mungers house. I had given Dave a conservative estimate of what time I'd be passing by. When I looked down at my time I was a good 5 minutes ahead of schedule. Not bad. Hading out on the road I was averaging a nice 20 miles an hour. Unfortunately, once we made the left onto shearer road that was all over. Shearer has some rolling hills and it was the day of hurrican Irene. While there was no rain, there were still some winds and they were dead on into my face heading up shearer. That definitely slowed things up. Once we turned onto faith road I was glad not to have the wind in my face. Faith road was much more uphill and I struggled a bit up the pretty large hill. But after the hill it was back on 115, which I knew was a nice downhill back into davidson. I started picking it up at this point. I was rocking down 115, slowing down to look to see if Chad Randolph was out around his neighborhood. Then into davidson and back to the y. A quick transition and then the run. The run after the rest of the tri had been tough this year, so I told myself I'd do Galloway. I hit my first section and was doing my brief walk when Tony pulled up. He gave me his traditional "what a burger" chant, told me to keep it up, and moved on. The ru. Wnt better than I expected. My pace while running was faster than I thought it would be, so i was happy. The run was pretty uneventful, except when running through the neighborhood, when I looked over and saw a guy I work with. After shouting out a greeting and him shouting out a "looking good" it was onto the finish. Where cardinal rule # 2 was broken. I got to the finish and crossed the chip mat. After the chip mat there's about a dozen feet until they write down your number for finishing order. But the race is over at that point and etiquette says you stay in the order you finished in. However, some guy decided to elbow past me and give in his number first. I was steaming. But there was nothing to be done for it.

I met up with Scott, Tony, Johane, and Julia and sat around talking. Tony made me realize that for a 5k I shouldn't have gone Galloway and should've just gone for it. And he was right. Thats my only regret. Aside from that, it was a fun time.

After we all showered and changed we all headed for what a burger, which is becoming a post-tri tradition. Yes, they have fish, so I was ok. Overall, a fun race, and one that's furthered the tri-fever I've been having. Maybe 2 more coming up this year!

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