Thursday, July 24, 2008

Seafair Tri.....

Sunday morning came much too early!!!

The Seafair Triathlon awaited team “Klopeder” in Seward park under the clear blue skies with eagles flying low overhead. I was to man the half mile swim leg, Eileen was on the 12 mile bike ride, fresh off her STP ride, and AK was blazing the trail to the finish line on the 5K run split.

We were all pretty excited about the day and the morning luckily went off without any trouble. As we hit the transition area the excitement started to build. We talked about not having any pressure of having to do all three legs and just enjoying the day. Sounded great!

Then Eileen asked if she should run the transition zone once she gets tagged for the bike. Both AK and I jumped into race mode. Totally!!!

I believe AK told Eileen to “Drop to hammer” on the bike leg. I was looking forward to sprinting the half mile swim. I was talking to AK about this. When I looked at the swim buoys marking the half mile course the first thing that went through my mind was ‘ that’s so short, the buoys are so close’. The second thing that crossed my mind was ‘ how much energy do I have left?’.

Fridays 42 mile bike ride, Saturdays 1-2 mile swim, I felt tired below the excitement.

I wanted to start in the front of the pack on the swim, but didn’t want to get five minutes in and totally hit the wall and get stuck in heavy traffic - nightmare situation!!! So I held to the usual plan of back left side and wait just 2-3 seconds after the horn goes off.
About 2 minutes in I upped my pace and caught the five guys in front of me with a clear view of the first buoy. The view over my right shoulder was amazing!!! I was doing 2-2-3 stroke breathing and every time I looked
over I’d see about 40 white capped swimmers slashing through the water with the sun blazing through their silhouettes. A quick hard effort around that and I felt my energy explode with plenty in the bank to draw on. I almost started laughing??? I held hard on pace, high 85-90%, but not redlining, felt great rhythm through to the second buoy.

From the 2nd buoy it’s just a straight 200-250 yrds back to the beach. This is a hard area because this is were you start catching packs of groups in the water. Last year I got boxed in by four guys that were swimming in a slow bunch, but kept fanning out so it made it too hard to go around. This year, I paced down a bit for what felt about 20-30 seconds and as soon as I hit the first group and jumped and went “Full On - Mango”!

I love passing people in the last 20 yards of the swim and running out of the water. Running out of the water is one of the best feeling during a race, I wouldn’t understand why anyone would walk. You have hundreds or thousands of people cheering and running gets you closer to your bike!!!

I make it to shore run up the ramp, rip goggles and cap off the tag Eileen for the bike leg.

Time - 14:22 PR : )

Eileen took off fast and I knew that once she got about 1-2 minutes in and got up to speed she was just going to fly. Having ridden with her before it would of be amazing to see the speed she could of reached on the course. The feeling in the transition zone was more party than competitive. Which was great! We figured Eileen would take about 38-40 minutes and that’s about what she thought. So of course when we saw her at 35 minutes we knew she was hauling some serious ass to the finish.

Time - 36:01 Sweet!!!

AK had the longest wait and it was funny because she said she wasn’t looking at it as a race until she saw how fast Eileen was moving. Then she said’ Holy crap, you rocked the swim and Eileen throw the hammer down on the bike, I have to keep up my end!’.
Leenster rolled in and made the tag.

AK sprung out like a shot, this would be her first aggressive run since her stress fracture almost a year ago! She said her legs felt fresh and ready. The up hill to the top is a nasty bump in the road, AK says she enjoys the challenge up the hill. For some reason I just don’t see that???

Eileen and I headed around to the finish to see our anchor cross the line. It’s always great to be at the finish line. All the excitement, cheers, people sprinting in the final seconds to cross the line. Some with in themselves, some hurting, but still pushing. All the stories that everyone has that got them to the start and then the finish.

Along came AK with the sun blasting behind her, moving fast and gaining on the small pack in front of her. Eileen and I yelled as she went by in a flash, not slowing down, but finishing strong to the end.

Time 25:26 - 20 seconds off PR!!! WOW!!!

Total Time - 1:17:34 - 12th out of 65 teams!

What a great way to enjoy the excitement of an event! The relay was so much fun to do. We placed 12th overall for relays and had a great time doing it. Eileen said we should one every year! That would be cool.

............................................................Where's AK? Can you fine her in the crowd on the right?

Giant Dog!

1 comment:

Annie in Austin said...

This is your most awesome post yet ~ the page is sizzling hot from your excitement. Twelfth out of 65 teams? Wow! Everyone went flat out for your wonderful team...congratulations!

These are great photos, and of course "where's AK" took but a fraction of a second.