Monday, September 05, 2005

One Season Ends and Another Begins

The official details for yesterday's Prairie View Triathlon:

  • Overall: 2:17:27 (last year: 2:28:44)
  • Age group: 1/5 (last year: 2/4)
  • Swim: 17:31 (last year: 23:01)
  • T1: 2:05 (last year: 1:55)
  • Bike: 1:06:55 @ 22.2 MPH (last year: 1:04:45 @ 23.0 MPH)
  • T2: 0:56 (last year 1:16)
  • Run: 50:01 @ 8:03 pace (last year 57:48 @ 9:18 pace)

This was one of those "just for fun" races with no expectations or pressure. Twice I almost bagged it, once the night before when Tri-Daughter #4 had a situation that nearly mandated a return to the Great Suburban Outback, and again on race day morning when the 5:00 A.M. alarm clock sounded and I felt like I hadn't slept at all. Now I'm glad I showed up and raced. Funny how things work out.

Some fleeting and random impressions:

  • I wore my wetsuit for protection from the 55 degree air, not the 74 degree water.
  • Hogsett Lake was the perfect swim venue: calm, reasonably clear water and no weeds.
  • The bike's first several miles were freezing cold. Overall, the new course lived up to the advertising: flat, smooth, fast and (unlike last year) no bone-jarring railroad crossings.
  • I came out of the water and into T1 side-by-side with the racer who would eventually finish second to me in our age group. I saw the '53' on his right calf and said "Aha, stay close to this one." I couldn't. Little by little, he widened his lead on the bike, eventually fading completely from view.
  • I caught and passed him with less than a mile to go on the run. He was running in a pack of 4-5 other runners (including a 20 year-old woman who had smoked me at mile 3.) I didn't even know at the time that I'd passed him.
  • But I heard the pack's footsteps as they tried to catch me. With Karyn's "dig deep" and "find another gear" advice ringing in my ears, I started to accelerate, wanting to find the right balance between applying pressure and avoiding going all-out too soon.
  • With maybe 200 yards to go and the pack still right on my heels, I took off in a balls-to-the-wall sprint. They broke; the closest person behind me was 8 seconds back as I crossed the finish line. I think I found several additional gears. Thanks, Karyn!
  • As I hauled ass down the finish line chute, I heard calls of "Great kick!" from the spectators. Those yells meant as much as the finishers' medal did.

Now it's just one more tri and the 2005 season is history. Where did it all go? Karyn says she usually looks forward to the season's end, as it means a chance to re-energize, change the workout routine a bit and enjoy some downtime. I'm viewing "one more race to go" with a certain amount of melancholy...which has me hunting for a few more fixes. Nothing definite yet, but...

On September 25th, weather depending, I'll probably ride the Apple Cider Century Ride in southwestern Michigan. Then there's the Boilerman Triathlon in Lafayette, IN on October 2, kinda late in the season for a tri, but definitely better than NOT tri-ing. Anybody done this race? Any thoughts?

Fall in the Great Suburban Outback is also 5k and 10k season. There's a Rotary Run for Wellness 10k on October 16th, the Veterans' Day Westchester Veterun 10k on November 6 and a 5k on Thanksgiving Day which looks interesting assuming the turkey is in the oven on time.

My mantra: Stay busy...race...stay busy...race...stay busy...race.

A week from now I'll be registered for - and committed to - Ironman Wisconsin 2006. Or just plain committed. I'm also planning 2006's overall race calendar in hopes that seeing a schedule on paper will derail an emerging funk. The schedule contains some familiar names: Wine Country Half Marathon (April), Galena (May), Seahorse (June), Steelhead (August.) But there are new challenges too: P.F. Chang's Rock 'n Roll Marathon Arizona (January), Pleasant Prairie or Lake Zurich (August) and of course IMMOO. A few familiar friends are goners for 2006: Pardeeville, Accenture-Chicago, Devil's Challenge. I'll miss 'em. Maybe I'll just tag along as ITP's pit crew.


Comm's said...

I didn't know you were coming to phx for the rock n roll. Between you and trimama coming down we will definitely need to do dinner and some training together.

nancytoby said...

Fabulous finish! Congratulations, you worked hard for that one!!!! Well done indeed!!

Keryn said...

Great job on the finish! I'm glad to hear all this hard work paid off.

I also can't wait to hear about the trio of tri bloggers at the rock n roll race. That should be exciting!

Intrepid Training Partner said...

Rather than joining my pit crew, why don't you do the noble volunteering thing ... perhaps bodymarking ???!!!! There's plenty of women at these races. And you can act like a (ahem) professional. (Yes, I can get VM in all kinds of trouble...)

Flatman said...

Hey man, where's the photo of you with your trophy???

mipper said...

GREAT JOB! congrats on the top finish in your age group.

tarheeltri said...

Those were some great times on your race. Some of my best times occurred when I wasn't really "into it". A little distraction works wonders sometimes, or maybe it was the pack on your heels!

Congrats on a solid season and your first place finish!

Wil said...

The century ride, huh? Looks like a nice way to head into fall. If it didn't snow here, you'd never stop!!! ;)