Sunday, September 28, 2008
My crew, Ed, Reeb and Double M were going to be coming up late on Saturday so I hitched a ride with some other BRTri folk. Got to the hotel around 3 and checked in to one of our free BRTri rooms. One of our members traded in some travel points for 10 rooms and donated them to the club as incentive for everyone to come up and do the race. Hung out in the lobby for a while and watched Florida put a butt whippin' on Tennessee even though they then go get themselves upset this week by Ole Miss of all teams. I mean, freakin' Ole Piss with Houston Nutt as their coach. Really, you got beat by them, I digress. Left the hotel around 5 to head down and pick up our race packets. Got the packets, hung out for a few minutes and then walked over to Mama's Oyster House to eat and watch the LSU vs. Auburn game. Got a nice bowl of Gumbo and a plate of blackened chicken past and settled in to watch the game. First half went by quickly as I downed about 8 waters and had to pee at least 40 times. The crew showed up around 6:30 and we all hung out until half-time. Left the restaurant to head back to the hotel.
Got back to the room and watched the end of the game. Nice way to start off the race weekend with an LSU win in Auburn's house in the last 1:00 of the game. Went to bed happy for the moment at least. Before we turned out the lights, the girls and Ed were complaining about how cold it was, so I turned the air down. Big mistake for me. Woke up about 1:30 sweating like crazy. Had to get up and turn the air on cooler or I was going to die. Did not have the best nights rest. I am used to sleeping with the air on around 73, the fan on high above my bed, no clothes, i.e. in the buff and just a sheet. Needless to say I was hot all night and had to get up to pee 3 0r 4 times due to the excessive amounts of water I had drank at dinner. Luckily, the amount of sleep you get the night before a race doesn't matter or so they say.
Alarm went off at 5:30 am and we got our stuff together and headed out the door. Race site was only 10 minutes away, so we didn't have to rush and we got there about 15 minutes before transition closed. Got my chip, got bodymarked (race number 69) and set up my transition. I am a minimalist when it comes to transition, so this process does not take long. The most tedious part was putting on bodyglide on my feet since I wasn't going to be wearing socks. Have been training with socks since I was going to be doing a longer race, but didn't want to waste the time in transition for a sprint race. Got down to the water for a little pre-race swim and pee in the largest bathroom around. Unless you need to take a crap, it is beyond me why people wait in the long lines at the port-o-potty before a race. Just go in the freakin' lake.
Swim length was supposed to be 800 m, but it ended up a little long, say 850 to 900. The start was a time trial start at the end of a pier. Being race number 69, I was in the thick of things fairly quickly...Got into the water and got off to a good start. It all went downhill from there. I had brought my tinted goggles and with all the fog at 7 am, I could hardly see 50 m ahead of me. What I did see were the 10 guys in front of me doing breast stroke about 100 m in? What the freak? Maybe they couldn't see either or just were having a tough time already. Took forever to get to the turnaround and made it back unscathed. That is one thing nice about a time trial start. Not much kicking and hitting since you are fairly spaced out. Only got passed by a couple of people, and I passed my fair share. Swim time sucked at 19:32. That is slow, even though it was a little long. Fastest times were in the 13 minute range and they have historically been in the 12 minute range, which is why I keep saying the swim was long. Puts me at about 2:10/100's, which is very disappointing.
Uneventful. Got my cycling shoes on and took off up the hill right out of transition. Was in my big chainring, which I had warned the others not to do with the hill starting right after the mount line. However, I mashed it up without falling over, just barely.
I knew it was going to be hilly and luckily I had been training in the hills because Holy Toledo is also hilly. It was cloudy and overcast still, so the bike was nice and cool. Got passed by a few people, but I passed more people than I got passed by. Since the time trial start for the swim was based on age group, got passed by a couple of the fast guys in the age group just behind me. Roads are nice and smooth except for a couple of short sections. Only hit 38 on the big downhill this year, which was disappointing since I hit 42 last year. I think it was because I was riding faster on the way out hammering up the big hill and just didn't have the legs to push it down this year. My chip screwed up, so I did not have a T1 and bike time, just a T1/bike time. It was 1:02 for T1 and the 20 miles. Also forgot to reset my bike computer until I was 5 miles into the course, so I have no "official" bike time or speed. So my bike was somewhere around 19.8 to 20. Felt like I was in and out in T1 so it was probably more around the 19.8 range. An improvement from last year, but still not over 20 like I wanted to be.
Hit the flying dismount on the way in from the bike and got in and out of T2 fairly quickly. Took too much time putting on my visor when I should have just carried it like I did my race belt to put on at the run start. Probably could have shaved 5 seconds off of T2. Of course, losing 5 pounds may have made me faster on the bike and got that same 5 seconds. Anyway, was out in under a minute.
Felt great on the run. Wanted to run a negative split, but missed it by about 30 seconds. Shouted out to everyone from BRTri that I passed and most were looking great. Hoofed in the down the hill and ran sub 8's, which was one of my goals. Feet did great with the bodyglide with no socks. Shoes did feel a little squirrely with the bodyglide. Just felt like they weren't as secure as with socks. Didn't affect my running though. Knocked of almost a full 5 minutes from last year on the run alone.
Didn't meet my goal of 1:45, but came close. A little more oomph! on the bike and a better swim that was the correct length and I could have gotten it. Can't be too upset though with a 9 minute improvement over last year. Hope I can make the same improvement next year!! Splits below. Picked up about 50 places in the standings this year and finished in the top 1/3. I think that justifies FOP status, at least for this race. A lot of slow first timers, but racers are racers no matter how slow or fast.
142 Chad Stevens 28 I M 20:55 1:28 1:03:49 18.8 1:07 29:05 9:23 1:56:23
96 Chad Stevens 29 I M 19:38 1:02:03 19.8? 0:53 24:27 7:54 1:46:59
No pics since the event photographer has decided that in order to stop people from using the images on their blogs and websites that he'll make the proofs so dark that you can barely tell it's you and unavailable copy the image from the website. Don't have any of that photo stealing software, which I am sure is easy to get, but I am not that techie. Since my swim and run photos did not get put with my number, since the number isn't visible in the photos, I can't even find any run photos. Don't have time to go through 4400 pics 40 at a time. No family or friend support for the race, so besides the results, there is no proof that I did the race except for the event photographers lame excuse for picture posting. Big Shot Event Photo Bib #69, if you care.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Tried to scramble and find a half-iron to do the same weekend or maybe the one after, but there are only two. They are both more than 8 hours from the house and at least double the cost of Holy Toledo. One is in Austin, TX and the other one is in Tennessee. Tried to get another BRTri member to do the one in TN, but he couldn't commit. Now what do I do? I am about to go crazy. Our Tri season down here ends way too soon. Just when it starts to cool off, no more races. What is up with that? This weekend will be the last race in Louisiana for the year. What a bummer?
I think I'll go run over my bike now, put it out of its misery...
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Finally got to train some yesterday when I was in Morgan City to visit my wife and kids. They have been staying at my wife's parent's house since they have electricity. Got in 7 miles yesterday afternoon while the kids napped. Slept at the office last night and worked until this afternoon. Got in a 40 mile ride and a one hour run. Only 2 weeks to go until Meat Pie and Holy Toledo the week after that. Hopefully, Ike stays away so that we don't have any more damage and so the races can be held.