Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Day 485 - Tri The Beach Sprint Triathlon!

June 7, 2014                239 lbs

Sorry for the long break in post! I was working on a TV show that sucked up all my time. No workouts and almost no sleep for several days. I really can't afford to miss any workouts at this point so these missed days stab deep.

I got invited to do a Sprint triathlon at the last minute and decided, "What the heck!" I haven't raced in a long time. So I called the organizers and found out I could still register the morning of, (today.)

The event was the annual Tri The Beach in Huntington Beach.  Here is the race report:

I woke up at 5:00 am after getting to bed at 2:30 am! I have had about four hours of sleep in the last three days, but hey, you only live twice! I made some oatmeal with blueberries and drank a

I got to Huntington Beach at 7:30 am and registered.

 Transition was pretty full and I squeezed into a spot. I quickly set up and noticed the person on the other side of the bike hanger had a bucket with water. What a good idea! By the way, note the dayglo green transition mat my wife got me last Christmas. It made it very easy to spot my bike as I ran in from the swim and later returned from the bike.

The swim was tough. As we stood on the shore watching the waves break, the lifeguards warned us to duck under the waves and to swim to the left for some distance because of a strong current. This had us running in water two feet deep over a sand bar. As soon as I was deep enough to start swimming, I was already tired and could not get comfortable with my head in the water! I ended up swimming the whole thing "Tarzan style" with my head above water. By the end of the 600 meter swim I was trying to catch my breath big time. I looked around and everyone was gasping. I wasn't dizzy coming out of the water though and that was cool.

 A long slog through the soft sand into T1. In hind sight, though I was bummed about the swim at the time, I recovered pretty quickly.  Onto the bike and out. I pushed and was surprised at the level of effort I could hold. Five miles out and back on the Santa Ana river trail.  I literally picked off everyone in front of me. Keep in mind, this was the slower racers. Still felt good to steadily overtake and pass each rider I saw. There was one guy on an expensive BMC carbon bike that passed me but I didn't like that and beat him in.

 Back into T2 and off the bike. Debated going barefoot due to the soft sand between transition and the water line. We were told to run out at the water line but on the softer sand side of the lifeguard towers on the way back.  I looked up and saw Mr. BMC was ahead of me! He had made it out of transition a little bit faster.  Running out to the water sucked and drained the energy from my legs fast. However, once I got to the firmer sand, I was able to recover and gradually started running faster. At the turnaround I saw that no one was running back on the softer sand, Great! Back I went and I was even able to pass some people.  Then I saw Mr. BMC and realized I was gaining on him. So I changed gears. I caught up just as he got back on the loose sand between the water and the finish line. I had to really pour it on to pass him and sprint into the finish. A small victory to feed the competitive side of me.

I crossed the finish line and got my medal and realized my timing chip was missing. Just gone. No idea where it went. I walked over to a refreshment table and grabbed an orange slice and some water. Then I began speaking to the owner of and got caught up in a pleasent post race gab when I realized I didn't stop my watch! Dang! With losing the timing chip and now this my times will be all over the place. Oh well.

Overall it was a grind but fun regardless. I was bummed that the organizers were only offering overall timing and not splits but in the end, it wouldn't have mattered anyways. There was a certain leanness or bare bones quality to the race that had me wondering where exactly my $99.00 entry fee was going but on the positive side, the medals and t-shirts were cool. Would I do it again? Maybe.

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