Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tri Tuesday Part II

Today has certainly been an interesting day.  It started with some unwanted coaching, the middle bit was some pretty relaxed work / tour de france watching (what a fantastic stage and an amazing performance by Andy Schleck!  It was so great to watch him attack Contador again and again and again!  I was just bummed that he couldn't crack him) / and then the afternoon meant it was time to head off to the races.

I left for the time trial course around 4pm so I could get there early and get a warmup lap in before the race which I'm finding has really helped speed up my times in the race.  The weather was looking pretty nasty.  I checked the radar before I left and there was a lovely band of storms headed right for the area.  But I wasn't going to let that keep me away.  I'm not a fair weather rider/runner by any means.  Several other people had the same idea apparently and a few others showed up at the TT course as I was about to head out for my warmup.  I got to meet Kathy G which was nice as we've talked on BT, and via the Tri NE forums but had not met before.  So we chatted a bit and then I headed out.  The skies were pretty grey and overcast and didn't look good.  I knew I was going to get wet going into it.  What I didn't know was how nuts it was going to be out there.  First 7 miles or so weren't too bad.  Some light drizzle maybe and I was enjoying my warmup.  My legs have felt kind of dead since the weekend's 15 miler so I was a little afraid they wouldn't loosen up but I was feeling pretty good after a few miles.

Then I made it to the dam at about the exact halfway point from the start and the skies just opened up.  It just started to absolutely pour!  I couldn't see a damn thing!  I took my sunglasses off and the wind driven rain was forcing me to squint.  It was pretty brutal.  Once I made it off the damn and onto the climbs it wasn't quite as bad as my speed was much lower but it was still pouring.  So much so that there was a river flowing down the hill.  So I was riding through a 1/2"-1" of fast moving water as I was climbing.  Which looks very weird.  After the first climb was over the descent started.  Which I was not enjoying one bit.  I couldn't see where I was going, my brakes were pretty much useless in all the rain, the streets were flooding forcing me further into traffic to stay out of the puddles and rivers on the side of the road and there were way more cars than usual and none of them seemed to be going any slower.  It was not fun!  At that point the ride became about survival.  I was just trying to ride carefully and not fall over.  I was thankfull when the next climb came as it meant I could slow down and actually be able to see where I was going.  Its too bad the race didn't happen today as I felt fantastic on the climbs.  They were over quickly and I felt really strong today.  The rolling up and downs of the last part of the course were not as bad as earlier but there was still a lot of flash/street flooding that wasn't fun to negotiate around.  Right around the time I made it back to the start area the rain started to slow down a little which was around 5:40.  I talked to Sean from PB about the flooding on the back side and it was decided to call off the TT.  It just wasn't safe conditions to race in.  I think they had pretty much already come to that conclusion though already.  Some people did go out and ride and apparently once the rains died down the flooding cleared pretty quickly, so it may have been ok.  But I certainly wouldn't have really raced it with all that water around. 

Fortunately the day wasn't wasted as Sean and I decided to go out for a run.  Kellie A and Sean's gf Jen also joined us but we split off fairly early on and went different routes.  Sean and I ended up running a nice route that was just over 5 miles long.  Our splits were pretty funny.  Our first mile where we hung with the girls was an 11 minute mile climbing that monster hill.  And then after that the splits went right down to 7:30s, 7:20's, and the last .25 miles on the end of the fiver was at 6:30 as we sprinted the last bit in.  We were running side by side which kept making us think the other guy wanted to go faster so we both kept pushing the pace.  At one point we went...  wait a minute!  why are we going this fast?  (we were running a 7min/mile pace at that point) and we slowed it down a tad.  But that was a great run at a nice challenging pace and the conversation was good too.  Sean's trying to convince me to do the Firm 1/2 in September.  Which is the same day as my century ride.  But I can ride 100 miles anyday right?  : )   At this point all I will say is I'm thinking about it.  It might be a great way to end the season by racing the 1/2 CONSERVATIVELY and just trying to get through the swim in as relaxed a way as possible, go mid effort on the bike, and try and run a good 1/2 at a 9 minute/mile pace.  Just to see what it feels like to get through a half.  Some slow estimates would be swim - 45 mins, Bike - 3.5 hours, Run -2 hours.  So thats a total of 6.5 hour time roughly.  I know I can do better than that but why go nuts and race my first one?  I should just focus on completing it.  For now though I want to keep doing open water swims in the ocean and see how I feel about it.  Theres no need to decide now if I want to do it or not.  Its just something to think about.  I know I still need to get my first triathlon out of the way first.  But on the plus side an ocean swim means its pretty much guaranteed to be wetsuit legal!  : )

Anyway...  thats enough for today...  its 9pm and I still need to go and clean my bike up after the ride in the rain.  Next up tomorrow is another open water swim in the evening in Barrington in the ocean.  Hopefully I'll do better in the swells this week than last now that I know a little about what to expect.  We'll see!

Oh wait!  I almost forgot the best part...    Sean and I got catcalled and whistled at by a car full of college girls when we were out on our run.  I know I'm probably old enough to be their father...   but still I gotta say...   it wasn't unpleasant.  : )  It certainly made me smile.  I've said it before...    Triathlon.  it does a body good.  : )

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