Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Wasa Race Recap

Hey everyone,

The water at Wasa this year was really warm and clear. Pretty unusual for this time of year I think. Usually it is much colder I find. This year it is really shallow, not sure why that is. I would have thought with the climate change and precipitation increases we have had this year it would have been really high.

Anyways, this is an Ironman year for me so getting back into Tri mode is an adjustment. I was hoping to benefit from the strong TT results this year and lay some hurt on the bike course. Other then that, I had no real aspirations for the race with respect to results. Trev's race wheels looked super cool on my bike and I was going for a PB on the bike course.

At the opening of the transition area, people were swarming all over the place and new triathletes were setting up their bikes. I picked a spot on an empty rack and then started looking for nutrition. No one ever said I was a smart guy and bringing a full bottle of water or small snack food seemed to escape my morning routine. After stealing a half drank bottle from a sign in table I figured, if I get really thirsty I'll just swim with my mouth open and drink lake water. Remember I said "Not the smartest guy!" I was also told that taking that bottle was how Swine Flu was spread. I'm not sure if that is accurate, people were sick way before the ice was off the lake, so how can a volunteer water bottle be the start of that?

As I got back to transition zone I noticed that 3 new triathletes surrounded me and my bike with the contents of their car, backpack, home and cabin. When I asked them if they were planning of cleaning up "Tent City!" the confused look on their faces turned to frustration. "I can't leave everything spread out like this?" Tip to all athletes, keep your stuff organized and reduce your triathlon footprint, get your sh*t out of my way!

At the end of the swim there was the usual heckling when I excited the water, "Look how fat that guy is!" It was even coming from a Speed Theory teammate as Mike Healy was yelling at me. I just beat him out of the water and my exit title wave must have knocked him into the sand.

On the bike we go and I am riding like a wolf hunting down 3 legged sheep. Another tip for new athletes, move to the right. Don't block the entire road, I don't like it when I get pushed to the yellow line when you are squeezing 50 gels into your mouth. After I gave all of the blocking riders the usual Godfrey Good Morning Greeting (f-bombs followed by suggestions of cranium extractions from thy anus) I was out on the road.

One of the cool attractions of Wasa is the fancy cars that come out to check out all of the riders. I say lots of Ferrari's and Lamborghinis. Pretty neat cars for sure. I hope that I was watching their cars, they noticed how freakin cool my wheels looked! After seeing a flash or red and black go by I was able to guage where I was on the course. Alex was an absolute missle on the bike course. Great ride for him. The only person who past me on the bike was Fast Legs Frank and he also had a great race.

As we came into final turn back to the lake I saw Darrel fixing a flat tire. Pretty bad luck for him on the ride, he sure made up for it on the run. What a great come back for him.

As I started on the run course, I had to focus on the advice I got from Trev. "Race to your strengths, focus on the bike and relax on the run." As the jello legs started moving forward my heart rate spiked and I was not feeling very well. It then hit me like staring into the sun. The "Blinding Light of the Incredibly Obvious" was before me. This was my second run in the past 4 weeks, and the longest run I had gone out for in the past 8 weeks. I was in serious trouble and entering the "Pain Zone." I was approaching the first turnaround and suffering big time. At that turn I saw the boys behind me. Darrel was basically sprinting with no effort, Mike Healy was licking his chops seeing me as his last meal and other Cranbrook boys were tracking me down.

Darrel past me like I was standing still, wait I was. What a great runner. Heading to the final turn around I new the boys were behind me gaining ground and I was pretty much delirious. The volunteer support is so good at Wasa, kids every where handing out drinks and lots of old friends there to cheer you on. Sometimes they all know the exact right thing to say to keep you going. Cherie Cooper took great pleasure in throwing the cups of water at me to wake me up. Sometimes you really do need a shock!

As I got to the finish I saw the time was not going to do a PB for me. I was hoping to have a ride time of 1 hour and hopefully a couple minutes on either end for transitions and I was pretty close. I took 4 minutes off my best bike time ever. It was definitely one of those rides where you felt much better then the clock displayed. My run was awful, as I mentioned the blinding light of the obvious, if there are no miles in your legs, there is speed, EVER!

All of the Speed Theory boys and girls looked super strong and happy on Sunday. It is great to see all of the jerseys out there and how fit the team is.

Great weekend guys and to those that are going, have a fun time in Banff.

Slayer Dan


Darryl said...

It was a great weekend indeed. My son totally ruled the bike (which is what matters) in the kids 10/11 race on Saturday. I PBed the bike if you take out my tire change. I totally PBed the tire change (5:45 yay me). My run was strong. Mike kicked my ass in T2, showing me where I can find some free time. My wife and kids quite enjoyed their volunteer detail (“Number on the front – DAD!”).
The only downside was the dozen or so guys who rode by me twice having a go at their paceline practice. When I went by them the second time (with authority) I congratulated them on their prideworthy bike splits, but I don’t think they were intelligent enough to grasp the irony. I need some lessons on precise verbiage to facilitate clear communication under these circumstances (“Oh, f-bombs? Okay.”). I kept them well behind me until the flat which just compounded the indignity of it all. I did manage to pass most of them on the run though, which was sweet revenge.
It was highly groovacious to have some more folks around to hang with before the race start. Congratulations on your stellar bike split (which is what matters).

M said...

The drafting on the bike was ridiculous. At one point, the draft marshall was next to a group and did absolutely nothing.

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