Thursday, July 9, 2009

23rd Annual Pat Griskus Sprint Triathlon Race Report

Well I raced yesterday. When I got up a 7am to pack all the stuff in my car ( because I'd be going straight from work to the race.) I was seriously considering not racing. I spent the morning as I packed and got ready for work thinking of excuses..."my dog ate my running flats." No too overused..."I'm tapering for a marathon session at work..." no...too lame, after finding no real excuses to get out of it I decided I'd better go...otherwise there'd be one really pissed off guy on Shelter Island threatening to kick my ass with his crutches....afterall he would kill to do any race right now...granted when he makes his comeback tour next summer things are going to be very interesting in the 25-29 age group.

So I slumped through my 7 hours at work and pulled an Indiana Jones style arrival at Quassy getting all my stuff ready just in time to be at the water's edge @ 5:45PM..thank you to the volunteer who sturggled with my wetsuit zipper for five minutes to help me get the damn thing on.

The Boxing Match I mean swim.

At 6PM the first wave went off. We were a "elite" swim the guys who finished in the top 50 last year or the race director just happens to know, or happen to be in the paper all the time for winning their events in the high school swim season. When the gun went off I tried to stay with the lead pack of swimmers and instead found my self in a boxing match with the guy on my left. Every 4 strokes one of us was hitting the other in the head. I would try to aim right going as far over as I could without hitting the buoys and it was like he was powerless against my wake and would continue to come far right with me. I finally lost him at the turn around and had clear water all the way back to the beach, and began to strip off the wetsuit. They shouted my Split as 11:15 and after the run up to the beach it was recorded as 12:03 not too shabby but almost 2 minutes slower than the leaders.

The bike: Red line it.
After a somewhat slow transition...seriously for a Half IM 1:27 would be blazing. I hammered out of T-1 and tried to make up as much ground as possible on some of the spots I had lost granted I started getting passed like it was my job at about the 5 mile mark. I managed to keep on group of riders in sight and made them my goal group to keep contact with as I took all the climbs after mile 5 in the big ring...including the "Smiling Death Last Hill". It showed as I dropped nearly a 30 seconds off of last year's split a 31:58.

The Run: Just don't puke.
I got off the bike and after another somewhat slow transition ( I almost ran out the bike in.) It was onto the run. I spotted Tony, my running partner ( who would also win the 25-29 men's group.), just about 100 meters in front so I pushed to catch up with him. All the liquid I had taken in on the bike was rearing it's ugly head and thought I was going to be pulling a Linda Blair and puking Green Gatorade, but somehow it stood down. I caught Tony by the first Aid station and we paced together trying to reel in some of the faster cyclists. By the last hill my legs had had it and I watched helplessly as Tony motored away. I still motored along trying to see if I could break the 20 min. barrier for a 5k I came up 14 seconds short, as I ran a 20:13. I broke the tape in 1:06:41 about a minute and change faster than last year. Good enough for 36th overall ( if you count the three relays that beat me.) and 3rd in my age group for the second year in a row. Next year I enter Tony's domian in the 25-29 bracket. Be afraid guys be very afraid.
Josie also managed to medal in her age group as one of the 25-29 women won the overall...her feat was quite impressive since her pre race nutrition consisted of Indian food. Amazing feat for the Iron stomach.

On the age group thing here's the kicker the two guys that beat me both beat me in the swim. The guy who won my AG was the first overall out of the water and managed to back up his aqua skills with the fastest run split in my AG. I tied for the second fastest run split in my AG nearly 3 minutes slower...yeah homeboy was fast.

Also this week's sign of the Apocalypse: I threw down the fastest bike split in my age group...I know I'm sacred too....I think I was possessed by the Spirit of Bjoern.

Well all that said and done time to knuckle down for Providence...


Monday, July 6, 2009

Race week

Well it's here, race week. I have a sprint on Wednesday, then two days of light training and then the race Sunday...and the big question? Is a crazy dream worth economic suicide. Part of me feels that if I get that Kona slot I should just turn it my money after all Kona isn't going anywhere and when I'm 30+ I'd be better prepared for it, I might enjoy it more. But the other part of me is this could be a one time of those deals that you get only once, and either you take it or you don't. Either you suck it up and go after you dream or you kill it. You end up Moonlight Graham, that 70 year old doctor still wondering what it would have been like to get that one major leauge at bat as a 20 year old kid. If I get that slot there is going to be a lot of soul searching and cost benefit analysis going on in those 10-20 minutes from result posting to roll down.
My training this weekend went well. Lots of miles in the saddle and an open water swim. I needed to fix the front deraileur but luckily I had the issue on a training ride not a race. My new HEAT gear in today. The jersey is a little snug but it'll stretch with a few races. When I throw on my race gear nothing else's just go like Hell and hang on for dear life. Sure there's a stack of bills on the table worries on if I'll get my degree over the summer or if I'll have to suck it up until December, the real world questions of what to do with my life. But those are for pre-race and post race in the race there is nothing else that matters but the finish line.
Part of me wonders if racing is worth all that I put into it. Sure it makes me happy but is it worth the time I could devote to a second job. Is it worth the money I put into it...after all my stack of bills isn't getting any smaller. Is it make me focus more on the short term and not enough on the long term? I really don't know if it's hindering or improving my life but I do know I'd be partially empty without it.