Wednesday, October 8, 2008

2008 Emerald Point Triathlon race report:

What a long few days it been…

If you're short on time and don't want to read extended weekend report, then….

My race weekend started something like this.

Friday night the spousal unit informed me that we were having a yard sale Saturday with our neighbors and I needed to get in the garage attic and retrieve all of the kid stuff I have been packing away. I wasn't really thrilled with the idea of a yard sale, but I did want to get rid of the things the kids have out grown.

So I went to bed at approx 22:00, I didn't sleep well. We have been getting lots or rumors at the office that layoffs were coming and while I didn't think I would be one of the employees released it was on my mind. I had been keeping my thoughts to myself, no need to get everyone to def con 3 over rumors. So as I awoke during Friday night I kept thinking to myself, "it's the night before the night that counts for sleep", talk about pressure. Saturday morning came and I was allowed to sleep in to about 08:30ish when I was asked to get going and start prepping for the yard sale. I got going and started to unpack the old bikes, scooters and strollers that we have been collecting and all the while reminiscing about when the kids got that bike and that scooter from Santa and all the Band-Aids it took to patch them up. We got all of our past treasures out and price marked and off we went. As the day wore on the empty beer bottles started to collect and I ended up having a few too many, well not really, but the day before a race it's not really a good idea to have more than say 5. I was in the sun and on my feet all day and with a few beers I had I was tired and ready for a nap. I never got the nap, but I did get to clean my bike and pack all my gear and load the car. This is where it starts to get good.

With the day almost done and with all my gear packed in the car all I needed to do was get some sleep. My oldest daughter is a 4th grade cheerleader and Sunday (also the day of my race) was the big Cheer-off competition. The girls had all be over the coach's house curling hair and all that type of girl stuff I have no idea about. The girls got back to the house sometime after dark but the spousal unit was looking for a shower cap so she could try to preserve the hairdo and needed to run to the store to buy one. Let me back up my story for just one second, my car is packed and my race is in the early AM, so I left my packed car in the driveway rather than in the garage, ok, I can continue. My wife, jumps in the family truckster and pops it in reverse, check the rear view and guns it. A few seconds later I hear screaming, not a good sign, I run over and I see her at garage door and she's crying. Now I know both kids are in the house and safe, but, but, but, my car wasn't so lucky. She took her car and deflowered my car in a bad way. My car took the brunt of the action and both port side doors have a good crease in them. So she's upset, I'm not thrilled, but I'm happy no one was hurt and most of all I'm glad it was her and not me smashing the cars together. So after looking at the wreckage, she ask "Do you think they can buff it out?" not unless they have some magic pixie dust.

Shortly after that I got off to bed, but I kept waking up, I just couldn't sleep. I woke before the alarm and snuck downstairs and got ready for the race. I ate my peanut butter oat bar and shot a GU and drank a large glass of water. Got into my wreck of a car and headed to the race.

I got to Lake Lanier Islands early enough to get a parking spot opposite the transition area, racers showing up later had to park a approx a mile away, so the early triathlete gets the good parking. I was able to get to packet pickup, get body marked and use the portlets without much trouble. My rack was seconds to last in the back by the run out, good spot and easy to find. I set up my gear in no time, not too much to it. My big question was whether to wear my wetsuit or not, I mean it's only 400m right. Not too many people were wearing them so I was starting to feel like a wimp, but in the end quite a few did. My thought process was, I've never wore one in a race and I bought one in the spring and only wore it twice, and I really wanted to race in it once to gain the experience and to justify the cost. So I pulled it on and I've glad I did because it was really cold out waiting for the swim.

So the race:

I was in the fourth waive (40-44 + 45-49 + Clydes in age group) , so it was a decent size waive, 100-110 give or take. It was a shore start and I found some ground on the left side of a counter clock wise swim. Funny, as I was waiting for our group to get into the corral I was standing and talking to a big guy, arms like my thighs. Anyway his woman came over and wished him good luck and said "Don't break anyone's nose this time". At that point I found a new place to start, I know wimpy right? So the horn goes off and here we go, everyone gets in the water and start swimming, but just as I think to myself "cool I can see feet" the pack got jammed up and everyone stopped, WFT, GO! It was tight quarters, it's a short swim, and I could not get outside and start passing. More than once, maybe twice I had to actually stop and kind of breast stroke / doggy paddle because we were stopped. Note to self and other, if you can swim get up front! After the initial cluster %$^#$ I was feeling pretty good and proceeded to jam myself between others to get ahead. I was cautious, I did not want to wreak anyone on the swim, I know how getting swum over can freak someone out. At the halfway point I found some real state and got going, I wasn't looking for any feet, I just wanted some space. Out of the water I went, feeling good, I unzipped the suit and pulled my arms off and ran up the mountain of a hill into T1, and actually I walked part of the steep section. The timing mat was just outside transition, so swim times include the run, I was thinking "hell they could make this thing into a duo easy".

T1, not too bad for me, I got out of my wetsuit and got my gear on, the hardest part was getting the arm warmers on my wet arms. I grabbed my bike and got out of T1.

The bike was fun, it had its hills, and for me once I pay that gravity bill, the down hills are fast. For a short course it was fun, it was up and down and full of lot of turns. I took the first few miles at a slightly less than race pace to get in my HR under control and see how I felt. At about mile 4 I was ready to go and I feeling good. I hit the up hills hard and got out of the saddle, and was able to stay aero most of the time. I got to pass many rides and I wished them all luck, not this is not to say I wasn't passed, because I was. I love the sound of a disk wheel coming up on me, it makes me give it just a little more. At about the halfway point the "bike law" came up on me and pack of riders. I knew what was about to happen, I had nothing to fear because I was down hill of the pack. The motorcycle was taking up the middle of the road and it wasn't exactly safe to pass, I mean I got to pass you guys on the left, right? After what seemed like two miles I got a node from the marshal and passed. At that point I figure it must of put me back a minute, but hey what can you do. I dropped the hammer and started to get jacked up on my speed and maybe hanging behind for awhile saved my legs for this stretch. The course turned back onto Peachtree Industrial, and we were riding in the fast lane which was coned off. The issue with this was that slower riders were riding on the far left side of the road, and I can understand why, it's safer. The issue was that they were blocking, and when I yelled "on your left!" they didn't know what to do. I didn't say much to anyone, I was just trying to get back to transition, I didn't want to be the guy who had to school them on the rules on the bike. Many of the 'Blockers' were on Mt. bikes and other non road/tri bikes, so I know they didn't understand, so no big deal. With a few miles to go you enter the park and then your almost home, the only thing in your way is a few rollers and a few turns. With about a mile to go it gets real fast, I was flying and making my last few passes. With about ¼ - ½ mile to go the crowds were out and hooting and hollering and it gave me a good boost, I had to be going 30 mph. I flew up to the crowd, cranked the breaks, took the hard left, out of the saddle, smiling, and ripped it up the large hill and into T2.

T2, not too much going on here, I racked my bike, drank what I had left in my aero bottle. The only thing that took any time as getting some socks on my feet, I need them or I'd get blisters, I need to get some Zoots!

The run was what I expected, well, I thought it was going to be dead flat and it wasn't, no big deal, I have not run on anything flat outside of the dreadmill. My legs were feeling fine, I didn't have heavy legs and I was going a good pace (for me). A little into it my chronic Achilles pain started and I needed to take a short walk break, but I was able to push past it and continue on. The course was nice, tree lined and shady, up and down and it just rolled all over the last island in the chain that makes up the park. Now don't think me a wimp for not letting it out as fast as I could, my tendon pain as been a factor this entire summer it's just now starting to ease up, no way I was going to blow something now. My legs felt fine, and I've been trying to run with my quads and hams more than my calves. By the midpoint everything was starting to loosen up and I was feeling good. I picked it up a little and headed for home. As I made the turn into to run up the massive hill and into the finish area, I heard someone yelling at me to pick it up and finish strong, it was Dan from my lap pool, cool I thought, I better run faster (thanks for the words), I cranked it up the hill and at the top my HR was 199! Wow I thought I'm going to die, well I didn't die and I finished my race strong.

I crossed the line, grabbed the tee shirt and a banana and headed down the hill to cheer on my fellow racers. I just love this sport.

I packed the car and headed for home.

I was proud of myself, I felt I gave it a good effort and I left it all on the course.

I got home, quickly showered and headed off to Emily's Cheer off competition, two hours of screaming 4th grade girls, I loved it. Her team, Grayson Rams won first place and the place when nuts. She and her team members have put a lot of hard work into what they love and it showed. The entire team went to the local sports pub for some good food, R&R and some more little girl giggling.

Whew, what a weekend!

So that's my EP tri weekend story, I know I rambled on, so thank you for indulging me.

I hope you all had a nice weekend and a great season.


(I do not proof read, so please excuse my assault on the English language, I mean no harm)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Emerald Point Triathlon:

My full race report is coming, but here are some quickies:

The swim start was nuts, too many in my wave (approx 100+).
I started about mid pack to the left and it was like swimming in a crowded mall at X-Mas time.
By the time I got some real estate it was about the halfway point.
The swim exit to timing mat was about ¼ mile away and all uphill, so swim times are way off.
The bike was great, I must of passes 50+ people, that felt good.
The bike had some good hill, and I got out of the saddle a few times.
The last 6 miles or so, I was hauling a$$ and screamed into t2, the crowds were great.
The run was slow, but I'm a slow runner.
I had to walk for a minute or two here and there, my right foot Achilles tendon and arch in bad shape.
At the half way point on the run everything started to feel much better and I finished strong.

I like this race.
Next time, I'm getting upfront on the swim.


===== ======= ===== ================
52/67 604/749 412 Brian MacDonald

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41 11:12 3:34

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28 43:27 18.0

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63 40:41 13:08


Sunday, October 5, 2008

4th Grade Grayson Rams:

I am very happy to announce the 4th Grade Grayson Rams Cheerleaders have won the 2008 Cheer off!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Think good thought

It's the night before the Emerald Point tri and I'm trying to kick back after a long day. The gear is all packed and the car is loaded and parked in the driveway (as to be ready to sneak away in the early AM). Maria makes a run to the store, but doesn't see my car and grinds the two together.

Yup, lost virginity.

It's only a car, don't sweat the small things.