Saturday, March 5, 2011

Guard Dog Tri Race Report (AKA: Tiger Blood Race)

Guard Dog Sprint Triathlon
400yd Swim- 5:41
10mi Ride- 24:22
3mi Run- 24:44
Total Time- 59:19
Overall place- 32/93
Division place- 3/6

Today was planned as a training day triathlon. I thought it would be a good idea to get as many races under my trisuit as possible before the Honolulu Olympic Tri in May, so thanks to a generous donation from Dirtbag Best Friend and Dirtbag Best Friend's Wife Who Still Needs A Better Nickname, I was able to register for this North Shore series triathlon. I have to stress, my goal for today was not to race, but only to get some more experience and see where my training was taking me. And I think that worked out rather well.

This was, I think, the smallest event I've been a part of so far. Only 93 participants is a very small field. However, it does not feel all that small when everyone is trying to swim in the same direction at the same time. Mass ocean starts are a mosh pit. It was in the Haleiwa Tri and it was today. Good to do it again and get used to it. The weather wasn't very nice either, so while it wasn't raining yet visibility was limited. Hard to spot those big orange buoys with everyone thrashing about. Eventually I found a little pocket for myself and was able to more or less stay on track and in a straight line. Some dummy behind my kept slapping my ankles, but I think he was just jealous of my Dirtbag Awesomeness.
Long beach run from the swim exit to the transition area. The race organizers originally wanted half the run portion to be a beach run but Nature decided otherwise, flooding a river we would have had to cross. To make up for that, the long transition run. Which is why my T1 time was 3:19. Because running on the beach kind of sucks.
Up and on to the grass, with little time to wash the sand from my feet (so I didn't) and I was off on the bike. Actually, considering I didn't do any transition practice at all leading up to today, I'm quite happy with how quickly I was in and out both times.
By the time the bike portion started it was drizzling-to-raining. This is not as bad as you would think. It wasn't cold (to me, Stitches, Official Super-Awesome Wife of Team Dirtbag, may feel differently) because I was working out and my Tiger Blood was pumping. This, by the way, was the first of many many Charlie Sheen joke I made to myself over the next 24 minutes. His crazy is both motivational and amusing, perfect for a fun little race like this. Which means, I have to admit, I was using a performance enhancing drug: Charlie Sheen. I may have melted someone's face. I passed exactly one person on the ride. A teenager who gave me a dirty look and promptly passed me back. He was on a mountain bike and riding with his head bouncing all over the place, which is not the best way to go fast. So I passed him back. Sucka! And, like normal, I was passed many times by people obviously jealous of my superior swimming skills. I could tell.
This also seems like as good a time as any to mention my wardrobe choice to today's event. I went with a one-piece trisuit I picked up on discount at REI. I planned on wearing either the one-piece or my two-piece but with the top because I figured it would be cold and a little covering would be better than nothing. After consulting with Sister Dirtbag, Official Trainer of Team Dirtbag, and looking at myself in the mirror, I went with the single. Good choice. Nice and tight in th water, helped keep me warm on the bike, through by the end of the run I was working a full Doctor Rockso. Ga-ga-ga-yeah!
T2 went smoothly and I was off on my run. Here is where all that sand on my feet from T1 became a concern. I was worried that I would sandblast my feet and stagger to the finish on bloody stumps. Not so. Actually, the only problem was that I haven't been running in my VFFs without socks so my feet get rubbed raw in some spots. Didn't have that problem during my first two races because I started running without socks during training to get all the rawness out of the way. So I have two pretty good scrapes on my feet, but they'll be fine.
The run was kind of fun, actually. A built dude came out of the transition area right behind my and went by, but then settled in to a perfect pace for me. So I hung out on his hip all the way to the turn-around. I kept expecting him to take off but he never did. He was my run buddy for a while. After the turn one of the race organizers or sponsors (not sure) caught up to me, a tall woman who spent her entire run encouraging people as we passed them. Mostly the women. "Come on, girlfriend! You got it ladies!" So I gasped to her, "Hey, what about the guys?" She told me she would cheer for the girls and I could cheer for the guys. Around the same time I passed my run buddy, he came up on my hip for a minute and I thought we were going to have a fun little footrace to the end, but then he dropped back. I passed a runner! Holy crap. So the cheer lady and I ran right next to each other for around a mile, encouraging each other and other runners. Once the finish came in to view I quickened my stride and finished hard. Not sprint hard, but at a decent clip. If my time is real and it really was a 5k, then I'm plenty pleased with a 24:44. Training is working.
So a good race in the rain, fun time, AND I took third in the Men's 25-29 age group, winning myself a mug. That's pretty badass to me. Never placed in a race before. It was even legit because there were six guys in the division.
I'll post a Pictures blog next. Tomorrow is the end of Recovery Week and then its back to the grind Monday.

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