Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Danskin Recap

Yes, the rumours are true, I'm a triathlete now!

Saturday morning the NY Metro Area received the remants of Hurrican Ivan. I opted out of the 4M race to get an extra hour of sleep and to avoid the torrential downpour. Kari hauled her bike and excess gear down to Brooklyn on the subway, and Andrew picked us up to drive to Jersey. We picked up our packets at a hotel near the race site. (The race packets were the best I've ever seen - full of goodies. Go corporate sponsorship!) We then drove through the race site just to check it out - the bike course was amazingly flat.

Sunday morning we woke up very early. 4:50am early. We dressed quickly and ate english muffins with peanut butter, then piled into Andrew's car and headed to Sandy Hook.

We arrived just after 6am, and unloaded/assembled our bikes. As I was pumping up my front tire, I broke the valve and ended up with a flat! Goddam. Fortunately I am well-versed in fixing a flat, and changed it fast. We walked our bikes to the transition area, racked them, and laid out our transition items. It was very cold. The energy was really high. An announcer was updating us on the water temperature (69F) and wave starts (Kari was in wave 4, I was in 6). We donned our wetsuits and headed over to the swim start.

The first wave (elite) went out just after 7:30. The other waves (by age) were each 4 minutes apart. Since I was in wave 6, I was able to see the first few elite swimmers come out of the water, which was pretty exciting! We had to swim out around 2 yellow buoys, a red buoy, then 2 blue buoys. The current definitely made it easier to swim out than back! When I finally reached the end of the swim, I was a little disoriented, but managed to get my wetsuit halfway down on the way back to the transition area.

I'd been worried before the race about T1, as it wasn't something we'd practiced. It turned out to be pretty easy - wetsuit off, dry feet, socks & shoes on, sunglasses, helmet, bike, and I was off. My gloves were in my Bento Box and for such a short ride (11M) I didn't bother putting them on.

As I mentioned before, the bike course was super flat. On the way out I couldn't believe how fast I was going - 22-23MPH! I was psyched, and thought at this rate I'll be finished the bike portion in <30 minutes. At the turnaround point I realized why I'd been going so fast - the wind was blowing in that direction. All of a sudden my pace was 11MPH. What a drag.

Finally made it back to the transition area. T2 is easy - helmet off, shoes off, shoes on, run. The run course was a sort of wiggly OAB, with a water stop about every mile. I ran the first mile in under :10, but was a little slower for the rest. I had a decent finish, and my overall time was 1:40. Kari finished in 1:35 - she is a kickass swimmer!

I'm really happy with my time.

Previously in this space, I estimated my Westchester completion time to be 3:30. I'm still very much hoping to do that, but I'm a little more cautious knowing the hills that await on the bike course in Rye. My pace this past weekend was over 15MPH, which translates to 1h40m - on a completely flat (albeit windy) course.

Shari drove the bike course last weekend and reported, "it's hilly. nothing as steep as danbury but many longer inclines. it's tough--there are enough flats and downhills to recover but we'll be working straight thru till the end. it's very pretty, there are a couple of windy passages..."

5 days to go!


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