Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Broome County Tri...or how my kid beat me!

Broome County Triathlon
July 2nd, 2011
1/2 mile swim
12 mile bike
5K run
......doesn't sound too bad, right???

WRONG! Big-ass hills on the bike & a 371 vertical climb (wtf!?!) on the run!

So here's how it broke down:
17:26 swim.....yup! Killed it!
T1: 1:59
56:16 min bike....uggg, horrible!
T2: 00:41
33:22 min run...ok, if you take into account aforementioned 371 foot vertical climb!

So let me begin at the beginning...Thing 1 had been bugging me to let him do a triathlon since last summer.  I scoured the internet looking for something close by & perhaps a little light on the distances and found the Broome County Triathlon...about 90 minutes from where we live & the bike was a bit shorter than most.  I thought this a bit odd, but figured fortune had shined on us & registered both us & hubby for the race...Hubby's 1st Olympic distance is in a month so would be a good warmup for him.  Yay! We are doing a Triathlon together!

Race day arrives & as we approach the park, a collective silence hits the car, then Thing 1 pipes up "Is THIS part of the course...it's REALLY hilly!", then Hub's says "Yeah, look at those cones...this IS the course (turns to me) you didn't say it was going to be ALL HILLS!"  Um....the website didn't say anything about hills....all it said was there was one hill in the run (I should have know then what was in store for me in the run, but I was distracted by the hilly bike course.).  ME (in full cheerleader mode now): Oh, I'm sure it's not all this hilly, this is just the first turnaround leg!

We pick up our race packets, set up transition & head over to test the water.  Water temp is 76F...wetsuits will be allowed.  We are not wearing wetsuits & the water actually feels pretty good...phew! I am frantically giving Thing 1 last minute swim advice....helpful stuff like "don't drown" & "hang on to a kayak if you need to"....to which I get the typical teenager reply "That's lame, Mum, I'll be fine".  Well, guess what? He was! I was so proud of him....finished his swim in 18:56 & we saw each other in transition!  As for me, I killed the swim! 17:26 for 1/2 mile (800 meter) swim! I bring this up because I realize that being good at the swim means nothing in Triathlon. 

I like this picture because look at all those swimmers behind me!  I am in 68th position coming out of the water. (and no, my shoulders are NOT that muscular...but what a great camera angle!) ;-D
I decide to go sockless when I hit transition & am out of there quick...1:59.  The bike course is just one long hill after another.  There are 2 turnarounds in the bike, the first being after cresting a hill on the downward run just under 2 miles in.  As I crest the hill all I see are bikes crashed all over the place.  Thank GOD I am not wearing clipped in biking shoes!  OMG! Carnage everywhere!  6-8 bikes crashed, that was the end of the race for 3 of them.  I saw 1 guy changing a flat at the side of the road.  Scary!  I slow down even more & turn safely.  Thing 1 passes me 2.5 miles in.  We ride pretty much together for the rest of the bike....all I heard for the rest of the bike was "to your left"....yeah, almost everyone passed me....it was my worst ride ever. 

Hitting transition for the 2nd time, Thing 1 and I arrive together & are out of there without any delay...we are both 41 seconds in T2.  I hit the run....surprisingly, my legs don't feel horrible.  I look & I am thinking that it looks like a nice shady bike path type course...I can do this.  Those BRICK workouts & short-fast steps that Triathlon Tom recommended really helped shake off the bike! 

Nice serene run in the park...legs feeling not so bad...things are looking up!
 Yes, things are looking up....WAY up!  We round a corner about 1/2 mile in and this is what I see....

Whitney Point Dam
 This picture just doesn't do the climb justice....I wish I had the energy to walk back afterwards and get a good photo, but this is what I could get off the internet.  See the grass hill with the rocks to the right? We had to ascend that.  I didn't see a single person run it....they all walked and there were volunteers handing you water at the top.  I did a google elevation search & it is a 371 ft vertical ascent at an aproximately 80 degree angle!!!!!  This is the 'single hill' mentioned on the website....LMAO! Understatement of the year!  You went up this, then ran across the dam, looped around and came back the same way.  I couldn't even run down it! Holy Moly! That was tough!  My legs screamed at me for the next 2 miles.  Then I was coming down the finish line & as I saw Hubby & Thing 1 cheering on the sidelines, I got a burst of energy and finished 1:49:44

Not great but given the technical difficulty, I'll take it as a success. 

Another success: Thing 1 wins his 14-16 year old age category...& was actually 2nd in the 19 & under group!  His finish time: 1:45:38! He told me that all through the bike, people were asking him how old he was as they passed him & telling him that he was doing awesome on his old hybrid mountain bike.  I am so proud of him!  He says he wants to do another now...I may have to give him my racing bike!

Me & my boy!
 So, final tally....37/50 women. 131/157 overall....can you imagine if I was a slow swimmer?!? Yikes!
But I did it & I finished it & I was NOT LAST! :-).......now back to running...


Michael said...

Way to go!! And Congrats to you son....hello, what an AWESOME 1st Tri!!

That hill is just plain stupid. Why do that do that kind of stuff in a race? Seriously??

I love the photo of your rock star arms coming out of the water!

Nelly said...

Nice job! Especially on the swim, sounds like that went awesome! The course sounds super hilly in the bike and run - especially the run, that hill sounds insane! Having everyone be forced to walk during a 5K as part of a triathlon sounds really crazy to me. Congrats to your son too!

Julie said...

What a great athlete you have on your hands!! One of my kiddos is in love with triathlon, too. I love seeing her fly on her bike and the run with a huge smile on her face. My face is usually looking pretty P.O.d when I'm mid-race...but I occasionally remember her smile and whip one on myself :D

That bike carnage sounds nasty. Wouldn't have wanted to stumble on that myself.

Jack's_word said...

Awesome running! Alexander is HUGE!

The Green Girl said...

Very nice. Love that the brick workouts helped and you were prepared, girl.