Sunday, April 20, 2008

Winning again after all those years!

What an awesome feeling to get a win in my home town's triathlon. Yyowzzzaaa! The Toyota Desert Triathlon at Lake Cahuilla, La Quinta, California is where the race was held this morning.

When we woke up this morning the wind was howling out here in the desert by the Bermuda Dunes airport where we live. The thought of sleeping in and forgettng about doing the race crossed my mind and I just rolled over and waited for the clock radio to try me again. Sure, the guilt set in after the second alarm so I lunged out of bed and hopped right to it.

Breakfast made and brought in togo boxes. I loaded up the bikes and kids into Suzanne's van and we were off to the races. I picked up my Mom to bring her to the races. She was plenty fired up to go and cheer us on after so many other races where she had missed out. It's great to have your parents at your races.

When Mom and I arrived at the lake the water was primo! If we had the water ski boat I would be barefooting it for sure. And the wind didn't come up at all during the 3/4 mile swim. The bike was a different story.

Made a quick transition, no tea party at this race in the transition area. The bike was perfectly adjusted finally, bars in an ideal position for my back. The back didn't get tired at all and no pain, finally. On the down wind stretches with wind at my back I must have been rocking it 30 mph or better. I could hunker down on that bike and spin that 53x14 gear so smoothly like a hot knife going thru butter and no ache in the legs at all. Only one guy passed me after dueling with him for 8 miles and he was all over that bike; not smooth or efficient, I knew I would see him later on the run so have fun dude and win the bike course.

When the run starts for me I get really fired up. Let the horses run, get on the hunt and get'um back (those guys that put forth too much on the bike with those tired legs.) I must have run down 4 guys in my age group. When going into the last 1/2 mile of the run I looked back and couldn't see anyone who looked like they were interested in taking away what I was just about ready to achieve.

All the training, riding in the night after work, going to the pool at 5:00am, and working some good runs in the middle of my work days was all worth it. When you climb up on top of that first place stage beside the second and third place finishers all that discomfort goes away. Hard work, you bet. Adrenalin burn during the race, a real high when all is right.

Next weekend is the LaJolla 1/2 Marathon and the following weekend is the Wildflower 1/2 Ironman, an old favorite of mine. Can't wait for another dose of good diabetes management and good pacing. Let the horses run!

Mr. Bill

Friday, April 4, 2008

Triathlon #1 for 2008, Oceanside Ironman 70.3

Shucks. It feels just like yesterday when I was training and racing full time being back in the triathlon scene. This event is absolutely first class in every way. All aid stations, hundreds if not thousands of volunteers, perfectly marked course that was well policed, fabulous event.

My goal was to run my own race with as few errors as possible. With everything working as planned I should have finished top ten but it came out as 20th place out of 154 in my age group, 5:12, with tenth place 9 minute up. The winner came in 20 minutes in front of me. Probably not his first triathlon race in 17 years, huh?

Blood sugar was 110 when I got up in the morning so I knew things had to be going my way. Suzanne and the children and their two cousins were at the race for the start in that cold 54 degree water in Oceanside Harbor. Folks thought I was a little different eating my Dennies Grand Slam breakfast 50 minutes before the race but I needed to do this to get the bloodsugar rise and timing correct.

When the gun went off for my age group I sprinted out with the lead guys so that I would not get swum over and that seems to work well. 31 minutes was a slow swim time but considering the badly bruised/fractured L rib #5, I felt okay with the performance.

I had a good run up to the transition spot but then came error #1; no triathlon type of cycling shoes. I stopped to get the socks on to protect the feet and struggled to get the jersey on; 4:00 transition--tooooo slow.

The bike course was awesome! A big section of the course I had ridden hundreds of times when I lived in North County San Diego so I knew it well. The back was feeling well for the first 10 miles, riding a consistant, relaxed, relatively fast pace. Only a few crazies went by on the bike but that was fine, I would probably see them later on the run.

Error #2; The bars are still too low and the spine started talking to me. I had to sit up numerous times to stretch out that sore back and this cost me some time. More work to do to get the Cannondale Slice set up correctly. Incycle in San Dimas has been a terrific shop to do business with and they will assist in getting the bike set up.

Error #3; Gatorade given to me on the course sure tasted great but the concentration clogged the gut and I could not pass the juice for at least 50 minutes. Dehydration on the way, oooppsie. I had a plan and broke the plan when I reached out for the Gatorade. My fault.

The back hills in Camp Pendleton were steeper than I had thought and could have used a 27 to spin the hills versus using the 23. I keep thinking I am 28 years old versus the elderly gent I have become. New cog set to be used on these hilly courses in coming races. With the back and food problem I was probably down 12 minutes.

Once I got back on the water and foods I had planned for the race I started feeling better although I knew I was behind schedule on the hydration. Run next.

Transition was fast, under 2 minutes, and the outfit worked great. Incycle sponsored me with cycling shorts and jersey that felt just fine to run in although this race was the first time I had run in that garb. Don't do this for the first time like I did. I just got lucky and it all worked.

My SPI belt was handily left on my dresser at home, bummer! I had to do some funky things with those jersey numbers so they would not get torn but it worked. Running at 6:40 pace for the first mile was probably a little much but the legs felt great. Transition practice is the right thing to do. I passed 6 or 7 guys in my age group during the run, a plan well worked. But in the last 2 miles I started dragging, a few stars and tunneling is no fun but still running what I felt was a good pace. The it happened. Another 45-49 age grouper came by me. I nearly fell over, HA! Where did that guy come from?

I passed one more dude in the last mile and finished strong. I love racing these triathlons!

To do's.
1. Slip ties for the running shoe laces.
2. Fix the bike position
3. Check the bike course profile, get a 12-27 cog set if needed for the hills.
4. Triathlon bike shoes that are seemless on the inside- no socks inside.
5. Aero helmet?
6. Bring the SPI belt for the number attachment

Love that racing and the blood sugar at the end of the race was 94 mg/dl, Bulls-Eye. I took 4 units of regular Novolin, diabetes was not a factor in this event.

Cheers to Anne Findley of the Team Triabetes for her successful finish. And those kids with Suzanne, I could not have been blessed more. I love those guys.

The next entry will be about my 120 mile training ride I did today. Ever hear about dirt naps?

A enduring life. Ain't it great?