Stansbury Tri: For me, a success story
As noted earlier, my training has gone in the crapper as a result of burnout, busy schedules and a bum knee.
That didn’t stop me from signing up for the Stansbury Triathlon this morning.
I had done absolutely no run training at all for the past six weeks — not a single mile.
I had also done virtually no swim training during the past six weeks — just two visits to the pool for casual lap swimming.
In fact, even my bike training had taken several days off — way too many days off.
But I figured I could still squeeze out a sprint distance tri without killing myself and since I had a brother and a nephew also willing to race with me, I decided to give it a go.
Glad I did.
The swim was not necessarily a fast one. But I did OK and got out of the water ahead of a few people. The water was plenty warm enough to swim without the wetsuit, but I decided the added buoyancy would be worth the lost minute in transition.
I hustled up to T1 hoping to be on the bike soon. I had the shoes clipped into the bike already — my first time doing this — and I decided to ride without socks — also the first time.
This was a good strategy and a bad one. I got on the bike and out the gate quick enough, but while putting my foot into the right shoe, I knocked the Velcro strap out of the loop and had to slow down considerable while I coasted 100 meters or so to get the shoe put back together. Once I got the shoes on properly, I was off for the races.
Five or six people passed me during my shoe episode but I passed them quickly. and I kept passing people. In fact, with the exception of one guy who cut inside me at the turnaround, I was not passed by anyone on the bike after the first minute. And I passed that dude back 10 seconds after he passed me.
I chugged along at a decent, but not entirely satisfactory, pace of 23 miles per hour averaged over the 12.5 mile course. The road had a not insignificant amount of 90-degree turns. It wasn’t exactly like racing at DMV, but there were several 90-degree turns as we meandered through the town. I took full advantage of the corners and smoothed things out as much as I could to keep the pace high.
My nephew, Tanner, is an outstanding swimmer and started in the wave seven minutes ahead of me — meaning he probably had an 8-10 minute lead on me when we started the bike. I was surprised to see him at Mile 6 and noted he was just about a mile or less ahead of me at that point. He become my rabbit and I focused on chasing him down on the return to T2.
I finally caught him at Mile 11 and gave him a “Beep, beep” as I passed him.
Into T2 I went feeling all right.
I racked the bike, tossed the helmet and bike shoes to the side and put on the socks and shoes.
As I stood to leave transition and start the run, I saw Tanner running his bike in, so I knew I’d have about a two minute head start on him for the run.
It was only a 5k run, but I just couldn’t manage to get my pace very high and was, as usual, passed by several people I had passed earlier. That wasn’t a problem, really, because I was in a mindset to just enjoy the race and get myself back into the Tri Geek mode.
I stopped running and walked through the water station then resumed the run noting that Tanner was now about 500 meters behind me. With about a half mile to go, I looked back and saw him closing, I again walked a few steps until he caught me and then we finished together. I made a weak attempt to sprint at the finish but he saw it and beat me by a half step.
Still, he had that seven minute headstart so I knew I had the overall time victory.
We sat in the shade and waited for his father, Jason, to finish and seven minutes later he ran in with a “OK, I finished it” look on his face.
Turns out I placed 33rd overall in the sprint distance and 6th in the 40-44 age group.
Considering the amount of training I did in the six weeks leading up to this race, I’m satisfied.
I’m also ready to light that fire again and train more aggressively. Not sure what the next triathlon will be — there are options pretty much every week — but I’ll get a few more in before the season is done.
Feels good to race again. That, and beating my brother, is all I wanted.