August 17, 2010

Summer Sizzler Race Report

Well I suppose I'll start out by saying that sometimes when you go into a race, you have a good feeling about it despite not doing the appropriate amount of training.  See I've been kinda slacking lately and just focusing on running so much that it's kinda dampered the whole biking and swimming thing that I was working so hard to acheive up until Musselman.  This race was going to be a special one, I knew it when I woke up, I knew that I was going to have good competition from teammates and besides, it was on my birthday! How could that NOT be special?? :o)
So I got into Grand Island early for the Sizzler (funny, the first time I raced this it was called the Spring Fling and was in June...) and a bunch of us had already organized a cookout for after the race utilizing some of the grills at the state park.  So coolers were packed with Ubu, various other brews and even though the race hadn't even started, I knew it was gonna be a good day.  There was the usual jokes in transition and normal fun stuff for race morning with friends.

I was in the 2nd wave and was going off 4 minutes behind the lead wave and would be forced to play catch up to all of the guys that I was hoping to chase down.  We headed down to the water and there was word that the seaweed was ridiculously high and bad this year.  No worries, just more fun to add to the day.  An old friend and competitor (who has been amazingly absent in races with me this year, Carl Johnson) once said, 'the more waves, sea monsters, and seaweed there is - the better it is for me' because he always loved dealing with obstacles on the swim.  Being that he was a strong swimmer, I don't blame him.  Probably just slowed everyone else down around him...

Well the gun went off and we were swimming and grasping at seaweed in the deep and things were going well.  I was swimming strong and there was one more green cap ahead of me, he hit the beach about 30 seconds up on me and I had to tell myself to relax, it's a long race, just pace yourself.  We grabbed the bikes and split out of T1 and onto the road. This was a peculiar day on Grand Island that there wasn't much wind at all.  It definitely made biking easier.  The BEAST and I were cruising along and passing some folks, but at every turn around, I would take time splits on Joe Meyers and Kevin Patterson to see where they were in relation to my 4 minute defecit that I was trying to make up. 
I rolled into T2 and nothing spectactular, just headed out on the run and was ripping off a solid pace and slowly catching up.  I was still doing the time checks and had made up a minute and was the virtual leader of the race at the first run.  The only thing I had to do now was hope that my legs could hold on to my pacing and not fall apart.
I came back into the transition zone, located my cap and goggles and was out heading to the lake again.  As I exited though, I realized I had wanted to rip off the jersey and HR monitor in an effort to reduce drag in the water.  Oh well, looks like I was going to be swimming in a shirt! The second swim was nothing special again, someone in front of me again in a green cap that I couldn't figure out who it was.  Made me a little anxious as I wasn't pushing that hard and didn't want to screw up a potential win by slacking and not going as hard as I could've. 
Well I hit the second bike and as many of you know, I'm not too great of a pacer.  Sometimes all the time I go out too hard and tend to die an extraordinary death over the final miles.  I really didn't want that to happen today.  I hit the turnaround on the bike and was still according to my calculations 60-90 seconds up on 1st place.  However, I saw someone who (at the time) I thought was coming REALLY hard after me just att he turn around so I didn't get a good look at him.  Being the cautious guy and not wanting to blow a W, I started to hammer the way home on the bike.  Now I really mean I freaking buried myself on this machine. I was crankin 26-28mph on the flats in a tail wind and just going balls out hoping not to get caught.  I know I'm not a strong rider, but I'd be damned if I was caught. 

I hit the last transition and sprinted out of there knowing the run was my specialty and I SHOULD be able to hang on for the 2 mile jaunt in the park.  After the traffic circle turn around I was still 60 seconds up and I trotted back in for the win and was pleased on such a hot day with the results
There was a medical emergency at the finish line that we all tried our best and banded together to help out with.  I don't know how he is doing now, but the guy that collapsed at the line was breathing on his own when he was loaded into the ambulance.  But after that got all cleared out, the rest of the folks finished and we were able to have a semi-normal award ceremony (minus the fact that the results were lost momentarily when the ambulance ran over the timing mats...) But they are up now and this was win #2 of the year for me, so I am more than pleased.  Since awards were delayed, we didn't get stuff at the race site, although Rich Clark from Score-This!!! said it would be in the mail in the next few weeks.  So I'm excited to see what comes in the mail for me.  I'll post later on that fun-ness.  I did get a new pair of Balega socks from a random prize draw at the "awards" and it was nice to get a new pair of socks :o)

Post race was awesome, we all hung out, told war stories of the race that day and races prior.  The Graney children even sang me happy birthday (I still think it was in exchange for the bag of Doritos I was holding, but I won't mention that!) and it was an overall awesome day.  I mean how often do you get to win a triathlon with all of your friends on your birthday?!?! :o) Good stuff.  Next on the dockett, I have to defend my title in the 3rd annual trail beer mile this weekend and then gear up for the Chicago Marathon in October.  It will be many miles on my feet until then, so see you friends on the roads and trails. Cheers and thanks for all who gave me birthday wishes!


Matt Curbeau said...

We will be hitting the trails today! Running's where the money's at

Chris Schaeffer said...

Beer mile? We did that this year. Come run with us next year when we do it again.