Monday, May 11, 2009

I'll Be Your Mother-Lover

"I'm a be the syrup she can be my waffle" ~ JT

Justin Timberlake hosted SNL this weekend and it was pretty much the best episode, start to finish, I've ever seen. Every skit was funny and on point, and there was another magical digital short courtesy of Andy Samberg and JT.

A remark about my race from Thursday before I move on to Sunday's event:

"YOU GOT GIRLED?" Thanks Jennifer, yes, I did get girled. It was great.

Then from Alyssa's trip on the train to NY:

"The woman next to me just asked me if I was allergic to PB so she could eat a Reeses cup. And then she didn't offer me one and she had a King Size pack! The world is cruel."

To which I replied, what, you think she's obligated to give you one?

"We are sitting within inches and not even an armrest to separate us. Obligated is an understatement."

Onto the Kinetic Sprint Triathon...

Overall I would rate my performance as a B. Nothing about it stood out as being particularly awesome or particularly terrible, other than my horrendous T2. I went into the race relaxed - almost too relaxed - and that showed in how slow I performed simple tasks such as putting on shoes.

I've been feeling pretty broken lately, which really has me down. This is normally a time of year when I feel good, but for the last 3 weeks my knee has been really bothering me. If I don't get it worked out soon, I'm going to be in SERIOUS trouble for the next two months.

I woke up at 4:15 on Sunday and it was windy here in Baltimore. This guy David picked me up and we drove down to VA together. Travel time was right on 2 hours. It was gorgeous down at Lake Anna, in fact, it was likely the nicest weather I've ever raced in. Temp was perfect, water temp was comfortable, no wind, and sunshine and blue skies abound. It was weird. Especially considering how nasty last year's race was. OJ and I warmed up with 2 pretty quick miles, and then I put on my new Zoot wetsuit (a big thank you to the team for presenting me with that). The start was hectic as they've done away with Open division at this race. This upsets me because, as a not-great swimmer, I prefer not having a ton of people thrashing around me, for me to just end up passing them later. I've never been stopped dead in my tracks as many times as I was during the first half of this short swim.

Once I found some open water I really started moving. I passed a lot of people and headed into T1 in a decent position. Upon examining the results, my swim time was 11:00/43rd fastest of the dudes. Since they had obviously shortened the course from last year, it's hard to say if it was faster or slower than last year's - so I use OJ as my measuring bar. Last year he swam 10:15 to my 13:45; this year he was 8:23 to my 11:00. While I'm sure he didn't swim completely all-out, I clearly didn't either, so I'll take a 2:37 deficit. Maybe things are looking up for the swim this year at Columbia! Wetsuit felt awesome.

I got onto the bike and yet again had problems with my cleats. I better figure it out in the next few days. It feels like they're too tight for the pedals, but I don't know how that would happen. So here I am, trying to ride uphill with one shoe clipped in and the other not. I rode the first mile of the course with my left shoe unclipped before finally jamming it in. Once I got that squared, I was good. I don't think it cost me a ton of time, but it was definitely worth something. I then blasted up the opening climb and onto the roads, passing a bunch of people early. Then it was quiet. Eerily quiet. Nobody behind me, nobody in front of me. I would rate my effort out of 10 as a 6. I definitely had more in me, but not having done much on the bike this year left me cautious. If I was limited by anything yesterday, it would have been my legs, not my lungs, which is good for now.

In the end, I had the 10th fastest bike split at 45:45. Disappointed because last year in the rain I rode a 46:05, and it was three weeks earlier in the season. So from that point I had nearly a month until Columbia to get in better shape. This year I've got just a week. So I don't know what to expect next weekend, but I hope to ride about the same as last year. I'd take that.

Into T2 and I really don't know why it took so long, but I felt it. It was like I was being too neat putting on my socks and shoes. I should have just said screw the socks, I definitely would have been fine without them. There's 10 seconds. Then I went the wrong way, there's a few more. Blah blah blah, better fix it before next week.

Onto the run and I was feeling alright. I felt like I tore into it, sprinting up the hill. I saw a 1 mile marked on the road and looked at my watch - 4:56. Clearly not a mile, but I figured I had to be running pretty quick. Then I see the 1 mile sign, and it was 6:16. Ouch, that's real bad news. Granted it's a hard, completely uphill mile, but Columbia is just as hard. The 2nd mile I was stuck in limbo. Not really picking anybody up, not gonna get passed. Just kept pressing and ran a 6:15. Arrgghh. Now the downhill last mile, thought I could pick it up but I felt like I was slowing down.

I brought it home, crossing the line with a 19:23 5k. That is 1:06 slower than I ran last year - again, in the rain. I figured I could walk under 18 this year. Guess not. This is the most disappointing part of my race. With a week to go before Columbia, I could have used the confidence of an 18min 5k off the bike.

The end result was another 11th place finish. 4 dudes from the wave behind (35+) beat me on time. Of all the disciplines, today I'm most pleased with my swim. I am very frustrated, though, with how my knee feels. It feels broken. And the inside of my left ankle too. I'm falling apart and I'm just at the beginning of the season.

Hindsight is 20/20, but I wish I hadn't run as much as I did this winter. Let's face it, I'm going to run just as fast or slow off 45 miles a week as I am at 70+ if I'm doing the riding and swimming too. Now I've got to amend my little plan, taking it pretty easy this week and going into Columbia rested, and might have to recover for a few days after that.

The good news is that OJ got the win, leading wire to wire. Always nice when your friends have success, so good job buddy. He had informed me a day or two before the race that I was the highest place returning finisher from last year, which was a first for me. Now we've got to go back next year so OJ can defend the title. David, who drove me down, did well, as did DC-friend Kelzie, who finished 5th for the women.


gladfelter said...

Nice Job Ryan. One day I will run a triathlon and understand your pain.

Nads&Jens-CrazyTop10s said...

A great way to learn about these little rusty spots that you are sure to oil for next weekend's race. Good luck!

Gladfelter... you ought to swim & bike the tri too, or else you probably won't get the gist of it.

RM said...

Triathlons are weird Joel, because I honestly don't feel like they are even as hard as a just a running race. I think a large part of it is because I do pretty good at most races and don't have to try really all that hard. I'm fortunate in that respect. If I'm feeling bad, I just slow down and I still place well.

But this year is a completely different year full of pain and torture, so I may be singing a different tune by November.

Lindsey Jerdonek said...

Hey Ryan, Hope the REST is coming along nicely. I'll SEE YOU AT COLUMBIA.

gladfelter said...

I just have fear of H20... What's a good beginner course in July or Aug?