Monday, September 13, 2010

Florida Challenge Short Course

So here we are - RACING AGAIN! Yea, pretty exciting - it's been a while, and not being a stranger for overreaching, I scheduled an Olympic Distance Triathlon to announce my presence with authority!

Crash: Why are you shaking me off?
Nuke: I want to bring the heater. Announce my presence with authority.
Crash: To announce
Nuke: My presence with authority.
Crash: To announce your presence with authority?! This guy's
a first ball fastball hitter, looking for the heat.
Nuke: So what? He ain't seen my heat.
sh: All right, Meat. Give him your heat. [He walks back to his place behind the plate.]
Nuke: Why's he always calling me Meat? I'm the guy driving a Porsche.
Crash: [to the batter at the plate] Fastball.
[Nuke throws it and the batter hits a home run. The batter stands there, watching.]

Crash: What are you doing standing here? I gave you a gift. You stand here showing up my pitcher? Run, dummy

It didn't work out too good for Nuke, nor for the Bigun. I feel like I got hit with the fastball square in the noggin, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

This trip was predicated with a grand Bloggie Meet-up and reunion. Epic. A long time coming. Commodore first showed up on the Bigun's radar in April 2007 - a simple comment on a simple post. From simple beginnings, we've exchanged phone numbers and over the years have become good friends - still having never met face-to-face. Until this weekend. Creepy Internet Friend no more, neither us nor him wound up buried in a shallow grave or coaxed into a overseas investment scam. We had a great weekend!!!!

Tri-Sherpa Di also got to get into picture-taking mode, which she loves to do. Check out this great picture she took of by buddy Lee getting out of the the water... if you look close, you can actually see Lee...

We rented a cabin at Lake Louisa near Clermont, the site of the race, and shared it with Commodore and our long-lost racing companions (we do more than just race socially, btw...) GEL (Green-Eyed-Lady) and Excel Man (...well, Excel Man..). It was great to reminisce and talk of training and race schedules, while Tri-Sherpa Di and GEL drank some wine and laughed! Excel Man had a stress fracture in his foot, keeping him from running, so he "only" did the Half-Iron Distance Aqua-bike.

Because the RD's were adjusting the swim buoys for 1500m from 1.2M, we had to wait for everyone racing the long distance before we could go. We didn't start our wave until about 8:20 or so - with a water temp reportedly at 85 degrees, and an air temp of about 80 degrees, climbing fast now that the sun was over the horizon. Lee, a buddy from work, was also racing the Olympic with me, and we toed the line together and went out as the countdown from 5 reached zero!

Here's Curt aka Excel Man getting ready for T2 - look, he's got his feet out of his shoes getting ready for a quick change into his running shoes. In the Aqua-bike. Ya see, it was HOT, and none of us were thinking very clearly...

(oh, and what's with people and the National Anthem? Even if you are from another country, racing in the US, the right thing to do is stand while the anthem is being played, just in case you didn't know. Americans: stop talking. Take off your hat. Put your right hand over your heart. Face toward the flag, if there is one. C'mon folks...)

So... um... I was the last one out of the water (well, not LAST - there were 6 people slower than me), I mean, for the Clydesdales with a time of 49:28. I think there was something interesting on the bottom of the lake I was trying to see. At least my transition wasn't bad at 3:36 (nice little jog from the lake to T1).

The bike was hilly, and even though it seems like I didn't try hard, I was at an elevated effort level after the swim, so I was slow to get moving - all that combined to give me a 1:34:33 (15.7mph) bike time. Yippers!

3:37 later, I was out walking on the run course. That wasn't the plan, of course, but that was the reality. By then it was over 85 degrees, and the sun was beating me down. I was beginning to think that a sprint would have been a much better idea. I decided to walk the first 3 miles, and then run back in. I actually started to feel good enough at the 2 mile aid station to start run-walking, and then on the way back in, I passed a couple of guys I thought were Clydesdales, which motivated me to keep up the pace. Then my bro Commodore met up with me and we ran most of the last 1.5 miles back in, giving me a whopping 1:29:13 10k time and a 14:22 per mile pace.

Yes, it was gruesome. 4:00:34 is my official time, but it wasn't as gruesome as 3 other big guys that I passed on the bike and run. Lee finished at 3:38 - a great time under those conditions! Congrats Lee!

It's hard to believe my Olympic PR is 2:48. 30 lbs lighter. Cooler and flatter. A full minute per 100 yds faster (1:57 vs 3:01/100yds). 5.2mph faster (20.9 vs 15.7) and 4:30 per mile faster (14:22 vs 9:48). That was only 3.5 years ago! An hour and 12 min off my PR... now there's some room for improvement!

The next race is in 4 weeks - the Longleaf Olympic Tri. Much flatter. Hopefully much cooler. Potentially 8 - 10 lbs lighter. This is going to be a long road back, no doubt.


Di said...

Have I met Lee?

Jenny Davidson said...

Good job, Marc! It is definitely tough coming back after a long layoff, but the hardest part is over now - hope your race next month is easier and more fun (and definitely less warm!).

Comm's said...

Nice report. Thankfully shorter than the race

Green Eyed Lady (aka GEL) said...

The picture of Lee - precious. Di's comment - more precious! ;)

Spokane Al said...

Good job pushing XXL style.

There is only one way and that is forward - keep rocking buddy!

Ryan said...

I'm really glad to see that you are coming back. I know I say it all time but you were my inspiration for an entire year. Sure! I ended up sharting myself... but hey, you are a superstar in my eye and can't wait for more adventures.

greyhound said...

NICE Bull Durham reference. It is "The Princess Bride" for men--quotable in any situation.

Formulaic said...

That boy is ripped! But just think that Lee finished almost as fast as all his muscles did.

That is a rough time, but it was a much harder course. Looking forward to the return.

Unknown said...

long road back indeed, but the road just got shorter. and the extra mile ain't got much traffic.

love your work. enjoy the recovery and congrats!