Sunday, June 10, 2012

26th Annual Norfolk (NE) Triathlon - "The Spaz Jumper"

This is not a USAT race but Norfolk does a good job of putting on a triathlon. They've had 26 years to work on getting it right! This is kind of super-sprint distance - 300 yd. swim, 10 mile bike, then a 2.5 mile run. Pedal to the metal the whole (short) time. Shotgun type of start. Every 30 seconds, someone dives into the pool to start the 300 yd. serpentine swim. Since I never swam competitively, I never dove into a pool with goggles on. I'm quite convinced that if I tried they would roll right up my face and come off or be stuck on my hairline. Everyone ahead of me had nice looking dives that probably would have scored a 9.2 in the Olympics. Still too scared of losing my goggles, I did the "Spaz Jump" into the pool. I felt foolish and probably looked even more foolish. I used this unique entry last year and I ended up winning the race so what the heck, let's do it again and insure my Barracuda goggles stay on. Out of the pool I came thinking I had a pretty good swim but forgetting to look at my watch to see. On to my super fast Valdora PHX 2 bike to hammer out the fastest 10 mile that I could. Passed several athletes who started ahead of me and by the turn around on the bike, thought I might be in first. There were several pretty fast looking guys there with sweet bikes so you never know... Averaged over 24mph on the relatively flat bike course which I was very happy with. Off the bike in T2 and put on my super-duper, extremely comfortable Hoka running shoes. They feel amazing starting the run every time. Tried to ease into it. Wasn't sure how far behind me the second place guy was so I tried to get up to speed quickly but not so quickly that something starts to tighten up. Out 1.5 miles and back the same route. Hit the turn around and...oh no, here's the second place guy not far behind me. Better keep this pace which felt pretty fast to me. I knew that he started the swim 50 second ahead of me so to win, he's have to catch me, pass me and get 51 seconds on me. Wasn't about to let that happen. Two left hand turns on the way back allowed me to peek and see what my lead was. I was OK. Cruise on in to defend my title, so very thankful to the Lord that I didn't pull something on the run. I'd averaged 6:20 per mile for the 2.5 miles. Very happy for that. Each race this season my run has gotten faster. Again, very grateful. I need to continue to get my pace per mile faster each race and got to 6 min. miles by Aug. for USAT Nationals. So, the day that started with the "Spaz Jump" into the pool, but ended up going well. If you can't dive...don't worry about it. Just give a tri a try and you'll be fine!