Monday, April 21, 2008

On The Loss of Privacy, or, Everybody Else Was Doing It, or, My First Triathalon

When is it cool to walk around in spandex underwear? When you get paid a ton, speak Russian, can throw someone ten feet in the air, and have mad hops (while I realize it's not typical to recognize such individuals as "cool," I'm pretty sure they could beat me up); it's also hip to do the spandex thing when you are at a triathlon.

So at the start, everyone gets their gear ready in the transition area. Lay your socks/shoes out, your shirt, helmet, gloves, glasses. That way, when you run across the really dirty and gravelly parking lot from the swim area, you can spend as little time as possible wiping crap off your feet and jumping on the bike. The weird part, to me at least, was that once you laid out your gear, you took off all your clothes.

Seriously. It's crazy. I mean, something like this is not even the slightest bit out of place.

See, a lot of people had these nifty expensive padded shorts that doubled as a swimsuit and biking/running shorts. Not me. I had underwear. Granted, spandex, black underarmour jockey shorts look a lot like the triathlon shorts. Except for the fly in front.

So, I left all my clothes behind at the transition area, took my goggles and proceeded to wait for my group to get the go-ahead for the swim to start. I may or may-not have had a little pre-race trots, but as I sat in a stall contemplating the upcoming race, a dude barged into my stall.

Yes, of course there was a lock. Yes, I twisted it. Didn't make much of a difference. The funny part was what happened next. This dude looked down at me and said, "Hey buddy, how're you doing?"

Well, I was doing all right. After waiting a little bit, things started all of a sudden. The swim was crazy and crowded, so I was pretty disappointed with my time. It was indoor and only 400m, but the lanes just got crowded so I didn't get the chance to really hit a pace I felt comfortable with. There would just be these big jams of people, and I didn't want to crawl over them or get kicked in the face.

The bike ride was fun. My buddy Jeff and I started at about the same time, but didn't realize it. At the top of a downhill portion, my shoelace got tangled in my chain, so I pulled off to untangle it when I hear him fly past, "Hey, are you all right?" He didn't recognize me until he heard my voice, he said. At the bottom of the hill, the course took a ninety degree turn, went 200 yards, and then right back up the hill. I caught up to him right there and we cruised the rest of the course pretty much together.

It was a lot more fun than I expected. I did absolutely zero outdoor bike-riding to prepare, and was really nervous about this part of the event. That, and the fact that I was riding my 9 year old mission bike, none other than the trusty Liahona. After the race, I noticed that only ~5% of the competitors rode a mountain bike. For good reason. It rained on us during pretty much the whole ride, but it was really fun.

There is no way to really describe the next transition. Going from the bike to the run was just weird. My legs weren't jelly, and they weren't trying to give out, but they were definitely not into the whole running thing at first. After the first quarter-mile it was fine, but they sure didn't like me at first.

My goal originally had been 90 minutes. Driving the course the night before I realized that the bastards had lied when they advertised the course as "flat as a pancake." It was not the Pyrenees, but there were a few sizeable hills that I had not been expecting. My final time was 1:44.40. Maybe it's just the exhibitionist in me, but I can't wait to put the spandex on for the next one.

Swim (400m):

Transition 1


Transition 2




Ann-Marie said...

Woot! Woot! I'm so impressed. I'm glad you had fun-I can picture your silver Liahona. :) I'm exhausted just reading about it....although I did do my Turbo Jam today! :)

merilee said...

YEA Bryce. Where did this athletic desire come from? I mean, really I can hardly do 30 minutes on my treadmil. I'm really proud of you. I'll tell Dave about the Liahona, he is going to laugh, and then hit all the bike sites looking for a new bike for you! I may hit a few sites looking for something besides jockys to wear!