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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Spudman ~~~ pure awesomeness!

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This is the tec-tee that we received this year as part of our “goodie bag” at registration. . .

I like it

This blog post is more from the perspective of the daughter and the genius, as I handed my camera over to them.  They came up to Burley, ID to  enjoy their first triathlon experience as spectators and to give moral support.  It was great to have them there, as I typically don’t ask that they take time to come support/watch all of my silliness, even though it would be total awesomeness.  I just thought this would be a fun event for them to get a “taste” of triathlon.

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The Spudman Triathlon takes place in Burley, ID. so there is a lot of packing to do.  I’m always amazed at how much gear a little triathlon requires, in addition to breakfast, lunch, sleeping necessities, changes of clothing. . . . the list went on and on.  This is my packing list.


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Upon arrival, first things first, packet pick-up. . . this is my bib number.


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It’s always interesting to see what you get in your registration goodie bag.
This year along with the typical shopping and advertisement pamphlets and coupons,  we also received a water bottle. . . bonus. . .  and as tradition for Spudman. . . .


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. . .  an Idaho potato!


last year upon finding this little nugget in my “goodie bag” I thought this was a paperweight, but when it began to sprout, I realized it was a real live “spud”!

(~ ~ ~ slight blonde moment, I know)


Then we ate.  They provide a spaghetti dinner, baked potato, green beans, and a roll.  More than enough food.  Last year I ate the entire meal, which I think is partially why I had some intestinal distress the following day.  “some” doesn’t quite describe it, by the run I was miserable.  So this year I passed on the “spud” and only consumed 1/2 half of the spaghetti I was given. . .  success, no g.i. distress!

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parking for transition set-up is in an air-field. . . kind of a cool old plane.

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then off we went to set up T1 - - - this is where we “racked” our bikes and dropped off shoes, helmet, and anything else that would be needed for the bike part of the race.


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There are over 1600 bikes!


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Spectators are not allowed in the bike transition area, so the daughter and the genius are on the other side of the fence watching with great awe and interest as I get everything ready to go in the morning.  Because the Spudman swim goes down-river, we swim down to T1 which is in a completely different location than T2.


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next we go over to T2 - - - and set up for the transition into the run.  all this stuff will be replaced by bikes and helmets as racers transition from one sport to the next.


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we decided to save money and just stay at the park for the night, which is actually a golf course.  I stayed in the van, on an air mattress. . . not quite the Marriott, but it was perfect!


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Time to try and relax before attempting to catch some zzzz’s.  The mosquitoes had other plans!  they were relentless, I tucked in just as dark was setting in.


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The daughter stayed in a tent,


the genius braved the bazillion man-eating mosquitoes
and just slept on the grass in front of the river.


as we were setting up T1, I contemplated leaving my phone just in case I needed to be rescued.  The daughter mentioned that I would need my alarm.  The thing she didn’t realize is that there would be plenty of activity beginning at approx. 5:00 AM!  It’s amazing how many peeps set off their car alarms at this early hour. Then the race organizers are there at 5:10, "testing" the speaker system. . . testing, 1-2-3, testing, 1-2-3. . .  not exactly something you blissfully and peacefully sleep through, even the genius was rattled awake.   But, trust me, there are more car alarms going off than at any other time, there were at least a dozen, one after another, there were even a couple that went off almost in unison.  So, waking up the morning of the event is not a problem.  But if we were to have stayed somewhere, we would have been getting up at the same time anyway. . . . so what’s the point?  I wake up, eat a light breakfast, put on a wetsuit, jump in a dirty, disgusting, fish, seaweed infested river to swim, ride as hard as I can for 24 miles, followed by a hot sweaty 6.2 mile run.  Why pay for accommodations with a shower when by 7:20 AM, you wouldn't be able to tell you had one in the first place?  Seems sort of senseless.


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families, friends, enjoying an evening walk on the docks of the river-front


what a beautiful site to wake up to. . . .

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beautiful, pure, peaceful calm. . .


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quickly turns into anxious preparations.  the rescue boats lined up for final instructions to make sure everyone gets to the end of the swim. . . without drowning!


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it’s almost time to begin. . .
the nervous jitters are just settling in at this point


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on land, a landmass of orange heads


in the water it is a sea of orange bobbing dots in the midst of flailing arms and legs. . .



This first YouTube clip is from the camera the daughter was using.


This second YouTube is from the genius on his “droid” 
both of these are from my wave. . . I’m in there somewhere out towards the middle.
 
I decided since  both clips  were less than 90 seconds combined, I would let you see both if you want. . . the option is all yours! 

Pictures just don’t give the same affect of what the swim might be like, not quite the same as a video. . . . technology is amazing. . . especially when you have your own personal “tech-support” staying in the basement. . . . Thanx Genius!

The daughter and the genius were mesmerized/fascinated by the swim,
watching the little video clips is very cool indeed!

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I was sooo excited to see that my sighting wasn’t too bad, I swam a pretty straight line.

My little FR305 isn’t exactly waterproof, just sort of water proof.  So I turned it on while I was still on land, put it in a zip-lock baggie and tucked into my swim cap.  (I learned this trick from dcrainmaker) the picture that is useful from wearing your Garmin, is that it shows the line that I swam. . . pretty cool stuff!  The line looks like I am on the beach, but that is not true until the very end, I actually stayed in the middle to outer edge of the swim line for most all of the swim.

The great thing about swimming in a river is that even if you are not a great swimmer, you will eventually get to the end, even if all you do is float.
This makes it a super fast, yet fun swim!

after the disastrous results from the CV classic triathlon earlier this spring, I knew that I needed practice, and lots of it, in open water swimming.  My good friend Erin, who also participated in this event (she is a young little chick, so she started several minutes before I did). . .  anyway, we have been going to Hyrum Dam once a week for several weeks for open water swim practice.
This paid off in HUGE dividends.  when the start gun went off, I settled right in and got down to business, the swim was comfortable and fast. . . almost relaxing

18 minutes 21 seconds

I placed 4th out of 35 participants in my AG

and six minutes faster than last year. . .  that was simply exciting!
T1:  I felt fast, but the timing chips didn’t pick up for T1.  This was slightly disappointing not to have a time.  

I completely messed up on my 305, pushing a wrong button, or not enough buttons, or. . . I need to practice using this in actual race type conditions, but it’s okay, all the other splits are there.

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as we leave T1, everything wet and soggy from the swim, or anything that you decide NOT to take with you on the bike, goes in a white garbage bag that has been labeled with your bib number, you drop it off at the exit as you leave.  Then the amazing volunteers take them to the designated pick-up for retrieval after the race.

the goal is to transition as quickly as possible.  the average time in transition (from water to actually riding your bike) is only about 2-3 minutes.  Yup, you are still dripping wet from the swim, but for the most part, you dry off pretty quick.

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next on to the bike!

The bike was absolutely AMAZING! 

I smoked through the bike!  I was passing several peeps, and as I reached a large group of bikes, I got stuck behind a pack which slowed me down a little, I finally got in front and then I slowed just a tad, and next thing I knew, they were in front of me again.  These two tiny delays caused me to come in 6th in my AG, there were 5 of us (places 2nd - 6th, which was me) that all came in within a minute of each other, so had I not allowed myself to slow down and get caught in the masses of cyclists the second time, I could have easily come in second.  But I was VERY happy with my performance on the bike this year.

bike time:  1:13:53 ~ ~ ~ awesome!

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there were many things to watch, observe, and entertain oneself with
while waiting for racers between transitions.

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thousands of spectators and supporters, waiting at the finish line for the racers to come in.

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coming into T2 ~ ~ ~ 

I was cruising pretty fast with this group, thrilled that I was able to keep with them, this is part of the group that I sort of got behind. . . twice,  but somehow didn’t get my mug included in this pic. I was surging with excitement, knowing that my bike was solid and fast.  It wasn't until I got home and looked at the data that I realized I averaged 21.5 MPH!!!  Keep in mind this is a very flat course, which makes it easy and fast.  But, I was jazzed when I saw the numbers! 

T2 was much improved over last year mainly because I didn’t forget where I parked my stuff!  I did have to move a bike over so there was room for mine, and someone else was sitting in my way as well and I had to ask him to move over too, all in all I felt pretty good, but there is still plenty of room for improvement in the arena of “transitions”!  I need to get this transition time cut in half or more. . .

T2 time:  2:45

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leaving T2 ~ ~ ~

I’m not sure where I’m at, the daughter and the genius didn’t exactly see me here either.

  It’s nice that they have water available as we take off for the run,
kind of like Hansel and Gretel. . . no way to get lost on which direction the crowd is going, the path is pretty clearly defined, with all the little paper cups littered across the lawn. 

For the run they have water stations at miles 1 - 3 - and - 5 :  That is a great thing.

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the run begins with this STEEP up-hill climb, and ends coming down the same hill.  The challenge is that after the bike it takes the legs a minute or two to switch from pedaling to running.  Imagine if your legs were a rubber noodle. . .  that’s how they feel switching gears from the bike to the run.


I dislike the run most. . .


Well, I don’t think “dislike” is quite descriptive enough. . . .


. . . I HATE the run. . . I mean lets be completely honest here


the run is my LEAST favorite part of triathlon!


I have been working on it, just not as diligently as I should, but I still finished much faster this year than last with a time of 1:09:26 averaging an 11:13 min/mile, which was 17 minutes faster than last year.  So there is improvement, but I still need to conquer this portion of triathlon.

The plan was to run 1 mile, walk for 30 seconds, repeated for the 6.2 miles of the race.  I did okay with this part of the plan but I fell very short of my 9:30 min/mile goal pace which was very disappointing, but most definitely gives me something to work on this winter, faster more consistent runs!  I would love to get to a 9 min/mile pace. . . . .  just thinking about that is de-motivating. 


perhaps I just need an attitude adjustment?


. . . I’ll work on it


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Coming into the finish!  They obviously found me here!


Awesome race!


Thanx guys for being there! 
I think we are planning for next year too

When it was all said and done my official time was
2:44:28


which is 36 minutes faster than last year! 
I’m happy with that.


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the finishers medal!

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I’m pretty happy with the results. . . I’m excited to fix the run. . . I could possibly even place in my AG if I can do that. . .  we’ll see what happens after September.  I have a 1/2 marathon planned for October, so we’ll see how that goes.

now to retrieve the wetsuit and other swim stuff:

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the volunteers had all these bags organized by number, I just showed them my bib number attached to my race skirt, they handed me my bag of wet soggy belongings and off we went to load up the van . . .

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packing up to go home. . .


This is a lot of stuff. . . this was just an overnight, less than 24 hour excursion!  Notice I didn’t say “junk”  this is stuff, my belongings,  my treasures that allow me to do these events. when leaving to come to Spudman this was fully, neatly, and completely organized,


coming home a completely different story. . .  I love my van! 


. . . The true all-purpose vehicle


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