Thursday, July 13, 2006

Doing the wave

Wave starts can be a wonderful thing. You might start a race 30 minutes or an hour before another group, so even if you wind up having the slowest time of the day you can still cross the finish line ahead of many other racers. It's just a nice psychological boost. At my last triathlon, I finished last in my age group and near last overall, but because I was in the first group that started there were still people behind me. (Well, not that many people... even with the head start I was still pretty slow.)

For the NYC Tri this weekend, my group will be the last to go. The elites will be starting TWO HOURS before I do; they'll be finishing just as I'm getting started. So now I have no safety net whatsoever. If I want to look good crossing the finish line, I HAVE to beat other people. "But Mister P., triathlons aren't about competing against other people, they're all about simply completing the race." Shut up you stupid hippies. Nobody wants to be the last one crossing the finish line. Actually, I take that back: it's cool to be the very last finisher because you get all of the spectator support; but being bottom 5 sucks.

All hope is not lost however. I do think I can improve upon my performance last time. A lot has happened in the past month:

1. I switched to the clipless pedals. I don't know what the actual power-ratio difference is, but let's just say I have "Go Faster Feet" now.

2. I had a bike fit. Sleek new aerodynamic position, more efficiency from the legs, and my back no longer kills me after the first mile.

3. I've done longer rides. At my last tri, the 25 mile bike was essentially the longest ride I had ever done. Now I have a few more 25 and 30-milers under my belt.

4. I've learned from my mistakes. Last time I went through the transition area 4 times. I believe I can eliminate at least one of those stops, possibly two.

I also like to make excuses whenever I can, so I've convinced myself that the age-groupers in the NYC Tri will be much more spread out than the San Dimas Tri. Last month, I was a beginner triathlete doing an intermediate-distance race; there was a sprint distance tri the same day, so maybe most of the beginners entered that race instead. In New York, it's all or nothing so I'm hoping there will be many more beginners racing along with the intermediates.


Blogger Iron Pol said...

Finishing dead last is okay if you can make sure everyone knows there was some extenuating circumstance. If you know you're going to finish last, I suggest something fairly catastrophic (a broken chain and running 7 of 15 miles of the bike worked for me). Possible options could include:

-Bear attack. The only challenges will be actually finding a bear to pin the attack on, and surviving. It would, however, help you run faster.

-Parade blocking race route. Same problem as above, though definitely less risky.

-Purple martian bonk. Just wander around looking at things that plainly aren't there. Everyone will be amazed at your drive to continue through the bonk.

Just some ideas.

6:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work »

4:45 AM  

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