Sunday, September 17, 2006


Curse you Jon Cryer! My arch-nemesis (who I crushed last year) has defeated me at the Nautica Malibu Triathlon. It's On, baby. I will see you next year in Malibu, Duckie, or I will see you in Hell!

Mister P. did not win any overall trophies; he did not place within his age group. But if there was an award for "Most Popular Triathlete", Mister P. would have been quite the contender. More on that later.

Woke up at 3:30 am, left at 4:30, arrived at 5:30. The run course follows along the beach parking lot, so I made sure I had a front row spot so that my teammates would have a little inspiration along the way. I hope they noticed.

I did something amazing which I am quite proud of: I only had to go to the bathroom once before the race! OK, technically I went twice but the second time doesn't count. I didn't even want to go, but 15 minutes before my wave started there were no lines at all for the port-a-potties. You had your choice of stinkholes and when life hands you an opportunity like that you don't pass it up.

The swim was a little rough. It was by far the most congested, grabbing, kicking, feeding-frenzy swim I have ever been in. I hated it. I wasn't frightened by it or worried about my time, I just hated the chaos and the frustration of not being able to actually reach forward with a stroke. This was a short 1/2 mile swim, which thinned out after 5 minutes or so, but while I was in the jam I thought to myself "I could never do an Ironman", where the swim could stay congested for an hour or even more. I would go insane. I think I kept a pretty constant pace throughout the entire swim, so I felt good about it.

I had two unforgivable mistakes in my transition. First, one of my bike gloves was inside out, and I had to struggle to invert it. It sounds like a tiny thing, but it was frustrating and cost time. Then, it seems that my bike was racked up all morning with the chain fallen off. I never bothered to check it, so I had to put the chain on right before the ride. Again, it's not a huge deal but it was just stupid time which shouldn't have been wasted.

It's an 18-mile somewhat-hilly course, and I think I was fairly aggressive with it. I admit I am a complete coward going down hills and ride my brakes half the time when I get around 30mph, but I rock going up hills. Maybe it's the way my bike is geared, or maybe it's my iron willpower, but I cruised by a lot of people up every hill. I started losing steam around mile 16, but by then it was all flat so I could just cruise into the run.

The run was a bit frustrating because at some point in the morning I lost my watch. (I later found it buried in my transition bag.) I really like to be able to pace myself along a course without pushing too hard early on and running out steam. Ever-supportive-Annie offered to loan me her watch, but I told her I had enough issues without having to actually wear a woman's watch. Without my watch I just had to guess at a pace. I felt pretty good the entire run, I didn't even remember that I was having problems with my foot. I had some energy left over at the end so I probably could have run it faster. But then again there's nothing wrong with crossing the finish line and still feeling good, rather than collapsing, right?

So, how well did Mister P. do? He was about 90 seconds slower than last year. I'm perfectly fine with that. I was about 2 minutes slower in the swim this year. No problem there; the currents were different, crowds were different, 2 minutes is fine. I was 2 minutes slower in T1. OK, that's not great, but that's mostly poor organization on my part and isn't a reflection of not training enough. I was 2 minutes FASTER on the bike. Frankly, I felt like I was doing ever better than that but it is still an improvement. I was 15 seconds faster on the run. I lost my time in the swim and T1. Not losing any sleep over that.

Since this was my Tri Team's primary event for the season, I thought I'd do the tri in style.

Yes, I wore the ears on the bike and the run. No, I didn't keep the ears on for the swim. Let me tell you, I was HUGE! I don't think 20 seconds went by on the run without somebody yelling "go Disney!" "way to go Mickey!" "nice ears!" It actually became a bit of a problem because at first I would respond to everybody with a "go Disney!" shout out or something, but after a while it was just too tiring having to yell every 20 seconds. I would just give a wave from then on. William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman (husband and wife) were two of the celebrities on the Disney Team. They were running together and passed me on the out-and-back course, and Macy waved at me when he saw my ears. So even the celebrities were drawn to me.

There is one bummer about the day that even now makes me sick when I think about it: I missed the team photo on the beach (there were 270 of us in Malibu yesterday). It was just a stupid misunderstanding on my part regarding when the photo would be taken. We took some other team photos this year, but the beach shot is the definitive one and I'm not in it. Bummer.

On a happier note: after doing a triathlon, the last thing I want to eat is an orange, or a granola bar, or any of that hippie-health crap they have at most races. Malibu had its share of that, but they also had THIS waiting for us:

Now THAT'S what I'm talking about! This is why I tri.


Blogger Geek Girl said...

Great post - great job! I have to admit, as a "hippie health crap" afficianado, even I would be drawn to post-race Oreos!

8:07 PM  
Blogger tri-mama said...

Like "Snakes on a Plane" a person is just drawn to a title like "Neoprene Wedgie"- for the record, "Snakes"-no, "Wedgie"- yes. Enjoyed the race report, faster on the bike, that's what it's all about. "I am so going to that race next year" was my 9 year old's response to the Oreos. It's a toss up what would be cheaper, the airline ticket or her idea of a dream pile of oreos.

6:07 AM  
Blogger Steven said...

Celebrities waving to you AND Oreos??

It does not get ANY better then that, right there.

And that is exactly why to Tri!

10:04 AM  
Blogger Iron Pol said...

What were we noticing about the parking spot? That you drive a Pontiac, or that your are aware of how much is available on the internet and blotted out your license?

1:49 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

How do u get those ears stuck to the helmet? I have similar props for my duathlon this sat. No Mickey ears though.

I think u decline the watch is b/c what if u tried it and u like it :O.. :P.

Good race never the less.

9:54 AM  
Blogger Mister P. said...

There were two holes in the bottom of each plastic ear. I slipped them into the vents in my helmet and ran fishing line through the holes and around cross-braces between vents. Then I used black electrical tape along the bottom to keep them steady.

1:11 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

Are those ears USAT legal??? :P

Good work on the bike. If you had the glove right side out would you have beaten your nemesis?


3:46 PM  

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