Monday, July 07, 2008

Ironman: T2

Transition Two deserves its own special mention because it was my greatest accomplishment of the day. In fact, it was probably the greatest achievement of my triathlon career.

I'm not sandbagging when I say I am normally very slow in transition. If you ever saw me on race day, you'd see what a spaz I really am. (In my first Olympic Tri, I had to go BACK into T1. Twice.) So a 10-15 minute Ironman T2 seemed very reasonable to me. Yet somehow I pulled off a 2:31.

As a back-of-the-packer, I usually downplay my results with the conditional words "for me". For example, "that was a really good swim time... for me." "It was a very fast run pace... for me". But a T2 time of 2:31 is a GREAT time, period. It puts me around the Top 15% overall for T2 times, which is a ranking I'll never come CLOSE to in any of the other categories. The slowest Pro Male in T2 was Steve Larsen with a time of 2:20, just 11 seconds faster than me, and he finished 5th overall for the race.

So what's my secret to a speedy Transition? Obsession for Arbitrary Math.

My plan for the day was "2-7-6": 2 hours for swim and T1, 7 hours for bike and T2, 6 hours for marathon. Those were just easy, round numbers to use but they became binding. I was hoping for a slightly better bike time but with the winds I was slowed down a bit. I knew that the 7-hour mark was coming up fast (my official bike time was 6:56:03) and I really wanted to hit that 7-hour goal. So I pretty much ran through T2. I didn't change out of my long-sleeve shirt. I didn't re-apply Body Glide. I even waited until I was on the run before I started putting on my nip guards. Everything was all about beating that arbitrary 7 hour cut-off. Bike plus T2: 6:58:33.

At the time, T2 didn't seem all that quick to me. Not slow, not fast. I didn't realize how fast I was until I saw Ben along the run course who got the online race updates. He seemed shocked as he yelled out to me "2:31 T2?! How did you do that?!" I just assumed the data was wrong.

It seems I CAN be fast and efficient when I need to be.


Blogger SWTrigal said...

THAT is a RECORD time IM transition for sure! I never have any concept of time in those race transitions. I always think I have done a 2 min one but really is 10 min..

12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a good transition but why were you riding your bike with your wetsuit and goggles on and no shoes?

4:31 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Whoa! That is speedy. Good job!! I'd be there for 15 minutes having a good cry before going on my way.

10:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't even attribute that speed to some cheater device, like new shoes or the "cheater wheels" you guys use. This one is 100% pure determination and athleticism. Way to go.

2:11 PM  
Blogger Steve Stenzel said...

Major accomplishment! Nice T2 time!

8:07 AM  

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