Sunday, September 12, 2010

Nautica Malibu Triathlon Pee Report

I had a very floppy race today. More on that later.

For starters, let me say that this happens to me every year in Malibu: I do the race and I think to myself "hey, that went pretty well!" Then I find out my actual time and realize that I was slower than previous years. This was my slowest Malibu race ever, at least until next year when it seems I will be even slower.

The most important part of the race - getting to the port-a-potties in the morning- went very smoothly. I went through the line 3 times before the race start, so that was good. But the strange thing is that after I put on my wetsuit and went down to the beach I had to pee. Kind of badly. All I had to drink that morning was a half-bottle of water with breakfast (a single Powerbar) and a sip of Mountain Dew (thanks to Mr. Pusateri who picked up some Dew during a coffee run.) During the "warm-up" in the water (and I use the term loosely because the water was 58 degrees) I thought for a moment I'd try to go in my wetsuit but I just couldn't figure out how to do it. Too much pressure. So I just figured I would deal with it later.

I wasn't happy in the swim. I had not been swimming in a wetsuit since Ironman Wisconsin exactly one year ago, and I was feeling very confined by the suit. I'm sure it was 75% psychological, but between the suit and the cold water I felt like I was having trouble breathing. And I knew I was swimming poorly. I remember thinking "well, this isn't the correct form Steve told me to do" and I just didn't care. It just felt more comfortable to flail my arms around than to try to stretch against the suit and try to swim properly. My swim times over the past 5 races: 15 minutes, 16 minutes, 17, 18, and then 20 minutes today. Notice a trend?

I had a 5:17 transition time. That's pretty average for me. I should have done a little better, but both feet got tangled up in my wetsuit and I was a little dizzy. And I really had to pee. But there are no port-a-potties in the transition area so I figured I would just deal with it later.

I felt I was pretty aggressive on the bike. Malibu has some rolling hills to deal with and my chain has been falling off a lot lately so I was very careful about all of my gear shifting and everything held together. My final bike time was over a minute better than my fastest previous bike time. I averaged 20mph and and was in the top 12% overall so I feel pretty good about that. (I should HOPE that my bike has improved!) The two things I was most ware of during the bike was that 1) I could not feel my toes and 2) I really needed to pee.

1:49 Transition time, I'm completely fine with that.

Have I mentioned that I really had to pee? Here was my dilemma now. There are many bathrooms along the run course, but most of them are maybe 50-100 feet off the path. That may not sound far, but it's only a 4-mile run so an extra 15 seconds or so can make a difference. I figured that the closest bathroom to the run course was about 1.5 miles in, when we leave the parking lot. That would be my stop. I was doing a pretty good pace; I did the first mile in 8:15 but I wasn't going to run another 25 minutes without a potty break.

I honestly thought it would take me 30 seconds to do my business. When I got to the rest room I ran in and literally started counting down from 30. This was going to be my way of convincing myself that I wasn't losing a lot of time. 30, 29, 28...3, 2, 1... 1... 1... I kept peeing. I have absolutely no idea where all of this liquid was coming from but I was standing there for a really long time. Based on the time lost, if I didn't stop I would have set a run PR for the course. But had I not stopped I might have had other issues. So I can't regret stopping. It's all part of the race and when you gotta go, you gotta go.

Here's the other big issue I struggled with: every year, I attach Mickey Mouse ears to my bike helmet and run cap. People love clapping for the Mouse so it is a good way for to get some cheap support from the crowd. But for reason, the ears weren't standing up on my cap very well. I kept trying to bend them forward but they just kept flopping on down again. When I reached the finishing chute, I literally ran through with my hands on my hat to hold the ears up in position. Not exactly the most dignified way to finish a race.

Our buddy Konrad was the race announcer, so when he saw me coming in he gave a huge shout out to Konrad is awesome, and not just because he gives us special treatment at the finish line. He reaches out to the crowd and supporters a lot and keeps up the enthusiasm for hours.

As for Jon Coward? He was a no-show.


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