Monday, August 24, 2009

Timberman

The end of summer is fast approaching, so in triathlon world (where I live) that can mean only one thing: Timberman 70.3 up in NH. For the 4th summer in a row, we packed up the gear and headed to Lake Winnipasaukee for the biggest race in New England. This year we headed up with another racer, Janda's buddy Dean Phillips. We left on time, hit no traffic and made excellent time, got to the race site early- everything went our way on Saturday. We had plenty of time to eat lunch and chill before setting up transition. After the bikes hit transition, we grabbed some pizza and just chilled out at the camper until bed. We even hit the hay early. Perfect pre-race day.

Of course, after midnight I started waking up every couple of hours. Around 4 I started feeling those butterflies in my stomach- I guess you could call them sympathy butterflies! Up and at 'em nice and early and we were heading out to transition right on time. We were only about 2 miles from transition, so it usually takes about 5-10 minutes to get there and get parked. Not this year. There was about 1.5-2 miles of backed up traffic at 5:45. After 15-20 minutes in line, we came upon a scenic view area with a few parking spots. We abandoned the cars there and hoofed it to transition. At this point, the race was 50 minutes away, so the warm-up run was a jog down to transition. We had been expecting rain and cooler temperatures, but it was still warm, just gray with no rain.


A gray sunrise


Janda in transition- racked next to Lovato, Wellington and Potts

Janda and Dean headed into transition and got their gear ready and then Janda went to finish his warmup jog and hit the porta-potties. I met back up with him over by the swim start where he stretched out and got geared up. We reconnected with Dean here and found out that he had just further injured his shoulder and could not lift his up up properly! Of course, most people (me definitely) would have called it a day, but apparently Dean is not like most people and decided to start anyway!


Trying to stay warm during the delay


Waiting to enter the water- Dean is smiling! (I'd be crying!)

At this point we found out that the race was delayed due to an accident out on the road, so everyone sat around shivering without wetsuits waiting for updates. Finally about a half an hour later, everything was back in place and the race got underway. Janda had a good no-wetsuit swim and came out of the water in 21st, 17th pro male and only 3-4 minutes back from the main group of guys. Dean swimming with 1 good arm came out quickly after Janda and was off in a flash.


The Start


Out on the bike

Two hours of waiting and finally guys start coming back in on the bike. Bjorn Andersson killed the bike and actually put a good gap into Andy Potts, but after those 2 came flying through, it was a bit of a wait. Guys started to trickle through and Janda hit transition in 9th. Dean came through a couple of minutes later- it turns out that he had had 2 issues out on the bike! Having to stop to fix one problem and then stop again and wait for the support car to bring him a wheel, he still biked within a minute of Janda!


Back to transition

Janda headed out on the run with a guy right on his tail. He started out pretty agressive and looked good heading out onthe run. In spite of all his problems, Dean was still smiling as he headed out! When Janda came by us a second time he was looking good and making time up on the guys in front of him. Then about 50 meters past us, he pulled up like a sprinter in the 200 with a hamstring cramp! Janda is extremely stoic during races, but this had him screaming and cursing in pain. He stopped, tried to run, but it wouldn't work; tried to walk, but it wouldn't work. Finally he stopped to stretch and grabbed some water. He tried to run, but again, his leg wasn't working. He managed to work it out by running backwards for a bit until the leg stopped seizing. During all of this, the guy right behind him passed him, so now he was in 10th. As he started the second loop, he was just trying to keep the muscle loose. He downed tons of water in loop 2, but couldn't find any salt tablets to help with the cramping. Smartly, he ran the second loop conservatively to keep his leg going and keep the cramp from turning into a potentially on-going and season threatening injury. Anyone who has had hammy problems knows that they can linger.


Out for loop 1

At this point I headed to the finish chute to wait for him. Andy Potts killed everyone, but then there was some shaking up of the order, so I hoped that Janda had managed to finish loop 2 strong and run by a few guys. In fact he had and I was extremely pleased to see him come down the chute in 7th! Given his run issue, I thought that this was a great placement.


The finish



Immediately post-race

Probably b/c he couldn't push all out on the run, he was actually a little bit less screwed up that usual. He headed over and got a quick massage on the hamstring. Then we found Dean at the finish and found a somewhat shady spot to chill and eat/drink. By now the age-groupers were finishing, so we started getting reports from Janda's athletes. Amanda, who thought her race was only so-so, ended up being the 2nd amateur overall and only one of three amateur women who cracked 5 hours on a super hot and humid day.

After everything was said and done, we headed back to the camper, cleaned up and headed out. We grabbed some dinner on the way and we were relaxing on our own couch at 9pm. What a weekend!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Little Bit of Relaxation

The week before a race there is always a little extra relaxation and destressing. Whenever possible this is done at Flatrocks on the river.


5pm- Still hot and humid!


Rob swimming through the sun


Me and Janda in silhouette


Janda and Rob walking down the granite bridge


The sun getting lower


Seeing what's up around the bend


A little lower


Taking in the view


Lower



And lower


Gone!



We ended the evening with some pizza and a fire in the firepit.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Gloucester Tri

The past couple of weeks have been totally focused on the Gloucester Tri that Janda started this year. It's been pretty hectic with meetings, group rides, volunteer meetings, setup and course marking! Thank goodness we had good weather yesterday b/c the whole thing was awesome. It was really cool to see a triathlon happen in Gloucester and I think that the course, the racers and the spectators made it unbelievable. Congratulations Janda for bringing your idea to fruition!

Plus a lot of our friends and many of Janda's athletes did the race and ended up on the podium-so it was a good day all around!


Setting up transition


The finish line first thing in the morning


Janda in work mode (and April ready to swim)


The athletes getting ready in transition at St. Peter's Square

The swimmers heading down Beach Court to Pavilion Beach

A view of the swim start on Pavilion Beach from the Boulevard


The novice triathetes (many Gloucester residents!) hitting the Boulevard on the bike


The spectators between the finish and transition on Main and Washington Streets


The finish area on Main Street


Transition after the race


Janda's speech after the race- he's getting really good at this!