The Thursday before the Hickory Knob Triathon, I came to the realization that my new Cervelo will not arrive in time for the last race of the season. Luckily, my friend Stephanie was able to find a bike which I could borrow for the weekend. It is a pretty sweet Trek Equinox 9 which was ridded by Amy, an elite triathlete in these parts. Let's hope her speed rubs off on me!
I really wanted this to be my best race of the year. The weather is perfect and I seem to do well on hillier courses, so there is no reason I cannot do well here.
The swim started out ok and I seemed to stay with my wave. As the swim went on, I was even passing the previous waves. I seemed to get off couse, but not anything too bad. Next year, I am going to get some goggles with a heavier tint, as my current goggles are not sufficient in keeping the glare out of my eyes. At the end of the swim, I was feeling good about my swim, but getting out of the water was the real challenge. It was a big gap from the water to the top of the dock. Once I was on the dock, there was a big climb up the dock and up a hill. It may have been the biggest climb of the day.
It was a hilly bike ride with a bunch of hills and college athletes. Sometimes the collegians were more challenging thatn the hills. Nobody explained the rules of riding, passing and drafting in triathlons. Even though the bike felt great on the test runs, it still felt awkward. It is wierd to race a bike the first time I have ridden it. Throughout the bike, I just never got in the groove. Whenver I looked down at the computer, I saw speeds that even seemed slow for a training ride.
The run started smooth and stayed that way. I knew that my swim and bike put me at a disadvantage, but I still wanted to have a great end to the season. I passed a lot of people, but it was not enough, as I saw competitors way ahead of me before I got to the run turn-around. At that point, seeing some folks in my age group got me charged up to run a little faster and go after a few of them. I passed two people in my age group and a few more people. The only bad part is one of my rivals (yet a friend) passed me about 50 feet from the finish line. Despite the fact that my run was the fastest of my age group, I still did not get a podium.
This race is a reflection of the fact that I am a one trick pony in need of work on the bike and swim. It also shows that slacking off on my training during my busy time at work has had a negative effect.
After the race I ate a big ass Hardees burger. After that, I went to visit my friends from the YMCA: Amy, Dave, Stephanie, Kelly, Mark and some other folks. We watched the college football games, ate some junk food and talked about our season. We all headed over to the SCTS awards banquet where we ate a great meal, got some good swag and I even won a big box of hammer gel.
Despite the lack of satisfaction with my results, that has to be my favorite race. I can't wait to go back next year.