Yesterday kicked off the start of the 2009 Triathlon season with the UBC Triathlon. My heat was pretty late in the day, 12:40 so I had a nice relaxing morning getting ready and then watching some of my friends race before the start.
I took a few liberties on race morning for convenience which I normally wouldn't do for a serious race, but being the UBC tri, I didn't really mind, such as eating only 1 bagel for breakfast but toping it off with a whole bunch of chocolate chip cookies from my little sister. Or deciding I didn't really care too much about pumping up my tires because there was a line, 110 would be fine, even though I normally pump them to 150.
I liked this situation, nice and relaxed.
In my heat were a bunch of my friends; Facundo, Jamie, Kamal, and Nick were all starting ahead of me, and Matt was just behind. The swim was pretty uneventful, I couldn't really get into a good rhythm, I kinda just cruised. I swam mostly alone until about 1100 meter when a girl caught up and passed me, I didn't really put up a fight because I knew I would be able to draft off her and just chill out. But when she passed some girl behind me decided she wanted to pass as well. For 100 meters she aggressively hit my ankles and feet. In pool swims the rule is normally that you tap feet if you want to pass someone at the wall, but if everyone is in a long chain, this doesn't count because I was equally tapping the girl in front of me on the feet. Well girl behind me decided she had enough and gave me a two handed ankle pull sinking me under right before the wall. I was PISSED! Had this been open water things like that wouldn't fly. Two things I would have done, first given her a HUGE kick in the face for a stunt like that. And second, I would have spent the next 50-100 meters climbing over her hip to teach a lesson. Unfortunately, being a pool swim I couldn't really get even because in this little chaos a guy got between us. As a result we all followed the lead girl. So well done, she gained 1 body length by dipping me under. Getting to the change tent I was bitching about this to Matt forgetting that the girls change tent shared a wall. This started a short dispute between myself and her, but I'm pretty sure I won because everyone in the tent seemed to agree that what she did was pretty poor. I didn't waste much energy on this fight though, it was similar to an internet fight since it was anonymous thanks to the tents, and those never go anywhere.
Out of the tent with my shorts and a helly hanson shirt and jacket I was off. A quick hop on my bike and was underway.
I got onto the bike in 27:15 including the transition, I think my swim time was around 24 minutes, a fairly lazy effort. I should have been closer to 23 considering my fitness.
Not much happened on the bike, I caught up to Matt Reeve and we pretty much traded off 100 meter leads from then on.
Bike Split 1:09:42, decent considering early season.
We came off the bike pretty much together and started the run. Here is where my first big mistake of the day came in. I was wearing two pairs of socks for the bike, but wanted only one for the run. Trying to strip one layer off I accidentally took both. Deciding this didn't really matter too much I went with it so ran sockless in new shoes. Stupid I know, but I figured it was only 10k who cared. I reached about 6k and the blister was there, 8k and the blister had broken, 10k and had nice bloody feet. Oops. I'll regret that this week.
I thought I was in no mans land during the run so I didn't really push that hard. I thought Jamie was the next runner ahead of me and knew I wasn't going to catch him so was just playing defense on the runners behind me. In retrospect this wasn't a good idea. During out race I was catching up and passing a lot of sprint distance triathletes, there was a small girl who was running ahead of me who I thought must have been one of them so I didn't really put on the hunt. Finishing the race I learned she finished just ahead of me in 6th.
Oh well, I finished in 7th with a pitiful 44 minute run (I probably could have pushed closer to 41-42 without hurting too much).
All in all I was satisfied with this race, I braved the cold and actually went without my leg warmers, and it paid off.
This was the start to my 2009 season, and my first Top Ten of the year. One of my goals for 2009 was to finish top 10 in all my races, so now I've started.
We got really lucky though, despite being cold, the sky was clear and the sun was out. I'd say it was probably 3*C when I race, as I started my ride home after the race it started snowing. Had the race been one day later I think it would have been cancelled, this is what UBC looked like this morning. I got this photo off Michael Adam's blog, another triathlete at UBC who raced the sprint yesterday.