Not so bad for not so good–Kemah Tri

30Apr13

While it is now 2 weeks that I have left ya’ll hanging about of my TIR story continuous, I am sorry to say that prior to continuing the relay tales I will insert my impressions about the Kemah Triathlon.

In order to prepare for my first ever Half Ironman (HIM) Triathlon (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13 mile run) in October I have several races staggered throughout the year that will help me build up to the big event. The Kemah Triathlon was going to be my first Olympic distance (1mile swim, 24 mile bike, 6mile run), my first away from DFW race, my first check-the-bike-the-night-before race, my first boat start, my first ocean swim, my first wetsuit legal race, my first race with a race plan…

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With so many firsts it seemed obvious that something would happen and not work out. Until Saturday evening everything was great, my bike was in transition (I gave Blue Flash a big hug before living him out there, but he was in good company).P4270047

My mother in law had cooked the super delicious and excellent pre-race meal of Spaghetti with Meatballs. Then mother nature made it rain and if you know Houston, you know rain is often accompanied by strong winds and thunderstorms.

I went to bed as scheduled around 10pm and slept rather well till about 4am. Knowing that the severe weather might impact the race I checked my e-mails, but no change had been posted YEAH!

So I went to eat my breakfast (traditional pre-race breakfast is bread with Nutella and Grafschafter) and quickly wanted to post a good-luck wish for my coach (as she was in the run of winning the pro female field). Once on facebook I stumbled upon the cancelation of the bike leg. And further the early close of transisiton and early boarding of the boat.P4280075

Well that just through my 2 page detail race plan out of the window. Now it was time to wake up my wife and rush her to the truck to get going. Because all of sudden we where in a time crunch.

On the way to Kemah (30 min drive) we noticed the strong winds and talked about how bad the swim might be. Erin noted that I could always back out or just not jump of the boat. And to be honest the thought of jumping into the ocean 1 mile of shore with probably high waves was a bit intimidating.

Arriving at Kemah I set up my transition, took my bike back to the truck, slipped into my awesome Desoto 2-piece wetsuit and started my 0.5 mile walk to the boat. Too bad that it was then when I realized I needed to pee again. Since taking the wetsuit off and getting out of my 1 piece is a bit of struggle. Also I knew that some pee would make my wetsuit warm and comfy once I am in the cold water. Little did I know that the time from when I boarded to the time when I jumped was about another hour.

Once the boat got into position I was a bit nervous. Since I needed to pee so bad I just wanted to get in the water as soon as possible. I got in line, all of the sudden the line moved, I moved with the line, then there was a door to the outside, 3 people in front of me, I hear the volunteers shout: “Go, Go, Go, Go” and another one “Left, Right, Left, Right”, I am through the door, I hear “Go”, I am in the water, I start swimming (before someone jumps in my back).

I did not get to stand and look how far that mile swim would be, I did not have a chance to hesitate. I just got in the water, got up and swam, following the crowd. I looked for buoys in the mad sea, but could not find any, so I kept following the crowd. After a while I noticed the yellow markers to my right, apparently the boat had drifted a bit. P4280080

I still needed to pee and tried to do so while swimming, which is not as easy as you might think. Overall the swim was truly enjoy full. The gentle waves carried you harmonically up and down. The suit and salt water floated you gentle like a baby in mother arms. The first and only time I looked around I was half way done!

Out of the water I looked for my shoes to get to T1 (0.5 miles) and could not find them. Why? Well because I thought I had number 1964, though I had 1469… Keep telling everybody: I AM NOT GOOD WITH NUMBERS! Barefoot I went to T1, put on my running shoes and off I went.

About 1 mile in I noticed I forgot my race belt…

At this point I decided to take it easy from here as I knew I would not have a great race anymore.

I crossed the line with a new 10k PR and set a new threshold pace. Guess overall not to bad of a race.

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So yes Kemah was not what I expected it to be, but it became a great race and a very valuable lesson for me!

 

P.S: I was not the only that did not find their shoes:

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