Saturday, July 25, 2009

My Seafair-ing colleagues (Seafair Tri relay race report)

Grrr…it has again been too dogone long since I've posted here. Not much training going on (at least in a coherent sense) but lots of racing and even more just general life happenings.

Where did we leave off? 4th of July.

Issaquah Tri spurred Bosslady to get my whole company to form relay teams for the Seafair Triathlon; I had planned on doing the individual event but finding swimmers for the relay wound up being too tough so I was signed up as swimmer/biker for one of our 4 teams. We wound up short a runner when Bosslady had the great idea of asking The Captain. I felt bad asking him to step into one of these teams when I wasn't sure what the team dynamics would be like but he was an easy sell and seemed genuinely happy to step in (isn't that so sweet).

All of this happened before a shit-storm at work. We got insanely busy and there was a lot of tension. This made training tough and didn't really put anyone in the mood for our big team event. A swimmer for another of our teams hadn't done any open water swimming and the first chance we had to take him out to the lake was only 1 week before the event. I guess it is lucky we did; he was not lake ready to swim ½ mile. My brilliant solution to the lack of a swimmer was that I'd wear his timing chip and mine and tag off his teammate (my BIGboss) before heading out to do the bike leg for my own team. It was just sneaky enough that I thought it'd work.

In all, I was semi-dreading how it all would go down.

The day before the big race the Cap and I went to Mt. Rainier for the day. It was gorgeous out and the views were unbelievable. We did a short hike in less-than-adequate shoes and there was snow on the ground. This meant I got to see The Captain's version of outdoor figure Olympic sport (Vancouver 2010?)? Went out for yummy Indian food and hung out with friends until semi-late.

Now, having read all of the above circumstances take a guess at how the next day went:
A. There is so much tension between work peeps that nobody is ready for the race…it does not go well

B. Amber had Indian food the night before and knowing the GI issues she battles with during endurance events…it does not go well

C. TheCaptain's figure skating training and his late hours ruin him for the run, the run blows his prospects at 2010…it does not go well

D. It goes great!


Got out there the morning of the race and Bosslady had all of our numbering paraphernalia (bib, bike, helmet, etc.). This was the first relay I'd ever done and I think it was done strangely. They gave everyone the entire packet including their own: timing chip, bike #, swim cap (wasteful, no?). I thought it was semi-odd but it worked out since we'd decided the Captain and I would be on one team and I needed to surreptitiously swim for another team.

I tried to just set up my transition as though it were a normal race but there was one BIG difference…all the newbies were there unprepared so there were many questions and a bit of hand holding (I'm mainly kidding but I did have a little pre-race meeting with my company's CEO to discuss how the Bike-out/run-out worked). We were in a 7:30a wave start and they said they were clearing transition at 6:45 (sorry Cap, I have to pick on you here) and the Captain was anxious to follow the rules and get out of T. I dawdled there for a few reasons, one was we were still missing a cyclist and a runner and the other was that there wasn't anything for us to do outside of there. Eventually the swimmers (Bosslady, her hubby and I) wandered toward the swim beach to stand around waiting for the swim start.

And after that LONG preamble, the race:

1/2mi swim: 0:14:31 (1.39/100yd)

I was SO pleased with my swim. The relays went out with M40-49 and it was one of the rougher swims I've experienced. I felt like I never got fully clear of people and I tousled with (I think) the same girl throughout most of the swim. I started closer to the back since I got surprised our wave was leaving (there were dark and light green caps and I am a dumbass) but I was all the way left. I stayed on track for the first few buoys; I was staying really close in (actually touched the first buoy…a first for me)and felt like I had a good rhythm. When I went for the short OWS I focused on staying calm and trying to lengthen my stroke. I tried this on race day too and I think it worked out pretty well. The only spot I got a bit off course was between the penultimate and the last buoys, I was supposed to be veering in toward the shore but wound up staying straight and needing to correct.

T1: 0:02:18

This is actually slightly disappointing to me; I'm usually a very speedy transitioner. J I tagged off my BIGboss and he headed out to the bike for team #1. Then I got my helmet, shoes, shades and kissed the Captain goodbye before heading out to bike for team #2.

13mi Bike: 0:43:23 16.60mph (Garmin said 18.1mph avg but it tweaked out at one point…one flat point so I don't think I could have slowed THAT much but whatevs)

I wanted SO BADLY to catch the BIGboss and to ward off Bosslady. I know, stupid and petty competition, but I wanted to. Alas, I couldn't. I felt fairly stable on the bike but not terribly strong. I tried gearing down a bit to get my legs warmed and moving, this worked pretty well. We got to ride on the I-90 bridge on a beautiful day but getting on and off the bridge was a task! There was a very steep climb where lots of folks were walking entering the bridge and a gradual climb to get off of it. I saw the BIGboss on the other side of the turnaround but he was pretty far ahead and I didn't wind up catching him, darn it! Miles 10and 11 were hard for me. I just couldn't get my cadence up and was getting passed left and left.

They put the relay teams in the CRAPPIEST T spot which meant lots of running with my bike.

T2: Tagged off to the Cap and he headed out.

Run: No official time

I stuck around T2 and grabbed my hat and water and talked to the BIGboss for a sec before heading out after Cap. I had a weird shin pain and was hoping to catch up to him quickly and in time for a walk interval. But the dude was booking it! I saw the mile marker and still no Cap, the 1/2way and no Cap. I finally caught him on the gnarly hill in the last mile. He was doing great and we got down to the business of finishing up. We saw a few of my co-workers/our teammates coming up and down the hill and had a fairly unremarkable final mile. We ran it in together (with The Cap turning in a whopping PR for a 5k).

It turned out to be one of the most fun races I've done. It was cool exposing my coworkers to the excitement of these fun run type events, it was neat to race with my colleagues and it was awesome teaming up with the Captain and getting to be there for such a big PR for him!

So the answer is D.

There is so much more to blog about…if only this silly "job" didn't take up so much of my time.


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