Katherine[caption id="attachment_2176" align="alignright" width="225"] Katherine wore her bright "Kyle's Bike's/Discount Tri Supply green" swimsuit for the occasion.[/caption] I was the one who noticed Kyer hadn't done a triathlon and orchestrated the whole #kyertri campaign to get him to do one, so when he said, "Alright, and who's going to do it with me?" I knew that I pretty much had to. Trouble was my foot: Until I get my toe surgically corrected, running creates pain that wakes me up at night. I was excited when Bill "Guru of Shoe" Lorenz agreed to run for me and told me that Saraleigh would like to do the bike leg. I had never done a relay, and I love doing new stuff. I swim with the local tri club twice a week all winter long, but haven't been in the pool since March. I prepared for this swim by organizing twice-weekly lunchtime swims at nearby Saylorville Lake with Kyer, David, Patrick, and Bret. Not nearly enough training to do well, but all I promised my teammates was that I would not drown and that they would get the chance to do their legs of the race! When the race began, I had a couple moments of doubt about whether I'd be able to keep that promise. Gah! Crowded! Bodies! I got my breathing and anxiety under control by swimming backstroke. (This isn't the first triathlon where that has saved my butt.) I finally made it around the first buoy and found some open water to swim in. From there I finished the swim with just a few sighting issues. ("Few sighting issues" equaled a hundred extra yards, or so it seemed.) Then it was just a short run over to the corral outside transition where I handed the timing chip to Saraleigh. I got to spend the rest of the day cheering for everyone else. I had a great time and would definitely do a relay again.
Saraleigh[caption id="attachment_2179" align="alignright" width="300"] Saraleigh raced hard under the grey skies.[/caption] Cyman as a relay was relaxed and enjoyable experience. It was all fun and games until I saw Katherine running toward me. She stopped at the relay corral, dripping from her swim, unstrapped the chip from her ankle, and handed the cold-wet thing to me. I yelped, “Eeeeeewwww, it’s cold and wet!" I took off smiling and laughing, un-racked my bike, and headed for Bike Out. That’s when the real fun began. Bill had loaned me his racing wheels and my bike leg started at 20 mph. I said 20 mph <whispering> and a tailwind </whispering>. I’m only as good as the equipment I ride. The bike route twisted, turned, and undulated through the rural community. Many passed me but I maintained a 17.2 mph average that truly pleased me. Unlike Bill, I did not think to count the number of people I that passed me (That number was pretty high) and the number I passed (That number was few). I do know that I spanked a 12 year old on the last uphill and sprinted to the finish with a headwind at 20 mph, passing a 20 something (on platform pedals). I think Cyman should consider a Master’s Relay Division next year. We could have been a contender! It was fun to see so many friends willing to spend their Sunday morning with us. I had a blast.
Bill[caption id="attachment_2182" align="alignright" width="300"] Bill finished our relay while Kyle's Bikes/Discount Tri Supply supporters cheered.[/caption] I have to confess, the Guru of Shoe hasn’t been running much in the past two years. I’ll claim working long hours at the job I love here at Kyle’s Bikes as an excuse. I’ve also been spending quite a bit of time on my bike, both for recreation but also for commuting to and from work—a 28 mile round trip. I ride about 5000 miles per year. Not a lot of time or ambition to go for a run. So when my co-worker Katherine asked me if I would do the 5K run leg of the Cyman Triathlon, my initial reaction was, “You’ve got to be kidding.” For those of you who don’t know Katherine, what she may lack in ability (very little), she more than makes up for with persistence and determination. She didn’t actually “badger” me into running at Cyman, but close. So in the three weeks leading up to Cyman I ran a few times, okay, four or five times. Each time, I ran from our home near Gray’s Lake, around the lake, and back home—a nice 4.5 miles. The first run ended a little painfully and I was feeling the burn for a few days afterward. By run #3 I was getting my mojo back. The last few runs were fun and I realized how much I had missed running. By race day I felt I was ready and wouldn’t let my teammates down. We were decidedly back-of-the-pack, but we also didn’t want to embarrass ourselves. Katherine held up her end of the bargain on the swim, and Saraleigh did so as well on the bike. We were far from last as I started the run and I wanted to keep it that way. The day had started cool and rainy and stayed cool and overcast for the race. This was, for me, ideal running weather. I pushed myself a little on the run but stayed comfortable. I think I passed about as many as passed me, so I maintained our position. By the last 0.75 of a mile around Lake Petocka I was at least a minute or more ahead of the next runner, but I kept pushing. I was greeted at the finish chute by a sizable group of supporters from Kyle’s, including Kyle. THAT was fun! So I’ll probably run more frequently than I have been, and keep it fun. Katherine may need me to run again some time.
David[caption id="attachment_2185" align="alignright" width="225"] David looked ready to go.[/caption] Working at a triathlon based business comes with expectations: You’re expected to work hard, to know things about bikes, have endless debates about what’s better for you to eat, and finally to compete. I had about two of those taken care but it was time to add a third. Training before the race was a battle. My running was fairly solid and I knew I just had to keep running about three times a week to stay about where I was cardio-wise. The swim is where I figured I’d struggle the most since my idea of swimming was for fun and not really for a workout. A few training sessions during lunches helped improve my stroke and rhythm tremendously even if I still didn’t swim much better than a sinking rock. The bike training consisted of me riding up my street once or twice. Needless to say my riding legs were fresh. The day of the race came up quick and I wasn’t sure if I was prepared enough, but I kept in mind that it was more of a race against myself than a race against other people and that pushing myself to my best was my real goal. The horn went off and I kicked on the jets. The first 150 yards were a battle for placement with faster swimmers basically crawling on top of me to get ahead and me throwing ‘bows to keep them in their place. In the end I finished the swim in a little over 10 minutes. The bike is where I was hoping everything would go smoothly, but I hopped on my bike and the chain decided to fall off, not once, but twice within the first 100 yards. After getting the chain on I peddled for my life to gain back some time, but got tired about 10 seconds later and settled into a nice pace. The hills were my only high points on the treacherous ride and I was able to gain on some of the competitors, only for them to pass me again later on the flats. In the end I had a solid 54-minute bike—not too bad considering it was my second ride over 15 miles ever. [caption id="attachment_2188" align="alignright" width="225"] David used the run to his advantage.[/caption] The run was easily my best leg of the race. After hoping off the bike and cruising through the transition in a blazing 26 seconds, my legs felt like Jell-O. But I pushed through at a pace even Gaius Baltar would be proud of. When I saw the finish line I really tried to kick it into warp speed, passing a few more people and finishing with a time of 21:49—my personal record. Overall the experience was an amazing one. It was a lot of fun and very challenging. My legs and body are still recovering a bit, feeling more tired than sore and getting stronger. My goal is to continue to train during the winter and at least get in a few more bike rides before attempting my second go. Continual progression and consistency is the key. It’s a long and brutal war path but the rewards will pay off in the end.
Bret[caption id="attachment_2189" align="alignright" width="225"] Bret's favorite part was the bike leg.[/caption] I was approached by Kyer last month to do the 2013 Cyman Triathlon. It sounded like a fun challenge, so I signed up. I had a month to get ready for the race, so I needed to prioritize my strengths and weaknesses. My strengths were the bike and swim portions; the run was going to be the hardest. I started preparing by running a mile after my bike rides to help the legs with the transition. I did not get much further than two miles at a time, so I was a little worried going into the event. The Cyman Triathlon was a great race. At first the weather was looking bad. Then the storms missed Bondurant and we had great race weather. The water temperature was comfortable, but not so hot that you'd overheat. My favorite part was the bike. The course was diverse with hills and sweeping corners. The wind was out of the west, so it did not hinder my effort until the last three miles. When I got to the run I had a hard time getting my legs to move. I started with a shuffle, and about half way through I finally was able to run. I finished with a good time of 1:20. It was a great experience, and I would do it again.
Patrick[caption id="attachment_2192" align="alignright" width="300"] Patrick got off to a good start.[/caption] Doing Cyman was mentally challenging. It had been over a year since my last triathlon and the thought of getting on the line was daunting. To go from the level I was used to training and being at to jumping into a tri with minimal specific training seemed ridiculous. Wrapping my head around it took until the day before the race when I signed my name on the line. Leading up to the race I borrowed a friend's tri bike and rode it two times to get used to the feel. As a company we went out to Saylorville Lake and open water swam a handful of times. The saving grace was the amount of running I have been doing. I had no idea how run training would translate to an hour-or-so multisport event. With a prayer that I remembered how to mount, dismount, and transition correctly I toed the line. The gun went off and something clicked. I zoned in on the first buoy and told myself I had to be the first one there. With arms flailing and trying to keep some sort of form I pulled to the lead and rounded the first buoy. Oh crap… there was quite a bit of swim left and I just blew it out way too fast. The lactic acid built up, but my saving grace was that the course had to have been short. If anyone ever said that getting out of a wetsuit was like riding a bike, they were wrong. I couldn’t get this thing off! First I couldn’t find the pull string, then the arms were stuck, then couldn’t get it past my hips and was finally exhausted once the dang thing was off. Reminder to self… practice that once or twice if I need a transition to go faster. Once out on the bike I settled in and started picking people off. At about mile eight there was a dog running after bikers. I had a flashback to getting T-boned by a dog not far from there that left me laid out in the middle of the road with some awesome road rash on my butt. Let's just say I slowed down and got by him with no issues. The 15.5 mi went by quick but could tell my tank was running on low when I got back to transition. [caption id="attachment_2193" align="alignright" width="225"] All the running Patrick has been doing did pay off.[/caption] If someone told you that transitioning from the bike to run was like riding a bike, they were wrong. Mistake #1: lack of speed laces. GET SOME. It's amazing how much a difference they make. And if getting into your shoes is not an issue, at least the speed laces won't come untied! This wicked 5K done with an untied shoe was not the most pleasant. It took about a mile to feel like there was some sort of stride under me, and then I just kept trucking. Here is a piece of advice: If you want to run okay off the bike, you need to PRACTICE running off the bike. It's huge what a few brick workouts can do mentally and physically. I want to congratulate Kyer, David, Bret, Katherine, Saraleigh, and Bill for also getting it done and setting some personal goals! Its great to see first-timers out there doing things they thought were once impossible. I'm glad fall and winter are here so I don't get talked into doing another one of these anytime soon!
Race results can be found on truetimeracing.com. Read Kyer's race report, too.