Celebration 2010 was my first triathlon, and I got to do it with my brother while he was stationed in DC (he’s in the Navy), so I had to sign up again since he is about to be deployed back to San Diego. I also thought Celebration would be a good mid-point between EagleMan and Diamond in the Rough. While I was not trying to kill myself, I thought after a year under my belt I would have a better time than last year’s 1:54. I should have paid better attention to the not trying to kill myself idea, but more on that later.
I went and stuffed packets on Thurs night and went to Union Jack’s for the Team Fight dinner on Friday before getting my stuff on Saturday and racking my bike. My only complaint is the white shirt, they just do not seem to stay white for very long.
I woke up at 5:00, had a quick peanut butter sandwich and we headed out to Centennial Park. I set up my transition area, put on extra sunscreen (after my bad burn in Cambridge), and headed over to the MMTC and Team Fight tents to await my wave (I do like the first wave).
The swim was faster than I thought (19:20). I felt pretty good, although I did a very nice triangle pattern before the first buoy. Instead of going straight at the buoy, I swam toward shore then back toward the buoy, making a nice, but time consuming triangle. After that, I settled into a nice pace and continued without incident.
T1 was pretty good (1:42). This was my first race without socks, since I have been killing time in T1 cleaning off my feet and putting the socks on. I had run twice and done a short ride without socks, so I figured this would be a good test on a shorter race. I also decided I would wait until I was on the road to have a drink from my bottle to cut down on transition time.
I got right out of the park and passed two or three people in the first half-mile, was almost to the first mile and then BAM! I guess I missed some little pothole on the shoulder and I flew over my handlebars and landed on my shoulder. I lay there for a moment and took stock of myself. Parts all moving – Check. Bike operational – Check. Nasty road rash up and down my left arm – Check. Someone rode by and asked if I was ok. Partly out of embarrassment, and partly because it as true, I said yes. He told me he would send a police office back to check on me. I had a little trouble getting my chain back on mostly because my hands were shaking so badly but I got it fixed and off I went. It was not until about another mile into it that I realized I now had no water bottle, but I figured in such a short race I could wait until the turn around.
The bike ride was good, except it was really painful to get into aero position, which made me wonder if I might have really hurt my forearm. I also bent my derailleur a little because I kept jumping gears going uphill, which was a bit of a pain. The Gatorade at the turn around was really great, and I saved a little for T2, so I could have a quick gulp before I headed off to the run (Bike – 57:16).
Just as I was off my bike and heading down the hill, the Gatorade bottle fell out and rolled away (damn – no luck with bottles today!), but I switched shoes, threw on my MMTC hat and off I went (T2 – 1:08).
As I headed out to the run, someone yelled, “You’re number 14 right now.” That was pretty cool, even though I would never finish there (except maybe in a race of 14 people). The run was great. I passed one or two people and had (I think) three pass me. I felt strong the entire time and had a comfortable pace. I finished too far back from the guy in front of me to chase him down and too far in front of the person behind me to fear being chased, but I still felt strong pushing harder at the end (Run – 26:48). I waved to my wife and daughters, shouted that I loved them, blew kisses and ran through the finish and right to the First Aid tent.
Finally with a moment to sit down, I looked at my arm, and YUCK! My shoulder was not a pretty sight, but I was VERY fortunate that I had no major injuries and no broken bones – still not sure how I avoided that.
I was also pretty excited that I took exactly 8 minutes off my time from a year ago and went from 21st in my AG to 14th. Over all, I was pleased with the race. Now I have almost two weeks to heal before DITRT.