Thursday, October 27, 2005
I did Malibu, and got there early (to avoid traffic). By the time I was out of transition, there was actually TONS of room on my rack. Enough for probably 6-7 more spots, easily.
When I came back after the swim, what did I find? At least 2 racers had SHOVED everyone's stuff around to fit, and there was still plenty of room at the far end of the rack. One of these people racked next to me. And had their stuff hanging on mine - fouling my bike so I couldn't unrack it. I got my stuff off, finally, and went on my little bike ride. I figured shit happens, I couldn't hold it against the guy. Post-race, I came back to clean up, the guy's stuff was still there. He had TONS of gear - in trash bags. Strange, but this being triathlon, strange things like that are the norm. I mean, we have been known to spray cooking products on ourselves.
As I'm packing up, what do I find? My change of clothes is wet. My bike is dripping. My shoes are SOAKED. And none of these things were near my wetsuit, or anything else. I (stupidly) tasted the offending fluid.
He had dumped water ALL OVER all of my stuff. And there was a huge puddle on the asphalt leading to his stuff. My change of clothes, useless. I am really glad I gave my wallet and checkbook to a friend before the race.
And this guy, weirdness aside, was not a newbie. Neither were the guys that got in late (it happens, there is a ton of traffic to this race) and SHOVED bikes around so they could have a spot near the aisle.
Last year the swim was rough. The current had reversed itself, and the waves were bigger than usual for Zuma, everyone had a tough time. This year was the complete opposite. Not only did I get a pretty good time, I finished the swim with some of the faster swimmers in my wave. Of course, that meant that two of them tried to dunk and/or pull me back, but a good scissor kick can work wonders. Coming out of the water I felt great.
Heading out on the bike I slipped into my shoes pretty easily, but was sufficiently distracted that I hit a speedbump dead on. A crack like a gunshot came from the bike, the carbon wheels took most of the shock. Uhoh. For the rest of the race I was wondering if I had cracked a carbon spoke. Heading out, I knew this course pretty well even if parts were "slow zones" due to construction this year. I hammered it most of the way out, but on the way back I got stuck behind a peloton of drafters. A pack three and four wide, clearly breaking every USAT rule for cycling, and no race official in sight. You could not pass them without going off the course and through traffic - incredibly dangerous. Needless to say, that hurt my bike time a bit. While it was still faster than last year, I know I could have done better.
On the run I managed, finally, to keep a consistent pace. The cute girl I was behind for parts of it certainly helped. At the end, I still had enough left for a kick - a kick that sent me a bit too fast into a 90 degree turn in the finish chute, sending me into a wall of spectators. Thankfully no one got a photo of that.
Overall, 40 minutes cut from my time last year. Not bad at all!
[ 10/27/2005 11:02:00 PM ] [