Ever feel that you are running through some Escher drawing?
That is kind of what it felt like to me at the Clermont race the other weekend.
I did have a pretty good race though, at least according to the timing system. I was some-how kicked in the chest while starting the swim & I had barely trained for any of the events. I knew that this race was going to hurt… a lot. This was more or less a race to prove to myself that I could still do it (race), and to motivate me to train more.
The swim looked a little long, but that’s just all the better for me. I really can’t complain about that. As usual it was a beach start with about 20+ in my age group. I positioned myself towards the middle of the clustered group. I usually have a strong swim leg and I counted on that. I am not afraid to bump a little in the water, as long as no-one does anything foolish like grab my ankles or anything. Well things started off fine. The person in front of me stopped at some point, stood up, fixed his goggles, and started swimming again. At this point I had come across him. As he began swimming again I was in just the right place to get a nice swift kick to the chest. It was not his fault, just some bad luck. But… I finished the swim after recovering and a little struggling. Nice course, good planning, overall 9 out of 10!
The bike course was Hilly… very hilly… very very hilly. You get the point. I had done almost no hill training except for a few meager rides on the Gandy Friendship trail which has only one bridge type rise to allow tall boats to safely pass underneath it. There were more than a few times that I began to think about walking. I either need to get another gear or get better at hills before the next race.
A good deed: About half-way through the bike leg after coming out of a corner and heading directly up-hill I passed some young girl walking her bike and crying. I huffed at her, “are you alright?” She cried, “yes, but my bike wouldn’t pedal!” I immediately knew that I could fix it in either mere seconds or not at all. So, I crumbled to my good will and told here as nicely as I could manage to get over next to me and I would take a look. Several seconds later and two very greasy hands later we were both on our way. I powered (crawled) my way up the hill and away.
Painful is the word that best describes this leg. Again I had done NO running training on hills prior to the race. This really hurt. The run was not as steep as the bike, but it still hurt. I couldn’t feel my legs or face for the first mile or so, but I finished.
Overall I have to say that it was an excellent race. Well organized and a great course. My only complaint about the entire thing was that there was a mix up with my number initially. The bike number didn’t match the other numbers that I was given. My Chip was assigned number 332 and I had 332 for my run number, but the vinyl sticker for the bike was 331. Easily fixed though. I had to walk past the transition area (from body marking) to the registrations and packet pick-up tent to get a repaired number from the event staff then walk back past transition to the body marking area again. Ok, I guess that is two complaints. The workflow could be a little better organized, and a little closer attention could have been paid when assembling the packets as I was not the only one to have this problem with the bike (or run) number.