Sunday, May 13, 2007

Twelve Seconds!

Today and for the next month or so, I shall agonize and obsess over TWELVE SECONDS.

Today I did the Jay Benson Sprint Triathlon. Last year I did it in 1:35:03, and was fifth place in the Athena Masters. I only know my overall time this year until the splits are posted, because I haven't worked out how to use my Garmin yet...damn thing...

After spending the morning hanging out with Pirate, et al., and following her and others to bathroom many, many times, I started the run way in the back. This was a mee-stake. There were all manner of walkers and joggers back there in this larger race, and I was trapped.

How many seconds did being stuck in the back cost me?

I knew that ShyTri Girl was in this one, and I was getting winded trying to catch up to her because she's really improved her run. There's no reason in particular to beat ShyTri Girl except that our pace is simliar, and so it's an indicator of my training. On the run, I was especially looking forward to the aid station and getting a gulp along with my second wind. I was about a quarter mile or so behind her, and started closing the gap, and then I got to the aid station. Which was OUT OF WATER. dammit dammit dammit! I looked ahead and noticed ShyTri Girl sipping her bottled water, which she was carrying. Gaaaaaa!
How many seconds did that cost me?!? Thirsty and winded, I slowed down and after noticing that my Garmin wasn't ON, I came into T1, about 30 or so seconds after her. Then it was onto the bike. Last year's run 33:48, pace 11:16min/mile. This year's run: 32:56, pace 10:56/mile

How many seconds did fiddling with my Garmin cost me?? Ooo, I've noticed I'm quite the mosy-er in T1 and in T2. Is that where some of the lost twelve seconds came from?
I felt like I might be closing the gap but I think every time she saw me on one of the out-and-backs on the course, she started hammering. As I came into T2, the person in front of me slowed wayyyyy down, and it was awkward to try to go around her so I just rode the brakes and slowly rolled into T2, then slipped off shoes, socks, and grabbed goggles. Then I remembered to take off my garmin. Last year's bike: Bike 45:47, avg. 16.3 mph - This year's bike, 45:13, avg. 16.5 mph

How many seconds did taking off my shoes and socks cost me?

How many seconds did taking off my Garmin cost me?

I hit the pool and swam my guts out. I used one of the techniques the Jimmy taught me last week for passing people, and made pretty good time. As I exited the pool, I ran across the mat and a volunteer started pulling my chip. And that's when I saw her. She was standing with another volunteer, getting her chip pulled. ShyTri Girl had beat me. By twelve seconds.
I tapped her on the shoulder and said, "hey, you beat me!" and we high-fived. She was tired and happy. My last year's swim time was 11:19, this year's swim time, 10:55

Now, getting beat by a few minutes makes you think about your training. You start doing one-legged and one armed drills. You start running and cycling hills.

Getting beat by a twelve seconds, however, makes you obsessively second guess yourself. Should I be running faster in transition? Making use of flying mounts and dismounts? Should I forgo socks, and risk thigh pinching on the bike to wear a swimsuit through the whole thing like Pirate does? And the technology. Do I really need to f*&K around with it as much as I do? Should I rubberband my shoes to my pedals? Should I wear my goggles around my neck through the whole thing? Is nudity allowed and how much time would it save???

That's what I've come to: deciding what comforts I'm willing to sacrifice to shave off seconds.
How pathetic is this? Is there anyone more demented and pathetic than I at this moment, perseverating over TWELVE SECONDS?

The good news is, I did beat my time last year, by about three minutes. And since ShyTry Girl is under 40, I was first master's Athena. Other good news:
Sweet Baboo, Masters Clydesdales, 1st place.
Mini baboo, 16-17 age group, 2nd place.

as for ShyTri Girl ,
let me just say in all good fun...and the spirit of friendship, sportsmanship, and true sisterhood...

Added later: pictures by Amy! (See above)

Wrapping it up. Last year's times v. This year's times:
------Total ----Run---RunPace--- T1---Bike---Mph----t2-----Swim
2006 1:35:03--33:48--11:16-----1:59--45:47--16.3----2:13---11:19
2007 1:32:58--32:46--10:56-----1:57--45:13--16.5----2:09---10:55



  1. Good job! Great post!

  2. Probably grabbing the chick's water bottle and running with it would have gained you some time....

    Way to go, regardless!!

  3. Great post! Next time trip her. Just kidding. You now got extra motivation.

  4. Great job. In our areas there is no masters athena/clydesdale. Does this have to do with age or number of races you run per year or what classifies you as master?
    Once again...GREAT JOB

  5. Happy mother's day!

  6. Masters are over 40. It's one of those really polite terms that denotes respect. So, instead of "old and overweight," I'm a "Master's Athena" :-)

  7. Congrats on another good race. I think there should be a special classification for you where you are always #1 if you are willing to compete naked to shave 12 seconds off your time, if only for the entertainment value to the spectators.....
    Seriously, I have to say how cool it is that your son competes along with you, I wish I could inspire my sons to do the same.

  8. dude - I'm sure I saved you another 12 seconds just dragging you to the bathroom for that 87th time - you didn't need to carry that extra ounce of pee with you on the run.

    No need to thank me, I'm here to help.

  9. Aaaarrrggghhh!
    Next time you will blitz it I am sure.
    a very impressive race nonetheles. And those pictures are brilliant!

  10. That run time improvement is impressive! Sorry about the 12 seconds, as you said, it's the little things sometimes. Nice race and report.

  11. Love the running photo. Embrace the day!

    Thanks for the report - good work!

  12. Well, I can't say about most of the rest, but would guess that nudity will solve the problem. Instead of being 12 seconds behind STG, you'll be hours behind (after you get arrested, post bail, and get back to the course).

    BTW, if you're a master's athena (quoting you, "old and overweight," who's the hot chick in the pictures?).

    Sorry Myles, it had to be said. At IMKY, I'll be the really big, buff looking guy. The picture on the profile is some guy I don't know.

  13. A wonderful way to honour your mother -- and take us all along for the ride.


  14. wow - your splits show improvement across the board! that's cool!

  15. Ditch the Garmin for a sprint, just a crono type watch where you hit the splits should do fine for such a short distance. And save you twelve seconds

  16. Fantastic! And you are looking so strong and even sexy in your tri outfit!
    I know what you mean about seconds...the WF 50-54 group showed place 10, 11, 12 and 13 all within two min and 26 seconds...oh if I could only transition over again and not stop to chat at the aid stations! Augghhhh!

  17. Hmmmm. Very Interesting...

    This might get fun.

    BTW tripping her and stealing my (i mean her) water bottle would mean catching up to her first...


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