Sunday, May 19, 2013

"Race" Report: Kansas City Triathlon

This race was to welcome me back to triathlons after spending nearly all of 2012 running focused.  I quickly learned last year that the cross-training aspect of cycling and swimming is important for my running and I do love multi-sport.

I put my money where my mouth is this year with getting my gear up to speed ("speed"... get it?  See what I did there?).  I bought a Felt B12 Time Trial bike, aero helmet, tri suit, and various other "aero" accessories.  I'm quite happy with my setup now but it's time to give it the actual road test. ("road test".. get it?  I did it again)

Once we started getting into the 10 day forecast range, I was checking the Weather Channel app and it had been calling for rain on May 19 every day.  The temps were going to be beautiful but water falling from the sky, not so much.

Leading up to the race, I started my prep.  Along with the air temp and conditions, I checked the water temps daily.  The first check was mid-50s. Yikes. Wetsuit REQUIRED. Since it had been 18 months since I last used my wetsuit, it was time to prep it for the season.  Wetsuits apparently dry out like a sponge.  It's not rock hard and rigid but I'm sure it shrinks.  To prep it for the season, it's good to idea to soak it to keep it from tearing when putting it on the first time.

A good drink and read

Also part of my prep is my pre-race carb-loading

1 pound of whole wheat pasta and some rotisserie smoked chicken.  I use olive oil as dressing as it helps the joints. I had a couple servings each day since Wednesday.

I also cancelled my training for Friday and Saturday to give the body a chance to recover before the race.  I had thought about going for a nice walk Saturday morning to keep the legs fresh but we decided cheering on Lauren at the Go Girl Half Marathon was a better idea.

Lauren, Joe VI, Maddie, and Joe VII
An absolutely beautiful day for a half marathon!  Lauren was running half marathon number 2 for the year!  

After TKB and I got home to take a nice nap (spectating is exhausting!), it was time to prep get packed for the race:

A bit of a mess, but my checklist kept me organized
On Friday night I posted this on Facebook after checking for the 487th time that day:
The severe area even looks like a tornado.. NOT GOOD.

Finally after a full day on Saturday, I finished packing up my mess and hit the bed.  Just as I was getting comfortable and almost nodding off to sleep, this thing decided to blare in my ear:

That's fine.  This should be cleared up by the time I'm heading to the race.  A while later, I checked the radar after the thing blew up in my ear again with a thunderstorm WARNING:

Ugh.. OK fine.  That should be well out of the way.

The thunderstorms freaked out the dog, so I gave him and myself a melatonin.  I really didn't get to sleep until about 1am.  That's fine because I got an awesome night of sleep Friday night and took a nice nap Saturday.

Race Day!
Up at 4:30 and took a shower to wake me up.  After my bagel with PB and banana, I headed downstairs to get ready.  The radar looks OK but it's going to be interesting.  

My first pre-race bathroom break at home was pretty succesful:

If my race goes as well as my second pre-race poop, I would be smearing my competition all over the field.  Ick.
We hit the road by 5:05am to start the 45 minute trek to Longview Lake.  One thing I love about triathlons is that about half of the traffic that early on a Sunday morning is a vehicles with bikes on their roof, truck bed, bike rack, or peeking out of the back window.  As those vehicles pass me, I always say "That's OK, I'll get you on the run".

After getting parked, I started prepping the bike.  TKB bought me a Speedfill Aero Bottle for my birthday, so I attached and filled it up in the parking lot then pumped the tires.  

Attaching my bento box with 350 calories of tasty treats for the bike ride.

Around 6:15 we finally arrived at the transition area.  Supposedly the racks were pre-number but it turns out they were just marked by Age Group, which I thought was kind of dumb. Making it somewhat random by allowing people to pick their spots or by number you can evenly space out the placement of bikes so it isn't as crowded when you hit T1.  Whatever, that's fine.  To be fair, even if they are marked by numbers that's generally by age group as well.

Since we were marked by age group, I immediately found Drew and soon found Eric (competing in his first Triathlon!!!)  

Eric and Me suited up.

Stop staring at my.... ab.

BlurryCam hits the 2013 KC Tri
I walked and talked off some nervous energy.  

Note to self: Better prep the bike shoes.  Maybe try leaving them on the bike.

On the ride into the race, the pavement was wet but the clouds were breaking.  It was truly going to be a beautiful sunrise.  By about 6:45, it was pretty evident that break was about to filled with a thunderstorm.  Not good.

At 7am Drew and I walked over to the beach where I got wetsuited up.  By now it started to sprinkle.  As it moved to a rain, we moved over to the refreshment stand that had a "covering" (it was a slotted wood roof).  The Race Director indicated that they were going to delay the race by 15 minutes and make a decision at 7:45am.

Where's Scotty?  I can actually see myself.  If you see the two girls looking away from each other, one in a white hoody and the other in a  grey long sleeve t-shirt, my head is right between them, next to the post.

While Drew and I chatted up a bit, the bike was definitely on my mind.  If they cancelled the swim, I really didn't want to chance wrecking my bike on wet pavement.  That 30 minutes really started to wear on the nerves and the race mindset had lost its edge.

About 7:40am we noticed the lifeguards headed towards their equipment on the beach.  Was the race on?  Quickly it was realized they weren't headed out but, instead, packing up.  At 7:45 the RD came over the PA system and announced the race was cancelled.  

wah wah

As much as it sucked for the race to be cancelled, especially for folks like Eric doing their first triathlon, it was the right decision.  Safety is the number one concern.  They would have delayed the race for two hours for the roads to be in a condition I would have been OK to race on.

Back to the transition area where it was apparent that 20 - 25% of the participants had already made the decision and packed up. 

My transition was soaked.  EVERYTHING was soaked.  I had my cell phone in my race belt and fortunately it was still working.  I decided to go ahead and take off my wetsuit but in hindsight I should have waited until I got the truck as I then got soaked on the walk back.

On the way out, I caught up with Tucker and we all walked the triathlons equivalent as the "Walk of Shame".  

By the time we got home it had started to lighten up but I was exhausted.  Standing around, putting on the wetsuit, taking off the wetsuit, driving that long haul, and managing the nerves were pretty exhausting.  I ended up passing out for a couple hours.

I'm totally good with the call to cancel the race.  I wouldn't have wanted to do a bike and they were the only ones to keep me from doing it.  People were debating about how to handle the situation while in the staging area.  Should they offer a refund?  I wouldn't expect that because it's not like the organizers made any additional money by canceling the race.  If they didn't put a date on the medals, maybe they can save money by not making any next year.  In that case, they could offer discounts equivalent to that for next year.

In a bit of resolve, the competing triathlon in Lawrence, KS (Kansas 5150) had to adjust their race as well.  While they didn't cancel it, the changed it to a bike/run.  They had other implications to canceling the race as they are a qualifier for the 5150 Championships. The rain we were dealing with had already passed them.

I'm a bit disappointed to not get the new bike out in a race situation.  It looks like my first race I'm going to use my time trial bike is in an actual time trial race for KC Corporate Challenge.

I think the most frustrating part is the missed training opportunity.  I skipped two days of training to rest up and then missed out on today.  Yes, I could have gotten home and gone for a bike ride and/or run.  I did actually go for a 40 minute run in the afternoon, but not the same.  This coming week is suppose to be a cutback week in my training, so I'm going to plan on doing week 7 again for week 8 since I ended up cutting back so much.

The Proof
I see a future triathlete in that baby stroller... checking out my bike porn.

Look at that beautiful blue sky... or is it dark clouds?

1 comment:

  1. Scotty,

    Looks like you parked where I did for the race. I partially agreed with the decision to cancel it, but I would have been much happier with a postponed race or a bike/run like Lawrence. I agree that the roads probably would have been dangerous for a bunch of people on the road (inexperienced or experience alike). Hopefully your Tri season can get going again (nice bathtub action with the wettie, I'll have to remember that for next year).