Friday, August 7, 2009

Racing in the Oven

This last weekend marked the sprint triathlon out at Pyramid Lake. Last year, it was an exceedingly poor day for me; I was determined to actually finish the dang thing this year!

Early light over Pyramid (this is the only photo from the day I can call my own)

Looking over transition and the lake

Chase was out there racing; as was Lauren (her first triathlon) and, oh, about half of Reno, too. It's definitely a local field! The only complaint about this race is how late in the morning it starts. Pyramid gets early morning sun, and there's not a stitch of shade out there, so by 7:30, with an hour to go, it was getting uncomfortably hot.

Lauren prepares

Chase apparently had time to do his hair


Lauren has decided that she's got it covered

Itching to go

And we're off (by the way, this and a few other photos here are Riley's...linky)

There are far fewer waves at Pyramid than at Donner; just guys, girls, then relays. The swim is a triangle-shaped course, and I stayed with a fast set of feet until the second buoy and then pressed ahead on my own. It was hard to tell how many swimmers were in front of me, but it turned out to only be 2. ?!? That's OK!

Smashed, but the hordes are still in the lake rather than ahead on the bike

Choice T1 pose

Off we go, pointy helmet and all

Lauren drops her chain and plays the girl card :P

Through T1 and out onto the road, I learned that I was about a minute and 15 seconds back. Hoping that those would be fast swimmers and not fast triathletes, I put my effort high with every intention of seeing those 2 guys come into sight soon. Right. By the turnaround 7 miles up the road, the gap had grown to nearly 2 minutes, and would grow to about 3 by T2. I rode exceptionally hard, legs screaming, and I just couldn't bring those guys back. Of note, the flattish course at Pyramid is not nearly as good a match for a rider like me compared to the bigger climbs at Donner.

Stoked to be near the end of bike-torture

Short race, but damn hot. Need water. Now.

Anyhow, they worked me over on the bike, and while the gap was big, I wanted to see if I could at least get one of them on the run. And I sure as hell wasn't gonna let anybody catch me! I left T2 running hard, and could feel a side-stitch coming on within half a mile. This was frustrating, as I rarely (if ever) get stitches no matter how hard I run. The sun was beating down oppressively, and the pain in my side wasn't going away. My legs felt great, "Excess Capacity, you idiot! Run harder!" but the rest of me wasn't on the same program.

I could see the other two guys ahead of me on the out-and-back course, and while my gap to second place was growing, my gap to first was actually shrinking. Scott (2nd place) came within 10 seconds of running down Matt (1st), but I had nothing for either of them. Then again, with how hot it was, 3 miles was just plenty, thank you. It was a bugger to have my legs screaming for more during the whole run, but that's just the way it goes, I suppose.

Steps away from home


Chase is a stud

Lauren is wrecked

Riley is melting

Pointy haircuts

Taking shelter in the shade and sharing stories

We hung around as Chase finished in a new personal best time for Pyramid, and then as Lauren brought it home, happy to have the torture done. By the time we got out of there after lunch, it was just stupidly hot, so we all retreated to the Truckee River for an afternoon dip.

Looking back, I'm WAY happy with my swim and very happy with my bike, especially for a flat course. I doubt I could have gone too much faster on the run, but it was the low point of the race for me. It was great fun to race so hard and to chase after Scott and Matt, even if they were always just out of sight. All in all, I'm quite happy with the way it turned out. Much more satisfying than walking a disabled bike back to transition from the middle of the course. ;)

Past Detritus