triathlon training

New England Triathlon at Mount Sunapee

2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run

Well here goes my first try at a race report. It's also my first full distance Ironman so maybe my experience can be of use to someone else.This is a supplement to the fine coverage of the Lake Sunapee triple event done by fellow rst'r Cathy Corning. Congratulations again Cathy on a superb race!

The Night Before

Oh man, talk about jitters. I'm full of doubt and wonder whether I'll finish without injury. Three weeks ago I had a pulled calf muscle that was so serious, I couldn't walk without pain for a week. Then to top that off one week ago I pulled my hamstring making an enormous sandcastle at the beach. I stopped training all except the swimming for the three weeks and was worrying about gaining weight. At home in CA if I want a power bar I go to any store, same with Gatorade. In NH there aren't either readily available, so how do I get 4000 cals? At home I can pick up a pair of cheap goggles quick but here I am again unprepared. I've had to buy a kiddies pair and remove the strap to use on mine which broke. It's a real skinny strap and I worry if it'll hold. The guy in the room next door snores so will I sleep? These are the nagging questions.

The good news is my sister and nephew will be coming from Maine and I've signed them up to work an aid station. This should keep them busy and get them involved. Also I was at the get together for everybody at Murphy's Bar and Grill and who walks in but Kevin Murphy who I knew from the GG Tri Club in SF. He's doing the full also and now I'm getting psyched.

The Swim

Well here it race morning and yes it's cold and what's this? FOG and lot's of it. The walk down to the start is a long descent and I wonder what kind of day that starts and ends in darkness will be on my mind as I trudge up this same hill later tonight. I get down to the lake and there's a thick misty steam rising off the surface growing thicker as time goes on and I'm thinking of the delay and shortened swim at Mike and Rob's just a month ago. Hey, I joined a masters team and swam my butt off for the last 4 months, you better not shorten this one!

It's official, this race will be delayed. I tryed to walk to the beach sans footwear but the ground's just too cold. Good thing I brought my sandels, too bad they got left on the beach. We mill around and I run into Kevin and Paul, a new friend I made. The small talk runs out and nervousness takes over and I have to mill around some more. A reporter stops me and we chat and he's surprized I've come all the way from CA to race. It's the Claremont Sunday Eagle and I assure him they've sold another copy when it becomes evident he's putting my name in it.

As always people are dreading the swim for the cold and as always I'm hoping my swimming in SF Bay gives me a decided advantage. The water is actually warmer than the air. The scenery is breathtaking as the fog lifts and reveals the lake, the mountains and the foilage just starting it's race to finish it's season.

We can finally see the turn around boat as the race starts. The water's shallow for the first 100 yards and people run waist deep. I dive in and notice how crystal clear the water is. Ignorance can be bliss and I didn't try the water ahead and now I'm happy. The crowd is spacing itself nicely as Mrs. T and tragedy pop to mind . This will be a race of 4/10's of a mile over and over again. Six to be exact. Out to the bouys is 1, then to the boat is two,back is three. We do that loop again for 4 and 5 and number 6 is the swim back to shore.

The wind has come up as I try to breath on both sides to no avail. The chop is ocean like and I feel at home. It rocks me up and down and I feel suspended in space and time. The water's so clear you can see the others 20 feet away and that's good, easy to keep distance. I like to swim alone. I get to the boat and cut the bow close and look for the bottom and propellors. The sun illuminates the green lake and I think someday if I'm lucky I'll see the bottom of the boats at Kona also. The second time to the boat I stop to splash the few spectators as we were instructed to at the briefing. They ducked.

I make it to the final leg of 4/10's despite repeatedly shaking out a mild cramp that was trying to form in my calfs. I would do that by bringing my foot 90 degrees as if to put the brakes on. I somehow veered to the right and had to swim back on course but it must of been so that I would get out of the water to look over and see Paul, the Marine competing in the military division. We both acknowledged the cramps in the hamstrings and back of knee and went our ways. It wasn't to be the only time we met up.

Well 1:19:00 for the swim, It's just what I predicted although I wished for 1 hour HA! I hope Kerry O'Brian at Walnut Creek Masters will be happy with that but more importantly does he have a way to take 15 minutes off that? I'm happy with the time but the swim I knew I could do. The bike I can do also but what about the run? Will I freeze up 1/2 mile into it with my calf not recovered yet?

We run up the beach as 10 people are screaming my number and another 10 are asking for it and I try to respond to all. I dip in the mini swim pool for foot cleaning and run to my bike. I run back into gravel to get to my bike and wash my feet again in a little pan,Tingley style. I put a towel around me and change California style opting not to use the change rooms made available. I already had my singlet with race number attched under my wetsuit so after donning bike shorts,shoes,jersey,helmet and gloves in that order, I decide the only thing left is the bike. Out through the gravel and I notice on my watch the transition took 2:56, not bad.


Don't drive any faster than your guardian angel can fly

GOOD LUCK and Keep It Fun!!!
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Good Luck and Keep it Fun!