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  1. #1
    Body by Guinness cjbruin's Avatar
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    Hey folks! Sorry for the delay in posting but I was only home for a few hours before I had to go on a business trip this week. The Pumpkinman was last Sunday at Lake Las Vegas and included International & Spring lengths. My wife did the sprint and I did the Int'l.

    Let me start by saying that I have decided the official name of this event should have been..."Hey Fat Boy! Go back to the golf course." Wow! Was this course hard (for me anyway). I should also add that I had been pretty tired from training and over the last two weeks I didn't do many workouts because my body had been complaining (knees, ankles, etc.). OK...enough excuses...on to the event.

    I don't think that anyone who raced on Sunday was actually from Nevada. When setting up my transition space, I met a few people from Boston, New York, Chicago, New Hampshire, and a good number of fellow Californians. For you people in colder climates. I think this is a great end of season event that gives you an excuse to come to Vegas for a few days.

    SWIM - The swim was in Lake Las Vegas which is a shallow man made lake. The water was about 68 degrees and the course was a simple, swim along the shore for 5 buoys, turn and swim toward the other shore, and swim back. It was an in-the-water start and there were only about 40 people in my wave so it was a very low stress start. I decided to go without a wetsuit and was definitely in the minority. Most people were complaining about how cold the water was (and they WERE wearing wetsuits)...I found it to be very comfortable. The horn went off and I settled into my easy stroke...as usual, my direction looked something like __/\/\/\/\/\__/ rather than ---------. I exited the water (up a wooden ladder to a temporary dock in 39:41 (19th out of 20 in my age group). I was really surprised when I looked at my watch because I thought I was going faster than that. Maybe I was taking it TOO easy...or maybe it was because I probably swam 1.2 miles instead of 0.9. Anyway, I was pretty disappointed when I was running into the transition area.

    T1 - As expected, not wearing a wetsuit was WAY cool and I quickly made my way through the transition in a time of 57 seconds...which by the way was the fastest in the race I picked up one place because of it and headed out on my bike in 18th place.

    BIKE - This is where the race sank its teeth into me (and most people it seems). One loop around the fairly hilly resort and out onto Lake Mead Parkway. I must say that this was a pretty cool road to ride on...nice smooth asphault for the most part and a two-lane road that reminded me a bit of the Queen K in Kona. The problem was that it included nearly 3,000 feet of climbing in 24.8 miles. The downhills were awesome and according to my computer, I hit 43.8 mph at one point. The uphills weren't quite as awesome. I passed quite a few people but only one in my age group (and got passed by another) so I was off the bike still in 18th. The lowlight of this leg was when I turned around at the wrong place (the Sprint turnaround). I remember thinking, "Wow, that was fast." After about 1/4 mile or so, it occured to me..."Crap, I turned around at the wrong place!" Oh well, it probably cost me a couple of minutes...it could have been worse. The outbound leg rolled downward so the inbound leg rolled upward. By the time I reached the resort entrance I was pretty shredded and then I was hit in the face with a nasty wind. I guess I didn't notice it during the route since it was crossing but the last mile or so was brutal. My time for the bike was 1:38:52 (just over a 15 mph average). Before you guys get too down on me, the guy who won the race averaged less than 19 mph and the fastest biker was 20.7 mph. This was not an easy course.

    T2 - Let's put it this way...if I wasn't such a stuborn pain-in-the-ass, I would have quit right here. I felt horrible. I wheeled my bike into the tranistion area, sat down on my towel, and slowly put on my running shoes. 2:03 later, I loped out onto the run course....really wishing I had signed up for the relay.

    RUN - After plodding along at about 10 min pace for about a mile, I hear my wife yell "Yay CJ" as she is coming the other way. I don't know why for sure but it totally broke my spirit. I remember thinking "Aw man, she has one mile left and I have five." Shortly thereafter, I was in walk mode. The run course also included rolling hills and I managed to run down a few but quickly slowed to a walk on the flats. Then at about 2.5 miles a guy who was about 50 with a grey beard caught me at the bottom of a hill and started to walk. I said to him, "Don't let me slow you down." and he said that he walks up all of the hills because it takes too much energy to run them and he doesn't go much slower anyway. I don't know how but he got me running along side of him. We continued side-by-side jogging the flats and downhills and walking the ups...talking about family, weight loss, whatever. It really helped me and I started to feel a lot better. At about mile four, I could tell that he was fading and he made a few statements about just wanting to finish. I could have easily gone on but it just didn't seem right. If it hadn't have been for him, I would have walked the entire way. Now it was my turn to help him. In the end, we shuffled through the finish side-by-side (although my wave started 3:00 later -- so I beat him My 10K time was 1:30:54 (3rd slowest in the event).

    FINISH - My final time was 3:52:29...nearly 50 minutes slower than my last Int'l...I'm telling you, this was a hard course...the winning time was 2:18...top 10 was 2:35. I was DFL in my age group. I guess I'm a little disappointed at that but at least I beat six people overall...not including the 30+ DNF's. My season is over and I think I've earned a few weeks of rest. Weight loss is going to be a key focus when I get going again. There is no way I can haul this frame through a 1/2 IM in June. This race was a good reality check and will serve as a good motivator.

    Hopefully some of you are reading this because you are interested in doing your first tri but are uncertain. About 17 months ago, I couldn't walk a flight of stairs without getting winded. 14 months ago, I was in a bike crash that sidelined me for 10 weeks. If I can do this, anyone can! Get our there!!!

    I'll try to get my wife to post her experience in the Sprint...right now, she's upstairs making a pasta dinner...YUM

    Cheers.
    -CJ
    Last edited by cjbruin; 10-22-05 at 01:13 AM.
    Fredo, you're my older brother and I love you...but don't ever take sides, with anyone, against the family again...ever.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    CJ,
    Sounds like a hell of a bike course - 3,000 feet in 40K would be pretty unpleasant for most people at any speed.

    I've had some race legs like what you have described here, and despite not having the performance I wanted, I still derived some satisfaction from being able to tough it out and finish rather than drop out.

    You've probably already dropped a bunch of weight, so if you can stay active during the winter and continue the trend, 2-3 lbs a month between November and June can add up to a 25 lb loss. I've dropped 10 lbs since April, and my body fat is down to just over 10% as of last week.

    What 1/2 IM are you going to do next June?

  3. #3
    One day at a time H2OChick's Avatar
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    I was about to put out an APB on you! I was wondering where you were... glad to hear you were just up to the usual hijinks in Vegas.

    That sounds positively heinous - and something you can wear proudly! I love that you stayed with the guy during the run. And that you see/saw the silver lining. And that you're already gung-ho for next season. Fabulous attitude. (D'ya think you could bottle some of that and send it my way?)

    You know, now that you've done that one, maybe you could add one more race to your season and do Catalina. I've heard that one has some lovely hills!

  4. #4
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    Sounds like a rough course.

    (Of course, I'm jealous of ANYONE doing a tri in October - it's cold here!)

    Maybe your strategy should be to be 3rd slowest in T1, and save that section win for the 10k? =P

    Congrats!

    V

  5. #5
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    CJ, good recap - the bike did sound brutal. I agree with crise. As they say, that which doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. That strength may come in handy in an upcoming race. Your efforts are admirable. BTW, I'm rehabing a strained MCL, I still want to do some training with you as I prepare for my 1st Tri. I'll PM when I'm ready to go.

    jd

  6. #6
    just your average Fred Anbaric Cog's Avatar
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    Dear Cj. Great report.

    Years ago when I was taking martial arts, the teacher said that he really admired me for sticking with it despite a total lack of talent! It was a wierd sort of compliment, but I think later when I got to teach a bit I found I really could understand what the beginers were struggling with. I'd had to analyse what I was doing and not just have it come naturally.

    That Las Vegas event was a very tough course and you were tired going in to it. The next couple of tri's will be better, and you'll know you can pull through. I agree with previous posters that it is awesome to help the other guy finish. Don't be too hard on yourself--think about even begin able to complete this distance compared to where you describe yourself a few short months ago.

    Start planning for next year. I used the Triathlete's Bible and the thing that helped me the most was to really schedule some rest time. I am not nearly as wiped out all the time nor as grumpy (though don't ask any family members!)

    Look for me at the next triathlon--I'll be the last guy out of the water!

    a.c.

  7. #7
    Out of Commission OC Roadie's Avatar
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    Hey CJ,
    Nice report, I don't know too much about tri's, but sounds like a nasty course. Good for you on sticking it out. I know how it feels to want to quit badly, it makes finishing all the more gratifying . Good luck on the weight loss and training, it sounds like you've already made great progress. In a couple of years I hope to be reading your report about IM Kona Let me know when you want to cruise Orange County. I've been thinking that we should try to put together an Orange County Bike Forums metric century or some sort of ride, so that we can all meet one of these days. Take Care...Pat
    If you don't have anything nice to say about anybody, then come sit next to me.

  8. #8
    It is fantastic. voltman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC Roadie
    Hey CJ,
    Nice report, I don't know too much about tri's, but sounds like a nasty course. Good for you on sticking it out. I know how it feels to want to quit badly, it makes finishing all the more gratifying . Good luck on the weight loss and training, it sounds like you've already made great progress. In a couple of years I hope to be reading your report about IM Kona Let me know when you want to cruise Orange County. I've been thinking that we should try to put together an Orange County Bike Forums metric century or some sort of ride, so that we can all meet one of these days. Take Care...Pat

    Is there any room in the OC autobus for sucky people?

  9. #9
    Out of Commission OC Roadie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by voltman
    Is there any room in the OC autobus for sucky people?
    LOL, I think we should do and OC ride for all the Bike Forum members of any riding ability. It would be fun just to be able to meet everyone and maybe find some new ride partners, routes etc. I think I'll start a thread to try and find out how many out there would be into this. I don't mind putting together a route and providing route slips and some of the other leg work.
    If you don't have anything nice to say about anybody, then come sit next to me.

  10. #10
    TriBob
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    Good job hanging in there. I had the same exact race in the Poconos a few years ago. Same DFL in AG about the same time. It will give you the mental edge you need when things go your way and more importantly when they dont.

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