Monday, June 25, 2012

Cohasset Tri 2012

We combined a family visit with a race this past weekend. My son and I flew to Boston Thursday and took the ferry to Hull where my sister picked us up. My daughter and mother flew out Friday to meet us. It was really nice to catch up with my sister, BIL, niece and nephews. We spent a lot of time at a beautiful local beach, playing games, and just hanging out. We also spent a lot of time around the tri. Further proof triathlon is a selfish sport.

View of Boston from the ferry
In preparation for the tri, my sis and I ran the run course Friday morning, then drove the bike course a couple times. Later in the day, my BIL took me to the Bike Barn in Whitman MA to borrow a test bike that happened to be nicer than my normal bike. They let me test ride a Specialized Allez. The guys at the shop were super nice and spent time helping me get it set up properly. I brought my saddle and pedals and the bike guy (John I think) put it on the trainer and got things dialed in for me. The bike was fabulous and I never once thought about racing on a bike I had only ridden once. Thanks guys, you rock! If you are in the Boston area, go check out the Bike Barn, these guys know what they are doing.

Start of the run course

Saturday morning I met up with a friend from BT, his swimming instructor and her friend to ride the bike course. It was a beautiful morning and beautiful course. Mid morning, my sis and I went to packet pick up and got my race numbers applied. The woman applying the numbers mentioned I had nice muscular hairless upper arms, so the tats went on easy :-).

Packet pick up


Saturday afternoon was more beach time for the family while I went for a practice swim. The kids thought the wetsuit was pretty funny (which it was), then we went back to my sisters place for a cookout. During the cookout, a big storm blew in and knocked out power. We ate, then everyone played Apples To Apples but me. I get a little edgy the night before a race so I said I was on a team, then proceeded to finish reading Chrissie Wellington's book before going to bed really early. I was starting to worry I wouldn't have hot coffee in the morning, but power came back on about 11 pm. I tried something new for this race. I woke up at 4 am and ate, did my business and went back to bed. The idea was to digest breakfast before leaving for the race site to avoid 4-5 trips to the nasty Porto potties. Woke back up at 5:30, did some more business, then my sis drove me to the race site at 6 so she could drop me off, then get my cheering section up and moving. It worked! I only had to hit the portable potties once.


Beach time


Once at the race site, I got my timing chip, set up my transition area, then chatted with Mike_D from BT and a few other athletes. Despite this being my first ocean swim in a tri, racing on a borrowed bike, and knowing going all out hurts, I was pretty calm. I went for a warm up jog then swim and just hung out until my HUGE (for me) cheering section arrived. The kids got busy making signs and I just chilled with them. It was awesome.

My bike still had a price tag and said testbike

My transition area

My peeps making signs


My kids before they colored in the sign

Me and my sis (not a chobani commercial :-))

Me and my mom

Chillin with my nephew

I felt like a rock star!

Just about game time

I was in the third wave with 92 of my closest friends. I lined up near the back since I'm a slow swimmer and really don't like lots of contact. Once the horn went off, we ran down the beach and into the water. The water wasn't as calm as it was Saturday. I swallowed three or four full mouth fulls of water. I didn't panic or even stop and tread water, I just kept swimming. I think this was the first swim I didn't stop and tread water during the swim (except when rounding the buoys), I felt strong and just kept going. Once we got out of the water, we had to run several hundred yards up to the transition area. This time was added to the swim time.


Once in T1, it was wetsuit off, socks, shoes, glasses, and helmet on, then run out. No trouble at all.

Once out on the course, my goal was to keep breathing hard the entire ride. I had no hr, cadence, or speed sensor, so it was all by feel. I'm a relatively slow swimmer, which gave me plenty of people to pass on the bike. I passed a bunch of people and played leap frog with a couple guys in my age group. We joked around as we passed each other which was kind of fun. The course was rolling and beautiful with some fun turns.

Once off the bike, I ran into T2. Racked the bike, helmet off, shoes off, run shoes on, visor, number belt and I was out of there. To quote my nephew, it was time to "embrace the pain" :-). The course was hilly (for me) and absolutely beautiful. The crowd was great and there were kids spraying runners with hoses which was nice since the temp was moving into the 80's (I think, I never really looked). I was happy with the run given I'm not very use to hills. The rest of the run was uneventful. I was able to chat with some other runners, so I think my cardio is currently outpacing my leg strength/speed.

After the race, I had a couple bottles of water then waited around to pack up. After a big lunch and a big nap, I was pretty much back to normal. We all went out for an early nice seafood dinner then back to play Apples to Apples. I played this time and we all had fun. Seeing that it was supposed to storm all day Monday starting early and I had a 2 hour run scheduled for this weekend, I went to bed early again and got up early again (what kind of vacation is this?) Checked the hour by hour weather at 3:30 am to see if I needed to leave at 4, 5, or 6 am. I was happy to see the storm wasn't coming as early as expected and went back to bed until 5:30. Then at six, I ran the bike route from the race and felt pretty good. If things go well tomorrow, I'll get my long ride in when we get home.

Overall it was a great weekend visiting with family. If my sister and/BIL sign up next year, we might just have to come back :-).

The numbers

Overall rank 220/801

Age group rank 30/92

1/4 mile Swim - 10:34 (352/801)

T1 - 1:44

12 mile ride - 35:35 (167/801 20.2 mph)

T2 - 1:11

3.2 mile run - 27:20 (319/801 8:33 min/mile)

Total - 1:16:21



pensive pumpkin said...

I love the photos. You make tri seem fun, and that's saying something.

Great recap!

Kathy said...

Niiice!!! I am so glad the rental bike worked out so well! Sounds like a wonderful trip and a fabulous race. Great pictures! Family is the best!!
Apple to Apples is the BOMB!!! My kids' favorite game!
Hmm ... got some Chobani in the fridge ... I have a sudden hankering for a snack.

On the Right Track said...

Awesome job Mike!!! The pictures really showed what a great weekend it was for you...and your family there with the posters and cheering you on...PRICELESS!

You'll have to give me tips on the transition pacing...especially T1...a post will be coming shortly on that one!
happy summer


Raina said...

What a great idea to test a bike out! Wonderful that worked so well for you. It must have been great to have all that crowd support. Your family made some very cool signs!

Looks like a very scenic race- much different than anything I have done.
Nice rankings Mike! Way to catch them on the bike!

Theia said...

Great race, awesome pics, and fun report!

Your race-day eating/bathroom routine is intriguing, but I probably wouldn't be able to go back to sleep if I tried it. Hmmmm...

KovasP said...

Sounds like a great time, both with family and at the tri! Glad the bike worked out.

Christie said...

Congrats on a great race Mike. Speedy bike split!

Your breakfast before a race trick... I do that too! I actually stole the idea from Jason's blog but it works like a charm, right?

Really neat that you have so much family support. Having others there makes the world of difference.

You are gearing up to have an awesome 70.3 in a couple weeks:)

ajh said...

Wow. You had so many people to watch you. What fun combining a vacation and the sport that you love. How great that you didn't tread water in the OCEAN. Sounds like that went okay for you.
New England is rolling hills and beautiful- simply the best! Look at your overall swim ranking in the ocean which you have never raced in. And you say you are slow.
Top 25% is great.
I enjoyed reading this. Have a good rest of your vacation.

BriTriGuy said...

Great Job on the race! Strangely enough I (my parents) bought me a BMX bike from the Bike Barn when I was like 12. I also plan on heading back to race on The Cape sometime.

TriMOEngr said...

So great to have your adoring fans there. Sounds like a great vacation! Way to go! Solid race!

Jill said...

Oh Boston, how I miss thee!!! How fun you got to go there to race, one of my favorite places to ... race myself ;).

Your cheering section is stellar and I loved all the pictures. Your smile tells it all, you had a great time!!!

I am envious of your bike split...I seem to have one speed: slow. Maybe I need to have kept the price tag on the bike to be speedier?!? :)

Have a great rest of your vacation in jealous.

Patrick said...

Chobani is awesome! Nice Race Mike, one day I'll do another tri...maybe.

Kate Geisen said...

Really looks like a strong race! Way to go! And that's SO cool that your family was there to support you with signs and all. Fantastic!

Dawn said...

Love It! An awesome race report:))
I was thinking of trying that...getting up super early to eat and then going back to bed. My problem is...I don't know if I could go back to sleep;)
Like the had an awesome cheer-Squad!!!!

Debbie said...

i just love this entry, it sounds like you had a great vacation/race, nice that you can combine the two!!

your photos are awesome, i enjoyed every single one.

you have a beautiful family, you can see how much they love and support you...go dad!! i think you did an amazing job!!

Teamarcia said...

Congrats on a strong, smooth race Mike! How great to have so much family support. The eat and go back to sleep strategy has served me well. Glad it worked for you!

Unknown said...

I enjoyed your race report. That was awesome that you had a bunch "fans" to cheer you on, especially the children and your mom.