Most of the heavy rain had passed through the are in the wee hours just before the race. It was raining on my way up to McKinney, but it had mostly stopped by the time I got to the race. It rained a bit more as the race went on, but nothing heavy. The roads were a bit slick and the run went down some trails that were at times wet and at other times VERY slippery.
On Friday, another birthday gift from Dad came in the mail; a set of Pyro Pedals. These are adjustable full length pedal platforms that accommodate a running shoe. These pedals accept a cleat that snaps into the existing pedal on the bike. Basically the idea is that for Duathlon or Sprint Tri's that you can minimize your transition time by not changing into your running shoes. After a test ride on Saturday (45 miles - Sheesh), I figured that I would try the new system. My only reservation was the rain - i figured that whatever shoe I was wearing on the bike was going to be soaked by the end of that leg. But then I thought, heck anyone can run 3 miles in wet shoes!
I set up the bike in transition, with some rubber bands holding the Pyro Pedals in the right position (not dragging on the ground.) Then I went inside the McKinney High School Natatorium to warm up. The pool was pretty small, 6 lanes, two wide ones on the out side and four narrow ones on the inside. For the 300 yard swim that meant up and back in each lane. That could be tricky! I did a 500 yard warmup, and then Iron Jack gave his pre-race prep talk which included a promise to pull any of the first 100 swimmers who walk in the pool! Then we were ready to go.
I had number 10, which should have meant 10th in the water. Except that 1 and 9 did not turn up, so I was eighth in the water. The first 100 was pretty good. The I got passed, then I passed a guy in a hairy maneuver in the middle of the skinny lanes, and then I passed another guy where I went under the rope and did not get any push from the wall. Treacherous. But I survived. As I ran outside, I thought, man I need a shirt. It was cold!
I got my left sock on fast. The right one was inside out. I am such a dumb ass on prepping the transition area. Got that straightened out, then both shoes on. Helmet. Number. Glasses in mouth. I then grabbed the bike and had to run down the narrow lane on the right of the transition area - probably 100 meters long or more. I was slowed by the guy in front of me who of course could not run as fast because he had on his bike shoes! Ha! I got the bike clear of transition and got my foot in the pyro pedal and I was off like a shot - right past two dudes standing there. Once I got going good, I reached down and strapped the velcro pedal straps over my shoes.
The wind was blowing hard and the roads were wet. But that aside, I never felt too cold on the bike. In fact it felt pretty good cold but not uncomfortable. A ton of dudes blew by me on the bike. I got one of them back, and one or two right at the start. There were places on the course where it was flat and we were heading into the wind and the most I could muster was 13 MPH on the small chain ring. Wow.
As I came back to transition, I undid the velcro on the pedals. I hopped off the bike and then I had to run the bike all the way back through the transition area this time on the right side. The cool thing is when I found my rack I put down my helmet parked the bike and I was outta there!
My toes were numb. But I felt way better on the run compared to the Allen race. I picked off my first victim in the first quarter mile. I got my second victim shortly thereafter. In all I passed five guys in the run and no one got by me. The run was a bit slippery in places - in fact the bike ride in retrospect was no problem.
This was a much larger race than Allen - nearly 300 competitors. I finished 14th overall; 4th masters; first in my age group. I finished ahead of all of the women. And no one older than me faster than me. I was also third overall in the run and 1st overall in the T2! Heh, heh - those Pyro Pedals kicked butt! :-)
Also enjoying this fine event was Coach Victoria, who finished first in her age group and was the third women overall. Nice work there too!
All views expressed in this post and on this blog are my own. None of my comments should be construed to represent the views of others including and not limited to: BMC Software Inc., Corel Corporation, Dun and Bradstreet and AC Nielsen. Copyright Chris Hughes 2004-2012