Friday, April 22, 2011

Belews Let Down

What can I say other than this weekend was a big let down? I was supposed to race the Belews Sprint Triathlon outside of Greenboro but the race was cancelled at the last minute. I am glad the race directors made the call considering all of the tornado damage received in the triad area – no doubt the best decision for the day. I think they did an excellent job of communicating their intentions to shorten and ultimately cancel the race. The group I was coordinating with was up at in the morning texting back and forth trying to decide if we should make the 4 hour round trip for something that could be reduced to a 5K or cancelled completely. Just 10 minutes after deciding not to go the race directors sent out an email pulling the plug on the race entirely. At least I only felt like a quitter for 10 minutes. Normal people would have gone back to bed. I unpacked and got my stuff together for MAC swim practice.

I wish I could fully express the feelings passing through my mind once I heard bad weather was threatening to reduce my first triathlon of the season to my first duathlon ever. Maybe I felt a little apprehensive and threatened by the idea of competing in a duathlon. A race without my best leg? Puleeeeez. How would you runners feel if the race directors decided to knock off that last 5K? See, doesn’t sound like so much fun does it? Regardless, I made up my mind I was not going to bail even if the triathlon was downgraded to a duathlon  . . . even if the weather predictions were horrible . . . even if everyone I knew bailed . . . even if . . .

I was able to turn my hesitation into excitement toward the prospect of competing in a new race format in the least of favorable conditions. Part of me was convinced the weather would clear, the race would go on as planned, and I would have a great time. I packed up my bike and my bags were stuffed full with contingency plans; 2 wetsuits – sleeves and no sleeves, a swim-bike-run outfit, a bike-run outfit, and a swim-run outfit. My coffee cup was ready to fill and my oatmeal ready to cook. I went to bed excited to see what the morning would bring but when the first text message came in at 3:15 AM the excitement had wondered away and all I could think was e. . .a. . .r . . .l . . .y

Oh well. I guess this weekend was just not a good weekend for racing. The swim at the New Orleans 70.3 was cancelled and the Valdese Sprint Triathlon was postponed. First race of the season – White Lake ½ IM II. Let’s just hope I remember how to do this stuff and nothing I own “rubs” me the wrong way.

With a week of race prep wasted and a weekend’s worth of unplanned workouts ahead of me, I felt a little bit at a loss. I swam Saturday morning but then I could not deicide on what to do. Of course the weather conditions did not help make the decision any easier. I finally got my act back together and by Saturday night I was putting together a plan for Sunday’s workouts. With some hesitation I agreed to ride again with Mancess. We were doing very similar workouts and my favorite englishrunner was going to join us - “was going to” are the key words here. We rode for 3 hours and 12 minutes. We almost had to stop and walk the bikes at 3 hours and 10 minutes because that is how long Mancess was supposed to ride for. I think my exaggerated eye roll bought me the 2 extra minutes it took to get back to our cars. We then ran for 3 miles. During the run I learned Mancess is one of those one-step-ahead-of-you-runners. Annoying. We had a good workout but the stories are the best part – how there are so many stories from just one workout is hard to believe but if you know Mancess you undoubtedly understand.

Mancess anecdote of the week:
During a brief stop so Mancess could pee for the third time in three hours we were passed by a group of three older gentlemen. They had a good steady pace going but it was not long before we caught up with them. Mancess was in the lead when we rode up to their little pace line. Rather than pass them on their left, he decided to slow down and ride in the draft. He turned back to me and asked, “What should we do?” I told him we should go ahead and go around. Whilee I love the opportunity to bask n a draft we had slowed down considerably and needed to get going. He again turns back to me and replies, “But there is a head wind, I don’t think I can do it. “ Mancess is a good rider but I was not surprised to hear him say something like that. I ended up grunting something like “figures” and politely rode around him and the other three guys. I pulled Mancess for about 15 minutes when he passes me and says, “oh . . . . it isn’t that windy.” Not 10 minutes later Mancess is sitting up on his bike whining about the wind and questioning why all our rides have to be so windy. I rode up next to him and asked him if he was so worried about the wind why was he is sitting up when he should be in the aeroposition taking advantage of his very aerodynamic Cervelo P3? He looks at me in all seriousness and says, “but I was blocking the wind for you. I am your dome-a-disc.” Me: “You mean domestique?” Mancess: “Yeah that too.”

Aquageek quote of the week:
“Oh boy, wearing a wet suit isn't even swimming. It is floating. I swam for an hour on Sunday in the thing and felt like I swam for about 10 minutes. No wonder tri-dorks get so excited about them.