Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Race Report: Part One- Setting up in the Rain

So, I am now home and ready to present to you a Race Report.

Want pictures?  I don't have any just yet- but if you go to The Nation's Tri, my bib number is 4525.  You can look up my splits, and I think you can also look up pictures.

Anyway:  let's start with Setting Up Transition.

I set my iPhone's alarm... a wake-up call... and the alarm clock.  I get a little nervous about missing early deadlines.  I was already awake when I was startled by M's Kill-Bill style maneuvar on the alarm clock.  See, since I'm deaf, I don't hear the alarm clock.  I rely on M for that sort of thing.  And I sort of didn't tell him I'd set the clocks for 4:15AM.  Let's just say the man was somewhat startled.  Hi, sweetie.  Sorry, sweetie...

Shortly after 5, I was at the transition area.  It was many thousands of square feet- an area for over 7,000 athletes.  I had racked my bike the day before and now headed towards it to take off the plastic bag cover and set up my transition area.  The announcer, however, had other plans.  No sooner than I had plopped my bag down on the muddy wet grass, he started in with his forecasts of a band of rain moving through.  My coach guided me through the tradition of getting a timing chip.  By the time I'd gotten back, my warm up pants were getting wet and I was getting cold, and the steady drizzle was getting heavier.  Soon, I'd be wet through and very, very cold.

It is now time for my Brilliant Genius Idea.

Being that I was cold, I needed to warm up.  All my warm clothes (arm warmers, tights) were designed to keep you warm while being wet.  However, the announcer also mentioned it was a wetsuit legal race.

I had a full wetsuit in my bag.

Wetsuits are designed to get wet, and to keep one warm.

Wetsuits are also a b*tch to put on when you are already wet.  They are easiest to put on when you, and they, are dry.

See where I'm going here?  While I was still dry-ish, and while it was dry, and before the heavy rain came in, I pulled on that wetsuit.  In less than a minute, I was still wet, but warm.  People all around me also started putting on their suits.

Meanwhile, the announcer mentioned a band of electrical activity coming in.  As the thunder started to roll, the organizers moved the buses over to the transition, and my coach grabbed me and all but marched me on to the bus.  He promised I'd have time to set up my area, but he had an aversion to me dying in a lightning storm.

He's all heart, Coach Rick.  Coach Rick rocks, actually.  Coach Rick had a special band to hold my cochlear for me, and gave me tips like "put a thing of water next to the bike so you can wash your feet off."

With many others, we huddled on the bus and watched the rain pour.  Finally, at 6:50, I insisted on going out to set up my area.  The race organizers pushed the race start back 20 minutes to give us all some extra time to set up.  You see, transition closes before the race starts, so everyone has to be DONE and OUT.  But I got it done- the bike was set up.  I had my towel laid down with my bike shoes, run shoes, and the associated gear.  The right food was in the various pouches.  I had extra socks.

Don't we all love extra socks?

Before I knew it, I was waiting in a line for the porta-pottie that was about a mile long.

A distant drum beat rolled in from the river.  The National Anthem played.  And suddenly, a shot rang out.

Game on.


Audrey said...

OK- I see how this is gonna go... get us all excited... and then ... say goodbye.
Questions about setting up transition... how did you lay out your stuff AND insure that it would be dry when you got there? ( no one likes to put on wet bike shoes)...

At the duathlon that I did the guy next to me in the transition area spent his time chanting/crying" Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh, my God...: really nice.

Sarah said...

There was no line when I decided to hobble with my crutches into the handicapped porta-potty. I almost wish there had been, maybe I would have given up and I wouldn't be having nightmares now.