Sunday, July 28, 2013

Race Report: The Finisher! (M)

Yesterday, we went down to Tri at the Grove.  I did this race last year, but this year it was M's turn!  With his lovely Specialized Allez just spoiling for a race, he decided it was time to COMMIT.  When that man commits, he doesn't fool around.  

He went for the Olympic. 

He followed a careful diet for months to prepare.  The plan was called "Your wife has discovered that she can't eat dairy anymore, so you are (out of sheer sweetness) are going to learn to make almond milk and a parmesan cheese substitute made of cashews."  It was supplemented by "Shouldn't we be taking a multivitamin?" and "We haven't gone grocery shopping, which coffeeshop has the vegan muffins?" 

His training plan was equally arduous.  Some days, he interval-ran the Ridgeline trail in the direction of "No, that's not the direction I usually go, but I guess we'll try this way and see what happens".  Other days, he went biking on the hills-only-workout.  As in, we live in the hills so every workout is a hills workout.  His best workout ever was the "found abandoned dogs in the middle of a heat wave and saved their lives".  His favorite swim workout was the "You don't actually want to swim outside while it's raining, do you, really?"  

And at 4:30 AM yesterday, we tossed his bags into the car and headed out. 

It's helpful to have a wife who's done tris before, because he borrowed my bento box and my tri bag and even my beloved running hat.  Obviously, they are good luck.  But I really hope he tosses that bento box in the wash before giving it back to me.  And the hat, too.  

The sun rose.  
Actual picture of first rays of sun coming over the hills. 

I was volunteering in the transition area for the race.  Initially, I thought I'd be able to help M set up.  Yeah, that wasn't working out so well.  He shooed me away so he could set up his own space.  So I did my transition area volunteer thing, which mostly consisted of giving people pointers on the course. 

The gun went off, the samba band played, and in they all went!
Yeah, I have no idea where he is in this photo, either.  The line in the water is the swimmers, and he was in there.  The swim is incredibly anonymous, so you just have to trust in your loved one's survival.  The best part of the swim was watching the safety kayakers and standing boarders and boaters gradually converging on and escorting in the final swimmer.  It says a lot about the safety of this course, and a lot about how nice and friendly people are.  They will wait for you to finish this course! Even at the end, while awards were going on and most everyone had finished, the finish line people and the announcer stayed, announcing and cheering every single finisher, down to the very last little old lady.  Because we know we all want to be the 89 year old lady who finishes a triathlon, when we grow up.  

M came in from the swim looking kind of disoriented, but so do many people.  He went to grab his bike, and I was very busy calling out numbers and making sure people hit the mats so they could be timed correctly.  My job consisted of yelling, "WHAT'S YOUR NUMBER!" at people so we could track them all.  

I didn't see him again until he came in from the bike.  I ran down to take pictures.  I can't help out in any way, of course, but he was FOCUSED. 
Oh, sorry, are you not as distracted by the pretty BMCs as I am? Dream bike...
Here he is, coming in from the bike. 

As a spectator, I discovered that tri is a study in HURRY UP and WAIT.  There's a ton of pre race jitters, then the excitement of the start, then you pretty much lose your person for the duration of the swim.  Then it's EXCITEMENT as he comes out of the water, and then you wait and wait while he's on the bike.  Then it's ADVENTURE as he goes off on the run... and then a game of watching the clock and guessing his finish time and wondering how he liked his first tastes of Heed. 

Answer: Not much.  The stuff really tastes like stewed feet.  But he agrees with me that the Hammer gels are the best gels ever gifted to the universe.  Which will be a problem, because previously, he was energy-food flexible, and now I am afraid I am going to have to fight my beloved over my Picky Bars and my Hammer gels.  

Off he goes on the run!

A good strong finish!  

All decked out in his fancy medal with the nice ribbon.  I really like the Rolf Prima medals.  They are a nice multisport design!  

Plus, best cheerleader ever.  Seriously, you guys want friends like this on your team!  

All in all, M is a FINISHER of his first Olympic, and already thinking about what he will do next! 

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