April 21, 2013
Before I tell you all about the Sky Tri, I have to get this out of the way:
Speedos. Guys, I don't care how beautiful you are, or, more likely, think you are, this is simply not a good look on any of you. We were seeing way, way too much of your April-in-Michigan bod, and it wasn't pretty. I know, you are all "Hey, it's a swim race, I don't care how I look!" (and for those of you who are all "I can shave seconds off my time by wearing a Speedo!" No. Those love handles create more drag than a pair of swim trunks ever will, trust me.) And I am just gonna ask, on the behalf of all of us whose eyeballs got seared pretty early this morning - please care. And wear something else.
The Sky Tri was an early-season hybrid kind of deal. Indoor short swim, bike and run outdoors, and since we live in MICHIGAN, it was 20 freaking degrees this morning. And we went anyway, my main triathlon partner Goddess #1 (there are a total of five tri "goddesses" in our little support group) and I, and as a special "let's-see-what-the-fuss-is-all-about" bonus, the spouses signed up too ("Have some Kool-Aid, dear!" Heh.).
We all did the mini-sprint: 200 yard swim, 6.2 mile bike, 1.8 mile run. The swim, held at Skyline High School in Ann Arbor, was a "snake swim" which meant you swam down one lane, ducked under the divider, swam up the next lane and so on for 8 lengths. We were all seeded according to approximate time for a 200 yard swim and hopped into the pool at 10-15 second intervals. If you needed to pass the person ahead of you, you tapped on their foot and then once they reached the wall, they were to let you pass.
Unless, of course, you are the guy behind me and it's just easier to swim right up my ass. Thanks, dude. Here, let me help you with your Speedo. Dork.
One of the unique challenges to this race was the transition from indoor swim to outdoor everything else. Normally, you do not change clothes in triathlon - with the exception of adding/subtracting bike helmet, shoes, sunglasses, etc, you wear the same gear for all three disciplines. While race organizers suggested just layering over your suit for the bike and the run, most people looked at the sunny, sub-freezing morning and said "Uh, no thanks." Stripping off a wet suit and stuffing damp body parts into winter running gear takes time, people. All of which got added to the swim time, and I just know at least 2 minutes of my time was spent in the Fighting With The Sports Bra category. Swim time: 12:56 (from start to locker room to entering the transition area outside; I think my actual 200 yard swim time was around 5 minutes. Maybe.).
Where was I? Oh, yeah. Heading outside with wet hair, that's where I was, and I think maybe it was almost 30 degrees at that point. The bike route included a nice steep downhill on Maple Road, ruined by a sharp left onto Huron River Drive that required slowing down. The curvy scenic road with occasional uphills along the river is usually a pleasant ride, if one isn't somewhat damp and riding in frigid temperatures. It was probably the only time in my entire life that I approached an uphill ride thinking "Oh good, at least I'll warm up!" And that nice steep downhill at the start did, of course, turn into a wickedly gruesome uphill at the end. I tried distraction techniques...like congratulating myself on my intelligence in choosing to wear wool socks today, and mentally placing Speedos on handsome male celebrities, just in case there really was some man somewhere who might look good in a Speedo (that last one got me all the way up the hill and into the transition area, but alas, my original hypothesis remains intact). Bike time: 32:53.
Readers of the Triathlon Chronicles know that my absolute favorite part of the race was next! Yeah, no. Don't like running much. Plus, more hills. Tired legs. Ran out of celebrities to put in Speedos. Got a cramp in my calf about halfway through, walked it out, ran (well, it's a bit generous to call what I do "running," but you know what I mean) to the finish and was amazed that my run time was 22:41 ! Yay me!
I took second place in my age group with my total time of 1:12:21. Of course, there were only two of us in our age group - the first place finisher being Goddess #1, because she is most awesome and has legs like she will run you down and kick your butt. Her time was 1:05:35.
The Kool-Aid drinking spouses also rocked in their first-ever triathlon, claiming second and third places in their age group with a 1:05:07 (that cute man in the photo to the left) and a 1:11:56.
And they are smart enough not to wear Speedos.