Parris Island Sprint Triathlon 2013

parris-island-triathlon-bibSo how about a recap of the 2013 Parris Island Sprint Triathlon? Very well then.

Allow me to start by saying that I went down to Parris Island by myself and did not have anyone to take any pictures for me so I don’t have any great shots. Not great for a blogger, I know. Not to mention that the “professional” hired for the event took some seriously less than stellar pics and is charging an arm and a leg for them. I just grabbed the ones off of his site. So what.

I woke up around 4:50 on Saturday morning and scarfed down a banana, 3 tablespoons of almond butter with maple syrup and two pieces of Ezekiel bread toast. I headed out the back door so as not to wake the churrens. I had already packed and loaded and double checked and repacked and reloaded my gear and bike in the car.

I got to Parris Island around 7:00 am and started to unload and low-and-behold, my coach Ian, who was also racing, pulled in beside me.

By the way, I am thinking that my triathlon coach Ian should take me along to ALL of his races.  There have currently been two races that we BOTH have been in and he has WON them both…

ian-blake-PIT2013

My back tire was flat when I got the Mad One (I announced on Instagram that I named my new bike the Mad One) out of the car. Had to get that pumped up. Seems like I might have a leak in the tube, but luckily it held and got me through the race. Remind me to get that looked at before I go out for a ride again. I got over to the transition area only to realize that we were assigned a spot based on our bib number. And I had yet to pick up my race packet. Fun fun.

I got my packet and got back over to transition and got all set up. For some reason, I was having these really deep feelings of dread and feeling like I had no business being there. It hit me like a ton of bricks and sat on me like the fat bully in gym class. I don’t really know why that happens, but I told a few people about it later and they told me that they deal with similar feelings and they have been doing this for a while. I will have to remember that the next time.

After getting everything set up in transition and shaking off the feelings of self-doubt, it was time to move to the pool. The swim portion of this race is in the Marine combat training pool. This is one of the largest pools I have ever seen in my life.

parris-island-triathlon-pool3

There were around 400 people registered for the race and they were all standing around the pool waiting for the event to start. I felt sort of self-conscious standing around in just my tri suit. Then I sort of looked around and realized that there were several people there who were a bit more roly-poly than me and they didn’t seem to mind. So I got over it. Speaking of getting over it, this post is going to be long if I don’t get to the point…

So at 9 am the event started. Everyone was seeded in the race based on their self-submitted 100 yard swim time. A lot of people lied on this and seeded themselves much higher than they should have. I on the other hand, seeded myself too low. And so I had to wait. And wait. And wait. My bib number was 267 so I had to wait for the first 266 folks ahead of me to start. The course was 10 lanes, swim a lap then change lanes and swim a lap and then change lanes, for 500 meters. There were 10 seconds between each racer so this is what it looked like…

parris-island-triathlon-pool2

I felt really really strong after shaking loose the mental yuckies that had hit me earlier. While I was waiting for my turn to start I got in the practice area and got warmed up. When my turn came to start I felt like the Improbable Hulk. I knew that I was going to have a strong swim and I did. I basically bowled through the lanes knocking, at a minimum, 8 to 10 other racers out of my way. I had asked about pool triathlon etiquette from a few people earlier this past week and they basically said to give the person ahead of you the chance to move. If they don’t, then swim over them. I know that I made at least two people fear that they were drowing when I swam through them…

My time on the 500 meters was 10:18, which included the run to the transition area. I am really proud of that time.

hank-hanna-parris-island-triathlon-swim

My first transition was not ideal. The area had gotten cramped and I had a hard time getting to my bike shoes and an even harder time getting my socks on. I put on a bike jersey that had my fuel and sunglasses in the back pocket so that killed a little time. Then I dropped my bike getting it off the rack. I’m such a newb. Once I had all of my ish together I trotted out of the transition area. Trying to walk fast in bike shoes is not easy on asphalt. My T1 time was 2:46.

As I was leaving the transition area, I mounted my bike about 25 feet to soon and got yelled at. I basically dropped off of the cranks and scooted to the “line” before hopping back up and setting off.

I felt really good starting out on the bike. I drained about half a bottle of Clif Shot Electrolyte drink and felt well hydrated. But then I was feeling like I needed some fuel. I hadn’t eaten anything since I left the house. I tried eating a Clif Bar, but it was not going down well so I tossed it. My stomach was growling though.  I just couldn’t stomach anything at that moment. I crushed some more water and rolled on.  It was crazy windy on the course and even though there were some stretches where I was holding a 22 mph pace, there were even more areas where I felt like I was pedaling into 747 jet wash. It left me with a 16 mph average, which under normal circumstances is my pace. But I feel like I could have done better. My official bike time for the 10 mile stretch was 37:39.

hank-hanna-parris-island-triathlon-bike

Once again, I came into transition feeling good and not spent. This was a huge improvement over my first triathlon where my legs felt like rubber when I got off the bike. No stanky legs this time.  I hustled in, racked my bike, tossed my helmet, grabbed my bib and threw on my runnin shoes. I didn’t even forget anything this time! My second transition time was 1:45.

I ran out of the transition area and onto the run course. While it did NOT feel like I was dragging my legs behind me like that lame dog from the Family Guy (you know the one) I DID feel heavy. But I decided right then and there that I was going to run the entire way, no matter what. About a quarter mile into it I had the thought, “How the Hell am I going to run 13 miles in April when I am doubting myself not even a mile into this race?” But then something weird happened.  I started to feel better. Maybe even good. Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves…I felt ok. Good enough to shed all bad thoughts and keep going.  I ate half a pack of Clif Shot Bloks and grabbed some water at an aid station and just kept on keppin on.

I just KNEW that my run was not going all that well as far as speed goes, but I DID know that I was holding pace and I was going to finish strong. I came around the last corner, saw the finish line, and pressed on through it.  My official run time was a suprising 31:20, which is pretty much my normal pace after NOT having done any other exercises. When I saw that, I was really happy.

hank-hanna-parris-island-triathlon-run

After my first race I felt like I was going to pass out and that I would need a month to recover. I basically slumped down into a camp chair and stayed there for an hour.

After this race, I felt like I could run another 3 miles just to warm down. The feeling was great.
And it made me realize that I DO BELONG here.

Granted, I will probably go through all of the doubts and self-consciousness again in a few weeks when I line up to do a freaking 70.3 triathlon. But hey, I know that as soon as I cross that line at the end, I will feel like I am capable of anything.

Here are my official results.

hank-hanna-parris-island-triathlon-results

I was only 8 and a half minutes away from a trophy… 🙂  

So whattya think?

267

 

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