Welcome to the hurt locker.
Last weekend's triathlon tragic was set in Aizu, Fukushima ken.
The landscape lives up to its name of “Utsukushima Tri at
Aizu”, despite the heat. A really beautiful lake with mountains to
back it up. Would recommend it and a stay at the luxurious Washington
Now for the pain and race report. Here is the short version for non-ironman types...
Swim: 27:23 ok, but a lot of kicking, tossing and turning going on…1
minute slower than last year…
Bike: 1:10:40 (inc T1 & T2) good… averaged 35.5 kph despite scorching
weather and chain problem…
Run: 57:54 wow…shocked at the time, shocked that I actually ran…
total: 2:35:57 not bad, considering the heat and my knee injury…a PW
needless to say…
And here are the gory details....
I found it harder to get in a rhythm this year. There was a
whollotta kicking, squirming, tapping going on…
guess the numbers were at almost 500 athletes (this is a major ranked
race in Japan now!), which makes a combined start a little hectic…
26:00 out of the water, about a minute slower than last year…I also
think they changed the course to stop serial porpoisers like motozo
from abusing the actual swimmers…
I pulled up to T1 just as Keren was pulling out, so geared up in
the blazing sun, and set my sights on his pointy head and blue namban
rengo shirt. WIth some help from the drafting marshal, we caught Keren
at about 20k. The course was a little tougher this year also with the
heat and stiff headwind, but enjoyed the downhill from 10-30k, pushing
Hillary’s gas pedal down to 60kph at one moment. There were long
stretches where I averaged over 50kph, and I thought, this is what it
feels like on a time trial at the tour de France….until my chain fell
off at an 180 degree turn, and Keren and 10 other bikers passed me
no, it was not the tour de France! 1:10 bike was 1-2 minutes slower
than last year, about right given the heat,wind, and mechanical
Run: I dismounted Hillary and boy was it hot. But I thought,” fu_k it,
I’ll give it a try”, threw on my knee brace, and ran out of T2. The
first 1k was pure pain. I had 3 big challenges:
1. Torn minuscus (knee)
2. Fatigue from lack of running training (no runs since June)
3. Heat (it was the hottest part of the day) and no shade.
But I incorporated the Jay Johannesen “running while in pain”
technique, hydrated liberally every 1K, walked every few minutes,
spurted every 2 minutes, and somehow made it to the finish in under 1
hour. Those water and sponge breaks were heaven. I actually overdid it
with the happy mizu showers, got my shoes waterlogged, and developed
some nasty blisters on the bottom of my feet. During the last 2k, I
could feel the blister bursting hot fluids on the arch of my left
foot. I hope the Chinese real estate bubble does not look like the
bottom of my foot, coz it is pretty damn ugly! (it actually looks like
the flag of Japan, if you can imagine…. -_- )
Good to share it with Alex, Keren, and Stanley.