Friday, July 25, 2008

Appleman Race Report

Yeah....I took a wrong turn.

In no small thanks to Frank, I've had it in my mind that I could/would win Appleman this year. That was part of the reason I did this race. Marc Saucier is the race director and he's also a Wheelworks Multisport member. Frank: "How cool would it be for Marc if a Wheelworks racer won Appleman. Toby, you'll totally win and destroy the field, this is your race..."

Yeah, well maybe if I had stayed on the course.

The swim was in a very 'pondy' pond. Like mucky floor, reeds and stuff, brown water, pond like smell. It pretty much rocked. I definitely didn't have that floating smooth feeling that I had at the start of Mooseman. Nor did I find that groove that I found at Mooseman. For whatever reason I've really been drawing to the left during my swim lately. I think the prescription is some more open water swim training to figure out how to go straight. Any who, I would take half a dozen strokes and look up to find the big orange buoy off to my right. Okay that's cool no big, turn to the right a little. Half a dozen more, off to the right again. What the frig! It pretty much went on like that for the long 13 minutes that it took me to struggle through the water. Quite possible I could have been in the low 12's, dang maybe even sub 10 minute, if I could just fricken swim straight.
The crazy thing is a couple of races ago I thought I was doing a really good job at staying straight when every one else was way of course. I worked with Hank a little last week to work out the left arm kink in my stoke (just one of many kinks I might add). So perhaps I'm just overpowering it too much on the left side and not compensating. ....maybe....

Yup, on to the bike. Wait, T1. Nothing too special here. Except that I heard that sound again when I mounted my bike Cyclocross style (no, this time that sound was not me mashing my nuts). I thought it was me coming down too hard and knocking the saddle a little loose and knocking the pitch out...Except that I could tell that the nose never moved up nor down. I realized after the race that the paper race number (oh and my number is another tangent, which I'll get to after this one) that the taped on number was squished down against the frame. It wasn't squished down when I put it on...hum maybe that crack sound is the seat dropping down....sweet. That would mean my seat's been getting lower and lower for the past 5 races. Double sweet. Plus I have no idea what the proper height is. Triple sweet. And when I went in to see Ed Sassler at Wheelworks (the man who fit me on the bike, and scheduled me for an appointment at 1pm on Sunday to put me on a new non-impotence inducing saddle) oh! yeah he was out at Hyafitchmouthportbergvilleport......I don't know where he was, but the point is he wasn't at the shop. Quadruple sweet!
I think I got the height figure out today. The bolts holding the seat post up were def loose. So take a spin tomorrow, see how it goes, and get old Ed to work things out next weekend.
Oh, the race number. Yeah, so as if Frank telling me I would totally win wasn't enough Wendy Fiske was kind enough to give me race number 1. Just another dimension to add to the head game before the gun went off. (Which, by the way took way too long to go off. I like Bhudist monks as much as the next guy. But hearing them chant just might be the last thing I'd like to stand around and listen too when a race is already 15 minutes late. Well, that and the National Anthem, 'sung' by some local 12 year old brownie scout. That was pretty rough too.)

Aaaaany way. Back to taking a wrong turn. So I jumped on my seat, lowered my seat post, got my feet on my shoes cleanly and started hammering away. I knew the course a little bit from last year and knew that early on the bike we took a left hand turn and stared to cruise down hill a bit. We were coned to the left half of the road and I came upon a volunteer waving a flag across from a road to the left. "Man," I thought," this is kind of a butchered corner. You think they could have put down a little bit of asphalt....Wow this whole road has all kinds of pot holes... Huh, where do I go now, do I take a right han....Oh can't go right.... 'up can't go strai....crap, this is so a dead-end street. Shit..."
I hit my watch when I turned around and it took me 22 seconds to get back up to course. Double that, and add some for stopping to turn around, and not having carried speed passed that turn and I'm rounding it up to a minute that I lost.

Cranked along for the rest of the bike feeing pretty good popping over the hills. Pretty nice course out there. Rolling. No head winds. I was expecting some mean up hills after all the down we seemed to go over but it never really came. I gobbled up a couple of those good swimmers that break early. Including this little teen-aged swimmer Philip Lavely who was rocking it topless with a pair of nylon soccer shorts over his jammers. I ripped by him on an up hill and had to work very hard to not compliment him on his shorts.

Smooth in and out of T2. Only two people ahead of me now. That feels better than the 10 or so after my wrong turn. A couple of reports put me approximately a minute out of second. Nick Normandin feel by the way side about a mile into the run. It was slightly up hill for the first mile, then we had a steep long down to a nice flat section of pavement. On this latter section I started to feel good and got grooving. Then it got nasty: A sharp left took us into a field. A hot, sunny, very muggy, grass field. I could catch glimpses of Chris Ramsey's red jersey, but was slowing down through the field, right when he was getting out of it and speeding up. Of course speeding up meant entering the woods and spending the next half mile running on a trail that was mostly uphill. The woods were a nice little change of pace. Once out of the woods it was down another long steep hill. I nice flat section back around the pondy pond. Across the sand (sand at the end of a race always sucks) and over the line. I had the fastest run split, which was a little surprising as I was under the curse of the 6 minute mile....again. Third fastest bike split (stupid wrong turn) by only 30 seconds. And I came in 2nd overall. Would've been cool to represent the race number, but maybe next time.

Results are posted: Here
Hardware: Another 1st place finishers medal (?) Just like last weekend's Old Colony medal
Schwag: A gift certificate for All Three Sports. Which, I think I've already lost or put in the wash...

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