Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Who's Your Sherpa?

Hey all, how was your weekend?  We had a pretty crazy one at casa Glaser- a little bit of drama, little bit of excitement, little bit of injury, little bit of pregnancy meltdown.  Such is life, right?  Not to leave anything dangling, but let's just scoot on out to the fun stuff.  Well, I suppose Greg would debate it, but we'll talk about it anyways.
So this weekend was the kick off for tri season in New York-the famous Keuka Lake Tri in Pen Yan, and the Pittsford Tri in Rochester.  We usually venture out to Keuka for our first race-it's a nice town about an hour east of Rochester and the race is run really well.  For the last few years, we've done the Olympic distance tri, and aside from some nasty hills on the bike and a frigid lake, it's a really nice race.  However, this year we decided to stick closer to home (blame it on el preggo) and do the Pittsford Tri. 
We've shied away from this race in the past because the swim portion is a pool swim-which is great, but the open water swim is really a favorite of ours during races.  But, necessity is the mother of invention, and with
baby g waiting to make an appearance, close is best.
The sprint tri event, with a 300 yd swim, 15 mile bike, and 3.3 mile run drew about 250 athletes and started at 7am on Sunday morning.  We arrived about 6am, racked Greg's bike, then took a tour of the transition and swim set up.  He took off to acclimate, and I wandered around.  The structure of the swim was kind of neat-they started at 7am on the dot and one swimmer went off every 15 seconds.  You went up a lane, back down, then under the dividers in order to end up at the end lane with 300 yards swum.  Seeding for the swim was based on your estimate of how fast you planned to do the swim (indicated during race sign up).  So, the fastest estimate was #1, slowest was #250, etc.  Greg was seeded #30, so he took off at 7:07.  Of course, no seeding is perfect, so there was some passing in pool, but it seemed to work pretty well overall.  He came out of the water in 4:19 (speedy Gonzales) and headed out to bike.  I knew the bike would take him anywhere from 45 to 50 minutes, so I walked around a bit and made a few friends....ran into old co-worker, and met a few MIMs (Moms in Motion.  Oh you bet I'm joining those guys in a few months...they are super friendly and fun!)
After almost an hour, I started to worry.  Greg's a strong biker, and I knew he could average about 19 on this course.  He came rolling through in 1:02 (15 mph avg) with black hands and a dejected face.  Crap.  Flatted.  He shouted over his shoulder..."11 minutes gone to hell!" and I really felt for him.  As he threw on his running shoes, I shouted encouragement to have a strong run and forget the effin bike.  He headed out, lookin good, and I travelled to the finishers chute to cheer on the winning men. 
As I waited for Greg with some of the MIM's, I got a chance to fall in love with the sport all over again. It was so neat to see all of the finishers-from about age 12 to age 82...some sprinting in, some smiling, some bursting at the seams, all of them no doubt loving what they do.  It was also cool to see the range that the swim had-since the "faster" swims were the lower numbers (theoretically) you
could see how the bike and run were equalizers.  I saw number 6 and number 83 finish together (#6 had about 15 minutes on #83).  I saw #22 and #25 sprint it out....only 45 seconds separated them.  Kind of cool....even if you "beat" someone to the finish, you didn't necessarily beat them overall.  After about 35 minutes, I saw a figure in red approaching.  Walking.  My poor guy.  I jogged up about a third of a mile to meet him, where he explained that he heard his calf pop at mile 1.5 and was in alot of pain...which I could tell by the limp.  I gave him a big hug and told him how proud I was of him.  We walked to the finish together and he proudly finished his race.  The awesome swim, the frustrating bike, the heartbreaking run (he pulled a calf muscle and is now sidelined for 4-6 weeks, bummer).  He could have quit any time.  But he didn't.  And that's a true warrior of a triathlete.  Not when the race is going well, but when it sucks and you finish anyways, because you need to.  So glad I married that man!
Pittsford Tri, we will be back.  Your course is awesome, your race management flawless, and you are close.  I'm itching to give you a go, and Greg needs retribution.  See you in 2014.
And with that, I sherpa-ed my triathlete home.  And did massages.  And ice cream.  Cause it's all about balance, right? :-)

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