2006 Rec Plex Triathlon Race Report – June 18th

I’m writing this a little late, considering this race happened in June and it is now late August… This will actually be a good exercise in remembrance, I hope to never feel the same way about a triathlon again, or at least not for the same reason. I had signed up for this race early in the year as an elite competitor, I had done the same race in 2005 as an elite and had placed second to Shawn Oneal, I was hoping to do as well again this time, if not better. Of course, I hadn’t planned on the little set back I had experienced in April. Now, rather than battling the elites and hoping for a win, it was a new set of emotions I was experiencing, was I even going to be able to complete my first triathlon of the year? Would my body allow me to continue and give me hope that someday I could return to my previous level?

Upon arriving at the race site at the crack of dawn, my first order of business was to try and make sure that I could get out of the elite division. I really wanted to remain at the front of the swim; I was the second person to sign up so I would be the second in the water, but I really didn’t want to do the course twice as an elite. Initially I was told I couldn’t drop out of the elite division, but finally I was told that I could. However, I didn’t have to give up my spot which was great since with my fragmented trapezium, any collisions with swimmers would have probably knocked me out of the race, even something as simple as my hand hitting another swimmer… Starting at the front of the race, this wasn’t as likely.

I used to be a pretty slow swimmer, but I had really worked hard on this over the winter. Cape Girardeau had been a great swim, but I hadn’t been swimming as much since the accident, and had only had about a weeks worth of swimming to get back in shape. Once in the water, things felt pretty good. I did end up getting passed, but only by one person who ended up with the fastest swim time of the day, Jillian Peterson. My final time was 8:40 which came out to be 1:35 per 100 yds, not as fast as at Cape, but faster than I used to swim, I can live with that.

After a motivated sprint to my bike, I had a slightly slower transition than normal; I got to take the time to put a wrist brace on. Biking had been a little rough; any bumps really amplified through my fragmented trapezium, stabilizing it seemed to help a little. The only problem with getting faster in the water, now I didn’t have quite as many people ahead of me to chase on the bike. Not that I was in any kind of shape to be chasing! Instead I was the one being chased…

Probably 6 or 7 miles into the race, I heard a sound I’m not all that used to hearing, the sound of a biker with a disc overtaking me. I decided this was probably something I was just going to have to get used to. Turns out, not only was I getting passed, it was a girl, Amber Mounday. Not going to lie and say I wasn’t tempted to draft, I hated getting passed but I let her go. Only, now I had someone to chase so I picked up my pace enough to keep her 15 to 20 meters ahead. Eventually she pulled away and I ended up getting caught and passed by Ted Zderic as well, but in all I had a decent bike, nothing like I used to be able to do though… 19.78 mph on a course I’ve averaged 23.9 on before…
Once in T2, I tried to work the quick transition like I used to. It wasn’t too slow and actually got out ahead of Amber Mounday. Wasn’t the best idea as I shortly got passed by her on the run as well. The bike had been slow, but besides the hand while going over bumps, it really hadn’t hurt. The run however was painful, my knees ached and I began to wonder how long I could go before I had to stop and walk. Eventually the pain subsided enough to where I knew I could make it. I was getting passed left and right, but I no longer cared. I knew I was going to finish, something I hadn’t known for sure I would ever be able to do again. I though for sure I would be crying as I crossed the finish line, I choked up several times before I got there. The tears weren’t there but I was crying on the inside as I crossed that line.

My parents had made it to the triathlon and it was nice to see them at the end. We hung out and watched as Nikki came across shortly thereafter.

It was a slow “race” for me, more than 10 minutes slower than the previous year, but I wasn’t complaining. I was back to doing what I loved to do and while I hadn’t done as well as I would have liked, I had finished and left myself plenty of room to improve…

posted at 22:22:00 on 08/24/06 by Tony Rigdon – Category: Race Reports