Creating a Cycling Family

The Warmup Race – Western Oregon University Spring Tri 4/30/11

In Uncategorized on May 4, 2011 at 3:53 PM

Awesome. That is how I would describe how I feel about my first race. The entire experience was fantastic. From start to finish, I loved race day and I think I can point directly to one thing, the attitudes of the other racers, organizers and volunteers.

In the last few years, I have done my fair share of bike races, and so often the hyper competitive nature of them spoils the fun for me. I’m not going to elbow a guy out of a pace line just to make a wheel. At the Tri this past weekend, there wasn’t even a hint of that kind of racing. Everyone was working hard and loving it. The energy and overall feel of the race was positive and enjoyable. I’m totally hooked.

The race was Saturday, but prep really started the week before. Physically, I made sure to get in a swim, bike and run that week. My legs were feeling great due to a bunch of time off the week before. I was also getting phone calls and e-mails from John regularly with check lists and organizational questions. He really went above and beyond to make my first race an awesome experience. I can’t even begin to thank him for everything. I’m not really sure what I’ve done to keep a friend like this. He is an absolute rock star.

Friday night we had an awesome sushi dinner and I heard the extremely entertaining story of John moving his entire family from Florida to Oregon. Saturday morning we hit the road at 5:45 with plan’s to get there around 7:45. I was feeling super good about the race. A number of friends sent supportive TXT messages to me that certainly eased the nerves. As usual, I had to RUSH to the bathroom right as we got there. John couldn’t help but laugh at me as I almost cried on my way out of the car. Apparently this is my pre-race routine…

We got registered; I setup my transition and headed for the pool right on time. The swim was no problem. If anything the swim was confidence inspiring. I felt relaxed in the pool, and that was awesome. I deliriously came out of the pool and ran towards my bike. Transition was interesting. I tried not to doodle, but I got KILLED in transition. This is clearly something that I need to improve.

On the bike, I felt like a total rock star. The course was hilly and I was on my super light Specialized Tarmac road bike, which just ate it up. I kept myself in the red most of the time and passed almost everyone, including everyone from the first swim heat. I came in 9th overall on the bike and that felt amazing.

Again, transition was difficult for me. “Eric this is so bad” Annette says to me as I’m putting my iPod on. “ It (iPod) was John’s Idea!” I say and she just laugh’s. But she was right; I got killed again in transition. The run was fine, but it just wasn’t fast. I did a 28-minute 5k. Which was fine for me, but it killed me in the race. The great bike time helped but certainly couldn’t overcome my mediocre run.

As I crossed the finish line, I felt awesome. I had given it a great effort and learned so much. My average heart rate was 171, which meant that I had given it everything. I honestly don’t think I could have gone harder and that was very satisfying. In the end I came in 7th out of 15 in my age group and 30th out of 120 overall. I fell very good about that for my first race. I had no expectations so this result far exceeded what I was hoping for.

Now it’s time to focus on the swim, but this time outside. I’ve got to swim ¾ of a mile in a lake at Granite Man. That swim is only a month away, but John’s sure I can do it. I’m not totally convinced, but I’m going to do my best to get there.

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