Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A short OWS report, and some random pictures.

They say they are worth a thousand words... in that case this should be a LOOOONNNNNGGGG blog. I'm often quite a bit late transferring pictures from camera to computer (long story) after races, so I generally end up with one or two that get thrown up on the blog and then a mass of them that just sit in limbo. I thought it'd be fun to share some of my favorites this week. So without further fiddling around, on to the glamour shots.

Looking like a total D-bag in 2012. Thanks Armani sunglasses...

I've always loved this picture. It just totally says everything about an early race morning. This was Augusta 2011, the first stab at the 70.3 distance and one of my better executed races ever. Still remember this morning like it was yesterday.

The 2001 sitting in transition. Hopefully this was taken in T2 and NOT in T1, otherwise I'm going to feel really bad for posting this. I swear I'm not THAT bad of a swimmer.

Coming out of the water in Augusta 2012. I'm not sure how I had a "so-so" swim at Augusta, but I managed it. The pink cap must have put some bad voodoo on me.

My Second Criterium race, which is both exhilarating and scary.  I managed to end this one in second place after I missed the final move. Still have a lot of work to do with my tactics I suppose.

Before the start (and the start of all the troubles) at the Smokin' the Water tri. I added a shoe lace on the zipper of my Xterra swimskin despite it having an "easy open" system because it's tough to get it open with my bum collarbone. 

After taking my DNF at Smokin' the Water (A motorist hit a rider in front of me and I stopped to do what I could until the real help arrived.) I stuck around and cheered everyone else on... and hey, I looked fabulous, right?
The CAAD set up for sprint tri's. Blasphemy or not, it's a blast to ride.
Finding the right tilt for the aerobars was crucial in getting as fast as possible at A2.

Warming up and taking in some last minute nutrition. I always like to get a little something in 15-20' before the start. My goggles (Tyr Spec Ops) match my BT kit almost perfectly.
Out on a Sunday group ride, you get a perfect shot of my butt :)
Trying to get out of T1 at Augusta. If you look really close you can see my fancy S-Works Trivents and my "new" position from A2 Wind Tunnel.
Sometimes drastic measures have to be taken to get a run in. Here I'm drilling into my big toe to get some relief from a black toenail. Hope you weren't eating anything...
The Planet X as it was set up in early 2012 (Pre-A2) I normally don't ride any front but an H3 on it, but wanted to try out my Jet9 for this particular race. You can also see the excellent Simkins Egg brake on the front.
A picture from a Sunday ride of how beautiful it is here.
I guess a good old country boy is all I'll ever be.
Nothing but open road and a view to ride for.
At the Open Water Swim race last weekend. Here I'm watching the 2 milers start from the dock. With a long run to do later in the day, I decided to "only" do the 1 mile.
Resting before the start of the swim. I need my beauty sleep after all. And yes, that's a sweet Tiger towel I'm laying on.
In the water hanging out. For once it wasn't freezing cold in an OWS!

Getting a bit more crowded in the water. The girl on the far left in the yellow cap is an absolute ANIMAL in triathlons (and swimming) She destroyed us, which is awesome.

While I may not have a swimming pedigree to my credit, I did spend most of my twenties (and a good part of my teenage years as well) in East Tennessee bars. I credit my comfort with the "melee" at the beginning of open water swims to that.
Doing my best "model" pose. That is, if you can model a speedo with cycling tan lines, a jacked up scar on your shoulder and a terrible case of raccoon eyes.  Oh well, at least I'm not terribly embarrassed to wear the speedo.
 //// Open Water Swim - 1 mile \\\\
I looked at this event as a fun little chance to get some open water swimming in. The guy who put it on is a super nice fellow, and he's been wanting to put on a swim for a while, but of course open water swims are tough to get a lot of people to do, since "real" swimmers usually stick to the pool and triathletes as a rule (ok, maybe not a rule, but definitely a stereotype) are generally just duathletes who "survive the swim." Nonetheless, he was able to get around 50 people to show up for the 1 and 2 mile swims. The course was a 1/2 mile loop that we repeated (with a short run up onto the ramp and then back into the water.) until the distance was finished. I signed up for the 1 mile race as I also had a 10 mile run scheduled for the day and I didn't really want to start it after racing 2 miles in the water.
After the 2 mile race finished it was time for us 1 milers to get wet and warm up. Altogether I believe there were about 20 of us. I lined up forward middle due to the smaller group, hoping to get away pretty quick. At the gun I get melee'd pretty good for about 2 minutes until the "rush" drops away. After that I never found myself near another swimmer... I did my best sighting, but ended up with the sun directly in my eyes a good portion of the way out. I kept getting the feeling I was not taking the shortest line from buoy to buoy. At the halfway point I came out at nearly 15 minutes!! Yikes. That's not on pace at all!
The second lap was uneventful other than my goggles digging in just a bit too tightly. I make the turn buoy and see another cap a little bit behind me, so I turn up the pace to make it back to shore in a terribly unexciting 32 minutes. I certainly should have been well under 30 minutes (was looking for 26-28 beforehand) so I would definitely call it a sketchy finish. Nonetheless, I was 1st place in the age group and 5th overall. I assume a slightly longer course mixed with the out of water walk between laps and my poor sighting are the cause. I really need to get in the water a bit more frequently overall, but especially outside of the pool.  Nonetheless, it was a good training day.

Well, thanks for checking out the pictures and listening to my lame excuses for a slow swim last weekend :)

I've got a weekend without racing coming up, and then my first Omnium at the end of the month. Hopefully I'll have a little review up next week and with any luck a successful race report the next week!

As always, thanks for reading

- Christopher Morelock

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