oregon adventures

Monday, May 29, 2006

Onionman Triathlon

Drove over to Walla Walla on Saturday to do the Onionman Tri on Sunday. Saturday afternoon when I arrived, met up at packet pickup with my friend Kevin, Steve K (from the St Helens ride) with his family, and a really pretty girl from the base, Sandy and her sister Jennifer. Packets weren't ready so we decided to go to dinner first and come back. I asked a woman for recommendations and she said there was an Applebee's and a local place named Homestyle. We opted for the local one and got two booths, looked at the prices ($19 lowest entree) and promptly left for Applebee's. Had a really nice dinner and talked to Sandy the whole time. It was her and Steve K's first tri's, although Sandy has run 8 marathons each in a different western state. The next morning proved to be cold (50's), but dry. Helped Sandy with her setup and then we walked down to the water and we both started to get a little jittery, but then the horn went off and it was time to go. I've been doing low 30 minutes for 1500 in the pool, so I thought with a wet suit I should be able to equal that. I haven't had my wetsuit on since last year in a race, so I had forgotten how it makes my back bow and I have trouble putting the face in the water right away. But I fought through that and stayed with a big group around one lap and most of the second lap, but then they dramatically pulled away. I didn't feel I had changed speed, but I guess I ran out of steam and came out of the water at 39:58- I was so disappointed. It was my best Olympic distance swim ever, but only by 1 1/2 minutes and I was hoping for 35 minutes at the slowest. Onto the bike and I started out fast then hit a fierce headwind and slowed to 12-14 which is horrible, but still passed tons of people. About a 1/2 mile before the turnaround I saw Kevin coming the other way and then shortly saw Sandy. I thought I could catch them, but even zooming with the wind to my back, I could feel I didn't have it today. Finally rolled in with a 17 average, the worst average in a race in a couple of years. As I put my running shoes on Sandy left to start her run, so I yelled encouragement and hurried to try and catch her. She said she has a high 8 running pace, so I thought I might be able to catch her and took off full-tilt. I could see her for awhile and then she was out of sight and at mile 1 my watch said 8:12. Whoa, I could beat 3 hours if I run like this. At mile 2 it said 14 something- then before the turnaround at 3 miles I highfived Sandy, she wasn't that far ahead. At the turnaround my watch said 22 something- the fastest 3 miles ever I think, but slowing to go around the cone took something out of me and I hit 4 miles at a little over 30 minutes. The fastest 4 miles ever- and then my body said that's enough. First I had to pee really bad, so I found a bush and started back up a little slower and then a lot slower and then a slight hill that I walked the last part of and crossed the 5 mile at 44- a 14 minute mile? I think the mile markers were off. Started back up and had nothing left- somehow kept running to the end and came in at 3 hours 7 minutes, 12 minutes faster that last year and the run was 54:06 17 seconds off a personal best for 10K for an 8:43 pace and 12 minutes faster than last year. Of our group, I was last- Steve came in at 2:37, Sandy at 3:00 and Kevin at 3:04. Sandy finished with a 7:47 run pace and I was keeping up with her for 3 miles, maybe that's the trick- have a pretty girl to chase! Overall, I was very disappointed in this race- poor conditioning and a lack of open water training did me in. My time was actually good for me, but it could easily have been under 3. Oh well, more structured training needed. Afterwards, they had a lunch so Sandy waited in line with me for the food and then she took off. Then a long 4 1/2 hour drive back to Portland, but very pretty with green hills and brown hills and the Columbia river.


  • Sounds like a great time Jeff! New friends and good race. Congrads!!

    By Blogger Deb, at 10:12 PM  

  • Congrats! Sounds like a good learning. Good to have friends at the race and feed off the energy.

    By Blogger Papa Louie, at 7:28 AM  

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