Sunday, August 12, 2018

TBF Tri-for-Real (Troy)

Date/Location:8/12/18 Rancho Seco Park
Distances:1.5 kmS, 40 kmB, 10 kmR

2:17:33 (25:29 - 01:09:25 - 42:39)

Place: 2nd / 10th o/a

Our annual trip to Rancho Seco for kids races and Olympic Distance Triathlon.  After I warm up on the bike a little, I get to watch Anna and her friend, Ruth, race the Kid’s Triathlon.  It’s Ruth’s first tri and she seems to be enjoying it a lot.  I see Anna take off on the bike about 6 back. 

I warm up running, use the far restroom which is always less busy and put my wetsuit on. 

Then I get to see Anna transition to the run at the same time as the girl that won the race last year.  Very exciting!

My race is about to start but from the lake area I can see Anna in the distance in 1st place coming down the final stretch with last year’s winner a ways back.  I see her pointing and looking to God, giving Him the glory for the fortunate race.  I’m cheering but she can’t hear me from here.  Would love to give her a hug at the finish line but I have to race and remember to give God the glory for my results as well!

The water is very warm.  I get a little warm-up in.  Friends, Keith Hansen and Dave Campbell are in my 40-and-over wave.

I think about my pace.  I haven’t swam much so I’ll need to be smart and look for drafts.  I have a new bike setup which I like so that should be good.  My running training has been inconsistent  which has causes some achilles pain so I’ll try to run shorter/quicker steps.  But the biggest advantage will be to listen to God, give Him 100% effort and give Him the glory.


Go!  It’s always a wide straight shot to the first buoy and easy sighting.  I find the a draft (thank you, Lord).  Around the buoy and now the sun is in our eyes.  Little chaotic for a while but I settle in and try to keep my breathing controlled.  I think about feeling myself move through the water.  My draft slows down so I go side-to-side.  Now I take the challenge to get to the final turn first.

After the final buoy it’s a long straight shot in and I’m working hard to stay ahead of the guy that was my draft.  We go back and forth.  Getting close to shore, lungs pounding, I try to gather my thoughs about transition…

Stand up, find zipper, rip, 1 arm, 2 arms, down, down, kick, kick.  Suit is off, stop Garmin, goggles, cap, and run to my bike.

180812 TBF Tri-4-Real (31)

It’s great seeing my family cheering for me.  I tell Anna I saw her win.  I have a good transition and am off on the bike.


Everything goes well heading out of the park.  I wonder where Keith and Dave are.  On the main road I know I need to get into a comfortable groove.  The wind is slightly at our back. The road is good.  It’s smooth sailing and I shift into a faster gear.  When my legs start burning a little I know I have to shift up and find just the right gear.  But my shifter is loose and keeps shifting down to a harder gear.

Everything else on the bike is working, although my seat is a little too low.  But, surprisingly, this new “auto-shifting” situation is really impeding my ability to go fast.  I feel strong enough but the guys around me are pulling ahead.  One-by-one they get by me and move out-of-reach.  I stay positive, hoping I’ll have a good ride back and catch them. 

But the shifting gets worse.  It shifts unexpectantly which causes me to not push so hard in fear of slipping a gear. I ride in the small chainring and 2nd cog which seems to stick.  Everything else is iffy.

At the turn-around, I see Dave Campbell a 1/2 mi behind me.  He’s riding well.  The wind is in our face now which makes everything harder.  It’s a struggle but I keep optimistic, forever in search of the perfect gear combination and seat position to make my tires hum and gain ground and those ahead.

I’m so glad to see the turn at the old nuclear towers which means I’m almost done and my burning legs can do something different.  I see my family at the corner and smile calmly but Ariel is yelling something at me that seems important. 

180812 TBF Tri-4-Real Bike Dave Troy

As I get ready to dismount at transition, Dave flies by, jumps off his bike and gets to T2 first.  Wow, this race just go really interesting!

I also jump off and do my fastest change, loosing a bike shoe in the process.  As I put on my running shoes, I tell Dave, right next to me, “good job”.  But he’s out in a flash.  Thanks to stretch laces.  While I yank my strings and squeeze lace-locks.  I hear the announcer say, “Troy’s slow transition is really giving Dave a lead”.  But quickly I’m bolting onto the run course, knowing I’ve got serious work to do.


180812 TBF Tri-4-Real Run Start Troy

Dave is 7 secs ahead!  And he’s a faster runner than me.  But anything is possible.  The Lord has shown me that many times.  Always have hope.  This is a blessing in the sense that Dave & I enjoy racing each other and it pushes us so well because we know each others’ strengths.  Whatever I would’ve clocked on the run, it’s going to be faster now.  I’m going to do everything I can to catch him and Dave knows it. 

One of Dave’s strong points is downhills.  His long legs really fly.  And there’s a lot of rollers on this hot dirt road.  I’ve also learned the benefits of the downhill and I focus on letting myself fall forward on each one.  It hurts the quads but they can take the punishment.. it’s really mental. 

Mile 1: 6:46. I see my friend, Cliff, working the aid station and he gives me 2 cups.  I need to drink a lot and eat Bloks as well. 

I’m running fast, hamstrings and achilles are holding up, it’s very tiring but it’s also very fun.  I talk to the Lord and He puts a smile on my face.  If I can give Him 100% and be joyful, I will win His race for me… and then I’ll see how my race turns out.

Mile 2: 6:48. A benefit of having someone fast that you really want to catch is that it pulls you past other runners as well.  I’m pushing every downhill and “rev’ing” up my cadence on the uphill.  But Dave is pulling ahead.

Mile 3: 6:45. He’s about 45secs ahead at the turn-around!  That’s ok, anything can happen, just keep pushing.

When we get to the single-track section I feel I have an advantage.  It’s twisty, hot, mentally tough.. but I remind myself that I love this part. 

Mile 4: 7:04. Despite my legs hurting now, I push harder.  Each bridge crossing I hope is the last one, but they keep coming. 

Mile 5: 6:59. Finally, I’m back on the fireroad and I can see Dave 150 yds ahead.  Gotta push.  Maybe he’s finally getting tired.

The last climb I give it all I’ve got and race into the park area.  I don’t even see Dave, it may be that me eyes aren’t even open, I’m just trying to give my best.  I see friends cheering and I smile. 

Mile 6: 7:06.  I sprint all the way to the finish.  Perhaps Dave slowed a little at the end because surprisingly I finish only 6 secs behind him!  Gaining 1 sec on him in 6.2 miles  Smile 

180812 TBF Tri-4-Real (54)180812 tri-4-real (3)

Wow, it was such a good race and I thank my friend, Dave, for pushing me to the best run I could do that day.  I thank the Lord for creating scenarios that push me.  He is the best coach and allows me to have such great memories like this.