Monday, June 9, 2008


First off, sorry about the long race report in the prior post. I looked at how long that post was and thought it should have been shorter, but that would take more work than I feel like putting in to it in order to edit it down without losing most of what I wanted to say.

I get hung up on numbers constantly. Admittedly I was a little bummed to finish 25th out of 33 in my age group at the Viking Man. In order to make myself feel better I turned to numbers.

Again here is how I did Saturday:
Overall, all Finishers: 122/207 or as a percentage, 58.9% (where 100% equals last place)
Overall, Men: 96/135, 71.1%
Age Group: 25/33, 75.7%

Looking at those numbers I got a little bummed. In the back of my head I had hoped to be nearer to mid pack in both my age group and among all men. I mean, sure my age group was probably the most loaded out of any, but I still would have thought I would have been at least average after all this flipping training.

But then I decided to look at last years results.

Spudman Olympic Distance Triathlon, my first triathlon at the end of July last year.
Overall, all finishers: 887/1125, 78.8%
Overall, men: 620/711, 87.2%
Age Group: 124/134, 92.5%

Scoggins Valley Sprint Triathlon
Overall, all finishers: 97/172, 56.3%
Overall, men: 60/77 77.9%
Age group: 9/11, 81.8% (I was registered as a clyde, but this is where my place would have been if I had been registered instead in my age group.)

At first glance there doesn't seem to be much difference. My overall percentage was best at last year's Scoggins race. However, at Vikingman my place among men and my age group was a bit better and much better than at Spudman. It sort of looks like there is an upward trend here. So I felt a bit better.

Then I realized something else, at Vikingman there weren't any fakers. Fakers? Yes, those people that are in good enough shape to do a triathlon even though they have done little training. I am proof that you can fake even an olympic distance tri. About 11 weeks prior to Spudman I had to have an emergency appendectomy. That knocked me out for almost 3 weeks. Then with studying for the bar exam I wasn't able to get in as many hours as I would have liked. Then with 5 weeks to go I got one of the worst cases of Bronchitis I have ever had. I wasn't able to jog 20 feet with hacking up pieces of lung. Then with about 5 days to go it went away. Even with all that I finished the race. And I wasn't even last. A half ironman distance is just too long to fake. Thus, the type of person that I beat at last year's Spudman and Scoggins races was not likely to be racing at the Vikingman. And sure enough just about everyone racing was skinny and looking like they were in great shape.

So the fact that most of my percentages improved over last year is a testament to a lot of training. I had to walk about 2 miles of last years Spudman and my cycling is definitely stronger than at Scoggins. Swimming has definitely improved too. In all I am much stronger all the way around than I was last year. If I had been in an olympic distance tri I am sure that there would have been more fakers, or at least more people at least as overweight as I.

I also wonder how I will do for cross this coming fall. I plan to ride a bunch this summer so that I can be in a good position to improve over prior years. I would like to do well enough to race Master B's and not be DFL. That is a little presumptuous, but you gotta aim high.

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