Not Meant to Bee – 2010 Graham Beasley Olympic Triathlon Report

Good evening folks! I finally took your advice and have been resting and relaxing for the last 6 hours πŸ™‚ Figured I’d better stop that for a bit and finally get this report up. As you can tell from the title I ended up going with the Olympic triathlon that I had signed up for 2 months ago. The main reason for that is the line to change my entry was long and I was worried it wouldn’t happen with enough time to set up for the race. In the end I’m glad I did as during the run it was scorching and couldn’t imagine having to do an extra 11.1km. I’m sure I could have done it but it would have been hot and tough! So I guess I’ll have to wait till next year to try my first Half Ironman. That’s not a bad thing as maybe by then I’ll be able to swim a little better!!

Ok so on to the report……

5:00am…..woke up with a bad cramp in my right calf. I tried to go back to sleep but 15 minutes later I was awake for good. I watched SportsCentre for a while then took a shower to wake up. Today was the first day I got my contacts in on the first try…both eyes! πŸ™‚

6:23am…..leave home for the race. If I hadn’t been running late I would have done the Half Ironman this morning. Instead I was early for my OLY which never really makes me happy as I hate waiting around for over an hour!

7:30am…..get to transition after about a 1/2 mile or more walk from my parking spot. Without knowing it this time I got a spot that wasn’t too bad. It was 4 rows from the bike exit so I wouldn’t have to run with it too much. After dropping my gear I went off in search of my race kit and late entry. Late entry like I said was too slow so gave up. My race kit was actually better than my Half Marathon this year. There was a sample natural nut bar, free gait analysis coupon, a local running magazine, another magazine catering to endurance sports and outdoor adventuring as well as some other coupons that weren’t much good to me

7:45am….walk back to my car as I realized I left the money for my race change and my Garmin in the open on my passenger seat!!!!!! What was I thinking? Luckily it was still there.

8:00am….back in transition I get my gear set up and then go to a local supplement store’s stand to buy 2 clif bars and 3 gels. I chose the chocolate chip Clif bars and the strawberry/kiwi gels. Just before they closed transition I ate one of the clif bars and grabbed my goggles and swim cap for the race.

8:30am….my race started at 8:45am so I spent the next 10 minutes watching the Half Ironman swimmers. One poor guy didn’t make the right turn and had to go all the way back to the turn he missed! Surprising he missed it as their swim was the simplest….go on the outside of all the buoys twice around for 2000m.

8:45am….finally race time! it was an open water start which was more difficult than you’d think. While waiting for the start gun we had to tread water and fight the current to stay behind the start line. Someone(who didn’t race) said later it wasn’t that strong…yeah right! Anyways once we got going I got run over for the first minute because all the fast guys ended up behind me when trying to stay behind that start line.

9:23am…. I felt like the swim went pretty well considering I only trained for it 6 weeks and missed this weeks sessions due to my bike crash. However when I finally stood up to get out of the water I looked at my watch and saw 9:23am. Quick bit of math while running to transition I determined I swam 2 minutes slower than 3 years ago! That wasn’t great but I could deal as it was only 2 minutes and I’m faster on the bike and run this year.

9:26am….after running about 25 metres with my bike to the mount line my watch said 9:26 so I was pretty happy as I shaved a good 40 seconds off my T1 in Barry’s Bay 2 weeks ago. I still feel like I can do better so I’ll have to work on this for the next one. This silly as it seems the point I was a little worried about….would I panic getting back on the bike or would it be just like old times? Luckily it was just like old times! Once I got the new shoes in the pedal straps I was ripping down the road!

Well ripping as fast as I could anyways! After my crash I didn’t really want to deal with the bike till the race. So that meant even after the bike shop fixing it I didn’t try it out to be sure they fixed it right. So a few minutes in I learned for the first time that I couldn’t get into my top rung of gears!!! With all that happened this week it didn’t fry me too much.
I know in training I’ve been in 9th gear and hit 17 mph so figured I’d just be slower and the sub 3 hours was out today.

About 10km in or so my shoe lace got caught in my chain for a second so I had to stop and tuck them in my socks. Or risk another crash πŸ™‚ I knew last night I should have cut them so only myself to blame for the minute or so I lost there!
Once on my way again I started doing calculations in my head trying to figure out when I had to hit the 20km turn around point to give me a shot at being back in T2 in 2 hours. I needed to be there by 10:05am.

10:05am(or so)….I forgot to look at the watch at the turn around but it seemed like I might have a shot at getting back to T2 by 10:45 which would give me 1 hour to run the 10km and possibly break 3 hours. About 5km into the return trip to T-zone something flew into my helmet. I’m like “please don’t be a bee,please don’t be a bee!” Well wouldn’t you know it the damn thing kept crawling deeper into the helmet and then stung me! I had to stop and get it out of my helmet cause then I knew it was a bee or wasp. Sure enough it was a small bee that had stung me. I tried shaking him out of my helmet but he kept holding on! Three more shakes and then popping the helmet with my hand it finally lost its grip and fell out.

It wasn’t long after this that I realized somewhere along the ride I had finally got my top set of gears back. I don’t know when it happened but I was glad I had then and it gave me a boost of confidence. I started reeling in some riders and around 10km left(asked a volunteer) I quickly figured out I’d definitely have a shot at breaking 3 hours but I knew I’d have to run a sub 60 minute 10k.

10:43am….I finally reached the dismount line and ran with my bike back to my T-zone. All I had to do there was rack the bike, undo the helmet and grab my cap so I was out of there quick. When I hit the run exit my watch read 10:43 and change. The run went fairly well at the start especially since I bought new shoes last night and wore them today. I know I shouldn’t have but my old shoes were getting hard on the heels as I believe they’ve lost their cushioning. I bought the new shoes mainly for my marathon training but figured it couldn’t hurt to wear them today.

One thing that is terrible about this race is that there’s NO shade for the run. We all had to deal with it though so I stopped wining and kept running. Since I decided not to wear my Garmin I knew I had to hit each water station within 15 minutes as each was stationed every 2.5km. First water station I hit with 30 seconds to spare and walked it quickly. Just enough to down a full cup of water. The turn around point was hard getting to as it was getting hot out. Well maybe I was getting hotter anyways. After walking through that one as well to drink a Eload drink and water and pouring a second water on my head I realized I needed to make up a minute or so on the way back.

During the return 5k of the run I kept thinking I was glad I didn’t change my entry to the HI. I mean I would have been getting off the bike at noon(ideally) and then would have had to run 1/2 marathon in even hotter temps than I was currently running. I think I will do the HI at this event some time in the future but I’ll be looking for HI events that happen in cooler areas or times of the year.

The third and final water stop meant I had 2.5km to go so made this walking stop even quicker. One water in and one on my head and I was off. With about 12 minutes to go I caught up with the girl in blue that passed me early on the run. I mentioned she kept pulling me along and said we had about 12 minutes to get under 3 hours. She said yeah it was tougher than she though with the heat and that was her goal now. I don’t know about her but running together I thought kept me going at a good clip. The closer we got though I had a suspicion we were going to fall short of breaking 3 hours 😦

When my watch read 11:45 I decided to run it in with her and take my medicine. When we finally could see we had 1-200 metres to go I asked if she wanted to sprint it she said no. I told her I thought she helped me keep going on the run and I’d run in with her at the pace we were going. As we crossed the finish line the clock said 2:45:xx and knew we just missed it. I don’t know why it said what it did as I knew we didn’t finish 15 minutes under 3 hours!

11:46am….I picked up some water and a banana and finisher’s medal then headed for my T-zone. Other than being hot I was fine but that wasn’t going to keep me from my new tradition. I stripped back to my swim trunks, grabbed my goggles(wear contacts now) and went to jump in the river again! I was so hot it felt colder than it did when we first got in this morning. My watch has a temp. feature and during the run it was reading 96-97F the last 5k.

While cooling down some of us were talking about our races and how it went. I relayed the lack of my top gear, the shoe laces and getting stung by the bee. One of them then said “Well you know…it obviously just wasn’t meant to bee!” πŸ™‚ I told him I was stealing that line for my blog. Hence the title of this post. Who noticed the spelling before this?

12:15pm……finally got around to getting my gear ready to go home. It was so hot though I lost interest quickly and went in search of water and food and shade! I ended up talking with a few folks and just relaxing.

12:59pm….I was driving home pretty pleased with my day. I had plenty of opportunity to break 3 hours but in the end most of the reasons I didn’t were my fault. Back in 2007 I did this OLY I did it in 3:04:35 and today I did it in 3:00:52 so I at least PR’d it by shaving 3:43 off it. Sub 3 will happen eventually that’s for sure!

Here’s my stats:
Swim including T1: 40:59….. 75/87
Bike only: 1:17:21…..38/87( very cool being in top half os something….31km/h which equals 19.26mph)
Run including T2: 1:02:32…..(58/87….not bad but will be better….10:05/mile)
Total time: 3:00:52
Category Place: 3rd/5 Clydesdales(3 of 4 in 2007)
Overall Place: 57/87
Gender Place: 41/54

Winner did it in 2:10:33….crazy πŸ™‚

Lessons Learned Today:
1. Swim,swim,swim! 6 weeks isn’t nearly enough for a 1500m swim especially since I hadn’t swam in 3 years πŸ™‚
2. Check your bike out after getting it fixed. Even if you just crashed a few days earlier and don’t want to deal with it!
3. If your shoe laces seem too long the night before…..cut them when you first think that!!!
4. Bees suck πŸ™‚ Nothing I could have done to avoid this…I was just unlucky.
5. Wear your Garmin even if it takes a few seconds more to put on. What’s a few more seconds when you already blew your swim time by 2 full minutes. I think if I had been wearing the Garmin I might have been able to bust off a little better pace for the run and still break the 3 hours even with the other problems.

Ok I think that’s it. I believe I’ve covered everything I could have and maybe even more than some of you wanted to know πŸ˜‰ Hope your weekend went well. I’m off now to haunt as many of your blogs before bed as I can.

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9 Responses to Not Meant to Bee – 2010 Graham Beasley Olympic Triathlon Report

  1. Congratulations! You did a fantastic job πŸ˜€

  2. A BIG Congratulations to you!!!!!!!

  3. Jess says:

    JOHNNNN. You did it you did it! That’s so awesome that you finished the OLY. And you know what? The Half Iron will happen. Just keep training for the swim. Your 3 hour time is crazy good. I can only imagine doing a sprint right now. And uh, that’s if I get a bike (which I will when I move back East).

    Keep it up! This post will help me so much when I start doing my tri. I love race recaps where it’s rather quite detailed so I can learn from it. I almost feel like I was at the race watching you.

    Awesome job buddy!

  4. As someone whose only experience with races is a 5K run that I walked, I’m always so impressed by those willing to take on such challenges. I applaud all of your hard work, even with the issues of shoelaces and bees, etc…you finished. Did you see what happened to Lance Armstrong?

  5. besides the bees and the shoelace, seems like you had a great race! even if swimming pushed you hard. keep up the excellent work!!

  6. Astrid says:

    Congrats! How awesome that you got throught it despite a little bit of bad luck. The bee sting would have left me shaken up. I hate bees. Be very thankful you are not allergic! You must feel invincible right now! And amazing! Great job!

  7. Dean says:

    Congrats on the new PR. Sounds like a lot of fun. I’ve been considering a Triathlon of some sort if I can conquer a marathon.

    • John says:

      Man if you get through your marathon you’ll have no problem with a triathlon. I mean depending on the triathlon distance you choose. But an OLY which I did yesterday or shorter will be no problem once you do the marathon.

  8. Wes says:

    Great job on your race. I know you don’t like to sit around waiting, but there’s a lot to be said for being calm, cool, and relaxed before the race. No hurries, no worries! Yea, that 52 seconds is like a blip in an Oly distance race. No shoe problems or no BEE and you were golden. Keep up the great work, and it will come. Happy tri-ing…

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