Monday, September 23, 2013

San Diego TriRock - NOT What I had Planned!

All I can say is WOW!
That is NOT what I had planned.
TriRock San Diego - You may look pretty on the outside, but on the inside you were UGLY!!!!
This was my third year to compete at the TriRock San Diego Triathlon.
I blogged about my last experiences and my goals for this year in my last blog.
I'm just going to lay it out and  tell you that I did not come in the top 5. I came in the bottom 5 of my age group.
And really I am not even sure where I came in at because the swim portion of the triathlon was a total SCREW!!!!
The water looked calm at 6:15 when they kicked us out of transition.
Wave starts were suppose to start at 6:30, but they didn't.
The announcer kept saying something about waiting for the tide to come in.
This picture is of San Diego where the triathlon took place, way back next to the tall buildings in the bay, which you can't see in this picture. See the two dark towers to the left? Keep those in mind because I'll be mentioning them in a while.
Waiting for the tide to come in?
Didn't someone check the high and low tides in the  Farmers' Almanac several months ago when planning this tri?
So about 625 people stood around in their wetsuits waiting for the tide to come in.
Standing at a railing watching the tide come in is about as productive as watching water boil.
Okay, that's boring.
The only interesting thing about standing around waiting was listening to the other triathlete's talk.
Lots of people were anxious (yes, anxious, not eager) to get in the water because they needed to pee.
They all were zipped up in their wetsuits holding it for way longer than they ever expected.
The waiting was torture.
Finally, they had the National Anthem, but it was a recording, and it did not include the words...just the music.
Wait! Isn't this TriRock?
TriRock means music.
They couldn't find ANYONE to sing the National Anthem?
I was still questioning this when the first wave went off.
The first two waves went off okay.
Everyone in a wave had to single-file walk down stairs to the water and then swim about 100 meters to the start buoys.
Around wave 3 the starters weren't waiting for everyone to get to the start buoys. Some people were still swimming from the stairs to the start buoys when the horn went off.
After seeing that happen, I was going to make sure I was one of the first ones down the stairs so I was at the start line when the horn went off.

Then I noticed something strange.
It even made me laugh.
It looked as if the people in wave 3 and 4 did not know how to sight. Swimmers in Wave 1 and 2 seemed to do a great job of staying on track, the swimmers in the next two waves must not have been sighting because most of them were WAY off course.
It wasn't until Wave 6, my wave was in the water that I realized it wasn't them.
It was the current.

The TriRock San Diego Athlete's Guide said there would be buoys every 100 meters.

I swam to the first buoy and then the second buoy and made a right turn to the third buoy.
At the third buoy (which read 500), I grabbed the metal ring underneath it to hold on. Otherwise I would have been swept backwards. I looked at my watch and it said 32 minutes.
It had taken me 32 minutes to swim 500.

I laughed out loud for the second time that morning and told myself this was going to be one long swim.

Then I shoved on and swam and swam and swam and swam.

I was using the two dark towers on my right shoulder to sight off of to see how far I had gone. There was a big white building in front of me that I was using to sight to go forward. I was using the big white building because I couldn't really see the buoys because they were so far away and the waves coming at me kept me from seeing them.

I kept to my motto for the day - Head down, swim on.

After 10 minutes of swimming those two towers had not moved. I was swimming in an endless pool.

I had to really dig in and kick.
Right there you know it was desperation time because I have been taught to swim and barely kick so I can save my legs for the bike and run. But there wasn't going to be a bike or run if I didn't kick.

FINALLY, I got to the next buoy.
But a lot of other people were way off course and the buoy was NOT to the right of their shoulder.
I stopped and asked one of the lifeguards if all those other people were disqualified.
He ignored me.

At one point I breast-stroked and asked the lifeguard if the current was always like this, because it wasn't like this last year.
"People just need to suck it up and swim," she said in a stressed voice.

I did.

There were some swim angels in the water, but their people had all been picked up by the lifeguards and taken in.

Again, I put my head down and swam on.
I was just about to the last buoy to make the turn to come back when a lifeguard told me to cut across and head back.
I told him I was almost to the turn buoy and then I would head back.
He told me that someone in charge had decided the current was way too strong and they didn't want to have to rescue a lot of people so they were telling people to cut across the swim the finish.

I was so close to the turn buoy, I just wanted to get there.
I told him that.
Then the lifeguard boat came by.
They said turn and swim to the other side or else.

Or else what?

Then the swim angel said the sprint was going to start soon and they needed the International distance swimmers finished so they could concentrate on the sprint swimmers.

I have to cut my swim short because they don't have enough lifeguards to man the swim portion?

And where is the band?
There was NO band in the water this year.

Under pressure, I cut about 200 meters off of my swim.
End result - it took me 1:00:58 minutes to swim about 1300 meters.

I have swam an half-ironman swim of 1.2 miles faster than that.

A lot of people were getting out of the water and walking dejectedly into transition.
After all, we had all been cut short.
What did that mean?
One lady in transition had her chip taken from her.
But she was going to bike and run on anyway, even though in the rules it says you can't.

Several of us slowly peeled off our wetsuits and questioned what we were suppose to do now. Stop? Continue on?

That's when my big picture of the screw came out again.


I was just going to finish it off from that point on.

My bike was faster this year by .6 miles an hour even though the course this year had LOTS of turns.

My goal for transition 2 was to change from my bike shoes to my running shoes as quick as could be and grab my hat and hydration belt and run out of transition.

I was 22 seconds faster than last year.
(and I did talk to a lady in transition who was still upset about getting her chip taken away from her after the swim...but I talked while I grabbed stuff and then turned and ran).

My run was 3 minutes 31 seconds FASTER this year.

All in all ,I walked away okay.

That's a lie!
I walked away frustrated about the entire triathlon

It was a rip-off that they made me cut out part of my swim.
I went back and looked at the Athlete's Guide and it said that the course cut off time was 9:40 a.m.
By the time my wave went off it was probably about 7:20ish a.m. By the time the lifeguard told me to cut the course (OR ELSE) it was probably about 8:10 a.m.
In the guide it says the sprint swim starts at 8:20 a.m. - I think they were hurrying to get the last wave through so they would have enough lifeguards for the sprint. Plus it would have been a huge mess for people exiting and entering at the same place. I am calling BAD planning.

Transition was okay, but where were the great boxes we had last year? Last year, everyone had their own transition area box with their name on it.
This year it was just a rack after rack of squished in bikes.

The bike course this year was horrible.
It was the worse triathlon bike course I have EVER rode my bike on.
It was touted as a ride along the San Diego coast line, flat and fast with great views of the harbor and a rare change to ride on board 32nd street Naval Base.

I couldn't look up to see any of that which is mentioned above. I was too busy watching the road for turns, manholes,  steam coming out of the road, potholes reflective speedbump moons and water bottles that were lost by those riding over the horrible road.

I am not going to bitch about the run.
It was the same except for a few minor difference.

But I am going to complain about this - there were NO bands.
Not one.
This is Tri ROCK!!!!!
As in Rock-n-Roll!!!!
Which means Bands!!!
You can't have a TriRock without Bands!!!

But they did.

They took my money for TriRock and didn't have one band.
That just makes this triathlon the same as all the other triathlons, only this one has a questionable swim course and a horrible bike course.

I was RIPPED OFF!!!!



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