The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Monday, September 19, 2005

Racing with the Super Friends 

Yesterday I was in my 3rd Devil's Challenge triathlon. It is probably the toughest race I do all year, as the bike leg is very challenging with several difficult climbs. Last year I did it in 1:41:01.0 which was 19 minutes faster than the first year I did it. This year I was telling people I would be happy if I just took 2 minutes off my last year's time, but was secretly hoping for 5. Well... I did it this year in 1:36:54.0, so I took off a little bit more than 4 minutes... which is good enough for me.

I had my second best swim in any race which I'm happy with. It could have been better though had the water been higher. The swim leg goes out away from shore just a short distance, then the majority of it is parallel to the beach. We actually had to run to the first turn, then could swim, then had to run from the second turn back to the shore. Running in the water from the second turn was really hard after swimming, and we all ended up walking it in the thigh deep water. Had I been able to swim closer into shore, my time would have been even better. Things were made worse by the fact that you could still stand in the water at any time, and people in front of me kept doing that. So I'd be set in a rhythm, then boom, would swim into someone's back.

The bike leg was just as challenging as always. I actually do pretty well on the climbs... in fact I'm an extremely good climber for my overall skill level. I just need to work more on my descents, and my recovery after a climb so I can keep up the pace better. I tend to pass a lot of people on the climbs, only to have them pass me back on the descents. Mostly it's just nerves at high speed. I purposefully kept my tires at a slightly lower pressure than normal so that things felt less squirrelly on the down hills, and I think it worked. But I was still freaked out on the long decent on the back of the course when I was hitting 35 mph. A lot of people go much faster than that.

I had a pretty good run, but not astounding. It was just solid. My only problem was I ended up pacing myself behind someone who ended up slowing down a bit at the end, and I didn't pass by soon enough when I realized I had the energy. I could have cut off another 30 seconds or more if I just kicked it into gear sooner in the last mile. Oh well.

Nick, what about the Super Friends? Oh right... funny story. There is a relay division in most races, including this one. There was one relay team this year that came in costume. The swimmer came as Batman. He drew a bat symbol on his chest, attached little bat ears to his swim cap and had a small cape. The runner came as Super Girl. She had the full costume on with cape, and covered her running shoes with thigh high red boots. The biker... well... the biker was a complete idiot. He came as Mr. Incredible... complete with a full body muscle suit. Did I mention that it was in the upper 70's and sunny? Did I also mention that there are 4 or 5 really technical climbs? I was in Wave 3, and the relay teams were in Wave 2. I passed Mr. Incredible on the first climb, as he was walking up it, already exhausted after only a mile and half of biking.

I'll post pictures when they're available.

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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.


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