Sun, 18 Sep 2005

Pinedo triathlon 2005

Again, I signed up for Pinedo when I should have not. Just like last year.

My triathlon season has ended being a complete fiasco, after many months of trying to convince and motivate myself about training. But right now, the magic is gone. Whatever got me up at 6AM to go swimming, or got me to stay at home on Friday night just to be ready for early cycling on Saturday is not there anymore, and I've gradually lost all my motivation to train for the competitions.

This year I got my license very late, in May, just before signing up for the Valencian Olympic triathlon. I thought that maybe getting a license would get me in. After València, I did another triathlon in Bétera sometime around June. And then, nothing. Nothing meaning not a single kilometre of cycling, not a single metre swimming. I went running a few times over the summer, but that was it.

Pinedo is the last triathlon of the season, and as I didn't manage to finish last year I guess I wanted to get rid of that bad record even in my lowest times. As my physical condition is quite critical (remember?) and I have lost all the muscle I developed during the last two years, I wanted to make something different out of this tri.

Our team is called Komando Club de Triatló, or simply "El Komando" as people are starting to say. There's a long story behind the name, it's not about we being army enthusiasts -actually, all the contrary-, so I thought that if others in the team didn't care about the result, we could do some "show" with the race.

I proposed dressing up as real army men, with camouflage painting on our arms and faces, and wearing plastic combat helmets and machine guns on the running segment. The idea only got support from a few people... who weren't going to run anyway, so I had to prepare to do a real race.

After spending way too many hours collecting all my triathlon equipment here and there, and fixing my bycicle last night, I woke up at 6:45 to get ready. Today, Brande, my sister's boyfriend and the guy who lead our fantastic week in Rjukan faced his first triathlon. I picked him up a bit late according to our schedule, and set off for Pinedo, which is just across Turia's new course outside the city, near the deadly harbour.

We parked the car just a few minutes past 8, not so late in the end, and after the usual ritual of getting our number cards, swimming cap and everything else for the competition, we got inside boxes, as I tried to explain Brande what are the very obvious reasons for disqualification in a triathlon, and hoping not to forget something that would get him in trouble.

The sea, after yesterday's storm, was pretty rough... perfect start for a beginner. With not much warning, the triathlon started and in a few seconds I quickly got all the nice memories of what the swimming segment is all about. Not having completed the first 200 metres, I already had got kicked hard on my face, run over (literally!) by someone who was swimming nearly in the opposite direction, my swimming goggles displaced twice, my eyes full of salty water and had a few good gups of water. With the sensation that I'd be in the last group in the water, I finished the 750 metres, and ran to boxes.

Surprisingly, there were many bycicles in there, so it probably wasn't so bad given my condition. On the road, I tried to connect to a pack ahead of me, but prompty gave up thinking I'd pay the effort later on. And I did anyway, when exiting a roundabout, I tried to speed up to keep up with the two guys in front of me, and my calf got stiff as a rock, before completing the first 10 kilometres. I had to stop cycling to stretch a bit as the pain was way too much, and Brande came from behind in a big pack and overtook me. At that point, with 10 kilometres to go still, I was more than ready to give up, and while I tried to make up my mind, I found myself on the final lap, without any other calf problems.

Running was supossed to be the easiest, being only 5 kilometres, but my legs weren't working too well. The first lap was horrible, and I'm not too looking forward to see my mark for that... But as I kept going on, my legs started to get the idea and I managed to get better and better, doing a quite ok third and final lap, where I managed to overtake Brande, who had been a few minutes ahead of me or so, just 50 metres away from the finish line, and we crossed the line together.

In the end, quite a positive experience despite my final time, a pretty unimpressive 1:25h. Brande said he had liked the race and the atmosphere surrounding it a lot, and is probably thinking about doing more next season.

For me, this is useful to realise how far I am from the best Jordi back in May 2004. Trying to go back to that state is the only way I think I can get the "magic" back to do some decent season for 2006. But it may be too late. I've been thinking and thinking about new goals for my sport activities, which would allow me to concentrate on running and get rid of the cycling and swimming training pressure. We'll see how it goes in the next months.