Los Angeles Triathlon Club
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Club Member: John Roesch
Race: Carpenteria: My Newbie Experience
Distance: Sprint
Race Date: 09/28/08
Submit Date: 10/05/08

Ok- Here is a LONG newbie perspective on my first full Tri ( I had done the Sprint at Hansen Dam, bike this year). Getting up at 3am to shower up and wait for my tennis partner, Pat Johnson, my thoughts were focused on my left calf. I had woken up the previous day, screaming in pain, with a charlie horse the size of Montana, that took 5 minutes of pounding by my wife to get out. It was sore as heck. But, it did take my mind of of "race jitters" . Pat showed up and off we went through the fog driving from Simi Valley. I thought man, will it be like this up at Carp? Anyway. we arrived in time to get a good parking spot and thank goodness Mike McDonough ( one of our two tri mentors ) told me to bring a headlamp flashlight. Pat and I cruised over to registration and he got squared away and we go to the transition area. Yikes, the rows seemed to go on forever. Got a good rack space and the incredible energy process began. As the sun was rising people were setting up and saying "hi" and I began to feel that this will be special. Time to wetsuit up and get a "wedgie " from Marc Borden, another teammate, so my Zoot suit will not cut off any more oxygen to my brain than it has too. Time to mozie on down to waters edge and stick my face in the water to let the body know that this unnatural act IS natural for a traiathelete. Now, I thought I would go back to the transition area and grab half a goo, but realize that there are swimmers in the water-OMG-the race has started!. I walk down to the water start area and saw my wife and Pat's wife and immediately took my pink cap off, I mean, a guy has to have standards ( there is only one photo of me with it on before the race). I see David Lauletta( our other Tri-mentor ) and his wife snapping pictures and I ask him, " Why isn't he in the race?( he was going to do the Olympic ). He told me he had injured himself in training the week before-but he knew it was my first full Tri and he wanted to be here to cheer me on. Holy Cow, I thought right then and there, Man., I can eat Kyrptonite and still feel good!. OK- racers ( in pink caps ) 5 seconds 4, 3 , 2 1- GO. Off into the surf I go and it wasn't as "crazy" as I thought it would be. Out to the first foggy bouy and next thing you know- WHAM, on my right arm stroke I hit a woman who was coiming up behind me and she starts screaming at me. I apologized and kept moving. Now I hear the David Lauletta mantra in my head. " Your head is the prow of a boat cutting gracefully through the water " Yeah, I'm feeling it- stroke, stroke, stroke and then BAM- Opps, I hit the lifeguard surfboard with my "prow" head. Guess I'll have to sight more- :) . Ok I see bubbles in front of me and "feel" a swimmer. I drafted for him five minutes. Cool, I could have put my feet up and smoked a cigar it felt so easy. Around the second bouy and head for home remembering Gina Greco's swim admonishment- this is the time to pee. So I am trying and trying and I guess I was so excited and well, no joy. Out of the water and feel for the zipper, where the heck is that damn thing. Opps, my wife is watching- gotta look good, just run by fast and worry about the wetsuit later. Start into T1 and finally get the thing down and arms around my waist. Find my spot easily ( I mean, how many had the special Rinse-N-Ride mini pool for their feet ) and now enter the slow motion wormhole that is created when you take yout wetsuit off. I am dizzy and cursing this stupid thing- finally get it off and sit down to put on socks. Did I just count 8 bikes go by out of the corner of my eye with their bike shoes already clipped on? Note to self- DO THAT next time ( and practice it and Yes I was advised to do it, but like everything else in life. It doesn't pertain to me unless I experience it :) Remenber that goo I did not have before the start? Well, the whole UNTORN goo is sitting in my Bento Box and I am trying like crazy to open it- while riding-. OK finally get it open and squeeze just a little and gabloosh- it squirts all over my beard. Not wanting to waist it and needing it, I slathering my hand with it and started licking it off. Well- the look on the course volunteer who saw me do this was sheer sci-fi horror so I stop immediately and use half a water bottle to rinse my face off. Whew- got a good cadence and find that the coastal air has fogged up my glasses so much that I can hardly see a thing- Well, I can look as cool as Lance- I'll put them on my helmet. Remember the angel and devil that appear on opposite shoulders in cartoons when a decision needs to be made? The angel said nicely, you have not practiced that- and the devil says Come on- he is just puttin em up on his helmet fer Chris ssake. And. you guessed it- off the sunglasses go and yes I stop and go get em. I'll just suffer through. Into T-2 and felt good, unlike T1- where I felt had gone through the Halldron Collider. Shoes on and out. Now, this is my weakest-read slowest event. EVERYONE passed me. Okay, I just keep pushing and we go through a neighborhood and darned if there isn't a five year old girl out by her malbox giving five to the runners. Man that energized me. Go to the turnaround and spot a Porta-Johonny and paid the price for not using the ocean before. I am literally watching my watch, tappiing my feet, and finally out the door and as I neared the finish line a runner came up behind and said "Way to go LATRI " and I said Hey, this is my first! He slowed and paced with me a bit and said he was happy and proud of me. Man- there are NO other people like tri people. I felt great coming into the finish chute and gave my wife a big hug- FINALLY- I am one of you!!! It was SO COOL- see you soon! John "not so newbie" Roesch

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