Houston Multisport Coaching



Posted by benproko on October 28, 2012 at 8:15 PM

Take a look at the picture and sing with me- “One of these things is not like the others. Which one is different? Do you know?” Okay…enough Sesame Street. But you hopefully guessed T2 (Transition 2- from bike to run). Going from the 11th fastest transition to 350th tells you that something is seriously wrong. Take this and learn from my mistake:

It was cold race morning- really cold! Forty-three degrees to be exact! It was wet suit legal- hence my faster than usual swim (yes, that was faster than usual- stop laughing Michael Phelps). The water was actually pleasant. I felt comfortable. However, getting out of the water was an instant breath taking shock of cold. I received assistance with the removal of my wetsuit and bolted into transition. Barely dried off my feet (mistake #1), jumped into my bike shoes (without socks-mistake #2), and took off (without arm warmers, cycling jacket, or gloves- mistake #3, #4, & #5). I considered putting on garments to keep me warm, however I chose not to because I was concerned it would take too much time. (Doubt it would have taken me 6 minutes- Ha!)

Riding the bike in the cold was not terribly miserable- I was in race mode and did not pay much attention to the chill (odd I know). I did notice, about 15 minutes into the bike, it was difficult to grip and shift the gears with my ungloved hands. As the bike went on, it became increasingly more difficult to shift. Toward the end, I could barely clutch the brakes. Also, I had to wave bye-bye to the flying dismount because I could not grasp the Velcro on my bike shoes. But I did, fortunately, receive assistance from a nice gentleman in transition on unfastening my helmet. Then I had to sit down and claw my bike shoes off because my fingers were still in the same frozen grasp I had of my aerobars. By this time I knew what dilemma lied ahead- putting on my perfectly laced running shoes!

With one finger tugging on the heel and the other hand pulling up on the tongue, I can slip my foot into my running shoes quickly and take off. However, this morning, my fingers could not tug or pull on a stick of cotton candy if I wanted them to. Nor, could I tell where my toes were in relation to the shoe. Oh the mixed emotions I encountered. My swim and bike went so well! Was it all about to go down the tubes because of my stupid decision not to take the time to put on something as simple as socks or gloves? I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time. I was frustrated, and overwhelmed with helplessness. I slipped my feet in as far as they would go (half way) and shuffled toward the “run out” exit. I saw the Bike World Crew just outside of transition. With a “dear in the headlights” expression I attempted to explain my dilemma. They gave me a “sorry I cannot help you” look, took pictures and laughed…I, of course, laughed with them- as that was all one could do to keep light in the situation. I turned and shuffled closer to the exit- still trying to figure out what I was going to do. I encountered a volunteer in transition near the exit and asked her to help me put my shoes on- haha! What a sweet, and patient woman she was! Her hands were partially numb but working better than mine. It took a lot of effort and she was wishing she had brought a shoe horn. Jennifer, a teammate of mine, ran out of transition and stopped when she saw me. As a damsel in distress would have spoke of the situation, I explained to her quickly. I will never forget her baffled expression and the way she hesitated- makes me laugh every time I picture her face! Classic! I could tell she wanted to help, but she didn’t know how and also remembered- it was a race! Haha!

Anyway, SIX MINUTES LATER (I could have completed a mile in that time), I made it out! And had an amazing run (Go figure- I had a nice 6 minute recovery before taking off). So, lesson learned, sometimes it pays off to take the time to take care of the seemingly minor needs in transition- especially when there are extreme weather conditions! Wear your socks and gloves my friends…wear your socks and gloves!


Categories: Tips from the Coaches

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