Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My 2011 Race Season is Finally Here!

Hi Everyone,

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  The weather here in Atlanta was great, and evidenced by the numerous people out and about trying to escape the cabin fever that was this past winter.  I did just over 10 miles on Saturday for my last long run before the Publix Georgia Half Marathon this coming weekend, and then on Sunday I did a bit over 26 miles on the new bike (Silver Comet Trail).  I need to figure out a way to get my RunningAhead Training Log to post to my Facebook page.  Anyone know how to do that?  I am gonna eventually have my training log on one of the static page links at the top of my blog.  Speaking of which.... I guess you guys/gals have seen my new blog static pages that I have started :)  Still slower than I would have liked, but that is also due to grad school (stupid grad school!!!!)

The "About Me" page has the ABC's of me listed, so if you want to jump on that bandwagon just click on the link and read (there is also a Fresh Prince of Bel Air reference at the top of the page).

Speaking of the Publix Georgia Half Marathon, Wes giving a lot of smack talk, at least is backing it up by kickin my ass this weekend ;)  Here's to your PR buddy!  Also my friend Tommy will be in the event as well, as he graciously has taken his sister's race number since she will not be able to participate in the event this year.  Kinda want to drive the course again to see where all the elevation changes are.  I might do that on Saturday when the traffic is not bad.  Actually, now that I am looking at the course map online, I might not need to.  I know where all the elevation gains are at. 

So I have to take my girlfriend into the shop (most likely tomorrow) for her new ride tune up.  Of course all wrench heads will tell you after you get that new bike that after you ride it some, the cables will loosen/tighten, etc and you will need to bring it in one more time to make sure that it gets really dialed in to where it needs to be.  Well that happened to me over the weekend.  at 1/2 way through the ride, I could no longer go into the large chain ring.  Not only that, but when I stopped and physically moved it up to the new chain ring, it moved itself back down as to say, "nope, have fun with this one all the way home." As for the rear cassette, I am having shifting issues through the middle of the cassette, which should just be an adjustment issue.  The other problem is about 4 miles from home, I see that the reverse bolt that holds everything together up front (crank arms, bottom bracket, chainrings, etc) is about to come completely out.  Also I screwed it in, but not tight enough because that is the one where you need to use a torque wrench, and I don't have a torque wrench.  No good.  Otherwise the ride was nice :)

The only other thing that I wanted to bring up was a USAT provision that I thought was a rule. Kinda peeved about it.  Here is the skinny!

There was a race I participated in last season (I will have to go back and check my notes) where I was trying to put in some fast times, especially in transition, so I decided that I would go back to the old school clipping your shoes onto your bike and setting that up for a fast T1.  I got there early and got everything set up, and left to use the restroom.  I heard my number getting called over the loudspeaker, and I went to my transition rack with a USAT referee there.  He stated that AG'ers were not allowed to have their shoes clipped in during T1.  I politely told him that I have actually read the rules and I do not remember this being listed anywhere.  He replied that this was the rule and if I did not comply I would be penalized for it.  At this point we have about 20 min till transition closes, and even though there was time, I was kinda pissed.  I have now done this about 6 times and I have never had that problem before.  So I fixed everything and then went on with my race.  For the rest of the season I repeated this process so as not to get in trouble. 

Recently I heard on the IMTalk podcast that john was talking about fast transitions and that a person had emailed in from the states that USAT does not allow AG'ers to put on shoes on their bikes for T1.  This got the blood boiling again, and so I actually went and read the rules yesterday.  Went through every damn page.  Guess what was NOT there!  ANY RULE PREVENTING AG'ers PUTTING SHOES ON THEIR BIKE FOR T1!  So I go onto the Facebook page of USATriathlon yesterday, and ask this question.  Their response...

"Hi Andy: this actually has never been a rule. In USAT-sanctioned events (unless the RD files for an exemption) you are allowed to attach your shoes to your bike if you wish."

I have asked a number of triathletes in the past, and there is an increasing number that say they have encountered this at races.  So either there are a lot more RD's filing exemptions, or the RD's are not wanting the risk of injury to an average AG'er trying to execute a mount and ride with their shoes on their bike.  So they just tell them they are not allowed to do it.  That is my guess.  And please note that I am not knocking the USAT, I just think that if there is OR is not a policy in place, that the officials need to adhere to that policy and if there are exemptions filed, then they need to have make that known in the race packet, pre-race meeting, and/or announcements before the race while people are in transition.  That's all I want, adherence and transparency.

USAT has gotten back to me before I finished this post and told me that the Commissioner of Officials will allow people to inquire about specific races to see if that race has any exemptions filed for it.  I thought that was very helpful to know!  Thanks USAT (more specifically whomever is in charge of their Facebook page)!!!

Have a good week, I will speak to y'all on Friday!


Kat said...

Interesting information about the shoe issue! I believe only pros are allowed to do it in Canada, although I can't find the rule right now.

Good luck in your upcoming half marathon!

Wes said...

Wes giving a lot of smack talk, at least is backing it up by kickin my ass this weekend ;)

Yea, I'm gonna wait around at the finish line for about an hour to see if you come in :-D

I saw that post on Facebook, and i found it interesting and refreshing. I'm doing away with ALL unnecessary garbage this year in transition.

Since I'm free-wheeling it this year, maybe we can get some rides/runs in together. Need to check out the new ride....

Christi said...

That sucks about the shoes. I am glad that you got it all clarified for us!

Good luck at your race this weekend. Post your number so we can stalk you during the race! ;)

Andy said...

Wes, the only thing that is gonna make exiting T1 harder is the fact that my seat height is much higher on the new bike. Gonna have issues getting on :D Christi, I will post the race numbers on my Friday review! Kat, thanks for the well wishes!

Andrew said...

The USAT thing is a tricky one. The only time I have encountered it is in Ironman races. This also serves as a reminder to review the race rules for each race. Stand around at the mount line at any race and you will see why RD's are fearful. I saw two pros nearly taken out at Chattanooga a few years ago because the AG didn't know what they were doing.

Andy said...

I think it boils down to the dramatic increase in participation, which has also had the USAT rushing to fill RD and referee slots (hey Wes! you could ref/marshall triathlons instead ;). In doing so they are finding people who are less qualified and have less experience. I have never considered RD'ing and I feel like I know more now than most RD's that direct the races I participate in. I can say though that this usually happen at smaller races. However, it is interesting that you have seen it occur at IM events.

Nicole and Scott Kesten said...

it is amazing how FB creates this gap in communication.

so that quote is from Eastbound and Down on HBO.. an incredibly funny and completely inappropriate show i shouldn't be watching but i laugh so hard i cry every time i watch it. :)

.. i am a closet watcher... explaining my vagueness :)