Sunday, October 10, 2010

OC Tri Race Report

It's probably best just to come out and say that I suffered my first DNF ever at the the Orange County Olympic Triathlon today.

It all started routine enough - up at 4:30, out the door at 5:00 and at the race by 5:30 with great spot in transition.  I had a less gear today, as T2 was in another location and I had dropped off my run stuff on Saturday.

As I laid everything out, I suddenly had the urge to clip my shoes into the pedals.  I put on a new pair of cleats last night.  I didn't even think to double check them - it's something I do every few months and I have their install position marked with sharpie on the bottom of the shoes.

It ended up that the "urge" to check was indeed prophetic.  The cleats did not fit in the pedals.  Huh?   Look pedals.  Look cleats.  The EXACT cleats as always - I use the black ones (with no float) on my tri-shoes.  I tried dialing the tension spring all the way back.  They still didn't fit.  I tried the left shoe on the right and the right shoe on the left.  Still nothing.

Perplexed, I took my bike and the shoes over to the mechanic.  At one point, there were two mechanics and four other guys huddled around my bike trying to figure it out.  They couldn't, and neither mechanic had a spare sets of cleats.

I briefly considered not even worrying about it and to try riding un-clipped in running shoes.  But my running shoes where in T2.  A friend offered me an extra pair of shoes, but ultimately I decided against it - I figured riding like that would be pretty much a disaster in the waiting.

At this point I realized that my race was over.  My initial thoughts (in order) where:

-   WTF?....
-   I'm out $125....
-   I might as well do the swim....
-   I ate a zillion calories between Friday and Saturday, this sucks....
-   WTF?....
-   I can deal with the calories, I'll just go home and go out on a long ride....

So I took my bike back to my spot, put my wetsuit on and headed to the beach.  I didn't even bother with the timing chip so officially I suppose I am classified as DNS.  Obviously no one knew my bike was broken, but it almost felt like I had a scarlet "BB" (for broken bike) on my wetsuit.  It was a weird feeling to know that when I came out of the water I was done.

The swim ended up being pretty fun.  I started off hard, but then realized that there was no real point in doing so.  Instead, I started working on technique.  Every few minutes I'd focus on something different - body roll, reach, pull, etc.  After about 1000 meters, this got a little boring so I started thinking that maybe I should quickly find another race so my season would not end on a low note.  At about 1200 meters it occurred to me that my neighbor Craig (who also conveniently has a blog - "Let's Do This Again" - check it out) is doing a race next weekend at Lake Perris.  I had no idea where Lake Perris actually is or what length race they are having, but by 1250 meters I was committed.

When I came home I immediately registered for the Big Rock Triathlon, which offers both an sprint and Olympic distance race.  I opted for the Olympic.  As I write this, I'm still not exactly sure where the lake is, but I'll sort that out later.  The race is next Saturday.


I also did some digging online regarding Look cleats.  It turns out that there are two models available that essentially appear exactly the same.  There is the "Keo" which I use, and the "Delta" which is for an older series of pedals.  Sure enough, when I dug the packaging out of the trash I had put on Deltas.  Please bear with me, I am not that big of an idiot - I know I use Keo.  That said, I had no idea there was also a Delta cleat, and when I went all Costco a few months ago and bought 4 or 5 sets of cleats, a Delta set got mixed in by accident.

Look Keo

Look Delta.  Really.
With the source of the problem identified, I then spent a good 15 minutes trying to figure out what the difference is.  They are both exactly the same size and shape, and install exactly the same.  Finally, I found the difference.  The rise of the base of the Delta cleat is MAYBE 3mm less, which means the toe piece and heel piece are too shallow to click into the pedals.

Figuring all this out caused my original annoyance about missing the race to come flooding back.  Maybe I should have known about the existence of Delta cleats, but I definitely should have tested them yesterday and avoided this mess.

Then I dealt with the extra calories.  I figured I had time for a 40 mile ride and damned if I wasn't going to treat myself to the comfy road bike.  Man, I love the Bianchi.  I swear the second I got on that bike I stopped being annoyed.

The Bianchi and the "other" shoes.  Both worked fine.
Thanks to everyone for the well wishes yesterday and today.  I feel like a real turd for screwing this race up, as your encouragement means a lot to me.  If you don't mind transferring your good vibes to next week, I'd appreciate it.

22 comments:

Lucas said...

So easily could have happened to anyone! Accept, learn and move on. Sorry about the $125 bucks but I'm glad you found another race to do. I'm sure you will find plenty of good vibes to get you through not only this week, but your next race as well.

Luke said...

Sorry to hear about the DNF, but I'm glad you found a race to finnish the season on a high note. Funny you had the delta's they are the type I have to use (the red one's though) for my 15 year old pedals. they are hard to find.

Matty O said...

MAN THAT SUCKS! This is something I would have done dude. Something so minutely small and overseen.

I feel for you. All that prep (mentally mainly) and to have to toss the $$$ away. Expensive lesson but I GUARANTEE you will never have to deal with this again.

Good luck next weekend, glad you were able to replace the race within a week.

Kathleen said...

I can imagine how might feel. On the bright side, the DNF was not do to illness or a crash so that is good! (easy for me to say, I know). Best of luck next weekend!

P said...

Of course the good wishes transfer over to next week!! You're still going to kick ass and how fun to do a race you didn't even know about. Sorry about the DNS, that's a big bummer, but like Kathleen said, at least it wasn't due to injury or illness.

Colleen said...

Oh... what a bummer! Glad that you found a different race (even though you haven't quite "found" it yet) and I'm sure next weekend will be great!

Still frustrating none-the-less I'm sure!

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

That really blows dude. Seriously sucks.

I had no idea there were two types of Looks either?

Well at least you got a good swim in right?

Shannon (IronTexasMommy) said...

I am so sorry to hear that Patrick. That sucks. So glad you knew about it before the race started, though. That could have been disastrous if you took off on the bike and then had problems trying to clip in. Hope you have a fabulous race next weekend! :) P.S. Love the new header!

misszippy said...

SUCH a bummer! Who would have thought? But, I'm sure it's a lesson learned for next time.

Laughing about burning the extra calories--I would have done the same thing. What's wrong with us?

TRI714 said...

Wow, well there you have it. I didn't know about the difference either. Im bummed for you though, races are expensive and I hate peeing money away.
But the good news is that you know I'm only doing the sprint at Big Rock, seeing it's my debute race back. So you will have a minny cheering section on the run close. We can also car pool or meet out there. I may be to much of a head case to car pool with this race? I don't know. Anyways will talk this week.

Kovas Palubinskas said...

Bummer about the race. On the positive side, you get to eat a zillion calories again next weekend.

DRog said...

Total Bummer on the race....BUT how awesome you got to Swim which you have been talking about and wanted the practice...also even better you replaced the race with one next wknd!!!
D

Allison said...

Patrick - sorry for the bummer of a race day.... BUT I will certainly be thinking of you this weekend as I have a race on Sunday! It's my first this season and first since surgery so I'm super nervous.

Good luck this weekend!! can't wait to read your race reports as always!

Allison said...

Patrick - sorry for the bummer of a race day.... BUT I will certainly be thinking of you this weekend as I have a race on Sunday! It's my first this season and first since surgery so I'm super nervous.

Good luck this weekend!! can't wait to read your race reports as always!

ajh said...

This must have been very frustrating!

valen said...

Ha ha...
just kidding...It was a wise one to let the race go and do another one with the right cleats.
hope you kick ass!!

Aimee said...

What a bummer! That must have been so frustrating! But, I think you did the right thing by DNF.
I hope your next Olympic goes much better!

Jennifer said...

This is exactly why I only stick to one sport anymore! Too many things to think about. Argh! Bummer Patrick, sorry it had to happen!

lindsay said...

umm. i would not have noticed a difference! they look the same to me. sorry the race didn't work out for you, but at least you have a 'backup' plan for next weekend.

Pippa said...

Patrick, it's all good. You learned something valuable, and that alone is worth the money. PLUS: you went out and DID something with all the preparation you'd done.

Good vibes transferred to next weekend, for sure!

Chris K said...

The way you handled it is impressive. I would have bailed the swim and probably the afternoon bike ride and moped on the couch.

Glenn Jones said...

You should be done by now - but good vibes your way nonetheless!

I hope you figured out where Perris was. Hope you didn't run into any meth labs....

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