Day 1 – Sprint Triathlon:
I was able to put together a decent race at the Cranberry Trifest Sprint Triathlon despite breaking my toe coming out of T1. My foot slipped off of the top of my bike shoe during a poorly executed flying mount and I smashed my big toe into the pavement, fracturing a bone. I’m not going to lie, it hurt and was a bit bloody. I slowly rolled away from the mounting line trying to slip both feet into my shoes. I spent the next 35 or so minutes pedaling around the course with a range of thoughts about what happened and why, but mostly wondering if my toenail was still attached. I really didn’t want to deal with losing a toenail, but now I’d much rather have had that happen than a fracture.
The pain was manageable on the bike, actually feeling more numb than anything, but I knew that wouldn’t be the case for the run portion of the race. As I came into T2 I kept it safe and left the shoes on my feet until I reached the bike rack. It turned out that I still had the toenail and I gingerly shoved my running shoes on to get going with the last leg of the race.
I was very uncomfortable leaving T2, but I knew I hadn’t been passed since getting out of the water, so I must have been doing well. I figured I would give the run an honest effort despite the way my toe was feeling. After the first mile of the run I still hadn’t been passed and I decided to pick up the pace to cover what remained of the 5k. I managed to bring it home in 5:38 for the last mile finishing 7th overall, 2nd in my age group, and about 4 minutes back from the winner, who I’ve been trying to chase down for the last 4 years.
After crossing the finish line and taking my shoe off, I knew it was more than a stubbed toe and I decided to get some x-rays to confirm. Sure enough it is fractured and I was sent home with a boot. Quite a bummer. #Chriscantfly
Day 2 –
Olympic Triathlon Aquabike:
Despite breaking my toe yesterday, I decided I was going to race the Olympic distance aquabike at the Cranberry Trifest. This dropped the run portion and allowed me to finish the weekend on the right (left) foot. The folks at Sun Multisport Events were nice enough to let me transfer over from the Olympic triathlon without any issues. My expectations going into the day were to have fun, get a good workout in, and keep my foot safe from any further damage. I gave the bike a test ride in the morning to make sure I could actually ride comfortably and it was all systems go! As I was standing at the start I couldn’t help but think about making it more of a race effort.
As I progressed through the swim, a race effort became the new plan for the bike portion. I took my time walking through T1 and had a really great time doing it. I thought it was great to be able to appreciate more of the moments and interactions with spectators along the transition route. I’d recommend everyone try taking their time through transition at least once in their career! After a nice and relaxing transition I started hammering away at the pedals and put in an a much riskier effort than I would have if I was planning to run after. This was a great opportunity to push me out of my comfort zone during the bike. I realized that I am capable of going even faster than I thought before.
As I rolled into the transition area, I felt confident that I could have run well off of the bike if I had too. With my toe as it was, today was not that day. I finished 3rd overall and won the 49 and under age group. If you didn’t catch that, two gentleman more than twice my age absolutely crushed the race and finished in front of me! I hope to be one of those guys in 25 years! Below is an obligatory podium pic and a nice shot of what my toe looks like after an eventful weekend.