First off I will say "IT WAS DAMN NICE TO RACE AGAIN" !
I will agree with Patrick @ THE ROAD blog, it was pretty laid back and friendly atmosphere. I too was there at about the same time 5:15 and checked in shortly there after.
When I got my packet and seen my number was 5, I almost freaked out ! Then the marking lady was like o.k. whats your bib number ?
HER- wow, great job !
ME - yeah, don't expect national number results.
HER- she actually got it and laughed, wished me well and I was off to set up.
Transition set up, was fairly easy and done straight out of past experience. I checked out the typical stuff, bike out, bike in, run out etc..
I thought I picked a neutral spot and still think It was fine. It was not a huge turn out, under 250 total, I think.
Then I went to check out the swim leg, it was pretty dark and foggy still, so I just made my way out the swim to bike entry and back tracked.
First though was "WTF" I can't even see the lake. I keep walking the cone line up, through the parking lot, now into grass, still on grass, still on grass, damn this is going to be a long transition, but what the hell everyone has to do it, so soak it all in.
Made my way back up to transition area and ran in to Patrick, we small talked and it was good to see a familiar face. I was super excited and just wanted it to start, we talked about the transition out of the water a bit and about how the bike was suppose to have a small hill that everyone chirps about, didn't seem to be a big deal and normally I could care less, I'm o.k. with hills and love to cycle. More on that later.
So here goes:
Having been away for so long, I really have nothing to compare but past race results posted. I also found that 15 years away from anything is a long time and competitiveness will only take you so far.
I lined up front and center on the 3rd wave I have had mixed emotions about swim times, but felt I would be able to get out there in front of the mosh pit and hold my own. Patrick and I both looked at the swim and said, "looks short" ,but I was told that they actually added a lateral buoy and made sure it was spot on,so ? Any ways the horn went and we are off, all fine for the 1st 50 meters, then anxiety set in, then panic, then what the hell am I doing here. I should be on the out side towards the back at best. Crap should I stop and see whats going on ?
Then I finally told myself, just shut up and do what you do several times a week fool !
I never did get a great breathing rhythm in. In calm situations I'm good for a 3 to 4 stroke count. This was every other and pumping.
Finally at the turn around and back in I started passing people pretty regular and was stoked to see the exit banners.
Then came the exit. Up hill slightly and long grass section. I ran it the best I could trying to get my bearings and legs under me, walked for a few steps to get my heart rate settled, then back going again in to T1.
T1- 5:41 - I got some time to shave here, you think.
Off to the bike and I'm still trying to settle my heart and breathing. Not so much !
It was pretty much climbing after .5 miles, although not severe it was still not like o.k. lets tuck and go. But you did reach that little summit and start a down hill pretty quick. Made up some time and got my heart rate right.
As was stated by Patrick, the construction was a bit nuts and there truly was traffic right next to you. I managed to pass some riders on this stretch but still didn't have my legs yet.
we made a turn and it was flat with a bit of headwind and although traffic was on this road also it was pretty well organized. I got passed by a few and swapped spots back and forth, I lost count.
My legs really never showed up on the flats, and they definitely took a vacation when we started this climb back in.
This climb was nearly as bad as I made it seem, I'm sure. But I hit a wall and got spit out the back by a few. If it wasn't for aggression and ego, I don't know. I was in my last gear and clawing, although not alone on this painful little climb, I still felt like this was a big failure on the ride. ( I will do more hill riding)!!
Any way's when I hit that summit and started the downhill I couldn't help thinking, shit, Patricks doing that twice !
I will redeem this next year GUARANTEED !
bike- 42:36 (ouch)
Bike to run transition was tough-
T2 - 2:14-
Another bonus, more time than can be easily shaved,
O.k. so ought to the run I go and my left calve is not cooperating well. I had one GU just as I hit the bike, and I got about 3/4 of one down as I left to run. I'm now consciously waiting for it to kick in. My pace is steady and my heart rate is through the roof. I can't get my breathing to settle, but I don't care I'm pushing on and getting this thing going.
I'm not fast at running yet and maybe I never will be, but one thing I know is that I have this distance etched in my head. I do it often and it has been getting better.
I felt the fuel kick in a bit, and my left calve stopped twinging. My right showed up a little,but I'm pretty sure it was the quick little up and down rollers on this run.
I think on an average day run, this place would be a great run spot. Today, not so much for me. It tested my calves going up and quads going down. ( note to self- "run other terrain" ). Finally, at the turn around I felt o.k. and picked my pace up to a decent glide. Passed some people and thanked the volunteers all the way back in, everyone of them. I actually took the time in my head then to soak it in and say, o.k. this was tough, tougher than Id thought it would be, but your done and you will get better and it will get easier. Bottom line in reality you will probably finish where you thought would and TRIATHLON is not easy, 15 years ago, yesterday, today or tomorrow. That's why we do this thing !!
before I knew it I was headed down the shoot, heard my name and I was not exhausted or out of breathe. Tells me I left a lot out there ,but hey I'll be back and with more confidence next time.
IT WAS AWESOME TO RACE AGAIN !!
run - 30:36 - ouch again.
total time 1:32:52 8th in G - 69th O/A
goal was 1:30 - calculating in about 4 minutes for both transitions.
Had a great time, and Will be currently searching for an inexpensive road bike to up my miles on. I will also be turning up the distance on my runs. I thought about one November Tri, but think I will shoot for a couple of local runs instead.
Thanks Patrick, and all the other well wishes.