Saturday I got in a short run. I didn't really [okay, I didn't at all] taper for this race. I planned to view it as a training day where I'd go fast. Goal was sub 6.
My friend Scott got to our house around 12:30 and we set out for Bear, Delaware (Hi... we're in ... Deleware). Got there and checked into our luxurious hotel - the Newark Sleep Inn. hey, it might have been a pos hotel, but each room had a microwave and fridge. ... and our room didn't stink like Deb's. ew. Then to packet pickup, which was the most bare bones low key packet pick up I've ever attended... got our shirts and numbers [chips were to be picked up on race day]. No expo. .. pickup was in a tent. We walked down to see how far the swim exit was from T1... the answer? far. .25 mi.
saw the buoys being taken out:
Starving, we then headed to TGIFriday's for a late lunch. I had chicken and pasta. It was yummy. Then: a group trip to K-mart. Scott wanted a fleece for the chilly race morning, and can you beat this for $17.99?
and I got chocolate poptarts for race morning. Really, I think that's why I race. It gives me a legit reason to eat chocolate poptarts and payday bars and call then the misnomer NUTRTION.
back to the hotel to rest [anyone surprised to see J like this?]
then we were hungry again so we went BACK to TGIFriday's [it was next to our hotel] and I got a Chips Ahoy Cookie Sundae [see above, re: "nutrition' ^].... and then, time for bed !
Sunday - race day !
after the wake up call, in room alarm, and James' iPhone went off, we [I] were awake. got dressed and headed down for breakfast --- brought - and toasted - my poptarts and started hydrating. grabbed the bikes and packed the car and drove 15 min to the race start.
pre race panic
started putting air in the tires --- had to use the headlights from the car as the sun had yet to show. lazy sun. then.. why is no air staying in my tire? WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH MY TIRE? TRANSITION CLOSES IN FORTY MINUTES AND I DON'T HAVE AN INFLATED TIRE AND THE MECHANIC LINE IS LONG AND NOT MOVING. I tried - with Deb's help - to change my tire, but we couldn't get it off the rim.
IS(=IronSherpa, = James) came, of course, to the rescue. He stood in line while I ran to the port o potties, got my wetsuit, laid out transition, etc. grabbed the tire with minutes to spare, threw it on the bike (front wheel. thank god.) and ran - literally - to the swim start.
me, deb, and deb, pre swim (who doesn't look good in a green latex swim cap?):
our typical pre race photo:
we started walking (shallow lake) to the start when we heard ONE MINUTE TO START and then people started swimming. water was chilly but not too too cold. I felt good during the swim - strong, smooth, decent sighting ... until I got out of the water. I looked at my watch: 44 minutes. FORTY FOUR MINUTES? I went 36 at Rhode Island. What did I do - take a nap during the swim? I mean, REALLY.
here is a flattering picture of me running the 1/4 mi to T1 from the swim exit:
swim time> 46:30
overall place> 128/ 213
not too bad... peeled off my wetsuit, put on socks and bike cleats (clipping in while riding may happen in a couple seasons...) , helmet, sunglasses, and ran off. not the fastest T1 time ever but not bad for me, esp. for a HIM.
here's deb in t1:
the bike was billed as "flat and fast" although I have come to learn that people's definitions of words like "flat" "fast" "rolling" and "hilly" vary greatly. ... with the exception of one tough bridge, the course was pretty flat. I mean, if I was averaging 18.4 mph.. yeah, flat.
aero trish thumbs up:so, like I said, cruising along pretty well, getting passed, of course [maybe everyone had a bad swim?] ... and then we got to this HUGE bridge. it was beautiful and it was over a lovely river, but man did it suck. I had to come out of areo and out of my big chainring. .. at least I wasn't the guy I heard say "is this the sprint course?" no, sir, it most certainly is not. the course was pretty nice, very well marked, lots of volunteers and and police officers.
going BACK over the bridge + headwind = yuck. headwinds in general kind of suck. you feel like you are pedaling normally, same amount of effort... and then look at the bike computer which reads 14mph. wtf? during the bike I thought about how long 112 mi was on a bike (or, um, in a car).
overall> 171/ 213
when I saw the bike dismount I was elated. so was my butt.
time> 2:02. pretty good
I am always so so happy to start the run. running is my first love and, unlike the pass, I can pass and am not too often passed (plus, those fast guys on the bike are already way ahead of me. or, well, finished).
the run was an out and back --- a mile around the national park and then several miles on the C&D Canel.
starting the run is always a big of a downer though... so happy to be done with the swim and the bike but it's daunting to have 13.1 mi to run. I fell into a very comfortable 9/mi pace, walking through the water stations and getting water + gatorade. miles 1-5 flew by and I was passing a lot of people. I got to the turn around at mile 6.55 and then, around mile 8, I was feeling.. well, finished. the thought of running 5 more mi - in the sun - was not appealing. still, I tried to stay positive. I took it mile by mile and told myself that I could have a walking break at the next aid station (they were at each mile).
at mile 6 I told myself that sub 6 was an almost-definite -- all I needed to do was keep 10 minute miles and I could do it ... but it would be a photo finish.
and then I realized, at around mile 9, that it probably wouldn't happen. I was slowing down, I was tired and sore and hot. shoulders were tight and feet were sore.
overall place> 97/ 213
I ran the last mile hard and saw my watch turn to 6:00:00 when I was about 100 yards from the finish. at that point I played the whatif game (whatif I didn't walk that aid station, whatif I didn't have such a shitty swim) but I tried to push it out of my head and finish strong.
coming down the final stretch .. with always flattering photos:
Scott finishing -- and my awesome photog skills:Deb finishes strong:
overall time> 6:00:24
ag place> 10/14
gender place place> 27/ 61
saw James, got our POSTrace photo:
post race with Scott --- both of us PR'd by 15 minutesmatt WINS his ag and goes sub 5:
conflicted. I was so [so so so] elated to go 6:15 at Rhode Island.. I felt like I had an unbelievably great race [and I did]. my goal there was to go under 7 and to smash that by FORTY FIVE minutes was great. I was beaming at the finish line.
.. and I miss my goal here by 25 seconds - and still PR by FIFTEEN MINUTES - and I feel meh. that's how I feel - meh. I had a pretty good race - a shitty swim but a very solid bike and run - and I feel meh. maybe I wasn't as excited for this? there wasn't as much (or any, really) pre rae build up. the pre race and post race activities were... non existent.
a big-huge-mega THANK YOU to my IronSherpa.
anyhow, onward and upward to IMCozy.