Phew. What a relief. I went into this event with so many different emotions, as you can tell by my previous blogs. Now that it’s over and I think back, like always, it was confirmation that I need to get back to triathlon training. I love this competition so much. It is so addictive.
I arrived at the SRAC at around 6 and was immediately greeted by Jody. He’s a fellow blogger buddy and now a FB friend as well. He recognized me immediately. It was awesome. We exchanged greetings and agreed to meet backup after we setup. Picked up my race packet and got marked up. The kid that did my marking was a little confused. He marked me as a MC. That definitely made me chuckle.
I was fortunate that I was first in my rack, so I was able to setup on the outside position. That allowed for easy in and out, very exciting. It's going to be a good day. Then I try to inflate my tires and when I go to pump up the front tire, it get no air. It just goes flat. I begin to feel my heart flutter. I try a couple of times with the front and the same thing. I decided that it must be the pump and decided to try the back to confirm and the same thing happens. Now I am in all out panic. Fortunately Jody was setup right behind me also on the outside. I ask him for his pump and he was able to save my day. Thanks again Jody.
Now for the fun part, the waiting game until my start time. My transition setup was completed by 6:45. My start time was 8:15. So that means lots of waiting around. Fortunately I didn't get nervous. Jody and I hung around together for the majority of the time. At about 7:00 Andrew B. walked up. It was great to see him. We talked briefly and then he went to finish setting up and stretch.
Finally 7:30 rolled around and the event started. I am always impressed with the early starters. I guess it is just my envy of the swimmers. lol. They make it look so easy. Oh well one day.
Jody and I sat and talked. It really helped to keep the anxiety down. We were pretty much in the same boat. He was 268 and I was 262. So he would start shortly after me.
Finally it was time to get into the pool. Now for the nerves. I was visualizing the swim and telling myself to just relax, and think about smooth strokes. Breathe and relax. I get to the starting block and starter from last year was there starting us again. She remembers my name and also remembers that I was really nervous last time. She cracks a joke that I cannot remember right now but it made me smile and I ready to go.
I am off. I start really smooth and easy. I remember to breathe. I make it to the first turn really easily. Turn and make it back to the second turn. But here like always is where it goes to crap. I can't breathe and I forget how to swim. So I walk a little and start trying to swim again. I take about 10 strokes and have to walk again. Not gliding at all. Oh well. Just get to the end. Jody passed me about lap 5 of 10. No problem. I am not expecting to set any records in the swim. So I just keep moving forward. Finally out of the pool and hustle to transition.
Once at transition, Jody is having a contact issue. I can completely understand that problem. Fortunately my goggles held and I didn't have the issue with a missing contact. So I quickly change and head off. My mount and dismount still need a lot of work but I am able to get going. I start fidgeting with my Garmin and never get it started and just decide to forget it. Within the first quarter mile, Jody flies past me. I am astonished but I am ok with it. I decide that this will be my motivation. I decide to keep him within my sights. I stay with him. Not drafting but within shouting distance.
We are moving at a pretty good pace. We are checking off people as we move along. At about the 7 mile mark, I get close enough to pass Jody. As I pass, I shout encouragement. He gives me the thumbs up so I continue moving. Then we make the turn toward home. I am still pedaling comfortably. No issues. Then at about 10 Jody gets his second wind and passes me back. We play leap frog for about 2 miles and then he clears me for the remainder of the ride. I begin to cramp. Nothing major, just a concern. Then we turn into the park and the cramp gets worse. I hobble into my bike stall and start grabbing my hat, shoes, and number. There was another guy next to me and he dropped his water bottle crossing the railroad tracks. I gladly give him mine as I had not even touched it.
So I head out of the transition 2 right on Jody's heels. I am still trying to work the cramp out of my leg so I am not able to really take off. I finally pass Jody and try to encourage him to just relax and get into a rhythm on the run. I grab a cup of water and pour it down my shirt and think pace and rhythm. The run was good. It was shaded and relatively flat. So I am able to make pretty good time. I again start chasing people down. I decided that my cramping was over and I could just enjoy the run, no worries. I get to the 3 mile mark and start hearing the finish and I step on it. Finish Strong.
Overall the race was great. I felt pretty comfortable the entire race. My passion for triathlons completely renewed. Even though I was not overly concerned with my time, I knew that I would not be happy if I didn't do well. I think this wait was harder than the wait to start. Finally my time is posted. 1:14:32
I am really happy at this point. Andrew set the course on fire finishing 1:06. He killed bike, finishing in 38 minutes. Awesome pace. Jody did great as well, considering it was his first triathlon in more than a dozen years. He beat me in every leg except the run. I was really happy to have him to push me in first two legs.
Overall - 84th Male finisher out of 246.
Overall - 84th Male finisher out of 246.