My Friday was already bonkers hectic, so I got as much packed on Thursday as I could. How do I perspective to the packing? I needed three pairs of shoes (Tevas, bike shoes, running shoes) for was to be a few hours on a Saturday morning. This, being my first triathlon in three years and the first that both Meaghan and I did together, I was quite surprised at how much stuff we had. I’ve carried stuff for Meaghan plenty of times, but now there was two of everything!
In addition to the two of us, Meaghan and I were playing hosts on Friday to a half dozen friends who were also involved in the race. OK, five friends and one girl we had never met. It turns out this girl was 19 years old and a college student at Iowa. Among the racers, we’re all in our thirties, have no kids, drink too much, and still tell jokes about boobies. She probably felt right at home.
We were able to make through dinner before everyone started sharing their GI stories, and for that I’m grateful. Honestly, I’m getting a little bit tired of hearing about Tim’s poop. I feel like I know way too much about this man. If he’s this willing to share this much with us, how much does he tell his wife, doctor, or priest?
We were the closest of our friends to the race site, but at 1hr 30min away, we weren’t exactly close. It was going to be an early morning.
The race started at 8:00 am, so we pulled out of the driveway around 5:15 am. I was quite impressed that we got 8 people ready to go and 3 cars packed that early. We’re breaking records already!
For starters, our small group was the only group of swimmers not in a wetsuit. I won’t get to wear one for IM Muncie next month. Most of the participants were using this as a training race for IM Louisville in August. They won’t get a wetsuit, either. I don’t own a wetsuit, and I wasn’t going to buy one for one open-water swim. The water was 73 degrees, and I didn’t have a problem with the temperature.
The swim really had me, and I don’t know why. I have never had a problem in open water before. I grew up on a lake. I don’t want to say I panicked, because that would be embarrassing. Let’s just say that the first 600m of the swim were much, much less than ideal. I spent a lot of time just breast-stroking and lying on my back.
I didn’t like swimming the jersey. It’s too big for me, and I knew that when I bought it. I don’t know if they’re cut for jockeys or what, but anything less than a 2XL left a midriff that you did not want to see. It felt like I was swimming with a giant parachute on me.
Then Tim passed me. He entered the water a few people behind me, and I know he’s a slower swimmer. OK, this is going to be a rough day.
For whatever reason, I finally relaxed. I put my head down and swam. Thank you for letting this happen.
Coming around the buoys, I had a new problem. I couldn’t see a damn thing on the way back to shore! You’re going into the sunrise, and I had no idea where the target was. Between the fog in my goggles and the sun and the glare off the water, I was completely lost. The lifeguards and kayakers were pushing me back into the course the entire stretch home, so I know I swam more than 1500m.
I was out of the water in 40:35. That’s about 5 minutes slower than where I wanted to be. Bah!
Meaghan was doing the aqua-bike today. She broke her ankle seven weeks ago. Two weeks ago, when she signed up, she didn’t think she would be ready for the run. Better safe than sorry. Still, I told her I was a little bit jealous of her. I have never pushed myself all-out on the bike. I don’t know what I’m capable of. Since I knew I had a 10k run after my ride, I still wasn’t going to find out today.
The course was 41.2km, with just a little bit of wind and 144’ of climbing per loop. (There are two loops.)
I drank one bottle of water and 1.5 bottles of gatorade. I also ate two bags of Honey Stinger chews. I think that’s a decent amount. Meaghan met with her race nutritionist last week, and she’s adding salt tablets to her routine. I think I’ll do the same for my HIM.
Honestly, I thought I killed it on the bike. I was really happy with it. I felt good. I spent some time in aero. I passed people on the little lumps. (Some would call them hills, but they were way too small.) My ride was 1:23:59, for an 18.3mph average. That’s exactly where I wanted it to be.
Every good race report needs a bathroom story. Sorry, this one is boring. I know you all want something more. Trust me, boring is better.
My bike was right next to the run exit, and the portopotties were next to the bike in. I added 2 minutes to my T2 having to run all the way through transition, peeing, and running all the way back out the other side. I lost two minutes to poor course management. They should have been thinking about my bladder!
What can I really say here? It was a run. I did it. I walked for 2 minutes at each water stop. It wasn’t fast, but every step gets you closer to done.
You do the run on the back half of the bike course. Those little nothing-lumps on the bike morphed into huge mountains on the run. How does that happen?
I came out a 1:06:59, a 10:49/mile pace. I wanted a little more here. 1:02 would have been great. I suppose I should be happy that it was sub-11.
Here are all of my totals for the day.
Men 30-34 placed 12/12 Men overall placed 76/82 Swim 40:35 2:43/100m T1 3:50 Bike 1:23:59 18.3 mph T2 3:18 Run 1:06:59 10:49/mile Overall 3:18:40
I was thinking I’d be around 3:30, so 3:18 seems really good for me. While not where I want to be, it is pretty close to where I’d expect it to be.
The best part about all of this? I can realistically see myself going under 3:00 hours in a year. I easily left 8 minutes in the water, and I know I can find 5 minutes in each the bike and the run.
The Next Day
Soreness! The legs hurt, and so does the sunburn on my shoulders and neck.
Sunday, Meaghan and I were still able to go out and do another 9.2 mile run. It wasn’t pretty, but we did it.