Cliffs notes:

  • Hurt leg (week before)
  • Rain……lots of it.
  • FREAKING FUN!
  • Ouch.
  • Aquabike champion!  :)
  • More FREAKING FUN! (this time with more beer)
  • Drive.

For those with too much time on their hands……The rest of the story:

Fellow team mate Ryan Heisler, met me at my place on Friday afternoon after work, by 4:00pm we were rollin’. We pulled up to the house, about 7 or 8 and I yelled to the cabby…… wait, I think it was 9:30 and there wasn’t a cabby.

There were already 6 teammates at the house when we arrived and they were already knee deep in returnable’s and empty pizza boxes. We quickly ordered some more pizza and finished off a few beverages of our own before hitting the hay. In the morning was to be a ride for me followed by a swim down at the beach.

6:00am rolled around and the sound of rain could still be clearly heard on our ‘shalet’. I grabbed my phone (to shut off the alarm) and I see a notification on the front screen. “We regret to inform you….”
It seems during the night a pretty major storm rolled through and messed some shit up pretty bad. There were riptide warnings for the LAKE and roads were flooded! Needless to say, Rev3 made the EXTREMELY EASY AND SMART decision to cancel the sprint tri and the kids tri that were scheduled to take place at 7:00am and 9:00am that morning. Given the air temps of FREAKING COLD and humidity of SIDE WAY RAIN, I opted to skip the morning ride and go with the “drink hot coffee and hang out for a bit” routine. We did ultimately end up heading over to the race site, which had turned into a war zone of folded up tents and ropes tied to anything heavy that could be found. There we helped get things set up so the race on Sunday could still happen. Unloading and loading of a few trucks before a full distance race is a good alternative to rest and easy rides/runs right?

Anyways, worked for a few hours in the rain and eventually had to hit up the A.R.T tent to try and get this messed up calf I brought from home fixed up. I got a little bit better with some work but it wasn’t until my new bestest friend in the whoooole world worked on me that we really figured out the problem. Dr. Kevin Maggs who is a genius made the determination that I didn’t have a torn calf muscle but rather a “Nerve Impingement”. Rather than argue with this guy who is clearly of superior intellect I requested he work his voodoo magical witchcraft upon my wounded leg. I wish I went to him a week ago. A few “bend here” and “point your toe this way” had me moving in the direction of gospel type healing. I was left feeling better (not perfect yet, but better) and amazed.

Finished off the day with some dinner and bike arranging all would be well for race day.

Sunday Sunday Sunday!

Waking up at the tiki village was great. Breakfast was a couple PowerBar Cookies and Crème performance bars with a big helping of coffee. I and Ryan headed over to the race site at around 5:30am and I was racked and set up in no time. Now we wait……….and wait. It would seem I was a smidgen early on this day. Talked with some friends and eventually headed down to the beach. On this day, I would only be doing the Aquabike as my calf wasn’t quite ready to cover 26.2 miles on foot. I still kept the option open in my mind though that if I felt capable off the bike of running through transition then I would tackle the full day. (I didn’t)

Swim:

What a great sight on race morning. The sun was peaking out through some clouds. The water was warm but not hot. There was a small breeze but not windy. Honestly, I was about as relaxed as one could get without having a corona and a hammock. I traded some laughs and good lucks with a bunch of team mates. Tried to convince Jaimie Dix, doing her first full, that she was more than prepared. As always there came a time to enter the water. This was to be an in water start. We walked out to the line and waited for the gun.
The “gun” shattered the calm like a wineglass on a tile floor. What was once a moment of serenity and tranquility became that which is a mass start triathlon. Thanks to a shallow start I was able to take off with a butt load of dolphin dives. I was having fun launching from the bottom into a smooth butterfly stroke followed by another. Eventually I did have to swim. The swim is a two(ish) loop swim followed by a return leg. The first loop was pretty smooth sailing with little or no contact with other swimmers and a fairly calm water. With the start of the second loop came the most enjoyable swimming experience I’ve ever had. As I rounded the 1st/4th turn buoy (they are in fact the same buoy) and turned to swim parallel to the shore it seems the wind picked up a smidge. The waves were rolling in from my left (towards shore) while the chop was blowing in from my right (from shore). This made me laugh and smile as it really messes up ones stroke. I was envisioning being in a literal washing machine with waves just slapping around in every which direction. The recovery portion of my stroke was being interrupted by the waves/chop so I just focused on pulling strong under water. For the first time ever I think I was legitimately bummed to be finishing the swim. I really did like what I was doing and never felt tired or rushed. A truly great situation to be in.
Finished up with a short run up the beach. I only remember Jen Small cheering me on and then thinking of what Jaime had asked me after seeing my swim exit picture from Maine; “Those goggle help you see on the run?”. I took them off after running the length of the beach.

Time 1:02:39 11th OA 1st in AquaBike

T1

I started T1 with a stop at the aid station that was right off the beach. I grabbed two cups of water, not to drink but to dump on my very sandy feet. In the tent I went after grabbing my bag from the rack. For this chilly morning I opted to go with the regular bike jersey as it had short sleeves as well as 3 rear pockets for some nutrition. I didn’t wear it under my wetsuit for two reasons. One is I was wearing a sleeveless wetsuit and that would have just looked gaybay. The other is because I didn’t want to be frozen starting the ride in a wet jersey. I had a volunteer help me in the changing tent by stuffing my wetsuit in the bag and also stuffing my back pockets with PowerBars (I forgot my gels at home so a new plan for the day).
Out of transition I went.

Time: 2:31 (I must have stopped for some tea and crumpets or something?)

Bike

You gotta love little kids! Well, I suppose you don’t, but one kid made me laugh as he was cheering on his dad who was right in front of me. “Go dad go! I will see you in 4hours!” I said to the dad as he mounted his steed “you better get moving then”. We laughed and that was the last time I saw him.
This ride didn’t start out great….nor did it end great. It just wasn’t great for nearly the entire ride. Let’s say that Shiva didn’t like me today. The shifter was a big pain in my ass today. 6miles in, it stopped shifting. No worries I had figured this might happen and the plan/fix on the fly was to pop the battery (located just below my water bottle on the downtube) in and out to reset the shifters. This plan works in it’s “fixing” of the issue on the fly. WELL, at mile 6 was a little early to have to start dealing with this in a 112 mile ride. In true “don’t let this get to me” fashion I simply reached down… BAM! F#@## SH@#$ HE@$@# F#$# ME! It seems, you see, that if one is to reach down to unclip the battery, one should LOOK down to see where they are sticking their hand! I managed, at mile 6 while traveling at 25mph, to stick my left pointer finger into my front wheel. It, my finger, was nice enough to bend in such a manner to fit itself in between my tire and my fork and then be yanked out all well within a split second. I was a little worried to look, but didn’t have much of a choice. All looked intact though swelling every so gently. I was at this point chucking due in part the pain but also the humor of me simply sticking my finger into a human power salad shooter. I won’t be making that mistake EVER again, and I suggest none of you do either.
On to the rest of the ride. There is another 106miles to cover after all!
Honestly, nothing GOOD happened. I was far enough up the road at this point, thanks to my relatively speedy transition/swim combo and passing a few fellow racers in the first minute or two on the bike, that I didn’t have much to chase. After mile 10 where I caught the only person I could see, who was a pro of unknown name, I was lonely. It was a long way to whom ever was in front of me and I couldn’t see anyone behind me. I did get a nice drive up next to me by the camera motorcycle who took my picture and then rode away. Around mile 30 I spotted the next person up the road and was excited to have a target. Though this target was traveling only slightly slower than me so catching it was taking a lifetime…. Actually it was about an hour. It wasn’t until just before mile 50 when I finally caught her. I even took the time to mentioned to her that I had been chasing her for the better part of an hour. We laughed and then I was on my way. I was alone once more.
Mile 55 or so? The Full course lapped back into the later starting Half course. This was a great change of events as I had something to occupy my time. Encouraging those that were struggling and passing the rest. Those 15miles or so were nice while they lasted. Soon though they would turn off from the full course and I was REALLY alone this time. I couldn’t see anyone in either direction. I will be honest here, not that I haven’t been so far, I was bored. Not the mid race distracted boredom that sets in sometimes, but the I don’t want to ride my bike for another 50miles alone kinda bored. The skies were getting cloudy and the air was crisp (to someone that was sweaty) and I was lonely. I was getting pissed off at my bike as by now, 2.5hrs into this shin-dig, it had given me all sorts of bull-shit to deal with almost having me throw it into the ditch. I was sick of sugary ‘snacks/fuel’. I was also thinking about whether or not my leg was going to let me run. A final blow was now the wind had seemed to pick up a bit and I was more often than not stuck with a single speed. Depression? I don’t know, but I had a belly ache and was just not enjoying my day.
Fast forward to the final miles…… Wind, and no shifting….. good times.
I did have one last shot of adrenaline that I thought would make for a good story, but the moment passed when the asshole and his lady friend in the tough guy Toyota camry decided that after yelling at me to get off the road and nearly hitting the girl that I was about to pass sped away as I nearly caught him at the next traffic light.
I finished up the last 6 miles wishing the bike would end while also watching that magic 5hr mark drift into the distance.

Time: 5:05:58 21.96mph

T2
Being in the Aquabike, I was done the moment I stepped off my bike at the dismount line. I racked my bike slowly and methodically as I was done and in no hurry. As I was wandering over to my rack I did happen to notice there were only a couple other bikes from the Full racked…… I was 3rd overall, F#$@! Now I gotta try. I ran down the length of transition and made the call that I wasn’t about to try and ‘run’ 26.2miles on my calf knowing the future injury that would come.

So…… That’s it, for the race report.

Post race Goodness was a little more pleasing.

Immediately post race I hit the ART tent to get some work on the quads and get loosened up. GREAT!
Then I hit up the food! Yummy salty chicken sandwhich and an ice cold pepsi!

Once I was done chillaxin’ for a while and getting cleaned up and put my stuff all back in the truck I was able to head out onto the run course with my other bike to look for some team mates that were doing the full. I found a hobbling Anthony just outside the park. It seems he had the same calf issues I did only made the choice to attempt to run. He was successful at screaming through the first half of the run only to have to pull the plug on his day and walk it in with a messed up leg. Bummer for sure.
I rode on and first came across Kelly Covert who was cruising right along and in great spirits. I rode with her for a bit and wished her the best and headed on my way. Next up was an ailing Kimberly. I will be honest, not looking to great, but who really is at mile 7. After talking with her and going over some issues and suggesting a game plan, I left her to her own vices. Later I did see her again and she must have come around because she was FLYING! Great job Kim. Last but not least was Jamie, doing her first full and doing well. She was smiles and had a partner to keep her company which is a huge benefit. I offered up my words of encouragement and headed back to the park.

We left the park with Anthony, Ryan, Jeff and I and hit up the Thirsty Pony for some greasy food and beers to celebrate and discuss the days events. The best part of any race in my book. After, we headed back to the house and starting the party that went late into the evening. Before we knew it, the time had come to get our butts back to the finish line to cheer in the remaining competitors. Shortly after midnight “TIM” who was celebrating his 60th birthday with a short little 140.6mile race came across the line in true rockstar fashion. It was great to see him cross the line with a huge smile. Our group decided to head back as we heard the last person on the course was at mile 20 of the run and wouldn’t be making it to the line for a couple hours. After racing earlier in the day, we were all pretty beat and hit the hay early…..at about 1:00am.

Overall a fantastic weekend. I can’t wait to head back and hit up the tiki bar house again. Next time I will likely only do the half as riding my bike for 5hrs just didn’t seem like a good time.

Oh, and if you read this far, I might have something for you. 2013, I have a free entry into any race for ONE person. I’m not sure how or what I’m going to do to determine who shall receive it, but those that have read this far are getting the heads up to stay tuned for more details.

Thanks for reading
Tim

p.s. sorry I didn’t take any pictures… I will see if I can find some later and add them.