First and foremost I’d like to thank Gawd for making this all possible……

 Ok,Gawd wasn’t there to help out,but MY God was there,my loving wife Kelly that supports me endlessly.  Honestly most everything I do I owe her 99% of the credit,the last 1% goes to all the other supporters out there.  Rev3 and all our team sponsors Power Bar,Blue Seventy,Pearl Izumi,Normatec,TriSlide,and Swiftwick.  All the product really does make my life better. 

 On to the report

 Raceday morning came with a big “?” for me.  The weeks prior to this event I have been nursing a hamstring that I pulled at a track meet.  This meant no running for the week and a half leading up to this event.  Certainly not a way to instill faith in ones body come race day.  So the goal for the day was to ‘have fun’ (yeah right, it’s a race) and don’t come out injured any worse than going into it. 

 The swim:

For the first time in my 6 years of racing I finally had an event that was NOT wetsuit legal!  All my years I always wondered if I was a wetsuit swimmer or a swimmer.  Today I would find out.  There was a choice given to athletes: wetsuits and no Age group awards OR no wetsuits and it’s a race.  I obviously opted to RACE.  The water was 78+ and choppy.  Oddly enough,I had no anxiety about swimming sans wetsuit.  Once the gun sounded (for my wave,which was second) I started off with some brisk walking followed by the best display of dolphin diving one has ever seen!  I was off the front rather quickly with this technique,only to be relegated back shortly after we had to actually swim.  The only thing I thought about while swimming was the folks that weren’t wearing wetsuits that really should be.  The water was really rough and I was honestly concerned for their safety.  Hope everyone made it out ok. 

I came out of the water 7th in my age group and in a time that was strangely 13 seconds faster than last years full wetsuit swim in calmer waters?  Odd, I need to investigate that further.  (see wetsuit testing later this week)

Time: 31:13

 T1

This was a pretty standard transition with the exception of me missing my rack because I didn’t bother to count it out in the morning….. rookie mistake. 

1:29 I think?

 Bike:

The bike felt pretty good right from the start which is different than normal.  I think having the non-wetsuit swim kept my core temperature down nicely.  The first 9-10 miles are a gradual uphill that this year seemed to be aided by a slight tailwind I think,though the flags on flag poles along the way suggested otherwise.  The plan I had for the bike was to put it all out there since I knew either way my run was going to be terrible thanks to not running for so long.  I was passing folks pretty frequently when finally someone rolled up on me.  Checked his calf and he was 33 and in my Age Group.  I stuck with him,upping my pace and telling myself I wouldn’t let him get away.  We ended up riding with each other for the next 35-40miles which is always a great way to keep your efforts high.  My PowerBar gels were flowing nicely and I added in some salt tablets for the first time since I knew I would be drinking all water on the bike.  Everything seemed to be working just fine.  Loved the section of road between 20 and 30 that must have had a tail wind as those miles FLEW by in a cloud of 30+mph dust.  By mile 30 though we stopped passing people.  There was a group of 3 guys up the road that we couldn’t seem to close the gap on.  It took the better part of 10+miles before I would close that gap.  By this time I had lost my previous riding partner.  Enter the SampsonState Parkand all it’s rough surface glory.  Actually,I can’t complain as the road isn’t too bad if you hammer.  Also,forgot to mention the freaking crazy thunder storm,that felt GREAT!  Anyways,I caught and ultimately jockied back and forth to the finish with those 3 guys.  At mile 53 or so,I had an issue with my left quad as it cramped up pretty bad.  I was able to get it loosened up and I drank everything I had an stuffed a couple more salt tabs down my throat.  Off the bike 3rd in my age and 14th bike in the T-zone

2:29:xx 22.6mph (though the course was actually 57.5ish and I like to use that MPH avg of 23 J )

 T2

It was sprinkling and everything was wet,so I chose to put my socks on for preventative care.  This and I knew there wasn’t going to be a need to shave a few seconds off as there would be several MINUTES givin’ back during the run today.  So I slapped my socks and sneaks and hit the road running. 

1:29 I think,again

 “Run”

First mile was nice and I thought I might be ok.  It went by in 6:40 and I was taking control and holding back in an attempt to have something for the next 12miles.  I could feel my hamstring with every stride; though it wasn’t painful it did remind me that it wasn’t 100%.  At the first aid station about 1.2ish into the run I chose to walk through to get some water and coke started.  Game plan was to get caught up on what I’m always behind with at this point.  The next mile wasn’t too bad then it went up the first ‘climb’ of the day.  The dreaded stair climb.  I have done these stairs enough to know,healthy or not,don’t burn your matches as these stairs seem to be capable of doing.  So I walked/light jogged them.  I was feeling alright through mile 4.  I was fueling the best I could on water and coke (I hadn’t found a gel at this point).  When I stopped at the porta potty at mile 4+ I could see that I was very dehydrated at that point.  I made it a point to really take the time to hydrate but by mile 6 my day was done.  I was babying my hamstring too much by that point and my lower back paid the price.  My sciatica was acting up,for the first time in years.  Lovely!  From this point on,my run was more of a grimace in familiar pain.  I was too far to not finish since the shortest route back was ahead of me.  I pushed through it,keeping cool at every opportunity that came along.  The next few miles are nothing to report on,but I would like to say sorry to all those that offered me encouragement and all I could do was grunt in between moans.  Crossing the line never felt so good as that meant I could sit down in the tub of cold water and then get a massage and stretch at the ART booth. 

1:5x:xx (who’s counting at this point)

 Total finish time was 4:55 and I was 3rd in my age group. 34th overall (though I think there were a couple wetsuit guys up there)

 Overall,I was happy to at least beat last year’s epic failure of 5:04,but I’m far away from the 4:37 of some year past.  I suppose I should begin my training for that Full that is creeping up on us now….. till next time.