Well, folks, what can I tell you. It was AWESOME. It was damn near PERFECT.
But first things first.
Trimom and I left the house about 5:30, got a reasonably good parking spot and headed to transition. It took longer than we thought it would to get there because every ten feet was someone else we knew; a family member, someone from a training group, someone from my work… It was great, though. It was an excellent vibe to start the day to feel like this was a reunion of old friends.
We got set up, clambered into our wetsuits, and headed down to the beach to wait in line. The weather was great; low 60’s, overcast, no wind. It had drizzled early, but by the time we were on the beach, the rain had stopped.
Waiting there, my buddy Dan wandered off to talk to a friend of his who had checked out the water earlier. Dan came back and told me his friend had said the water wasn’t too bad. The quote was, “It’s not like it’s ice-cream-headache cold or anything.” Surprisingly, that didn’t make me feel better, but it was the funniest line of the day.
Now, I’m a nervous pee-er. And standing in line, I realized I had to pee something fierce. But I had already put my wetsuit on; there was no way I was taking it off now. I settled on the idea that I would just pee when I got in the lake. It was a good plan, but I have no idea if I actually did it, because when I got in the water, the only thing I could think of was “dear God in heaven, it’s COLD.” And it was. It took a little while to catch my breath, but by the time I got into deep water, I was in a rhythm. Face in the water, stroke, face out, breathe, face in the water… I popped my head up every four or five strokes to sight where I was going, which worked great until the return leg. By then, my goggles had fogged up and I couldn’t really see where I was going, and I kept drifting to the right. I swam a lot further than I needed to, because the whole return leg was a zig-zag.
The bright side is that I swam the whole way freestyle, didn’t panic, and though I was pumping blood pretty hard when I got out of the water, my head was clear and I wasn’t totally exhausted like last year.
I ran up to the transition area to the cheers of my mom and her boyfriend (which was AWESEOME), and when I got there, I saw Trimom was still there. She had gone off a couple of minutes before me, so I knew I’d had a good swim.
T1 went pretty well except for three minor problems. The first was that I sat on one of my socks and couldn’t find it for a couple of seconds. The second was that I tried to put my bike gloves on the wrong hands, like a complete moron. The third was that I had trouble getting the plastic covers off my bike shoes. Next time, I’ll take them off before the race starts.
Right from the get-go, I knew I was having a good ride. My legs felt strong, my breathing was good. I was passing slower riders and keeping up with quick ones. And then, just past the halfway point, I spotted Trimom ahead of me. I caught her, and then I passed her. We exchanged a quick hello, I asked her if she was okay, she said yes, and I was off. She was not having her best day, but I was having a fantastic day so far.
I had only a couple of troubles during the bike. First, I had problems with my front chainring. I ride a triple, and for some reason, the bike wouldn’t stay in the middle gear. The other issue was that with a mile to go, a cement truck pulled up behind me and pulled next to me! I don’t know how a cement truck got on the course, but it was kind of dangerous, and I couldn’t get ahead of it until the police stopped it in Elkhart Lake.
T2 went fine, and I changed into my stylin’ Dancing Fairy League team shirt. (Pics soon.)
My legs were like lead coming out of transition. I had anticipated this, but I hadn’t anticipated how heavy they’d feel or for how long. It took me a good mile-and-a-quarter to loosen up, and I had to walk some just to get my legs right. This was not going to be my best run ever. But I trucked on, and finally settled into a reasonable pace right around 11 minutes per mile.
With about a half-mile left, who comes running up the road towards me but my buddy Dan! I would find out later he finished in 1:16 and took 39th overall, despite not doing ANY swimming to prepare. He was running out to find me and other members of the team, and ran with me almost to the finish line. He helped me a ton, because I gave it a little more kick than I might have otherwise. (By the way, he then ran back out to run in more members of the Dancing Fairy League. He’s a hero, and a true friend.)
I sprinted across the finish line and had my bagel and banana, and waited for Trimom. She took longer than I thought, but was happy when she came across the line. Our girls were there too, thanks to our awesome race-day babysitter Kayla, and it was great to see them at the end.
They posted results on the side of a porta-potty, which was amusing. My cousin Jason actually saw my results before I did, and came up to tell me how I did.
You want to know? You’ve read almost a thousand words so far, you deserve it.
Remember, my goal was 1:39.
My time was 1:38:29.
Up until today, I thought I’d set too aggressive a goal. Turns out, I had set a perfect goal.
They haven’t posted splits yet, but I’ll let you know when they do.
Thanks to Trimom for letting me have the time to train, thanks to Sue at the YMCA for a great plan and great encouragement, and thanks to everyone in the Dancing Fairy League (Dan, Aaron, Josh, John, Justin, Leah and Trimom) for showing up and having fun.
Next up is Trimom’s Trek Women’s Triathlon in mid-July, and then we’re looking at a couple more in late July, August and September that we might do together. Stay tuned; I’ll still be here.