>> Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Or, “Not trying to PR, just trying to have a good time.”
Yes, this report will be in 2 parts. I just have SOOO many photos from the race (about 50) that I need to break it up a little. This report will go from pre-race through T2, and that will include getting changed into the Grim Reaper outfit.
Pharmie and I got up early on Sunday morning. And that was after being woke up late the night before by a drunken couple fighting and yelling in the ally by our house. But the cops showed up and things quieted down. So we were working on about 4 hours of sleep. We got packed up in the morning, and headed out to Square Lake.
When we showed up, there was a sign outside the park that said “This lake may give swimmers itch.” Nice. I’ve had something like that before, and I really didn’t want that again.
Pharmie and I got set up in transition, and we headed down to the lake to get ready for the swim. When I was at the park the day before, I told Pharmie, “There’s like 15 steps that we have to climb to get up to T1.” Well, as we were walking down, we counted 68 steps. Apparently, I’m not good at estimating. Here we are heading down before-mentioned stairs, with the lake barely visible below us:
Note the perennial smiley face on my calf...
Thanks for coming with us, Steph!!
(I still don't know what that arrow on my wetsuit is pointing at...)
(I’m spitting in my goggles)
Wave 1, starting in the distance
I was swimming very comfortably, but quite strong at the same time. I wasn’t taking it TOO easy. I was wasting a little bit of energy by swimming SO far to the outside, but I didn’t care. I was just playing it safe. I finished the first loop in 19:01, and was rather happy with that time.
I pretty much repeated everything for the second loop (and I peed while heading to shore), and I finished the last half of the swim in 19:12. Nice and consistent! I couldn’t complain about that swim! I felt great!
I hit the ground, popped up, and started stripping:
I ran up the beach and flashed a smile at Steph:
I got changed in T1, and was off on the bike. It was a hilly, hilly course. It wasn’t as bad as IM WI, but it had more non-stop hills. WI had more huge hills, but this course just had constant rollers. Like Pharmie said, there were really only 2-3 miles of non-hills.
About 7 miles into the ride, I had to pee again. So I pulled off by a cornfield, grabbed my camera, and let er’ flow. Have you ever seen me peeing?...
I hopped back on the bike, and kept at it. I zoned out a lot. Whenever I checked my pace, I always thought, “Whoa, Steve. Take it easy. You shouldn’t be this fast right now.” But I somehow finished the first loop in 1:26:20 with a 19 mph average! What the hell?!? I was really afraid that I was going to lose my legs for the last part of the ride because I had gone out too hard. But I didn’t feel like I was working too hard. I didn’t know what to think.
I started the second lap. I was pretty good about making sure I was getting enough nutrition (Carbo Pro and Hammer Gel). I had to pee. AGAIN. So I pulled off to pee in the same cornfield. This time, I went a little farther before stopping, and it proved to be a bit of a problem. The ground had much more clay in it, and it pretty much mucked up my cleats. I couldn’t clip back in. My Speedplays were clogged. Shoot. Here’s what they looked like once I got home:
So I rode the last 20 miles without being able to clip in. I thought about stopping to clean my cleats, but I was making it work pretty well, so I just kept going. I was SO FREAKIN’ SURPRISED TO FINISH THAT SECOND LOOP IN 1:28:06!! My average had only dropped to about 18.75 mph on that hilly course! I didn’t know what was going on, but I felt really good at this point! I rolled back into transition just as Steph was thinking, “I better start looking for Steve.” And “BOOM” - there I was. She was just as surprised as I was to be done at that point.
Nine easy steps for having a much longer T2 time than you need:
1. Take off your bike paraphernalia:
So, I headed out for a nice 13.1 mile run in that outfit! Let’s just say, it was a huge hit out there! I’ll be back in a day or 2 with photos from the run, along with the exciting and entertaining finish. You won’t be disappointed! Thanks everyone!
Update: Here's a link to "Part 2" of this race report.