Did anyone race the Kennebunk Fire Tri this Sunday? If so, you may have seen someone there that looked like me, sounded like me but did not race like me. Yes, we're going to file this one under "what the hell was I thinking?"! I raced Timberman last weekend and threw down all I had on that course and came up big - for me anyway. A mere seven days later I watched a triathlon from a different point of view - the back! The swim wasn't too bad after I did my textbook "blow up in the first 200 yards, let everyone go, then spend the rest of the swim catching up" routine. Getting good at that.....imagine if I ever figure out the swim? I'll be something! Not sure what, but something....pretty sure the term "swimmer" won't be used in the same sentence as my name. Let me back up a second. For the first time ever I overslept on race day. Can you imagine? That's like sleeping right through Christmas for me. I got a new phone last week and used it for an alarm and well, I guess I need to have my daughter show me how to use it again. I woke up at like 5:35am or so to Jodi saying "hey - aren't you supposed to be gone by now? NINE minutes later I was ripping toward Kennebunk with a coffee in one hand and a bagel in the other catching a great draft off Chris and Tracy on the highway. Thanks guys! Made it to the venue by the skin of my teeth, checked in, hit the bathroom line, both 20 minute ordeals, racked the "alleged" Rocket and headed for the swim start. I have never been a bigger cluster before a race. This thing was doomed from the start, I just didn't know it yet.
I had registered for the "open" division this year thinking that it would get me out into the race field with less traffic in both the swim and the bike. This plan turned out to be a waste as they had us do a "mass start". So now I'm just the slowest guy in a yellow cap instead of an age grouper with a shot at some hardware. Anyway, I got through the swim and out onto the bike after what must've looked like my first time coming out of T1. I got going and the heart rate wouldn't even come down into the 160's. Hmmmmm. That was the first indication that something might be a bit "off". Imagine that. I have always been able to solve most issues on the race course by just going harder - pushing through it, so that's what I did. And it didn't do squat. I was working hard and going nowhere. Now, the bike is probably my strongest of the three disciplines and I pride myself on not getting passed in races. So you can imagine how I was feeling when people started whizzing by me like I was tied to a stump. I actually looked down to see what was wrong with my bike! I had given it to Josh Freeman when I got there to have him tweak it a bit and I was sure he must've done something wrong! Maybe let all the air out of the tires? It couldn't possibly be ME, I'm an All-Star! Hahahahah Well, Josh, thanks for the awesome tune - the bike was running great, it was the motor I was having a problem with. It got worse from there. My friend Stacy caught me and blew by me. As she passed she told me to get my act together and get moving. I tried. My legs just wouldn't go. Then I looked at my Garmin and it said 175bpm. Not so good. I caught her and went by then I coasted down an incline to recover and she caught me again. This time she really layed into me with a tirade I can't print here but I can tell you that she was not impressed with me catching a breather on the downhill. I passed her back and managed to stay ahead but not by much. Our friend Erin blew by me too - oh yeah, and Catherine...and the rest of the PBMC team. I think word was spreading fast and everybody was coming to get me!
I wanted to stop so badly but I couldn't quit - I never quit. Not an option. I tried to survive the bike and hope that I might feel a little differently on the run. I got into T2 and out on the run and was pleasantly surprised with my 7:20 pace for the first couple of miles. The wheels came flying off the buggy around mile three and the last few were ugly but I got in without hurting myself or someone else. I finished 52nd overall (3rd in the open division). Lots of people would be thrilled with that but I was thinking I should be in the top ten. Guess I was wrong.
I learned a lot (again) that day. I learned that you'd better be in some really crazy race shape to pull off a 70.3/Olympic back to back and do both well. I learned that no matter how crappy you race your friends are still at the finish ready to congratulate you. I signed up for this race because it was the "Club Championship". Hope I helped but not sure I really did. It was still fun to be out there though and I had to just laugh at myself....I was so trashed the few days before this race that I couldn't even get out the door to do a simple workout. You might say the writing was on the wall. I know better but I guess sometimes you just can't see the forest through the trees!
So back to the drawing board I go. I'll rest, recover and refocus. And I'll be back out there tearing it up!
-Signed, "Rookie for a Day"