I did another race last weekend as a warm up for this Saturday’s Boulder 70.3, plus it was just some good plain fun. The best part was that Adelaide and I actually started in the same wave, which was a first for us.
If you want to read about Adelaide’s race, click here.
Right from the gun, or bullhorn siren noise, I made sure to find a good pair of feet to follow for the swim. I found my victim and quickly set about to clawing at his ankles as hard as I could, forcing his legs down a good two and a half feet below the surface. That slowed him enough for my breathing and heart rate to go down to a comfortable level.
I jumped over to a different pair of feet when that guy got tired, and after a few minutes on that second set of feet I finally decided that I should speed up and just go off on my own. Focusing solely on drafting, I’d let my form go to shit.
My first transition went smoothly and after a mile or two I was in the lead. The first quarter of the race was false flat uphill, so I hammered pretty hard until I got to the slight downhill heading east. I let my breathing come down so that I could eat a package of Clif bloks, which had had a hole in them during the swim and had soaked up quite a bit of lake water.
My power goal was not within reach at that point unless I killed myself on the false flat downhill section, which would have been dumb. Nevertheless, I was pretty content with how the bike was going and was happy to see an improvement from two weeks prior at the Summer Open/Superior Morgul.
As I entered transition two I got confused about which way to go, since course marshalls often aren’t pay attention when the first person comes by. I slammed on the brakes, cursed, skidded around a corner, sprinted out of it, then realized I had to get my shoes off in about four seconds. I only managed to get one foot out by the time I had to dismount. I jog-loped to where my bike rack and gear were, only to end up in the wrong row. It took me a good 15 seconds, running my bike from row to row, in order to find my stuff, using loud cursing as a form of echo location.
The run course went uphill for the first 500 meters, which meant that I promptly got a massively painful lung cramp, just like the last race. As the road evened out, the cramp dissipated and I got into a good rhythm. The rhythm didn’t last long since the run was only 5K and at the turn around I saw that I had a big lead. I cruised through the second half of the run with almost three minutes on the next guy, Steve Johnson. About 1K from the finish I saw Adelaide, who was the third female at that point. We gave each other a hoot of encouragement and I hammered on back down the other side of the hill.
I crossed the finish line and collapsed onto the slip and slide, making it 98% of the way to the end. There is absolutely no better way to end the suffering than that.
Adelaide came in a short while later, just 11 seconds behind the first woman. She’d run a solid 5K, averaging 6:47 per mile and had been gaining on 1st place all throughout the run. The up side to 2nd is that I often find that losing is the best way to regain my passion for pain and hard training.
I’ll have my chance at losing this Saturday. The start list is stacked. Realistically, I think that if I have a great day, 5th or 6th place is possible, and I should be super happy with that. But I’m not realistic.
2nd Steve Johnson, 3rd Eric Kenney