I drove up to Milwaukee. It’s a pretty short and easy drive for me. Got there around 10:30 for packet pick up, and then met up with Adam Furlong for practice swim. (I finally got to meet another twitter person!) I should say we met at the same time, and swam in the same body of water at the same time, ha! Then we got to run…much more fun! After swim/run, I did bike check in, met Chrissie Wellington, and found a bite to eat. Checked into the hotel, blah, blah, blah, pre race beer…or three, and just relaxed.
Alarm was set for 5:00 AM, but I was wide awake at 4:38. Gah. Walked to McDonalds for some oatmeal and coffee, packed up the truck, and was on my way to the race at 6AM. I checked my bike in pretty early the previous day, so I had a slight problem finding my bike race morning. I know what my bike looks like, and I knew what spot I was, but…there were about 6 other red and white Cervelo P2C in a row, along with a red and while BH… Luckily for me, they are probably faster swimmers than me, so mine should be pretty easy to spot coming out of the water. LOL.
After setting up transition I hung out with Adam for a bit, and just waited…and waited…and waited. Starting at 10:12 seems like forever when transition was already set up at 7. There was also a 15 minute delay!
Swim: 26:41 (1245th)
Honestly, I got beat up and thrashed the first 1/3 of the swim, even though I tried to find open water. I then decided to find some feet and draft. It worked til about the turnaround, but the kid was swimming too slowly for me, so I decided to go around. I found a nice line to swim the last half of the swim and felt like it was going pretty well. I just focused on a higher stroke rate and a good 2nd half of the stoke. I excited the water feeling good and ready to take on the bike.
Bike 1:01:56 (350th)
The bike was fairly uneventful, and I did not get passed by anybody on the bike. A kid from CU Boulder and I went back and forth most of the ride pulling each other along, and we picked up another kid about half way through the ride. Honestly, I felt great on the ride and was happy to have a couple others to work with. I was smart and took my feet out of my shoes after I crossed the bridge. The roads into T2 are kind of rough and would make getting out of shoes kind of difficult. Well a guy riding next to me tried to take his feet out about 100m from the dismount line and ened up going over the front of his bike. He went over the front, his bike followed him, and they landed in my line about 30ft up. I slammed on my brakes…which sent me skidding sideways. At this point I was just thinking, “Uh oh. I’m either going to run him over or crash.” At this point I was about 6 inches away from the curb. I was not looking forward to slamming into the sidewalk or the other guy. I let off the brakes and somehow made it through the gap of him and the sidewalk. I got lucky.
T2: I could not find my spot. I knew last rack, look for the big speakers, look for the small speakers, 5 spots down. Well, I could not find my shoes, and I did not see any red Cervelos either. I probably lost 15 seconds looking for my spot. Said good luck to the guys I was just biking with, and was out the gate.
Run 33:57 (7th)
Honestly, flat and fast run. Crowded. I just got out and got into a groove. I felt pretty good getting off the bike, so I knew I set myself up for a good run. The first 3 miles were a cake walk. I knew starting the 4th mile I would have to start digging, but deep. The nice part about the run is that it’s an out and back, so I can see the competition. I knew there were a couple Iowa and Ohio guys up there, that had beat me earlier this year, so I wanted to catch them. I told myself that at the start of mile 5 just go all in. Sure, I still had 2.2 miles to run, but it can’t hurt any worse than some of the things I’ve done this year. I clipped off a 5:17 5th mile, and was really just looking forward to finishing. I hadn’t caught the Iowa or Ohio guy yet, but I could see them with a little over a mile to go. My last mile was 5:24. As I was running down the red carpet to the finish, I tripped with maybe 25m to go. I caught myself, but it probably looked pretty funny. I missed getting my finisher medal put on by Chrissie Wellington because once again, the medical people thought I needed attention. Do I really look that bad after I cross the line?
2:05:28, 38 AG, 171 OA
Honestly, can’t be mad about the race. I mean my best before the day was 2:14 (and 2:22 before that). I put together a great race against a stacked field. It is not discouraging to finish that far back with a big PR, but it really exploits my swim weakness…something we will continue to work on. That was definitely the most competitive Olympic Distance tri I have ever done, and I look forward to going back next year!
Once again, thanks friends and family for the support. A shout out the Coach Steve for helping me put together another solid race. I can’t complain about a PR—I’ve taken 17 minutes off my OD PR since working with Steve! And thanks to Hawk Racing for the new bottom bracket. I needed a new one, and this one is great!