Morning started out at 4:45 with the alarm blasting, got up made breakfast and had a half cup of coffee. packed up the car and got dressed for the race and was out the door at 6:15. Google maps said I had a 1.5 hour drive, but it was only 55 miles so I was suspicious. The first part of the drive was as I remember from last year, it's just when you get close and the major roads get fewer that it gets a little confusing. So I come up to the turn off hwy 27 onto some back road that is supposed to take me to one of the roads that the bike course is on and make my turn. I see a sign that says "no outlet" that's not good, but I'm only supposed to go 3 miles so it's worth the risk. about 1 mile more and I see "pavement ends ahead" also not good. then when the pavement ends there is a sign for a business, I think it's a tire recycling center, but in the morning in a rush I can't be sure what it was, anyway time to turn around. Pull out the IPhone and reroute, it uses google maps, so it wants to send me back down the dirt road through the plant, I don't think so. I make my way back to 27 and start looking for a road south, I mean I'm only 5 miles away can't be that hard. after a couple more dirt roads I find the one I need and am back on track. There were more than a few people lost, I guess they were using google maps also, because I saw a few people making wrong turns and I pointed the right way to them, and they ended up following me, had a whole convoy by the time I got to woodlake.
I was still early so I got a good spot on the racks, no numbers here, first come first serve. picked up the race pack and went to body marking. the two ladies there were quite entertaining. the put my race number on my arm and my leg, the one on my arm was wrong so she crossed out the 0 and put a 2 at the end, she said want anymore? I was like they usually put your age on the back of your leg so you can see who you are racing against. They laughed and said, not here we don't. Then added well maybe on the good looking ones. that just seemed to crack them up even more. I later relayed this story to some women at my rack and they thought it was funny also, I guess i was having a bad hair day ;-). After getting all set up I still had an hour to kill, so I hit the picnic benches to relax for a while before warmup.
Did my warmup run and was feeling good, had a hard time making the decision as to wearing the wetsuit or not as a bunch of people were saying how warm the water was. I finally decided not to and headed down to do my warmup swim. Got in the water and changed my mind. Went and got the wetsuit and put it on just in time for the first wave's 5 min warning. Since I was in the last wave I still had 13 minutes to go. Swam out and over so I was out of the way and did some warming up. Felt really good in the wetsuit, glad I went and put it on.
so on to the race, finally...
Swim: 9:54, Started off to the left with a good line on the far buoy and a nice flag pole to site on. Hit the first 200 hard and was clear of the bunch, but in another 50 we were at the first turn and ran into the 2nd wave. Had to pick my way through 6 or 7 swimmers, and was in the clear again. The next turn was about 50 or so more, but a lot less congested and headed back towards the shore. never really found anyone to draft off, but the wetsuit was working well and didn't think I needed it. No foot cramps or major issues, sited well and felt strong the whole way.
T1: 2:06, had some issues getting the strap to pull down the zipper, but once I got it, the wetsuit came off easy and the rest of the transition was smooth.
bike: 53:57, not in as good a bike shape as I was last year at this time due to early season marathon training so my goal was to come close to last years time and hope my improved run would pull it off for me. Started up the first hill and my legs were just not into it. I think I was still sore from Thursday tough workout, especially the hip flexors so climbing was tough. After the turn around, they started to come around and I tried to really push the 2nd half back. When I rolled in I was only 30 seconds off last years time so I was quite happy and but my low back was hurting a little so I was a little worried as well.
T2: 2:03, could not run well right off the bike so I hobbled to the rack and started to changed the shoes, I had a hard time getting my left shoe on correctly, the back kept getting stuck, so this took longer than I wanted, but at least all the bending over helped loosen my back up.
Run: 27:27, Last year I did a 25:12 on this run course and I was hoping to break 25. It is advertised as 3 miles, but my GPS puts it at 2.85, so under 25 is definitely in my reach. Started off with upper 8 min/ mile pace and felt a little stiff, but knew it would come to me. After a half mile things started feeling good and I picked up the pace a bit. a quarter mile later my stomach said stop running or else. So I stopped and walked and started looking in the woods for a secluded spot just in case. Luckily the feeling went away after a minute and a half and I was able to run again. Even with the 1:30 walk I was at 9:45 pace. Mile two was going real well, I was running 8:15 pace and legs were telling me I could do more if I wanted. I was a bit concerned about my GI issues so I kept it where it was, but right at the end of the mile they came back and worse. This time I had to walk for 2 - 3 minutes and was really in danger of going, but once again it finally went away. I started running again right at 2 miles and it was right at 10 min pace, so even with the extended walk break mile 2 was still 10:20 pace. This time when I started running I only had .85 to go and I knew my time was screwed so I didn't push anymore and just ran a 8:40 pace. This felt too easy and I just got into a depressed mode as I knew I could have had an awesome run time if only...
I'm still waiting for that race where I can have all three go right, but for now it's time to put this one behind me and start preparing for the 6 hour adventure race coming up on the 6th of June.