Monday, October 26, 2009

Big Kahuna "Duathlon"??

I was ready for my usual 4:15 am wake-up. In fact the last 3 hours of sleep consisted of waking up every 20 minutes looking at the clock, making sure I didn't oversleep. I woke up and was ready for the long day ahead. I did a little foam roll and stretch before I headed to the transition area. My body felt good. I walked over to the transition area (hotel was 1/4 mile away). I found a good spot on the bike racks and I set up my gear. Then I waited and watched all the athletes come and go. The anxiety wasn't too bad but I did have some nerves. I took off on a easy spin on my bike. This helped calm the nerves and got my body temp going. By the way, it was an usual clear morning. The stars were so bright. Could there be no fog this morning?? I got back to transition area from my warm-up on my bike and started putting on my wetsuit, then we all started our way to the ocean.

As we got to the ocean it was still dark. But as you looked to the east, there were clouds traveling in our direction. I spoke too soon. After a quick warm-up in the 53 degree water, I was ready. The first wave was supposed to be at 7:00 am. The fog quickly drove in and blanketed the beach. There was probably no more than 1/2 mile of visibility. So the start time was now postponed. We stood around talking to our friends and family. I got cold. So I took off on a couple easy running laps on the beach so I could keep the blood pumping. IT was now 8:00 am. The announcement came from the race director, "We have cancelled the swim." There were mixed emotions from the athletes but I just took the news and went with it.

So now to the unusual start of a race. We lined up in our waves at where we would have exited the water. The start would be a 1/4 mile run up to the transition area (the same run we would have done after the swim). I was pretty excited for this because running 400's is what I do best. I figured this is the one time I could lead the race! haha So the gun sounded and I took off , got into my zone and lead the entire 1/4 mile run up to the bikes. I was the first athlete in my age group on the bike course. Well my lead didn't last long. Two miles into the bike 3 athletes in my age division zoomed by me like I was biking in place. I kind of laughed and kept going. Now it was time to bike 56 miles.

The bike was fun. With the ocean in our site the entire time, the scenery could not be beat. I stayed in my zone the entire time. I was pushing but didn't let my legs burn out. At about mile 15, I had to get off my bike and fix my chain. For some reason it got stuck and I could not pedal its way out. No big deal though. I was really working on my mental game for this event. Just have a good time, stay in a zone and trust my training. Soon before you knew it I was at the 1/2 way point. I grabbed some Heed drink from a volunteer so I could refill my aero bottle and was set to finish the 2nd half. As I neared the end of the bike, I dropped my gear and started to spin out my legs. My body was feeling good. My legs were feeling tired, but good. I was ready to run. It was motivating to see my friends and family cheering me on.

In transition, I decided to take the time to reach in to my backpack and grab my cliff bar. I am so glad I did this. I needed the calories. I headed out on the run and felt good about the next 13 miles. I knew if I stayed steady, I could run in 1 hour 50 minutes or under. So I kept my pace, I stayed fueled and let all that training pay off. The run was fun. I would talk to other athletes and thank the volunteers. It took away from the pain. Speaking of pain, my feet felt like pins aand needles were sticking in them. IT felt like nerve pain on the balls of my feet. I worked through it. Soon before you knew it I was at mike 6 and then the halfway point. I was happy when I got there. I told myself to "zone out" for the next 3 miles and I did. I was quickly at mile 10 and was still feeling good, tired but good. Over the entire run, I had 5 gels, 1 bottle of gatorade/water, 5 cups of water and 3 cups of Heed. My nutrition paid off. I turned the corner and headed to the finish. The infamous run in the sand to the finish line. This year it wasn't that bad. I was ready for it and killed it. I was pretty emotional and happy when I crossed the finish line. I knew I had a good day.

2007 numbers
Bike: 3 hours
Run: 2 hours 18 minutes

2009 numbers
Bike: 2 hours 45 minutes
Run: 1 hour 50 minutes

Thank you to my wife Stephanie for putting up with all my training and being my #1 fan. Thank you to my parents, my sister Elizabeth and her daughters Julianna and Adi. Thank you to Ira, Gardner, Connor and Brian for making the trip to support and watch the race! It was awesome for them to come and cheer me on. What's next? Who knows. Rest right now and then I will figure it out.

Past writings