Better late than never, eh?
First and foremost I HAVE to thank my beautiful wife, Marijke, and my 3 amazing kids (Sebastian, Elisabeth, and Nicholas) for being the greatest supporters of my new found passion.
This was my second Columbia Tri and my 6th overall tri since starting last year. It has been an amazing two years of tri – both mentally and physically. The best part of all the tris I have done is the people I have met and those that have become my dear training partners and friends. I have Dawn Rudolph to thank (blame) for getting me into this sport as she told me all about tris when we met on a metric century ride some years back!
As recommended I did get a good night’s sleep the Friday before. This was not hard as I had spent 3 days hiking with 230 6th graders up in Northern Maryland. First time I have gone to camp and actually lost weight. Only concern was that my calves were super sore. Thank you foam roller and stick!
Woke up early Saturday morning, to be sure I got a parking space, and heard the all too familiar pounding race day rain. Ate my oatmeal and banana – discovered last year that bagels with peanut butter make me nauseous in the swim. This new food mix seemed to do the trick.
Immediately set-up my transition area under a trash bag (which I did take away with me at the end of the day) and headed over to the tent to help with set-up. Enjoyed all the emails from other MMTCers hanging out in the parking lot and was tempted to sit with Dawn until I saw the “classic Prince” musical selection! Had a great time shivering with the other racers and then we all realized if we put on our wetsuits we would actually be warmer. This was only done after the 37 potty visits, I did not even want to have to fight the wetsuit for that!
As the yellow wave got closer the nerves suddenly spiked, not sure why but I really starting panicking. Walker over to the entrance area and had an opportunity to say hello to Mayor Fenty who was in the wave before me. All of a sudden I see my darling wife standing next to me with a huge grin and camera. All my nerves melted away at that point, could not believe that my bride, who HATES mornings, braved the weather and the time to come cheer me on!
Swim went fine, no panic at all this year, despite having the bejesus kicked out of my face. I swore I tasted blood and thought my eyeball had been pulled out of the socket, but as I could still see on I went. I did pull a moronic bad site and had to really readjust course. Not sure how that happened but ah well. Knocked 46 seconds off of last year’s time so felt good about that. Like someone else mentioned, I swan until the grasses bent. SWIM: 27:24
Transition 1 sucked, I could not get my stupid wetsuit off of my feet to save my life despite Body Gliding both the inside and outside. I think I bent over and cut off all oxygen to my brain which could have been a contributing factor. Took some swigs of water and ran up the muddy hill. T1: 4:34
I was really looking to make a dent in the biking this year, I had been really working on shifting and following Jelly’s mantra of spinning 108. Was still out of breath until ½ down 108 and then started rolling (well, for me at least). On the bike I had filled two water bottles with Propel and realized that I hated the taste as I flew past the first water station. I was SO psyched by the cheers from Linda and the MMTCers that I did not think of throwing my stuff away and taking some good old plain water. Took advantage of this on the return trip though. Took some Sport Beans at the start of Linthicum and felt great nutrition wise. Was feeling really good until I saw the rider that went down on the way to Green Bridge Road – tons of blood and it really make me skittish about hammering on the bike. Ironically I ran with the EMT that responded to the accident the next day and got all the gruesome details on that poor guy. Lost 14 seconds off of last year’s time. BIKE: 1:34:22
Transition 2 went much better for me this year – shaved 1:28 off of that time. Not having to blow dry my hair and do may nails really made a difference. Ate some more beans finished off my water and took off. T2: 3:05
The run. Ugh. Last year at mile one my IT Band flared up and I basically had to walk the entire course, a most frustrating and humiliating endeavor. This year I was feeling better, thanks to Deb Taylor my PT extraordinaire, and the fact that I had switched to Speed Play pedals on the bike. This year I would run as much as possible but walk the big hills to stave off any potential flare-ups. This worked like a charm and I shaved 7:45 off of last year’s time. Still not great but getting better. RUN: 1:08:01
Now to explain the teaser: Elation: holy crap I shaved 30 minutes off of last year!! Deflation: What do you mean I did 3:37:09 last year, I thought I did 3:47:09? Celebration: A 9:44 improvement is actually something to be proud of. So there, I am proud of what I did and despite saying I would never do CT again, I am waiting to sign up for 2011!! FINISH 3:17:25
Thank you to the entire club for the amazing and unending support and friendship!!!