So I have officially done my 1st tri and let me tell you that I learned a lot on Sunday. While it was great to trade in my newbie card for a brick the biggest thing that I took away from the weekend is that we have an awesome club! The support was outstanding.
So I got up to Deep Creek around noon on Friday, got checked in to my house which was less than 1/2 mile from the start/finish which was great because we didn't have to drive. Then I went and got my bike inspected, grabbed some lunch and my packet and settled down for an easy day. Saturday I went over to cheer on our group through the Olympic distance which was awesome to see everyone out there racing and cheering. This race has a great feel to it and I will put it back on my schedule in the future. After Saturday's race I racked my bike, attended the athlete briefing and then headed over to the Wisp for the private reception with Dave Scott and Jeff Mallett before the race sponsored dinner. Unfortunately Dave Scott had a family emergency and wasn't able to come out and race but I did win a brand spanking new Xterra sleeveless wetsuit in the raffle which was great since I didn't have one! Headed home and had dinner with the family and friends that made the trip up to see the craziness that I was about to embark on. Called it an early night.
Slept surprising well. Had 2 bananas and a peanut butter english muffin for breakfast and then headed over to setup my transition. I had Linda draw all over me at body marking which was fun. She even made sure that I sported a "CB" on my left calf which I ended up explaining many times during the race to others.
Swim: 1:08 32/32
So everyone that has ever swam with me or talked to me about swimming knows that I am possibly the worst swimmer on the face of the earth. I entered the water feeling fine and I had a plan to take it easy and just make it through as comfortably as possible but that all changed about 200 meters into the swim. Both of my calves started cramping! I ended up just swimming buoy to buoy and then having to stop and take a break and collect myself. My swim was simply a race of survival to get out of the water which I did thanks to "Kayak Bob" who paddled next to me almost the entire 2nd half of the swim. Got out of the water, kissed the ground and headed to T1.
T1: 5:35 17/32
Took my time to make sure I had everything that I needed for the challenge ahead of me. Ending up being the right thing to do.
Bike: 4:41:51 29/32
I was really looking forward to this part of the race and I trained long and hard all season preparing for this course and it all went down the drain in a hurry. At about mile 10 I started cramping in both of my hamstrings which made for a miserable ride. I rely heavily on my hammys when I climb so I had to change my climbing style just to keep myself going. I decided that cramps or not I was going up "The Wall" no mater what. When I got to Westernport I prepared myself for the pain that was about to come and then started up the lower slopes. I had 2 guys in front of me so I spaced myself to be safe which ended of being a crucial decision. The 1st guy fell to the left which was okay because I was climbing up the right but then the 2nd guy fell to the right in front of me. I swerved left, spun my rear wheel, screamed a profanity as I felt myself stalling out when all of the sudden Bob Reid jumped out of the crowd and screamed in my ear to "Kick this mountains Ass!" which is just what I needed. I kept my balance, got my wheels turning again and powered through the rest of the wall on the left side over the potholes with Bob running on my left and Sadj on my right! You guys gave me what i needed to get up! So with the wall out of the way the slow drag through the mountains continued. I bombed down the descents to make up as much time as possible that I was losing on the climbs. On the descent down to Killer Miller my rear wheel slid out from under me. I slid into the grass and then went down. No injuries, just a tweaked rear derailuer. Got my composure, bakc on the bike and continued. After crawling up Miller I made my way towards the last climb of the day. About 15 miles from the finish I had a rider go down in front of me. I could not avoid him and I ran over his front wheel. Made sure he was okay and then continued. A few miles later he passed me while I was on the side of the road changing a flat which I assume was from our little incident. Back on the bike and made my way to T2.
T2: 5:41 29/32
Bob Reid to the rescue again after I called him when I realized that I left my Sport Shield at the club tent and I needed it on my feet since I was going sockless. He must be my personal guardian angel! Lubed up the feet and out for the run.
Run: 2:33 26/32
Came out of T2 and felt great. Went through the 1st 1/2 mile in 3:40 and all the pain was gone in my legs. Just before the 1 mile marker I came upon my friend and fellow club member Nick Garner who looked like he wasn't in a good place. I stopped to check on him and he was having a heard time. His legs were giving out and he was worried he would not make the cutoff for the 2nd lap. I told him that I would run/jog the 1st lap with him to make sure he made it since my chances of a good time were long gone. He limped, gimped and hobbled his way through but we made the cutoff by 2 minutes! I gave him a high five, wished him luck and told him I was on my way. Ran the 2nd loop surprisingly well and covered the final 6.5 miles in 55 minutes which I was happy about. As I came around the corner at mile 12 I saw my wife who was walking looking for me. She ran in the final mile with me which was nice since she hates to run. She peeled off as I entered the finishing chute and I gave 1 last kick for photo's sake and powered through the line and into the open and waiting arms of Sadj who was there waiting for me! She gave me a big hug, told me I did great and gave me my finishers shirt. What a woman! Good for you Boston Bob!
So this was my 1st race and while it didn't go near like I had hoped it was still an amazing experience. I learned a lot about racing and myself but most of all we have a great club! I am penciling this race back into my schedule in a couple years with plans of redemption after I get a few more races under my belt. Thanks to everyone who helped me with my training and general advice. Special shout outs to Jellyfish for pushing my butt up Illchester in the early morning hours on many a Friday, Bob Reid for getting me up the wall and saving me in T2 and to Sadj for being there with her huge smile as I cam across the line! I look forward to the next one!