This was the race that made me want to, uh, try tris last year. My wife raced it as her first one last year and I found it really exciting, well-run, and with a really great vibe. I’m happy to say that I wasn’t disappointed on any of those fronts. I will say, however, that I need to pay more attention to the yahoo list, because I had NO idea there was going to be an MMTC tent. Bummer for me, because I would’ve loved to hang out with whoever among you was there.
Okay, so I enjoyed the heck out of this race, even I did finish much slower than I hoped. I was feeling really confident about this race after Columbia. I did a strong brick in training, and I was hoping to really break something off and clock a time of around 1:15, which would be pretty awesome for me (though I noticed my AG was stacked with people who do that in their sleep!). I was a little worried about the heat, but had an early swim time, so that turned out ok. Sidebar for you Eagleman racers: I went out to Cambridge the Friday before EM and did a 75 mile ride, most of which was on the EM course. By the time I got back, I wanted to die. So hot. So windy. That ride on Egypt road was a killer. You guys get mad, mad props from me for knocking that race out. Anyway, I figured I’d manage the heat if you all did it at E-man.
Swim was uneventful and the water felt great. I’m not super-fast and knew I wouldn’t be able to shorten my swim time appreciably, so I just went at my usual pace.
Here’s where things went, er, down hill. I was hoping for no more than a 40 minute bike. But right after I got out on the bike, I started feeling nauseous (don’t worry! There will be no puking in this report!), and the long climb to start the ride didn’t help. Stupidly dropped my chain about a half mile in and proceeded to use most of the curse words I know in response. Only took a sec to get it back on, but was a bit of psychological blow. The other mental test developed when I realized I couldn’t check my pace on my bike computer, which told me I was alternately riding at 7, then 25 mph, then 40(!). Now I don’t know how many of you folks have ever been bike riding ;), but there sure is a difference between 7 and 40. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t doing either. In any case, wasn’t a fast bike for me, and I most certainly didn’t break something off.
T2: 1:45 (I still really have to work on my transitions.)
Starting out on the run, I was still a bit nauseous, that that faded as I got going. I still never was able to get up to the pace that I wanted on that run, and was probably a little down because I wasn’t able to hit my bike time, knowing I’d never make up 5 minutes on the run. I’ve found that the run course on the Tri-to-Win is the toughest on a sprint tri that I’ve run. You get a nice flat warm-up to start, but then you run uuuuuuuuuuuuuppppppppppp a pretty long hill with no shade, get to the top, and turn around. It’s an out and back, so your legs never really get a break, and your quads can take a pretty good pounding for a shorter run, going up that hill and then back down it.
Finish Time: 1:24:08. Wanted a 1:15. In the words of John Bender in the Breakfast Club, “Not. Even. Close. Bud.” I was definitely asking a bit too much of myself, but I really do love this race and so had a great time anyway. It’s got a great vibe, is well-organized, and I’d recommend it highly.