Heading into this, my training had been quite sporadic. Had pulled a butt muscle back in Feb. so I couldn't run for over a month so by the time CT cam around I had only gotten back to distance for 2 weeks. The good news was that the last 3+ weeks of training was good and I felt relatively good going in. Didn't get anywhere near the amount of sleep I needed due to work and just about the busiest race week I could have had. My brother & his family also came down for this and stayed the weekend so THANK YOU LISA for putting up with it all.
After only 4.5 hours of sleep due to one crazy long little league game the night before that lasted 3 hours. Got up at 4, had breakfast with my brother and off we went. Got to the park quickly as there wasn’t as much traffic at this time as there has been in the past. Pretty easy going and no worries at this point. Set up transition (in the clear morning). Usually doing this in the rain so the unexpected nice weather was quite nice. Heading over to the tent to chill out and introduce my brother to the best club in the TRI world. Lisa, my kids and my brother’s family all made it just in time to the start and they were all wearing the TEAM ANDO shirts everyone painted on Saturday. What a cheering section we had. Felt good to have that kind of support.
Being in one of the biggest age groups, this is always a battle. This year prove no different, in fact, it was probably worse than previous years. Started close to the shore as I have in the past to avoid most of the mayhem. But this year, Andre The Giant started right next to me and proceeded to swat me with every stroke the entire way down to the turn buoy. Every time I tried to move away someone on the other side boxed me in. I finally got by him at the turn and only had to deal with the other 180 age groupers. The back side felt good and when I hit the island I pulled hard until the finish (as my swim coach told me :) As usual and with a big smile, Bob pulled me out when I finished. It’s so great seeing an MMTC’er when you get out of the water.
Coming up the shoot is when I heard our blue-clad TEAM ANDO shirt wearing cheering section. That made me feel great as I moved up into T1. No real issues here, decided to put on socks here so I didn’t have to do it in T2. Off on the bike, This is where the fun begins.
BIKE 1:13:42 (20.4 MPH avg)
My fastest bike time EVER!!!!! I was so thrilled with this time. Was hoping for a 1:15 and I thought that would be pushing it. So I felt good, no real issues. Had just my aero bottle full of Infinit and was going to take a gel out past 32 and then grab a water on the return. I couldn’t believe how packed it was out there. I came into the tree tunnel (just past the first circle and the church) and must have come up on close to 50+ bikes in about 100 feet. Good thing the hill climb spread them out and was able to maneuver through. There was a lot of passing and unfortunately not a lot of “on your left” courtesy. What has happened to that? Now it gets worse. A guy passes me after 32 with another on his tail drafting like he was in the Tour de France and they continue to swerve in and out of people passing them, cutting them off, including me for about 3-5 miles. Did it to me 3 different times. The last right before the reservoir climb where I had a few choice words for him before I put the hammer down and I flew past him on the climb. I realized he was in the age group that went out before me so I just laughed to myself knowing I had 5 minutes on him.
Felt good on the climbs, kept in control on the flats and downhills and didn’t seem to push it too hard. Came back to the park feeling pretty good and actually entered transition right behind my buddy who didn’t seem to see me.
T2 & RUN 51:56 (don’t have splits listed)
Whipped through transition. Not sure I could have been much quicker. Took off on the run feeling pretty good. Saw my cheering section right outside transition so felt even better taking off. Plan was to run the first 2 miles in under 15:20 or so knowing the next 2 miles were mostly up hill. Got that accomplished and think I was even under that. It was great hearing all the MMTC shouts at the top of Gatorade Hill. Made me take off down the hill. I try and take advantage of momentum on the run as much as possible. Got through the hills and to mile 4 right at an 8:00 min avg so I felt pretty good. Saw my brother coming up the hill as I was running down the heading out of the neighborhood back up to Old Annapolis. That to me is the worse part of the run. I hate that hill. Had a little chat with Danny as he sped on by me. I’m also ready to take him on. He usually passes me on the bike so I’m making headway. Next year Danny! As I was rounding the lake, I realized I was heading towards a 2:32 finish and was practically jumping up and down. Couldn’t believe it. Came toward the shoot and my kids joined me for the run across the finish line which was what makes it all worth while. A GREAT DAY!