OFFICIAL KEELY DISCLAIMER: THIS DICTATION, STORY, ACCOUNTING OF SAID RACE CONTAINS VULGAR LANGUAGE, GROSS AND GORY DESCRIPTIONS OF BODY PARTS AND BODILY FUNCTIONS. IF ANY OF THIS WORRIES YOU AS A TRIATHLETE…HOW THE FREAK ARE YOU A TRIATHLETE? SERIOUSLY? ANYWAY, STOP READING BECAUSE IT IS, AFTER ALL A REPORT BY KEELY. SHE SPEAKS FREELY AND UNFILTERED. DEAL WITH IT.
Pre-Race: Woke up pretty decent time and took Colby out for his bathroom duties. However being 4:20am and he’s 18 he just looked at me like “Dude, seriously? I’ll just wait until you leave and do my business on the floor..I’m just training you for your mama”. He peed a little and I carried him inside. I made a smoothie of spinach, beet juice, protein whey, almond milk, banana and frozen berries. Drove up to Perryville drinking my smoothie and some Pedialyte. Stopped at DD and got a coffee and turkey sausage English muffin.
Race area: Got to the venue around 6:15 I think? Parked in what appeared to me the Florida Everglades with swampland everywhere. Got out of my truck and conveniently stepped into a grassy puddle and proceeded to get attacked by gnats or some other biting insect all over my legs. Awesome!
Packet pickup was smooth, #400, nice and even, easy to remember. They weighed me in as I registered under Athena. Ah yes, way to brighten my morning by showing me I’ve gained some weight..bitches. Shirts were a bizarre yellow but I like it, don’t have that color in my tech tee rainbow collection. Got my bike and racked it a couple of bikes down from Bruce Chambliss. Not sure if that made me feel fast, old or what…but he was doing the sprint so it didn’t matter in the end. Then again..it wouldn’t have mattered anyway!! LOL
Hung out with Kim & Patrick Sheridan, Hector, Paul & Jennifer before the start then wished Paul and Jennifer good luck as they made their way to the swim start. Hung out some more while the sprinters finished up their swim and then time for the men to make their way down the steps to the dock and into the water. Then the women!
Swim (41:03): The swim was clockwise in the Susquehanna River. It had rained a lot the day before but the water seemed fine. A balmy 79.5 degrees according the USAT Head Official Laura Beck…LOL. I actually had some time to get in the water, pee and get used to it before taking off. I was in the middle and off to the right of the group because I didn’t want to keep putting myself in the back but I didn’t want to get beat the hell up either. Then we were OFF! Minnows everywhere, slapping, banging, kicking, splashing…yes, all women. WTH? My butt was slapped at least 4 times in a row…MOVE TO THE LEFT OR RIGHT for crying out loud!! I’m not moving you’re behind ME..then my feet were getting slapped. Ok, my toe is still painful and disgusting from the chopsticks surgery and I was a little anxious something might happen so I started kicking a little more fervishly and gathered up a little speed to get out of the clusterf*ck of intoxicated swimmers. And of course we’ll all orange caps trying to sight for the orange buoy. BRILLIANT PIRANHA!! Every once in awhile I could tell that I wasn’t rotating my left shoulder enough so I’d focus on that and feel the water and get a little more momentum going. Again I ran into a school of drunk fish, thought I was going to draft off one girl until I realized she was imitating a jellyfish and just kind of floated along with the occasional random arm/leg movement that simulated a jellyfish or was a poor imitation of a frog kick. Got around her noticed a couple of people doing that 2 armed back stroke already…we’re not at the first buoy?!?! Ok, focus..keep swimming…lots of grass. Started to feel like the swamp thing because I’d get random bunches of grass trapped around my arm so it felt like I was trying to give a hulahoop demonstration with wet grass. Yuck. Then a lump of grass passed my lips…oh yeah, THAT was disgusting…but I held my own and kept swimming. So far no live fish, no dead fish, no red fish, blue fish, etc….I have an irrational fear of fish due to my younger days of being tortured by cousins up in Maine, and they seem irrationally attracted to me in open water. Wait, is that a yellow cap?? That’s a DUDE!! I’m chicking someone!! Sweet!! I passed a few more guys around the last buoy and on my way into the ramp to finish. The timing mats were only heading into transition so the clock time says 41 minutes but the actual swim time was 39. Compared to the 0.8 mile swim at Devilman that took me 43 minutes…seriously happy with this improvement (and without the wetsuit)
T1 (1:46): Grabbed my shoes and bike and headed out to the mount area because transition out was a muddy mess almost as bad as Eagleman.
Bike (2:10:51): Loved the bike course. You’ve already gone a little over a mile by the time you leave the park and it’s cool and shaded then you go through some of Perryville and around the town, some backroads and through Port Deposit along the river. About 10 minutes into my ride I went to take a drink of my Infinit bottle that I had frozen the night before along with a water bottle. Oops…not Infinit, just water!! Crap!! I know, it’s only 27 miles but I’m an extremely salty sweater and I mean salty in terms of NaCl, not in attitude (although some would argue) so I knew I really needed them for this ride. I started to worry but then remembered “Hey, you actually CLIMBED Ilchester..these hills are nothing! You’ve got strong legs, take it easy, relax and BREATH!!” So I did, the first hill going up Sumpter is a little steep considering you’re making a right turn right onto the road and hill but it’s not bad. People were passing me here. Didn’t care, I just pushed my booty down onto the seat forcing my twitchy butt muscles to relax and help push me up the hill. I don’t know about you but for some reason when I bike I squeeze my butt cheeks like I’m trying to crack walnuts…I have NO IDEA. I’m thinking I do that as part of my anxiety issues. I get all worked up about a hill that I tighten them up. But when you push down into your seat it really does help!! I was able to relax, focus on my pedaling and breathing and was relaxed when I got to the top of the hill. I recalled driving the course the week before. I had planned on riding it but when I got to the park a huge thunder and lightning storm was coming through. So I drove it and it flooded in places and all I ended up remembering were a couple of hills. It’s really not as hilly as I thought. It’s a beautiful course with some rollers, some nice flat areas to build up some speed and some nice hard climbs with a couple of descents. That one descent where they WARN you multiple times to SLOW DOWN definitely needs to be taken into account. Some jackass passed me on the right at an intersection because I was avoiding a puddle/pothole and then I passed him on a downhill after that. At the technical descent I’m braking and slowing down and he passes me AGAIN while braking, “Wow, I guess they really did mean it”. Ok, what other race have you done where they put on the bike course map AND the athlete guide AND have a person with a reflective vest and flag waving and SIGNS telling you to slow down because of a steep descent and sharp turn??? I was trying to get his number to tell Laura what an absolute moron he was, and for passing me on the right. But couldn’t get it….
Biking through Port Deposit was pretty. Nice porches, beautiful flowers blooming outside of residences. Huh? Would you look at that…a shaved Bermese Mountain Dog! WHY would you do that to the poor thing? He looked like a black lion! Big ol’ furry mane and tail…but sheared down like a sheep. I’m sure the neighborhood dogs look at him and laugh. Around mile 21 after you leave Port Deposit is the 7.5% incline they tell you about. Kind of sucks, but nothing major. Just lasts about a mile. I did it, didn’t phase me and kept going. The water stop was at mile 22 and I was able to grab the water bottle while still moving and kept going! THAT was one of my “race moments”! I was so psyched I kind of did a little fist pump with the water bottle!! LOL
Rest of the ride back to the park was nice, I was getting a little tired but I passed a girl that I had been playing leapfrog with on hills and descents. I passed her again and this time tried to put some distance between us. As I was turning onto IKEA WAY back to the park I looked behind me and didn’t see her at all so I had a couple of minutes on her. Biking through the park I attempted to take my feet out of my shoes and continue pedal with my feet out and resting on top. I did it!! YAY!!! Another “race moment” as I dismounted and ran through the sludge barefoot instead of mucking up my clips and shoes!
T2 (2:33) : Sprayed sunscreen as it had been overcast until now and the sun was out and the humidity was picking up. Apparently did another stellar job as there is a streak of white running down the back of my right arm where the sunscreen dripped down my arm and even though I sprayed my lower back I got another tramp stamp sunburn. There goes my evenly distributed tri-tan!! Back to the uneven coloring that are Keely’s seven layers of burns!
Run (1:25): Nice, mostly flat out and back past the old VA hospital and into a neighborhood we biked through along the river. When I first started to leave the park area I saw Paul & Jennifer cheering people at the finish. Heard a lot of “Go Team Fight” and tried to shuffle along. Saw Patrick sitting down waiting to see Kim come in. I saw her on her way back in, saw Aldona and Amy. Saw a guy that I think had an Australian accent, he was cheering me on when I was coming through on the bike and he was approaching the run turnaround so we gave each other a high-5. I was moving as well as I could. I would walk through the shaded bits that were left and run through the sun because it was HOT! My stomach was kind of rumbling as I was hungry and wicked thirsty. I was licking around my face because I knew I needed salt. I had a couple of GUs in my belt but I seriously couldn’t even think about taking them. I was thirsty, seriously thirsty and sticking that mess in my mouth would have made me sick. I was nauseous thinking about it. So I tried to distract myself from my thirst. Of course I felt like I had to pee but knew I didn’t because I was dehydrated. Oh great…not I think I have to fart, seriously? But it was one of those “never trust a fart in a triathlon” type things…great…so now I’m laughing out loud, by myself because I’m seriously trying to figure out if I can relax my butt cheeks and risk farting or if I should just keep squeezing. Good lord, I’ve still got 4 miles to go! I’m not risking it. I’m squeezing. Distractions! Taking in the scenery, looking at the water…um..ok, stop looking at the water. Look at the flowers, mmmmm, raspberries, Oh an Osprey flying overhead! Nice! Tons of people walking their dogs. Finally I see the water station coming up before the turn around. Two gentlemen there were extremely nice giving me Gatorade and some extremely cold and refreshing water. They thanked me for coming to their little town and hoped I enjoyed the race…so cute! I let them know I was the last one so thanks for waiting for me. They said I wasn’t last and I said I’m pretty sure I am when we all looked up and there was someone coming! What?? Where the hell has he been? Older gentleman was jogging and walking..his daughter was with him trying to keep him moving. So I got moving, turned around the cone and headed back. I was just about out of the development when he and his daughter passed me.
I was at the final water stop and took another swig and kept going. A short distance later I saw Patrick jogging toward me. I asked him where my beer was. Apparently Kim had some “emergency” to tend to with another MMTC member and left in a hurry failing to leave any beer. So Patrick was so upset at the fact his mother forgot about leaving us our post race beer he decided to meet me out on the course and take it out on me by making sure I ran my intervals in. Joking aside, Kim did leave to help someone that had crashed and I’m glad they are ok. And Patrick, thank you so much for coming out and pushing me that last mile. Thanks Paul and Jennifer for waiting to see me into the finish too! Always nice to see friends waiting for you! Even the TriDawgs were hanging out in their tent tailgating and cheered me in. LOL! I tried to sprint to the finish but I seriously had nothing left. It was funny, in my head I felt like my feet were moving a bit faster but in reality I’m pretty sure Betty White could’ve passed me in the finish chute. This is a good race, nice swim, fun and challenging bike course and a nice out and back run. I’d recommend this race!