Sunday was my third race of the season, a sprint tri held in the little town of Palo, IA. I was feeling a little more rested for this race than the last one due to the HIM taper starting to cut back on my training volume. I ended up finishing with 500m swim/15.5 mile bike/5k run with a pretty good time, 1:14:25, which was good enough for 29th/657 overall and 5th/39 in my age group. Plus I shaved 45 seconds off my time on the same course last year! Here's a little glimpse inside my mind:
Beep! Beep! Beep! Is that my alarm clock? Yes it is. Is it really 3:15? Yes it is. Frick!
Out of bed, clothes on. Bagel, toaster, PB, nanner. Yum. Out the door by 3:45.
It's dark. There's no one on the road. All the sane people are sleeping right now. In my younger days I might still be awake on an all night bender. Getting sleepy. Open the windows, crank the tunes, headbang a little. Deer!!! That'll wake you up.
Where are you sending me GPS lady? I think I remember how to get there. I'll trust my gut on this one. GPS off.
Okay, I'm 15 minutes early but people are showing up. How about the packet pick-up tent? Yes! Open for business. Put another piggy shirt in the closet. Race number is 232...hey that's a palindrome.
Tires pumped. Where's a nice lady with a marker? She must be new, asks if numbers are vertical or horizontal. Must. Refrain. From. Quoting. Tommy Boy. Top to bottom, left to right... a group of words together is called a sentence. Take Tylenol for any headaches... Midol for any cramps. Wow, they are really marking every limb this year.
Let's find a spot in transition. As close to the bike exit as possible. That'll work. Chat. Drink. Wetsuit half on. Mosey on down to the beach.
The elites are off! Man, they are fast. Fast swimmers make me jealous. This tri thing would be a whole lot easier if I was a fast swimmer.
30 minutes till my wave start, but in reality probably closer to 45 minutes. I'm in wave 8 and the time trial start is ALWAYS late. Might as well hop in the water and swim a little. That's a toasty 75 degrees. Good thing I went with the sleeveless wetsuit. 10 minutes and I'm out. Now to play the waiting game.
The wind has picked up because the buoys are curving now. Hmmm, note to self: follow them on the way out, beeline for the swim exit on the way back.
Hey, that swimmer just got attacked by a duck! Should I laugh? Yeah that's funny, haha.
Line's getting shorter. It's go time!
I'm the 3rd one in my wave to go. Runnnnn! High knees! High knees! Dolphin dive! Swim!
See you two guys later. Arms are moving, breathing is good. Take a right around this girl. Straighten out. Left around this one. Now in the middle of these two backstrokers.
Wow, I am cruising by a lot of people. Is this what it feels like to be a swimmer? Watch out! More dodging. That's the buoy rope. Can I get by one more. Is that chop? Is it wavy? Must be. Dang wind.
Keep pushing. Hard to with all the traffic. Round the bouy. Halfway there! The smell of boat fumes under water is going to make me vomit. That would be gross.
First green cap (my wave) is trying to pass me. Quick, grab his feet! Can't, there's a girl in the way. Zig. Zag. Cripes am I swimming or playing frogger?
Just a little further. Kick it in. People are standing up around me. Should I stand up too? No, wait for your hand to hit the sand. There it is, get up! Cap, goggles off. Run it in
Hear the announcer say something along the lines of, "and our first green caps are out of the water." I'm at the front of my wave! Thank you time trial start.
Pace: 1:35 / 100 yds
OA Rank: 88/657
AG Rank: 11/39
The legs don't like to move after a swim. We're racing legs, in case you hadn't heard. Go! Go!
It's a long transition area. Where's my bike? Wait for it....wait for it...there it is!
The wetsuit pops right off. That's so mush easier than my full suit. Shoes and helmet on, grab bike. Clip, clop, clip, clop to the mount line
Pedal, pedal, here we go. Can't hammer yet, gotta negotiate traffic out for awhile. Runners (yes, there are people on the run course already. Depressing.), spectators, bikers, CARS, and a partridge in a pear tree.
There's an opening. On the left! Let's roll. Heading south now. Which way is the wind out of? Feels like a crossie, but might be kinda at my back. Oh well, enjoy it while I can.
On the left! Pass, pass, pass. Does anyone look before they start to pass. I'm getting dangerously close to the yellow line and I'm tired of yelling.
Ooh, it's the loop through Palo. Hello, Palo. Yikes! Ambulance and stretcher, that can't be good. Goodbye Palo.
Heading north again. That minivan better get a move on or I am going to have some road rage. Good, he's turning right. Good riddance. Will they ever shut down these roads for this race. They should. They won't.
Up the hill. Should I get out of the saddle? Why not, it's a sprint. Mash away my friend. And down the other side. Woooooooo!!! Why aren't you people pedaling? Don't you want to see how fast you can go? I do. Hammer, hammer.
I'm getting close to the turn around now. 180, I hate 180s, and back in business. Nice volunteers pointing out ginormous potholes. "Thanks!"
Aaack! That guy just passed me! What's the calf say? 31? Okay, but still, push it back up the hill. Back to the park, almost there. Steep hill, watch out, make the turn. Okay uphill to the end. Traffic's getting dicey. Lots of runners, lots of cars. Someone's gonna die.
Let's the get the feet out of the shoes and spin it on in. Did that chick just repass me in the last 50 feet??!! Oh! And she biffed it at the dismount line! That's gonna leave a mark. Volunteer is helping her so hop off and run it in.....and try not to laugh.
Pace: 22.2 mph
OA Rank: 29/657
AG Rank: 3/39
Zooooooom! Rack the bike. Look at all those empty racks in my section. Sweet! Shoes on, grab stuff and go!
Legs feel thick. Shorten the stride. Focus on turnover. Hit the turnover, the pace will come.
Mostly downhill the first mile. That's gonna suck coming back. Why is my breathing out of control? Settle.
Have I mentioned how much of a cluster@%*& the park is? Cars going both ways, bike coming in, runners heading both ways. Lots of weaving. Gotta be nimble while running. I'm about as graceful as a bull in a china shop.
I'm going to pass this car on the left, no room on the right. Do I say on your left to a car? Wow, that bike almost clipped me. Would've too if it weren't for my graceful nimbleness.
Hey, aid station! Not thirsty, but the water is cold on the head. Refreshing! Okay, can't be too far from the turn around. Yep, there it is ahead. Woot!
Homestretch now, gotta turn on the afterburners. There's the aid station again. I'll take a sip this time, but the rest is going on my head again. Now, run! Heard some lady yell, "Go 232! Look at that runner goooo!!!!" Thanks for the smile.
Ow, ow, ow. Can I hold this pace? You better, Sally. This hill hurts. Do I look like death like these other runners? There's the last turn. Balls out now. There's trained medical staff at the finish, right?
Sprint, sprint! Go, go! Done!
Pace: 6:44 / mile
OA rank: 41/657
AG rank: 7/39
Let's grab a water and walk a little. There's the food tent. Pizza, strawberries, cookies! Yum!
Let's check the results. 45 seconds faster than last year! Nice OA place, stupid fast AGers. But they're giving hardware out 5th place in my age group so I'll take it.
Waited around for awards and talked to fellow BTer Eric (ersynder3654) who kicked my butt for the 2nd straight race. Grabbed my ceramic pig and left. This race has the best hardware!