Waves are organized by age group. About 100 people in our wave, and we are third. Scott and I have a plan here. Figure the best are going to try to start in the front right position. We want to start front left. We know we are going to get passed but the theory is that if we race into the water and really hit it for the first leg hopefully the wave will thin out before the stronger swimmers are passing us. We'd rather be passed by better swimmers a few at a time as opposed to starting in the middle and being in the washing machine. So as we line up in front with just a minute to go we see our wives and kids in the crowd! Yay, they made it! 3,2,1, GO! Sprint to the water (this would be the last time I lead Schmize) and dive in. The instant I hit the water my goggles are around my neck. Now I have to stop and fix them but, genius that I am, I have placed myself directly in the path of 100 large men who want to swim directly over the top of me. This is going to be ugly. I roll onto my back do what I can with them in one motion and keep stroking. After a couple more minutes I clear them out a little more and then keep swimming. The swim was basically one long painful depressing workout for me. I felt hungry, and this is where I realized I need to be smarter about my pre race nutrition. The only other thing that was interesting was that as I neared the end of the long backstretch I found out that the swim rafts that dot the lake are NOT moveable objects. How come when I swim into things I never hit them with my hands first? After ramming the crown of my head directly into the side of the swim platform I looked up to see two lifeguards standing on it. I wonder if they felt like the guys in Jaws watching the shark ram the boat? Probably not. Ouch. So I swim around the raft and on to the buoy. I get to the beach and try to stand. I'm prepared for the disorientation and brace myself with my hands for a second and then start to chug up the hill. My left calf has cramped up into a knot (again). It seems to always do that when I get out from a long OWS. Holly is there and tells me I'm only 2 minutes behind Scott. She is lying by about 5 minutes but she's trying to encourage me so I appreciate it.
What would you do differently?:
Be more careful of my goggles and avoid fixed objects in the water.
I get in and out of transition smoothly except for one thing. My left calf is still a not and I was not able to practice jumping on the bike while cramping. So I run out and try it anyway. My family is there near the mount line and that was great. I jumped on the bike ok and go. The cramp prevented me from actually getting in the shoes for about a half mile.
What would you do differently?:
Nothing, this went great and I was second in my AG in T1, 36th overall. Scott (Schmize) was actually first, so I guess our racking change helped even though it was T2 where we really felt it would make a difference. Nice job Scott!
I felt very weak, slow starting the bike. I got passed by so many people on the bike it was ridiculous. And I'm not complaining about my speed. I'm happy with my speed relative to my training. I'm talking about how many strong riders it seemed like there were in this field. I guess when you have 1600 people there's a lot of everything but I got passed a ton! I was able to make up some ground on the downhills but had some trouble climbing. Everything went pretty well here. Also, I only saw one paceline. Three guys who would actually break up every time went passed the volunteers so they wouldn't get busted. Otherwise it was a pretty uneventful bike. As I came into the end I got a big boost when I heard the cowbells! There's my family, the best!
What would you do differently?:
Not much I could have done differently other than go faster.
Another good transition. 2nd in my AG and 19th overall. And considering this includes sitting down to put on socks and shoes I'm VERY happy with it. And the socks were worth it because most of the run it was sunny and hot! The only thing that bugged me here was that the dismount line was completely clogged with people stopping and unclipping which slowed down my cool cyclocross dismount, but since I didn't cross the timing mat until after I had shouldered my way through them it did not affect my time here. People, please leave some space for those of us who have found ONE part of this event that we are good at! ;)
This was also where Holly told me Scott crashed on the bike. I asked if he was ok and she said he was fine. It's funny. She said "Jeff is 1/4 mi. ahead of you and Scott crashed on the bike." I took that to mean "you can catch Jeff but even though Scott crashed he is so far ahead of you that you'll never catch him." :) I was just glad Scott was alright. I didn't know much about how others were doing but I could feel that he was having a good race so I was glad he wasn't hurt. Shortly after I saw Holly I saw my family again! They were awesome.
What would you do differently?:
Ah, the run. If I was going to gain on Scott and my friend Jeff this was going to be the place. I tried to start with a good pace because this where I could really push myself, and I did. After about 1.5 mi I could feel my legs coming back under me so I picked it up a little more. Finally saw Scott and he looked like he was doing great. I saw Jonathan too. I caught Jeff at the 3 mi. turnaround. We had a little exchange, let's just say he was not talkative at that point. I kept going. I saw all the girls, Laura, Laura, Jen and Cindy. Cindy was so full of energy! I saw Whizz right after seeing my family for the third time on the run (did I mention how great my wife was?). All of them have told me how out of it I looked on the run, confirming that I was pushing myself as hard as I could, which was my goal. I love how honest triathletes are. None of them said "you looked great.." or any b.s. like that. They all said "you looked like crap!" My pals, seriously, I love honesty.
So I figured out a strategy for drinking on the run. Grab cup of water. Toss half in the direction of open mouth, pour remainder on head. It worked for me. I ate one gel on the run. At the 4 mile point I thought I might have a shot at 2:45 but math was escaping me at the moment. At the 5 mi. mark I was hurting. I thougth about how maybe I had not respected this run distance and I'd only run 2 5K races before and this was a long way to RACE. I hit the 6 mile mark at exactly 2:45. Dang two-tenths of a mile! I ran in, no finishing kick, just paced it in. Saw my family as I crossed the line. Went back to kiss my wife. It was over. Finally. I'd done it. I'd left it all on the course, I had nothing left.
What would you do differently?:
Nothing. Forget the times. I gave this run everything I had and I'm completely happy with my effort.
I hobbled to the medical tend and kneeled down inside for a few seconds. Shade. Ahhhh. Then Jeff was crossing the line so went out to congratulate him. I also saw MarkK (who started in a later wave) come in and shook hands. Grabbed a gatorade, looked at the medical tent again and hesitated. I considered going in side to lay down. I don't think I needed "medical attention" but I should have gotten out of the sun. Then I was saying hi to more people. then my wife found me and I hugged her. At this point it really hit how the last year of training and learning had all led up to this moment and I got a little emotiona. I told her how much I love her and appreciate her support and hard work because when you have three kids you can't do this alone. It takes both of us and I feel like she's almost as much of a triathlete as I am. Walked around in a daze for a while, drank as much gatorade as I could get my hands on and ate my MIL's gluten free post-race oatmeal cookies! Yum. Went to our bikes, checked out Scott's dirt, damage from his wipeout. Oh yeah, his wipeout. This is when I finally learned what happened to him. Remember when the guy told us to "stay on the road"? Well apparently someone wasn't listening. In a crowded turn Scott's front wheel slipped off the edge of the road, caught the gravel and he went flying in to the ditch. Like I said, I'm really glad he was able to keep going because he had a great race.
We hung around for a while and bs'd with Mark and Cindy, Todd, Whizz and saw some others. Headed over to the coffee shop right next to the recplex and continued chatting there. It was interesting. Everyone again was asking my about why I looked so bad and we began talking about nutrition. Everyone chimed in and two thoughts occured to me. One, I was honored that everyone was taking an interest in trying to help me and determine what the problem was and what the solution might be. Two, it was like watching a thread in a forum develop live in person. It was really interesting. This really was special group representative of BT and I'm so glad to call you friends. I can't wait to see those of you who will be at the half-mary in Crystal Lake in three weeks.
What limited your ability to perform faster:
Not much. It's still early in my triathlon life. This was only my second tri (despite my over-inflated post count) and I still feel like I'm on track for ultimate goal. I take away from this race that I have transitions down pretty well and that I have a lot of work to do on pre-race nutrition. Also, that this lifestyle is a lot more rewarding with people like you meet on BT.
I loved this race. I was a lot of fun. GREAT SWAG! What an awesome facility. Well run, very athlete-friendly. The course is really fun too because you go back and forth a lot so you get to see the other people, and your jockstrappers pretty often. I highly recommend it.
Last updated: 2006-06-26 12:00 AM
80F / 27C
Overall Rank = 298/661
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 63/96
Ok, out of consideration for the servers in Marmadaddy's basement I'll try to keep this short. Ha! A year ago I found out I had Celiac disease and my life changed dramatically. Not only did I need to get in shape anyway, but I turned to excersize as a crutch to help me deal with my diagnosis. It is very easy to get depressed when 95% of the food you have eaten all of your life is taken away from you. So I zeroed in on something I has wanted to do all my life but was too much of a couch potato to do - triathlon. I went and watched one and was hooked. I began training and almost immediately found this website. So I've done one other tri before this but this race is what the last year of my life has been about.
I feel like it begins on Saturday when I rolled into town with my buddy Larry and my two kids. We got to transition, checked in, got the sweet backpack they gave out (nice shirt and hat too) and racked our bikes. Then we went inside to hear the race talk. During the race talk the guy kept mentioning that on the bike course there were gravel shoulders with steep ditches on some of the curves so it was important to stay on the road. Me, Larry and Jeff (another friend) looked at each other and said, Ok the theme of the bike course is "stay on the road". Duh! What kind of moron needs to know that? heh. (this is called foreshadowing). So after the race talk Laura (Whizz) walked up and said hi. She seemed almost embarrased to be talking to me. Could it have been the bright red home-made shirt that said GO WIENERS!!!? Was it my kids shouting "Go PP Weiners"? Maybe. So while we were chatting two very tall men walked up to us. Thankfully they were BT'ers! Mark (triingforsept07) and Todd (chirunner). So we all said hello and talked a bit. Headed to the hotel with my kids, checked in and then went down the enemy headquarters, I mean Schmize's room. Scott and his wife Holly were there with their two oldes kids. Our kids met and immediately began that hotel room ritual of kid bed jumping. Scott and I both had suprises for each other. He had P3 logos for his team name printed for signs they were making. I had my Go Wieners shirt. My wife, Jen, MIL and youngest showed up shortly after that so we went back up to the rooms to meet them. Settled in and got ready to go to dinner. I also gave them their thank you gifts. I got Jen and MIL tickets to a play and told her I'd watch the kids so they could go out. I got all three kids t-shirts that said GO DADDY! on the front and Hangin' in the Prairie 2006 on the back. And cowbells. Cowbells are loud. Really loud. We left the cowbells in the room.
Eight of us, plus some friends and family, met at the Chancery for dinner. We had a great time at dinner. MarkK and CindyK were the first ones there after us and it was great to finally meet them. They were great and very patient with my kids, which was cool. To continue the trash talking and since we were already bodymarked, I had Jen write "Bye Scott" down my right calf. It was funny on Saturday night but didn't really come in handy for the race. I told her I needed to get all my trash talking in on Saturday because come race time, well, it's hard to talk trash from behind. Dinner was a lot of fun. Laura (StartingToTri) called me the biggest dork she's ever met 5 seconds after meeting me so I've got that going for me. :) We all wrote down goal times. After dinner we went back to the hotel and took the kids down to the tiny pool so they could blow off some steam (and Scott and I could continue to talk about the race). The pool was like an ice bath and the hot tub was wetsuit legal. Yuck. Went back up to the rooms around 9pm and starting trying to get to bed.
Here is where things started to fall apart for me. I'm usually a VERY sound sleeper. I fell asleep right away at about 10:30. I woke up at 11:50 to pee. Fine. Got back in bed. Could not sleep. At 12:50 I could not believe I had been tossing and turning for an hour. My wife couldn't sleep either. At 1:50 I couldn't believe it had been 2 hours. At 2am I gave up, took my bags down to the car. I got in and went for a drive. I thought about driving the bike course, decided THAT was NOT going to help me get back to sleep and went back to the hotel. Got back in bed at 2:30. I don't know when I fell asleep but I woke up just before the alarm went off at 3:40. Wonderful. Met Schmize in the lobby and we drove to the race. He didn't sleep much either.
Remote parking, shuttle ride to the race. Funny moment. On the bus Scott says "here's the one hill I was telling you about." Guy on the bus says, "You guys must be from Illinois if you think this is a hill." So we get to race and it is still night-time dark out. We're the first people there and there's only about 6 of us. The setup is in full swing. We start soaking it in. We're finally here. What a rush! Unwrap the bikes and prep transition. Hmmm, only an hour and 15 minutes to stand out here in chill. Now what do we do? Scott and I walk the ins and outs of transition and realize we are in the WORST possible spot for transition. We are sworn not to reveal our secret methods but we negotiate more favorable rack positions on the other side of transition. Pre race I see Jonathan (jowisc) his wife Jen (jschmitchicago) and big Mark. My early morning litre of Diet Coke has its intended effect, wetsuit on and I'm ready for the swim warm up. We head to the water. It is warm and feels good compared to the chill in the air. The beach down to the water is steep and the entry is even steeper. At the swim warm up we see Laura (StartingToTri) and her friend who I completely embarrassed myself in front of. I introduced myself since I had not gotten to meet here at dinner and asked if she did triathlons too and it turns out she's IN THIS RACE. I felt like a complete ass. She just looked so calm and cool and was wearing a t shirt I didn't think she was racing. Kudos to her for having it so together! And I'm an idiot. So I recovered from that and we got into our waves. Time to get ready to swim.
Just a 5 minute swim in warmish water, followed by 20 minutes of standing around in the crowd.