Swim - 12:56 (59/114)
Again, I was right in the mix at the start. Fortunately all the physical parts involved parts of me that aren't important (like my head) so things went off pretty much without issue. I found a pretty good pair of feet and rode them in up to the second turn buoy, at which point he started pushing out towards the shoreline, which is not the right angle for the swim exit. I have to pass and figure I'm doing better than I was on Saturday because there is still quite the crowd as we head into the exit. Still not an astounding swim, but better than Saturday's despite not being much faster.
T1 - 2:24
|Running in half a wetsuit, what a pleasure.|
Despite having a much easier to reach spot in transition, it lead to a much longer run out with the bike. My wetsuit made it a point to get stuck on my timing chip today as well. I took a breath, got it off, and headed out the door. The mount line was fortunately fairly clear and carnage free, so I mount and begin the ride.
Bike - 31:46 (38/114)
|Heading out on the bike course, take 2|
Basically the bike course was the first half of the Olympic, with the turnaround at the end of the bridge (so you got all the climbing available to you.) Going up by the lake walk area out of transition I could already tell my legs were going to protest another blazing ride, which was all for the better really as I had promised myself I would not repeat Saturday's mistakes and cook myself before t2. As I was coming up the first little "hill" I got a look at the leader, clearly crushing everyone. Next I saw two fairly good sized pelotons. Ok... going downhill after a turnaround I can see that happening.
I make my way back past transition and onto the bridge, plugging away and for the first time in my life kind of wishing I had a little softer saddle. Normally I have no problem even on rough terrain, but second day in a row of this broken stuff was starting to put a little stress to the naughty bits. Of course as I'm heading down to the second turnaround I get another view of...again... two pelotons coming back up. I feel like the refs were extremely lax with penalties Sunday morning... if at any point a rider can reach out and touch 4-5 different guys (and multiple riders can do it) they all need pulled over and issued a penalty. I guess we all make the choices presented to us at the time though. Maybe I only saw those groups at precisely the times they were bunched up.
Anyways, one of my goals was to not let things outside my control bother me... so back to my own race. I have a pretty good split considering yesterdays effort and happily have a much smoother dismount as well.
T2 - 1:20
|heading out of t2 ready to actually try running|
Unfortunately I botch T2. Somehow I miss my shoes laying on the ground and run right by my spot (it's tough when most of the bikes are gone to see exactly where your tiny number on the rack is) and have to do a little backtracking. Fortunately in advance I had written my number on the back of my hand so I could do some quick math and figure out where I needed to go. I rack, put on the Zoots, grab my belt and hat and run for the exit.
Run - 21:45 (68/114)
|Look at those rock hard abs... Cobb kit should definitely have a mankini option...|
A much better paced run than Saturday. I felt tired from the start, but not the same "holy crap" dead feeling I had after overbiking. The run course was actually a little nicer than it had been the day before as well (I prefer park runs than street runs) and of course being a couple of hours earlier in the day did a little for the cooling. I saw Jenny and the fam early into the run and that really helped. At the turnaround I got to see the guys in front of me. I counted off the first 30 or so before telling myself to "stop doing that" and focus on my own race once more. At the second mile marker I was finally able to start passing a couple of people who had faded, and got one final shout of encouragement from mom the last k. I gave it one final sprint for the finish line and clocked a solid time, a 1:10:13 for my efforts. That was within a few seconds of what I had expected as a "good" day result, with a 1:07 or so being a great day (and probably pretty unrealistic the day after the Oly) I was quite happy with that result, especially after how I felt on the morning. I knew I was nowhere near the top 25, (although I would have been other years, so i wasn't too far off in my "planning stage") but I was certainly at peace with my performance.
Finish - 1:10:13 (50/114) 366/1734
I spent the majority of the rest of Sunday walking around Milwaukee, driving around trying to find places to park, and lounging in the hotel. It was the start of Shark Week so there was plenty of "veg out" viewing available. I turned in early as we planned to leave around 4a.m. for the trip home.
Unfortunately, I awoke around midnight in a cold sweat. It's very rare that I get sick (especially now that I only drink very rarely and very little when I do. No more bender sickness.) but it's a feeling I have no problem remembering. I make a trip to the bathroom and expunge what seems like an endless supply of waste... not so much explosive and violent as it was... well when you pull the lever on the soft serve chocolate yogurt and there is just a seemingly endless stream of... well... enough elaboration... you get the idea (enjoy your next trip to Froyoz!) After only moderate relief I come to the next logical step... barf time. I yak loud enough to wake poor Jenny (who thought I was dying) who I hastily get to retrieve the little pink bottle from my "emergency" bag.
|At least you'll always remember me when you have ice cream.|
As soon as I recovered enough to start training again I contacted a local swim coach about working with me. Too long have I been content with "not drowning for xxx distance" as opposed to swimming. A week later I'm making improvements (especially to my kick which was "beyond abysmal") already and although I still have a long road ahead of me I'm motivated to make swimming a strength instead of something I just try to get through.
Next weekend (Sept 7th) is the Rev3 Aquabike. I'm feeling stronger on the bike than I have all year, even managed to set some new 2 hour power records over the weekend, so now it's a cram session to try to "patch" my swim up as good as I can between now and the 7th. It's too late to gain much if any fitness, but if I can gain some efficiency in that time... well, we'll just see what happens.
Thanks for reading, for anybody reading this wondering if you should do Nationals (back in MKE for 2015) my answer is definitely yes, it's a great race and neat experience. Just don't drink the lake water...
- Christopher Morelock