“A” for Iron Abe

This was my first time doing the Iron Abe, but my forth year in the tri fest.  I have always done the sprint race until now.  Going into this summer’s “A” race has been difficult.  I have stayed “dry” or “almost dry” for the last two weeks and my training and diet have been spot on.   After the Evergreen Triathlon, I jumped into a week of maintainence training.  I even missed out on my training blog.  Monday I swam at lunch and ran after work.  Tuesday  took the day off.  Wednesday I swam and lunch then set a PR at the New City TT.  Thursday I headed out with the training race folk, put in a couple of hard efforts, then turned around early and headed back with Jason.  Friday was another swim, nothing too hard.  Saturday was a day off for me but my daughter Chloe did her first triathlon.  She had a blast!  Sunday was race day!

DewTheTri2009

Just to let you in on the details, the night before we had a huge party to go to.  Food, beer, margaritas…  you name it.  I wanted to avoid the party food so I ate at home.  The night before a race I always try to eat as early as possible, around 5pm.  Any later, and it won’t come out of you before the race…  To make a long story short, I was in bed by 10:30, not early enough for me.

Jason picked me up at 5:30.  I had all my bags packed and in a pile in the garage.  I had some coffee and an oatmeal bar before the race.

I had picked our packets up the afternoon before, so there would be no numbers to apply.  I had everything done the night before.  This really saves a lot of stress and time in the early morning.  We showed up and headed straight to the transition area to stake out our spots.  I was very close to the swim in, but had to run across the transition for the bike out/in.  While setting up the transition, I learned that it would be a wetsuit legal race.  Yahoo!

Jason and I headed back to the car.  I had packed a separate bag with my tri suit and running shoes and left it in the car.  We changed and headed out for a warm up run. After that I slipped into my wetsuit just as the pre race meeting was starting.  I headed in the water anyway.  I headed out and back and then out and back again.  I have to have a good warm up in the water.

IronAbeStoneman2009

People started lining up at the boat dock.  I was in the third wave.  I was thinking I would line up towards the outside and maybe towards the back.  The only problem was, everyone wanted to be at the back.  So I said, what the hell and lined up at the front.  I have been swimming a lot more this year…

My goal in the swim was to keep my head down for longer intervals before spotting.   Between that and my uno-lateral breathing, I was going to have trouble staying on course.  But I might be faster.  The director yelled “Go” and I headed out.  It was going really well.  I may have been zig zagging a little but for the most part I was moving forward.  After the first buoy we took a left hand turn right into the sun.  I could not spot the next buoy if my life depended on it.  The only thing that kept me going straight was the splashes in the water ahead.  I figured I would just keep going in that general direction and eventually I would be able to see the giant floating piece of cheese.

By the last stretch, I seemed to be swimming alone.  I was in no-mans-land,  the story of my triathlon life.  I was somewhere between the fast people and the slower people.  But I finally landed in 21:06.  Holy Crap!  I had a 30 minute swim last week…. was I that much faster?  I had a better swim, but not that great…   The swim course was mis-measured!

I ran up to the transition, my wetsuit was already down.  I pulled it off my ankles, put my helmet on and ran out with my bike.  :58 second T1.

The bike is my favorite part of the triathlon and the course was on my turf.  I knew all the corners, all the hills, and the direction of breeze.  The Iron Abe course is the same as the Stoneman but adds in the New City TT course.  Last week I did a 23.7mph for the 40k, and this week I was hoping for a 24+.  The way out was a slight tail wind, or so it seemed.  While trying to get into a groove I took in a Roctane hoping it would help me through the run.  It wasn’t until the New City course that I caught my sister Kim.  Then I caught Travis Shroll.  I turned to him an told him to go easy on me in the run. I knew it wouldn’t be long I would see him again.

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I hit the turn around and before I knew it I was back at the transition. My bike leg ended up at 1:01:33, a 24.2mph average, I met my goal!  I hopped off my bike and ran it to the rack.  I put on my hat, my Zoot shoes, lathered in Body Glide, grabbed my race belt, Gatorade and headed out with a T2 of :42 seconds.  All I had left to do was run the dreaded 10k.

Looking back on the 10k course, I have to say I really hated it.  It starts out on the 5k sprint course, but goes past the 5k turn around by 1/4 mile and then does an odd little loop on some side street.  The you end up going back past the 5k turn around.  So anyone that you may have passed doing the sprint, was now ahead of you again…

On the way back in, about the 2 mile mark you take a slight detour to the left.  This is were the race really started.  The course seemed to loop in and out, up and down.  The turns were short and the trees were tall.  the course just seem to keep on giving. This was were I started getting passed.  One by one.  I just prayed that they were younger than me.  Then came Travis, flying by.  His right calf said 35.  My only hope was that he would catch everyone up the road, because I could not stay on his heals.

Once again I found myself alone running across the bridge to the finish line.  There is nothing better than the cheering crowds and the sight of the finish to make you speed up.  I sprinted toward the finish hearing the Hawk  (the announcer, not the bird) yelling out “Danoh”.  I gave it everything I had left, and finished the run in 46:10 a 7:27 pace.  My overall time, 2:10:30. 7th overall and 1st in the 35-39 age group, thanks to the hard effort from Travis, who got third overall!

Wow 12 minutes off last weeks time.  I will take it, even if the swim course was cut short.

I stuck around for the awards and watched several HardyBreed Rabbits walk away with hardware.  Kim got 1 female overall!  Jason broke his 2:30 goal with a 2:29:39 in his first olympic distance race.  Eric was 2nd overall in the Stoneman. Congrats to all!  We couldn’t have asked for a better day.

[Dew the Tri for Kids Results] [Iron Abe Results] [Stoneman Results] [Race Photos]