Decatur Lakeside Triathlon

My day started with waking up at 04:45 to the sound of rain.  Yes, it was drizzling and cold.  A stark contrast to the weather only a couple of days ago.  To make matters worse Starbucks was closed at this early hour.  I would be starting the race without my morning coffee, not good.

Lunch with Eric and I got to the race around 06:45 with, what we thought was, plenty of time to prepare.  I was somewhat in a hurry because due to an Internet snafu I was unable to pre-register.  Therefore I was allowing plenty of time to wait in line.  Fortunately, registration only took a couple of minutes and we were headed back to the van to get our gear.  Kudos to the registration girls.

Getting to the transition at 07:15 was apparently not early enough.  I had to ask someone to squeeze into a spot on the bike rack.  Otherwise, there were no spots left.  I must have been the last one.  Halfway done with getting my gear unpacked I hear that they will be staging at 07:30 on the beach.  This meant I had to rush the rest of my set-up and have no warm-up.

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Lance and I were definitely in the minority with not wearing wetsuits.  The water temperature was slightly chilly at 74 degrees but after you got swimming I didn’t even notice the temperature.  What I did notice was my fight for survival.  I started out as planned.  Off to the side and waiting for the others in my wave to thin out.  Unfortunately this didn’t help me much.  Not much more that 200 yards in and I was already doing the backstroke and breaststroke.  For some reason I couldn’t get my breath and I was panicking.  Thoughts of abandonment crossed my mind on the way out.  The first buoy looked about 1000 miles away and I was already hyperventilating.  I’m not sure what it was but it happened so quickly.  I honestly knew that my swim was going to be a struggle but I didn’t plan for it to happen as soon as we started.  The waves were hitting me in the face not allowing me to breath.  I’m not very skilled at sighting so I kept going off course.  The water was so murky I couldn’t even see my hand when I was stroking.

Thankfully, I stuck with it.  By the time I was rounding the last buoy I was feeling better and actually started to do the crawl.  If it wasn’t for keeping pace with Lance I’m not sure what would have happened.  I think 2 different waves past me going into the home stretch.  I ended the misery in about 32 minutes.  You know it’s wrong when the first thing you do after exiting the water is burp.  YUCK!

I walked the entire length of the transition mat.  My arms were tired and my energy gone.  I felt it better to recover than to push myself through the transition and burn what little matches I had left.  The towel I had layed out for my transition was soaking wet.  I guess the mist and runoff was the cause.  My T1 was around 2:30.  Don’t tell Danoh (the transition Nazi).  I HAD to take my time.  By this time I had spotted almost everyone in my age group close to 10 minutes.

The bike course started out pretty hilly and sinuous.  It was definitely hard to get a rhythm.    Once the course flattened and straightened out we were greeted with a cross-head wind.  I probably averaged about 18 mph on the way out.  I was exhausted from the swim.  Since my swim was so slow I was relegated to groups of slower riders.  Needless to say I passed a lot of riders before the turnaround.  In fact, I was passed by only one rider the entire bike length.  None other than Steve Schien.  He flew by me even before the turnaround.

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The second half of the bike was more pleasurable.  There seemed to be more downhills and the wind was definately favorable.  I probably averaged around 24 mph on the way back.  There was a wreck right in front me.  On an off camber left hand turn with a median in the road some dude slid throught the turn trying to avoid the median.  While the volunteer support was phenomenal for this race some of the turn marshalls didn’t seem to be aggressive enough.  I almost went through a couple of turns on the bike.

My T2 was a more respectable 57 seconds.  At the start of the run my adductors began to cramp.  Eventually they let up and I settled into a rhythm.  The hill before the turnaround almost killed me but the downhill allowed me to recover.  The run course was the first leg of the bike so it was up and down and winding.  Actually a pretty cool course with some scenery to dilute the pain.

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I stopped the clock at 2:03 and some change.  I wanted to be at 2:00 or below but considering my near death experience on the swim I was happy with my result.  I seemed to have gotten better toward the end of each discipline.  I hope that is a sign of things to come.  It was such a great experience seeing all the rabbits and Springfieldians.  A shout out goes to Clarence, Kim, and Lawyer for coming out and cheering us on.  It really does help.

[Decatur Lakeside Triathlon Results] [Photos]