Iron Abe Triathlon

2009-07-26-AM-10-07-988The start to the day couldn’t have been better.  It was around 65 degrees, I was drinkin’ coffee, and heading to Dan’s to pick him up.  We arrived early wanting to relax and take our time.  It was around 06:00 by the time we parked.  I think I was the 3rd bike in the transition area and able to get a spot on the end.  Much different than in Decatur.  It pays to get there early.

Lunch with Eric, Dan, Lawyer, Kyle and myself went out for a short run across Lindsay bridge then back to the start.  Word on the street was that wetsuits were allowed but at this point in my swimming ability it didn’t phase me.  The water was perfect as I headed out to the first buoy for a warm up in the water.  No need for a wetsuit because of the water temperature.

Immediately after the start of the swim I could tell this was going to be a completely different swim than in Decatur.  Number one I could actually see my hand in the water.  Number two I wasn’t on my back after 20 seconds.  In fact, the field kind of spread out in front of me and really didn’t have to worry too much about swimming into anyone.  I was making a conscious effort not to look up too often and just go with my feel.  This worked out well as I only veered off course a handful of times.  The most difficult part was taking the left hand turn at the first buoy.  The sun was blinding.  I wasn’t really sure which direction to go so I put faith in the swimmers ahead of me and followed legs.  This tactic turned out well.  I did get a little tired toward the end but was able to freestyle most of the swim.   Exiting the water I even had the energy to jog to the transition area.  A first for me.  That was also the longest swim I have ever done.  My time was 27:08, which was only 107th best but it felt tons better than in Decatur.  I was happy with my swim.

My T1 felt really slow.  Not sure why.  It just felt like I was moving in slow motion.  The first section of the bike felt decent.  I knew there would be a headwind home so I tried to conserve some energy on the way out.  It never felt like I could get into a decent rhythm but I probably averaged around 23 mph before the turnaround.  Heading back to Lake Springfield was tough.  The headwind really slowed me down.  Again, I just felt like I couldn’t get into that “sustainable pain” mode.  I knew my bike time was slow but averaging 21.3 mph was pretty pathetic considering that should be my strong point.

T2 felt even slower than T1, although I was able to take my feet out of my shoes prior to dismounting.  So I guess I should be happy with that part.  The first part of the run went as expected.  I fought off cramps for the  first mile then settled into a rhythm for mile 2.  Then it hit me.  I don’t know what happened but I guess I blew up.  I couldn’t get my pace much under 09:00 for the last 3 miles.  I guess it was the hills and the previous effort.  To be honest it was a miserable run and just wanted to get it over with.  I was extremely jealous seeing the Stoneman people turn right when I had to take a left at the “Y”.  I knew 3 more miles would hurt and I knew the terrain-hilly.

I limped home w ith a time of 2:29.  I am disappointed in my run.  This being my longest triathlon I am also just happy to finish.  Thanks for all the volunteers and rabbits who cheered me on during the race.  It was inspiring.