1. Don't die
2. Break 3 hours on the bike split
3. Break 6 hours total time
1. Sucess! basic survival was achieved.
2. Fail. 3:08:45
3. Epic Fail. 6:55:54
Swim 1.2 miles: 54:06 321/360 men, 71/81 AG
T1: 6:50 354/360, 76/81
Bike 56.5 miles: 3:08:45 303/360, 66/81
T2: 4:09 322/360, 68/81
Run 13.1 miles: 2:42:05 330/360, 75/81
Overall 70.3 miles: 6:55:54 328/360, 72/81 including 2 DNF's
Williamsburg is known for having a great outlet mall. I found a gem at the Converse outlet store:
The red socks came with the race packet. We got into town Friday night and it is a really cool place. The College of William and Mary is there. It's a very old college with regal buildings and a cool campus.
The town of Williamsburg is very historic. We'd love to come back for a family vacation sometime. It would be really cool to come with someone who was a history major.
Does anybody know what this is?
We've been calling it Brain Fruit because it looks like a brain. Or maybe a moldy orange. Anyway it's hard and I'd love to know what the heck it is. We picked up a couple at the packet pickup to take back for the girls to play with. They loved 'em! Just being weird and bumpy is enough to keep them entertained.
The race packet had a great tech shirt, the red socks above for the Virginia Triathlon Series from SetupEvents, a race belt and plenty of other good swag. We headed back to the hotel to power down for the big race. The race director was saying how fast the second half of the bike course was, how we were going to be swimming with the current..... I was really feeling good ready to get a nice PR and meet my goal times. The weather looked good with a high of 81 and sunny skies.
We got up at 5:00, rolled for breakfast and got out the door. Turns out that wasn't quite early enough. I got my chip and got bodymarked before ever making my way into the transition area. Thank goodness I did. Right after I found my rack the guy on the microphone said that TA was closing in FOUR minutes??? Whoah, I only had 4 minutes to get all of my stuff setup and make my way to the swim start. I threw together what I could, hit up some suntan lotion and that was all.
I actually left TA without my chip, then had to run back in, strap on the timing chip, and head out while carrying the wetsuit, cap & goggles. We had to walk to the swim start, and I thought that walk was a bit short. It only took about 10 minutes to get there. And while that doesn't sound like a short walk, I knew where the swim finish was and that was too close.
The Swim: 1.2 miles: 54:06 321/360 men, 71/81 AG
The swim was brutal. Absolutely the most difficult swim I've ever had in a race or not. Even more difficult than the Festival of Flowers oly swim where I threw up a few times. I've covered 2 miles in the pool in 1:17, so 54 minutes for only 1.2 miles is pathetic.
I still looked happy here. We did all the normal prerace stuff, prayer, national anthem, but there was also a moment of silence for the 9/11 remembrance. I noticed plenty of military people among the athletes too. Very cool.
Dang, that dude looks mean. He's ready to kick some ass.
The weather was perfect. The crowd was all amped up, the river seemed calm. The sun was shining and temps were still in the high 60's. It did turn out to be a wetsuit legal race, so I was suited up. As of Friday it was still not wetsuit legal.
The cool thing in this picture? The chick on the right looking my way. Guess what I'm doing? If you said pissing in the wetsuit, you'd be right! I really had to pee before it was time to get in the water but had no time to hit the port-a-let. Normally you just let loose when you get in the water, but it was so shallow. We weren't even waist deep for the starting line. So I got out to about knee deep and got comfy.
Here you can see the start of my wave - the green caps. We walked the first couple of minutes just aquajogging until it got deep enough to start swimming. That was kind of strange.
Here's where it started to go really wrong. Other people were swimming too. Actually in the far top right of this picture you can kind of see a yellow triangle bouy. It was about a half mile out and we had to swim diagonally against the current into the current.
THIS WAS WEIRD
And it sucked too. It was the first time I found myself in the washing machine. I got kicked in the head. I have never accidentally grabbed that many men's asses before. One dude actually pushed me aside for swimming too close to him. I swam over a couple of chicks too, which means the waves that started after me caught up and passed me before hitting the first turn. I got way off course, did a lot of breast stroke, even puked once. First time I've done that this year. freaking rough.
It took me about 35 minutes just to get out there. Once I made that left hand turn it took about 5 minutes to make it the 0.2 miles to the next triangle bouy then it was half a mile cross-ways against the current again! At least this time it wasn't too active of a fight. Maybe 15 minutes to get back to the shore.
T1: 6:50 354/360 men, 76/81 age group
I came, I got out of the wetsuit, threw on the bike shoes and helmet and got the heck out of there. Ok, I did take a bit of time to regroup mentally. I didn't get the time before the start to tape any gels to the top bar of Roberta like I prefer to have, so I counted gels and made sure everything was right before heading out.
Bike 56.5 miles: 3:08:45 303/360 men, 66/81 age group
I kind of kicked ass here. Not as much as I hoped, but still asses were kicked. That is the highest age group and overall placements I achieved. Goal was to break 3 hours. I was freaking determined to break 3 hours. I missed it by 8 minutes.
I was starting from the back of the pack thanks to that torture swim. That meant there was a lot of slow people in front of me. I only got passed by three people. I passed maybe 30 people total.
Know This: If I can see you on the bike, I will pass you. Balls out.
Also Know This: The wildflowers in coastal Virginia are beautiful this time of year. Balls tucked again.
This was supposed to be a fast course. I've really been rolling out the bike miles in preparation for this leg. I'm ready to roll and roll strong. I knew at the start that the first half was not as fast as the second half. It was supposed to be flat/false flat/rolling hills until mile 34, then "you will take off like a rocket" according to the race director.
Now we've all been on courses where sometimes you feel like the wind is at your back and there's a slight downhill, so you can just coast your way to 23 mph. That's the way the first 25 miles of the Tarwheel Century ride was. And the B2B bike was a lot like that too. Fast 21-23 mph going out and a headwind coming back. So this time I was pretty excited to have it be the other way around.
It was not the other way around. I was pushing pretty hard at first to keep up 18 mph. Spent plenty of time at 16 mph (my typical group ride speed). it felt like a false flat slight uphill the whole first 20 miles or so. There was one slight downhill where I got up to about 21 mph, but that was short. too short.
There were hills in miles 25 - 34. Rollers and some steepish climbs. I kept it in the big chainring the whole time, but had to really push to get up some of those hills.
Mile 34 came and here comes the rocket. It lasted about half a mile before it went right back to the false flat uphill into the wind. it was a nice half mile. But it was time for me to start pushing again when I was really hoping I wouldn't have to push that hard.
This is when the mental aspect of triathlon really kicks in. I knew I still had sub 3. I pushed for sub 3. I went through all of the mental mantras: You've got sub 3. You are strong enough. You've got the fuel left, get sub 3. You can push this, get sub 3. Climb that hill, get sub 3. Pass this guy, get sub 3. Get out of that saddle and get sub 3. I thought at 2:45 that I still had it.
Here comes that last hill. The RD said a strong cyclist could take it in the big chainring, so by God I was going to. I came out of the saddle and passed 3 people going up that hill. It was a bridge in mile 52. Once I saw it was a bridge I knew I could take it and it was going straight downhill after the crest. So I could ride that extra speed back to the TA and get my sub 3!! Then I got stuck in 18 mph again just like for the whole rest of the ride and I was having to push again. I pushed it all the way in.
T2: 4:09 322/360 men, 68/81 age group
Off with the bike shoes and helmet, grab the visor and running shoes and let's head out for a half marathon. Still got a couple of gels? yep, lets' roll. I also drank all of the water I had left in my transition bag. I knew I was a bit dehydrated from the bike, I just didn't drink enough.
Run 13.1 miles: 2:42:05 330/360 men, 75/81 age group
On the other side of that spectrum, before the first mile marker I got passed by a 64 year old dude who farted less than 10 feet in front of me after passing. It was loud and I laughed.
Headed back out for loop #2.
There was a lot of walking. Miles of walking. There were 18 aide stations on the 13.1 mile course. So my original strategy was to run between the aide stations, and I thought I would be ok without having to complete a single straight mile. I took in tons of fluids at each station, 2 waters and a heed and sometimes a gel. But running between the aide stations soon turned into running to "that tree", or until the garmin rolled up to the next mile marker (never more than .2 miles) and I was struggling to get there.
This is where pain management kicked in. I had no advil or electrolytes like I normally keep with me on a marathon. And there was lots of pain. My feet and legs were killing me. at 60 miles I wanted to get fat. like biggest loser contestant fat. By mile 65 I was ready to start smoking again. At mile 68 I was contemplating the difference mentally between realizing that you were doing something that could actually kill you and wanting to die.
I'm being facetious of course, but those last miles were tough. Dealing with the pain was not fun. Emotionally and mentally I had to push myself into places that I don't like to go. But on the other side of that was this:
The fist pump crossing the line. That other guy didn't do it.
You don't really know yourself until you really push yourself beyond any acceptable limits. I mean really push what you think you can do into accomplishments that are measurable and seem impossible. that is what happiness looks like.
it only felt like a 13.1 mile swim.
Check out those tan lines baby! That's a badge of honor. Finishing in 6:55, almost an hour slower than I was mentally expecting was tough. Getting that funny burn is going to be tough for a few more days.
Overall this was a great race and a fantastic weekend. I can't wait to go back to Williamsburg just for fun. As for racing.......