Monday, July 25, 2011
Who does number 2 work for?
Well the Big Deuce is in the books, and it was one helluva great race. I finished in 1:06:29.
We got there pretty early. Kelley's dad kept the girls overnight, so that was great. The parking lot was filled with fishermen putting their boats in the water; one of them actually told me to go put some clothes on! haha, silly redneck.
Got my race packet, timing chip, and got bodymarked, and it was off for the pre-race meeting. The site was the same beach we used for the last Aquathon, and my feet still have scabs on the toes from that race. Made it down to the beach just in time for most of the pre-race meeting, then headed for the mens room. I'm really glad I got to drop a big deuce before I swam the big deuce. Yes, I just made that joke.
It was a knee deep start (for little people? wth?) so I ran until it got waist deep and did a dolphin dive to start things out. There weren't too many people out there, so it wasn't a very busy washing machine. Still, I did the water polo style swim for the first few strokes until I knew I could safely put my head in the water. I really like this technique to avoid getting kicked in the face.
I settled into my stroke, got into my breathing rhythm, and established a pace that I thought I could hold for a few miles. Nothing fast, just something I could be consistent with. If you know you need to run a marathon all at 9 minute miles, you start out at a 9 minute pace. I really tried to do the swimming equivilent of that; I think it's a nice sign of maturity.
Kelley is back on the eye candy. Goodness.
Left turn around the first buoy was kind of crowded, but not bad. Then we were on the triangle course. Go a long way to a right turn buoy, then a short stretch to another right turn buoy, then back to the first one to complete the triangle. At that point you could either turn into shore for the 1 mile swim (the Little Uno) or cover the triangle again for a 2 mile swim (the Big Deuce). I thought it was so much fun, I turned around and did it again.
This lifeguard.... finally some eye candy for the fella's!
Turns out the second time around the triangle was easier than the first! I ran into another swimmer pretty good when I first made the turn, so I decided to accelerate for a few strokes and pass her then go back to "my pace". It freaking worked!
I got way off course. Really often. The sight & turn buoys were about 350 yards apart so once you passed one of them, you had to swim a while before the next one came into view. By the second lap the other swimmers were pretty spread out. So looking up to sight, there's nobody in front of me, no sight buoy, and the closest swimmer is 20 yards closer to shore than me. At least we were swimming in the same direction, usually. That was the toughest part of the race.
Coming back in on the last lap, I came up on a few slower older guys with about 300 yards to go. I actually had the energy to accelerate again and pass them. It was pretty cool.
After making the last turn, I pushed it pretty hard to the finish line just because I could. I figured it was a swim only race, and I had no need to save the energy for the bike or the run. So I threw the arms around harder and finished more out of breath than I really needed to.
Complete exhaustion after the finish line. In case you weren't clear, this is what happiness looks like.
I hit the line at 1:06:29, which is a pace of 2:03 per 100m. I never had to break my stroke or rhythm. I never came out of my breathing pattern. That was my main goal for this race. I finished 20th out of 50 men, and 8th out of 13 men in my age group. But as long as I finished with enough strength and aerobic capacity to put another 0.4 miles in that water, then get on the bike and run a marathon, mission accomplished. This race is the only time I'll be able to put 2 miles in open water before IMFL, so it has given me a ton of confidence going into the ironman.
Checking out the water after the race. Such a great day.
I don't have a marathon coming up, but the century ride on aug 13 is the next big ironman prep test. Let's hope it will give me the same confidence.
I also have to skip the final aquathon thanks to a last minute work thing that came up at the same time. grrrrr. It's at Harris Lake state park, and I don't like that run course anyway. Oh well.