This year I got up at my new normal workout time 5:30 am and hit the road after breakfast. The race is at Buckhorn Lake in Wilson, NC which is almost an hour's drive east of Raleigh. The lake is the water reservoir for the town of Wilson, and right next to a farm with Longhorn Cattle.
Before the race. It was a beautiful day, low 70's and sunny. Couldn't ask for anything nicer for July in the deep south! I got my transition area setup, then I actually did a warmup. I ran for about 10 minutes, got in the lake for a warmup swim, then did some yoga by the lakeside. Got into the prerace meeting and it was go time.
Swim 750 meters: 15:47, 7/21 age group, 39/118 men, 2:06/100 pace
This was a deep water start and all of the men started at the same time. I ended up talking to my buddy Scottie some in the water, and ended up farther back than I should have been. So when the gun kicked off I found myself a bit back in the crowd. Soon enough there was some open water, and I shot through there in a hurry.
Normally, an open water start means you push the speed hard to get through the crowd, and the heart rate goes through the roof and you get short of breath quickly. Then after about 200 yards the crowd thins out and you settle into a rhythm; that's when the heart rate comes back down and you get your breathing under control. Turns out, when you do a proper warmup, that doesn't happen. I hit the speed button, blew past dozens of other men to get into open water, and hit the first turn buoy before I knew what happened. No heart rate spike, no breathing problems. Just sight into open water and hang on. Pretty cool stuff.
Between the two turn buoys it felt like there was a current, but I know it's a small lake so there wasn't really one there. It just felt tougher. Then going back into the boat ramp for the finish happened pretty quickly. I felt really good about the whole swim and was ready to roll when I got out of the water.
Goal for transition times is under 90 seconds so this one did not disappoint. Off with the swim gear, on with the socks, bike shoes, and helmet and get out of there. #winning!
Bike 17 miles: 53:21, 19.1 mph, 10/21 age group, 58/118 men
I love riding Roberta east of Raleigh. In that general direction, you get flat areas and fast courses, and can find some hills to break it up, but it's not close enough to the coast to make the wind problematic. This 17 mile bike course is one of my favorites out there, and it did not disappoint. It was nice and fast, with some challenging parts. There was one pretty good climb in mile 12 that I always forget about. And 17 miles is just long enough to really fatigue the legs on that terrain.
I came, I rode, I conquered. It was fantastic.
T2: 28 seconds!
Hells to the yea. Daddy got quick in T2.
Run 5k: 23:36, 7:37/mile pace, 7/21 age group, 39/118 overall men
This run course is two laps on the same two roads, so it gets a little crowded when I'm on the second lap and the majority of the field is on the first or second lap and you get a lot of different paces out there. But the course itself is so flat, and you're not completely exhausted from the bike, it's just fun. That's one of my favorite 5k courses outside of Raleigh. I cramped up a bit on the second lap and it cost me about a minute in the end. Plus the heat started to come out on the second lap. I was consistent with my cadence and speed the whole time I was running, and felt like I really put a good effort out there. Happy times.
Finish: 1:34:26, 7/21 age group, 42/118 men
I'm always happy when I come in top third overall or in my age group. The top 10 overall had the top 3 podium spots and the top 3 spots in my age group, so it was incredibly competitive. Still think I could have done better on the bike if I was properly tapered, and my right foot has a niggle that I've been fighting for about a week when running, so that didn't help. But it was an absolutely beautiful day and I was grateful to God and my family that I was able to be out there competing and performing my best at my chosen sport. Lots of people don't have the opportunity, support, or ability to do these crazy multisport races; I'm just glad to know this kind of joy:
|After. Note the sweat that wasn't there before. Now I glisten. But at least there's a great view of the lake, TA, and the beautiful day.|
|Sunny and confused|
|Notice the bouncy castle in the background for the kids|