Not that she summer had not already had some good races/events along the way.
Even though the race venue is only 50 miles or so from home we decided to get a room since packet pickup/bike check-in was on Saturday night… we scored a room in a hotel that was about 100 meters from the TA… that was nice.
Got up race morning… had some oatmeal and coffee… bundled up (it was 54F and I have thin blood) and walked across the street and set up our transitions… talked to a couple of friends… got bodymarked… then went back to the hotel to have another cup of coffee and lay around a while…
Got suited up… and wetsuited up… dropped our stuff of at the car (another bonus to having the room was a parking space close to the finish) after one more quick gear check, we were off to the beach.
We were cold… and not really crazy about getting in the water but… the water was 20 degrees warmer than the air so it didn’t feel too bad.
The swim course was an equilateral triangle with the start and finish at a single point on the beach… and had been flip-flopped from the original plan due to a change in current. We would be with the current across the top of the triangle… but tacking against it going out and coming back to shore.
When the horn sounded my friend Richard started running north on the beach to get a better angle on the current… and I went with him partway. I guess he went 200m up the beach and I went 150m… then we hopped through the breakers and started swimming towards the next “point” of the triangle. The swim was uneventful except for 3 things
1. I was just swimming… not swimming & stopping and looking around… not hating life and in general thinking it would never end… no… I was just swimming… just like in training… which I had actually been doing thanks to my GF “encouraging” me to swim with her.
2. I had to pee… pretty much from the onset but I waited until I was with the current so I could stop to get started if you know what I mean.
3. I missed the turn for shore and swam over 3 people who were trying to turn… This is what I heard: “umh” a few seconds later “Tum” after a couple more bumps I stuck my head completely out of the water and heard distinctly “TURN” um… okay I guess that’s the other turn buoy
Just as I got to knee deep water I stood up saw Judi who had started in the wave behind me. I got excited and started calling her name… when she didn’t hear me I started running to catch up… stepped in a hole on the beach and executed a nice combat roll on the beach… undaunted (but somewhat embarrassed) I got up and chased her down… Just in time to stop and get our picture together by the race photographer.
Swim time: 41:16 (7 minutes better than last year)
T1 went by quickly (2:11) and I got out onto the bike course… the course was basically a double out and back with one leg to the west and one to the south… good roads… excellent traffic control. I tried to just ride steady and did a pretty good job I guess… I had no computer on my bike… just pedaled and looked for Judi on the out and backs… and pitched a shutout.
Bike time: 2:30 (22.3 MPH avg)
T2 was a bit longer @ 3:14 but 2 minutes of that was peeing I think J
The run story reads pretty much like my splits look
Mile 1: 7:07 (started my watch late)
Mile 2: 8:05
Mile 3: 7:59
Mile 4: 7:56
Mile 5: 8:14
Mile 6: 8:24
Mile 7: 8:12
Mile 8: 8:07
Mile 9: 8:43
Mile 10: 8:45
Mile 11: 8:46
Mile 12: 8:51
Mile 13: 11:29
Last .1: 2:28
My stomach really started hurting at mile 9… miles 13 and the final .1 were long and brutal.
Final run time was 1:53:29. Which achieved one of my goals… to break 2 hours on the run.
Once I finished I sat, completely spent, drank a bottle of water and a bottle of Gatorade. Then I got cold… and decided that it was time to go… back to the car to get a long sleeve shirt… then I stared back down the road to look for Judi. I’d not seen her on the run at all despite the fact that the course doubles back on itself a couple of times…
I was walking like an old man tho… even stopped after a quarter mile or so… put my hands on my knees… contemplated stopping right there or just going back to the car… but I just kept walking. I tried to encourage the runners about to finish but as often as not I just waved. I began to think how idiotic it would be to meet up with Judi only to not even be able to keep up with her… get dropped and miss her finish… but I trudged on.
After 15 minutes (which felt like an hour) I finally made it to an aid station. The Boy Scouts running the aid stations thought I was crazy…
They said “Water” and “Gatorade”
I said “Pizza” knowing from my last trip by that they had a couple of pizza boxes on a table for the boy’s lunch. Someone grabbed a couple of pieces for me… and then I saw a camp stool
“Can I have a seat and eat my pizza” I said
One of the dads said “sure, take a load off”
As I was eating my pizza I said “Ya know, I’m thinking about turning around right here”
They laughed and said “You wouldn’t be the first”
Then I told them that I was just going to sit and wait for my girlfriend to come by.
One of the dads started laughing again and said “You must not be into this stuff like she is huh?”
I laughed to and said… “she’s kinda hardcore”
As I finished my pizza and in the course of conversation I admitted that I had already finished and had just come back to keep my girlfriend company… no sooner had I gotten the words out of my mouth… Judi came into view running strong with a big smile on her face.
As I swallowed the last of my pizza I hopped up and started running with her… and I was able to keep pace (thankfully). She finished her first ½ IM strong and even ended up 2nd in her AG.
Since the awards ceremony was not going to be held for a couple of hours yet we decided to just head home.
A good weekend… a fun race… and we’ll likely be back next year.
PS – the 37 minute PR was nice too.
Us at the finish