I was excited to get back out and race. Since my DNF at Gulf Coast Half Ironman, I have been itching to race again.
I held a client BBQ in Shreveport at Benton Lake on Saturday. We fished ate BBQ and talked while the children (mostly grandchildren of my clients) played in the air jumper thingy I had there. It was a little hot out and I spent a lot of time in the sun fishing. Not so sure that was smart when I was racing the nest morning, but it was an enjoyable afternoon with my clients.
I checked in Saturday afternoon at about 6:00pm. Sport Spectrum had a really nice shirt I the packet, I look forward to losing the 150 pounds I need to, in order to wear it, which I will.
Picked up a small pizza and headed to the hotel.
I woke incredibly early and experienced something I have NEVER done in this three short years of triathlons . . . I was the first bike racked in transition! Whoa.
Saw Caroline and met Ryan from Mandeville for the second time, he informed me! He said the first was after Cajunman last year; I apologized and told him I don’t remember much right after a race due to sheer exhaustion. I didn’t know it at the tie but Caroline had raced the day before and won the overall race at Heatwave in Jackson Mississippi. I kina expect her to win just about everything and I am probably like an annoying groupie (sorry if I am Caroline) but she freak’n rocks. Example; I am just getting out on the initial run (I will get into the tri to du in a second) and I see Kate (another awesome Triathlete) and Caroline running in, just before that I saw a woman run by who was probably ¼ mile ahead of Kate and Caroline but she was huffing and a puffing, when I saw Caroline and said “Go get em girl” she was smiling and seemed to be having a good time, reminding me that it was going to be a long day. Anyhow. Chatted with them and then found a quiet place to listen to my tunes by the river.
Earlier I was informed that due to heavy rains in North Louisiana, the river currents were too strong to swim and so the race had been transitioned into a du-athlon which is a run bike run versus a swim bike run. I sty away from duathlons because they tear my body up and it takes a long time for me to recover from them. But I was here and I was ready to race. They said they changed our tri from 800m swim, 20k bike, 5k run to a 2mile run, 15k bike, 5k run. According to my Garmin 305 it was a 2.5 mile run 16.2 mile bike and 3.35 mile run. But I did have a good time.
I ran the entire first run and actually felt good. I averaged 14 min miles (Again slow for most, average for me) They warned us about mud in two of the under-passes we had to run under, I forgot the warning and busted my arse in the second tunnel. Luckily only one person to witness it and she was really cool trying to help me up, it was very funny. I am a sweat hog and try as she might there was no helping me I had to do it by myself.
I was the last bike to get out on the course, but I made up some time on two racers and passed them. I was feeling good, at the time thinking we only had a 15k which is about 10 miles. I was churning into the wind and holding a steady 14mph into the wind and about 17 with the wind behind me. At mile 9 I was trying to figure out where the exit for transition was, but the volunteers told me to keep going? I was getting tired. I began to cramp and at mile 13 I began to think there was a mistake. I stopped and rubbed my calve and sadly I began to think about quitting. I hate when I allow my mind to consider that. I stayed there arguing with myself. The two people I passed whizzed by me, they were drafting one another and that is when I jumped on my bike and took off.
I entered transition and I was really ready to stop, quit, go home, but a little kid volunteering handing out water said to me “Mr. you’re doing really good.” I put on my visor and began walking. I tried to start a slog but I couldn’t. So I walked. About mile one I began to slog on this long stretch of no shade. I wanted to get back to semi shade, so I picked it up and slogged. I was moving so slow I am sure passer byer’s got a kick out of the guy going no where! I began to walk the small tiny up hills and jog the down hills and shaded areas. Then when I got to the last mile I slogged it all the way in to the finish.
I was so happy to be finished. The two runs had taken it out of me. I LOVE to swim and I usually come out middle ish of the pack in the swim, so it was disheartening but all in all it was a great day.
The volunteers for this race were awesome. They have plenty water stops with four and five volunteers.
I zombied through the food crowed to transition, gathered all my gear and headed for the car, by this time it is STEAMING hot. I load everything and change into dry clothes. The truck has been running and the A/C is cranked. I sit for a second and I am awakened by a knock on my window. A nice couple just wanted to check on me. When I loaded the lot was still packed – now the lot was half full. I am not sure how long I fell asleep, but I would guess 45 minutes!
Now the fun 3.5 hours drive home.
All in all it was a fun day and I am glad I finished, even though my time was horrible. This is a pretty good race venue and I would recommend it to others.
Until next time, get out and tri!!!!