Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Fun - MC SpandX

MC SpandX dropped another video this month. check it out and give him some mad props.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Huntington Sprint Tri

This morning Aimee and I headed out for the 11th annual Huntington Sprint Tri/Du. This is a great area race and it's only 8 miles from our house. I enjoy participating in this race because of the wide range of people who participate. Some of the top triathletes in the Cleveland area race and yet this is also a good race for first timers.

I had my mind set to push hard on this race. My swims have been great this year and I needed to combine this with some strong biking and running. I had prepared myself to push my body into the zone where some serious pain would be waiting.

We arrived early and got body marked and setup our transition spots. The water would be warm enough to forgo the wetsuit so gear selection was easy. I put my orange lenses in my Oakleys because of the cloud cover.

Oh yeah, the clouds. These were rain clouds coming in ahead of a storm. We weren't sure how it would affect the race. We just didn't want any lightening or heavy rain.

Once we were done with our setup I enjoyed talking with friends and did a nice 1 mile warm-up. I headed to the beach and found my mom and dad. More chatting with friends as we milled about the beach watching the rolling waves on Lake Erie.

The waves were 1 - 2 foot rollers that were well spaced apart and they never crested or crashed. Once we made it to the first buoy marker we would be heading in the same direction as the wind and we would be swimming with the waves. Our wave consisted of men 40 - 54 and we had 67 people in our wave. Before the second wave started we could already see two guys coming back to shore. And this is where being an experienced triathlete pays off. But I'm also glad these two realized that they were in over their heads.

As the horn sounded for our wave to start I quickly got ahead of the people immediately around me and started swimming as soon as I could. I was to the far left of the group and would be making my way to the first turn buoy at an angle. But I was also out of the major washing machine to my right.

At the turn buoy I had to catch my breath from the intense effort to get there. Going into the waves and staying ahead of the group was tough. I didn't wait long before getting back into my swim. With the waves now coming at us from behind us and the left the swim became easier. I was able to get into a longer and more powerful stroke.

I was now starting to pass some of the people in my wave and catch up to the slower swimmers in the wave ahead of us. At one point I ran into something floating in the water. I thought I ran into a person but it turned out to be some sandles. Anyways, I kept on swimming.

Half way through the swim I pulled up next to teammate Mark. Since we didn't have wetsuits on it was easy to spot him in the water. We stayed near each other for the remainder of the swim. I was also drafting behind another person from out wave, Marty. I knew I was in good company as we headed towards the beach.

As I exited the water I heard my dad cheering and he said something about being 3rd or 4th out of the water. Sure enough I saw Marty and another yellow cap in front of me and Mark was immediately behind me.

The run up to transition is pretty long. Marty stopped to put on some shoes but Mark and I just ran barefoot. Marty blew by us and was flying. By the time I entered transition I think Marty was long gone. But I wasn't too worried about Marty because he is in the age group above me.

Now my swim time of 10:49 includes the long run up from the beach. My watch was just under 9 minutes when I hit the beach. Regardless I was second fastest swim in the age group only because my teammate Mark passed me on the run to T1.

I got to my transition spot and put my goggles and cap on the ground. I put on my helmet, socks and shoes. I grabbed my bike and headed towards the exit. I was behind four other people crossing the timing mat when the guy immediately in front of me stopped to mount his bike...and so did the other two in front of him. I couldn't believe it and had to run my way around them. I just wanted to find some clear space to jump on my bike and take off.

I spent 57 seconds in transition. Mark spent 54 seconds. Damn....second best time again.

Once we turned out of the park I grabbed my sunglasses from the bento box and put them on. This was something new and I figured it would save me a second or two in transition.

I quickly got into a good rhythm and was passing people on the road. Unfortunately I was passing them on the left and right because many of the racers don't know to stay right on the open road. I hated doing it but I wanted to get clear of the traffic.

I was making good time and was only passed by a couple of people whom I expected to see. The final stretch of the bike course is straight along the lake heading back to transition. I shot a PowerGel so that I would be ready for the run.

Heading back to the park I figured we would have a tailwind since we were heading east. However, the wind must have shifted because I didn't feel much of a boost. The wind might have been coming more from the north by now. Regardless I still maintained a good pace and pushed forward.

Along this stretch I was passed by Bruce from Spin/Second Sole. Being in my age group I was inclined to stay near him. I used him as my pacer but stayed out of his draft. After a couple of miles I started creeping up on him and decided to make a pass. Just after I passed him I felt a dragging sensation. My real wheel was not spinning freely. I wasn't sure if I had a flat tire or the brake was rubbing.

I looked back and realized my bike bag had detached and was rubbing against the tire. Bruce saw it also and was trying to figure out how to help me. The velcro strap screwed to my rear bottle bracket had ripped off. A small loop was keeping the bag from completely falling off. But now the bag was rubbing against my tire.

I could reach the bag and pull it away from the tire but the small loop was still attached. I slowly sat on my top tube and reached back with my right hand. I was able to lift the bag away from the tire and slip the loop off the bottle cage it was wrapped around.

Amazingly I was able to do this without stopping or slowing down too much. Another athlete from Spin/Second Sole (Anthony) slipped by me while I was dealing with my bag. I shoved the bag into my jersey pocket and got back to speed. I finished the bike course not far behind Bruce or Anthony and made a good entrance into transition.

My bike time was 28:39, good enough for 3rd best in AG. I was very happy with my bike. Aimee will be happy to hear that since I have been bitching about my bike times a lot lately.

In T2 I dropped my bike bag and someone was able to hand it to me on the run. I racked the bike and took my helmet off. On with the shoes and I grabbed my hat and race belt. I spent 35 seconds in T2 but I think all of the transition times were off because some people had 6 second transition times. I don't think so.

The run is the part I had prepared for the most mentally. Being a three mile run I wanted to bury it and just go fast. I would be done in about 20 minutes so...just...go. I beat Bruce and Anthony out of T2 so I had some people pushing me along. Mark was ahead of me with at least a 20 second lead and I knew I wouldn't catch him. By my calculations I was in third for the age group.

I used anyone around me to be targets. Once I passed someone I locked on to another target and reeled them in. I never saw any mile markers so I didn't know what my pace was. I was feeling very strong and that is all that mattered.

I caught the last batch of runners before heading to the north parking lot. I powered through the parking lot and ran the quick downhill that went under the road and back up to the finish area. I could hear my mom and dad cheering along with many friends.

I zipped through the hairpin turn to the finish chute and was done. My run split for 5k was 20:26 good enough for a 6:35/mile pace.

I had time to watch Aimee, teammates and friends finish their own races. Due to a late start for the women I was done before Aimee finished the bike. I waited for her and did my cool down run as I followed her around the run course.

I talked with Mark about his results and we determined that we at least had two podium spots for our age group. Once they started handing out awards we realized our finish spots were up one because Brian had taken the 3rd overall spot. Mark took first and I took second in our old guys age group, 40 - 44. Our times also put us in the top ten, ninth for me. In fact four of the top ten spots were taken by guys over 40 years old.

I was also thrilled by the attendance of 11 Snakebite Racing teammates. The presence of SBR was felt by all as 9 people took home hardware with overall or age group/division placements.

As a whole I am very happy with the race. My swim is still very solid, my bike has improved with just a little bit of work and somehow I have some speed on my run.

The next race will be on August 8th with an Olympic distance tri at Vermilion Harbor. This will be another good warmup race for the HalfRev in September involving speed and some endurance.

This is shaping up to be a good summer of racing.

Game On.

Friday, July 23, 2010

How to push the body

If you remember, as part of my Triple T race report from 2009 I talked about pushing the mind and body. I found this video clip of Jens Voigt talking about how he pushes his body.

I have to keep this in mind as I prepare for and race the Huntington Sprint Tri this Sunday.

Game On Jens.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Rev3 Training Day/Course Preview

Yesterday the Cleveland Tri Club hosted a course preview day for the Rev3 bike course. The day wasn't just the bike ride though. We swam in Lake Erie and received some open water tips from area swim coach Leah Nyikes of Liquid Lifestyles.

We regrouped for the bike ride and divided the 100+ people into four groups, A (fast), two B's (moderate) and C (easy). I took the lead for one of the B groups. We had a good time, I pointed out important parts of the course and I got a good workout riding back and forth checking on the group.

Overall we rode 56 miles. Unfortunately I couldn't stick around for the 3 mile run or informational sessions that were scheduled for the rest of the day.

I did take some pics during the group ride. I had a great group and I think we had fun.

We headed out through the town of Huron. We stayed together and took it easy until we moved through town and got onto the open roads.

Yes you could say the course is fairly flat.

But here is one of the bigger climbs. Nothing much but still elevation gain.

More flat

Eric Opdyke, the Rev3 race director, rode the course also. He will be back for a Rev3 course preview day in August.

Game On

Thursday, July 15, 2010

How Much is in the Tank?

I sometimes find it amazing how my mind works. I don't look for analogies, comparisons, metaphors or parallelisms between everyday life and my training/racing. They just kind of fall into my head. Case in knew I was going SOMEWHERE with this.

Yesterday I decided to cut the grass. Being a hot July the grass has pretty much gone dormant and brown. But it still needed a trim. I got dressed in grubby clothes and proceeded into the garage. I stood there before the lawn mower remembering that I had not refilled the gas can sitting next to it. I shook the can and heard the sloshing of a small amount of gasoline. I opened the tank of the lawn mower and saw the remnants from the previous cutting.

Of course if I had a lawn mower like this I wouldn't have to worry about gasoline.

I drained the last of the fuel from the can into the tank and set about my task. I cut the front yard first just in case I ran out of gas. Better to have a half cut yard in the back and not the front. Of course we live on a corner lot and nothing is hidden.

If I did run out of gas I would finish the job the next day. I tried to be efficient as possible making sure I didn't waste time going over areas that were already cut. I had to strategerize my cutting path.

I was on the last section of grass thinking, "I'm going to get this entire yard cut." I kept waiting for the engine to begin sputtering as it sucked the last drops of fuel from the tank. With the last two short strips of grass to cut that is exactly what happened.

I finished the chore and I shut down the engine as it sat there sputtering on the last fumes of gas.

You know where I am headed with this, Right? My readers are a smart bunch.

Each time we step up to the start line of a 5k, marathon, triathlon, criterium, starting block...we think,

"Do I have enough in me to finish?"

"How much do I burn and at what points during the race."

These are never easy questions to answer, especially when you are the one holding the answer. Sometimes the only way to answer the questions is through trial and error.

Push to hard at the wrong times during a race and you pay the price with an empty tank before reaching the finish line.

Hold back too much with plenty of reserve left in the tank and you beat yourself up saying, "Why didn't I go harder?"



How much do you have left in your tank at the end of a race?

Game On.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Muncie Endurathon Race Report

I have found yet another race that I highly recommend participating in. The 31st Endurathon is a top notch race. With so many years of experience they know exactly what they are doing and providing the athletes a first rate experience.

The race expo, packet pick-up and pre-race meeting were well attended and very informational. We got a group shot of some of the Cleveland athletes.

Martha, Aimee, Jen, Me, Adam and Brian

Aimee and I checked into our hotel and unpacked the car.

We then met the gang, Adam, Brian, Jen, Beth, Brandon, for dinner. We shared some stories and talked about the upcoming race.

After dinner Aimee and I drove out to the race site and checked out the bike and run course. I became bored driving the bike course because it is soooooo flat. Sure it will be fast but I was getting bored. We found some roads to get us to the run course and we drove that instead.

Aimee’s sprint duathlon would be biking on the same roads the run course would be on. So we both were able to scout the course for our respective races.

We made it back to the hotel and finished our prep for race day. Fortunately I had a great nights sleep Thursday because I didn’t fall asleep until 11:30, partially because of the Tour de France coverage on Versus.

I woke up before the 4:20AM alarm and was already fueling up when my watch chimed. It didn’t take long to get ready and pack up the car. We left the parking lot at 5AM and headed to the race site. We were able to get a good parking spot and started taking our gear to transition. A quick trip to get body marked and we headed back to the car. We put up the tent near the bike dismount line and proudly hung the SnakeBite banner.

I finished getting my transition area put together and did my run through of the transitions. The run from the beach to transition is uphill and about 200 meters. The bike/run out is a little tricky getting onto the road. The bike dismount and entrance into transition had a grass dip coming off the road you had to be careful of. I just need to know the little details of transition.

I was in line for the port-o-potty at the 7AM start time for the open wave approached. A volunteer was telling people who were in the first three waves should go to the front of the line. My start time wasn’t until 7:24 so I had some time to have a good final purge.

I got rid of my shirt and grabbed my swim goggles and cap. The water temperature was 80 degrees so no wetsuits allowed. I was fine with that since I have been doing my open water swims sans wetsuit anyways.

I joined Adam and Brian with some warm-up swimming in the reservoir. The water was very warm. There was absolutely no shock to the body. When I was happy with my warm-up I joined the other guys in my starting wave. We watched the waves ahead of us start. We eventually crossed the timing mats and entered the water.

We had barely entered the water and I had positioned my goggles when the starter said, “Okay guys, you are going in 5 seconds.” CRAP. Here I was standing just off the shoulder of Brian in the front row. I guess it’s go time.

I took two steps and dove into the water. I knew there were over 70 guys behind me so I had to start fast and stay ahead of the pack. For at least 500 yards I was breathing with every stroke to the right side. I could spot the buoy markers and the guy swimming next to me. A couple of times I felt a person to my left and was sandwiched between them. In the past I would panic and try to get out of there and find open water. But today I fought off the urge to flee and stayed where I was. I kept pushing hard and eventually the guy on my left was gone.

It took a while but I eventually was able to start breathing on both sides. During one of my sightings I put my head back into the water rather forcefully and that caused some water to seep into my left goggle. Now I had even more reason to only breathe to the right. If I breathed to the left the water would get into my eye.

After I while I had to clear out the water. I found a quiet patch of water between swim waves, we were catching some of the women in the wave ahead of us, and treaded water to release the water. I was able to get back into my rhythm quickly and didn’t lose any distance from my immediate competitors.

The traffic around the first turn buoy was light and I was able to swim close to it with no problems. The second stretch between turn buoys I tried to stay steady with my stroke and continue to pass people. I saw a variety of cap colors from previous waves.

Around the second turn buoy was clear of any traffic and it was a straight shot back to the beach. The markers were easy to see because a boat was usually close by. I also had a person from my wave nearby and I was sighting off of him at times. As I sighted to shore I could see two huge orange balloons that marked the exit point. These orange markers were actually inflatable tubes. Swimming into the sun I could spot them easily.

I continued to swim steady and think about kicking to get some blood in my legs. I swam towards the orange markers until I touched sand and stood up. In five steps I was on the beach taking off my goggles and swim cap. At least I didn’t need to worry about my wetsuit this time. As I ran up the hill to transition, I saw I guy I was talking to in the port-o-potty line and told him good swim….he was in my age group. I also ran by my friend Eric Banks. I patted him on the shoulder and kept on jogging up the hill. Near the top I heard Aimee yelling for me and gave her thumbs up.

Swim time was 36:36 and that ranked me 77th overall. This was my best race swim….ever. I fought through a hard and fast start and kept my cool until I was clear of the washing machine. I could not have asked for a better swim.

Entering T1 I found my rack easily and started getting ready for the bike. I had to slip on my race top first since I did not wear it during the swim. Next was helmet and sunglasses. Socks and shoes were next. I grabbed my bike off the rack and headed towards the exit. As I felt my spot I glanced over and saw the Brian Stern’s bike was still racked. It made me feel good to see I had made it in and out of transition before he did. However, I knew I would see him pass me on the bike later.

I exited transition in 1:23 and found the road to be packed with people. I ran past a couple people before finding an open spot and jumped on my bike. I wobbled for a second and quickly regained control. I placed my feet on my pedals and started to get out of the congestion. Once I was clear I then clipped into my pedals.

The first two miles I rolled past people on the main road before the Cardinal Greenway. Brandon warned me that it could get crowded since it is a paved rail-to-trail. It is a nice shaded path that is quite flat of course. The traffic was fine and I passed several people before settling in. Passing was easy, especially for Adam Hunter as he caught me within 5 miles. I made it out of transition before him and was expecting him to pass me at some point.

The bike course was pretty much what I had expected; relatively flat and a little boring. I concentrated on keeping myself under control. I didn’t want to expend too much energy on the bike and have a difficult run. I would wait until the turn around to increase my efforts. I was also trying to pay attention to the wind and use it to my advantage.

Perhaps the best part about the bike course is that there is no traffic. All of the roads are closed to traffic on race day. It was great not worrying about cars passing you. If you heard the sound of a vehicle you knew it was a USAT referee on a motorcycle. Occasionally I would spot a car trying to cross the course, but they were never in a rush and accepted the race for what it was.
I was fueling well on the bike. I had three bottles of Perpetuem and some food. Near the turn-around I ate three Clif blocks. I saved the remaining three for the end of the bike before the run. I was well hydrated and peed twice while riding the bike.

Overall it was a very peaceful and quiet ride. I was by myself for a majority of the ride except when I was catching someone or being passed myself. For the sake of my brother I saw spiders, ants, and caterpillars on the road. It amazed me how many little critters I saw trying to cross the road. I wonder how many got squished by a bike tire. I didn’t run over the ones I saw.

On the final stretch of the bike I could see the transition area ahead. All of the spectators were on the road watching athletes dismount their bikes. Volunteers and signs were posted telling you how far to the dismount line. With about 100 yards remaining I unstrapped my shoes and placed my feet on top of my shoes. I slowed down and swung my leg over the saddle and prepared to dismount. My feet hit the ground and I made the right turn into transition.

Could hear Aimee yelling for me as I went passed her. My bike bounced severely as I went through the dip between the road and bike racks. Aimee told me later that a lot of people lost their shoes in the dip when they were jarred out of their clips.

I finished the bike in 2:29:12 with an average speed of 22.5 MPH. My 105th overall ranking continues to show that my cycling needs some improvement before the HalfRev at Cedar Point.
In transition I racked my bike and took off my helmet. I slipped on my shoes and grabbed my hat, race belt and PowerGels. I ran towards the exit while putting my gels in the side pockets of my race top. I hit the pavement and put on my hat and clipped my race belt around my waist. I was out of transition in 59 seconds. I tied another guy in my age group for fastest T2 time.

As I started the 13.1 mile run I held back for the first couple of miles. I wanted to get my running legs under me and not burn them out early. The sun was out and the shade was sparse, oh and no wind. I had two PowerGels with me. I had accidentally forgot to pack my other PowerGels and would be relying upon the Hammer gels provided on the course. I wasn’t happy with the change in nutrition but I had no choice. Of all the vendors at the race expo none of them had any PowerGels. As long as I had something to take in I should be okay.

My nutrition plan called for gels at every other aid station with water at every aid station. The good thing is that the aid stations were each mile. I had eaten three ClifBloks before getting off the bike so I would grab gels at the even miles. The aid stations were great with cold water, Gatorade, gels, cold towels, ice and energetic volunteers.

I was holding a good pace and happy with reeling in different people ahead of me. Unfortunately none of them were in my age group. Thinking back I was pretty much on auto pilot. I was waiting to see the leaders on their way back. I took what I needed at the aid stations.

I was averaging 7:45/mile pace for the first half of the run. I saw Brian running very strong and owning the run course. He wound up with the second fastest time for the day. I also saw Adam on his way back and I could tell he was beginning to slow down. The heat and his bike ride were beginning to take their toll.

As I made the turn for the trip to the finish I could feel my calves, and not in a good way. Apparently my nutrition was not up to par for the day and I was most likely low on electrolytes. My calves were starting to cramp on me. I still managed to keep a 7:50/mile pace through mile 11 but it was tough keeping the calves under control.

I kept telling my legs they were not allowed to cramp and I had conversations with each calf muscles. I convince one not to cramp and then I would have to talk to the other one. I hated to do it but I had to change my stride and foot strike to help avoid the cramping. Even going through the aid stations was painful. My stride would change just enough that my calves would start to seize up. Damnit, I wasn’t about to cramp up at an aid station.

I was watching all of the runners heading out towards the turn around. I saw Jen running very strong in her first Half Iron. I also saw Beth, John and Eric. I missed some other people partly because I didn’t know they were there and I was in deep negotiations with my calves. However I did notice a white caterpillar hanging from a string of silk on the side of the road. The tree branch was pretty high up and he was eye level with me. Maybe liked watching us suffer in the heat.

I made my way through the aid station at mile 11 with no issues. However, as I ran up a small incline immediately after the aid station my right calf finally won the battle and started to seize up on me. I stopped and watch my calf muscle literally turn itself inward. It was like a string was attached to the muscle and it was being pulled through my shin. I gave it a quick squeeze and had to start running again. I only stopped for a few seconds but the damage was done.

I resumed my running but my stride was permanently changed for the final two miles. I had to shorten my stride and strike with my heals to prevent my calves from shortening up and cramping. Somehow I still managed to pass some people who were struggling worse than I. But wouldn’t you know it, a guy passed me who was in my age group. I just couldn’t go with him.

Mile 12 was a 8:20 mile. Mile 13 was a 8:43 mile. I was slowing but I was still moving. I was better off than the guy on the side of the road. As I approached the final uphill to the finish I spotted Aimee on the side of the road. She was standing near a group of people kneeling next to a guy lying on the side of the road. Later Aimee would tell me that this guy was staggering and dropped to the ground. She was one of the first to reach him and he was foaming at the mouth, definitely not a good sign.

I pushed up the final grade and could hear the spectators cheering for everyone. I crossed the first set of timing mats and heard the announcer call out my name. I tried to give the photographers a good picture as I crossed the finish line.

My time to run 13.1 miles…..1:43:30…a 7:55/mile pace. My run split was 64th overall.

Overall race time….4:51:38 which placed me 17th in the age group and 46th overall male.

Post race was awesome. There was a misting tent, a wide selection of ice cream treats, grapes, pasta, and sandwich wraps. We also received finisher plaques. Aimee and I started putting our gear away and chatted with friends about the race. We cooled off in the reservoir and did a quick shower outside the bathhouse, just something to wash of the stink before the 4.5 hour drive home.

Beth, Me, Martha and Brandon

I went back to get my post race food and Aimee proved that she is the best support person I could ask for. She brought the car around to where we had set up the tent and was putting it all away when I returned. I constantly say that I could not do any of this without her. She makes racing/training so enjoyable and I love sharing the experience with her.

I put on my very stylish compression socks and thigh sleeves for the ride home. Once we got under way I called teammates Jason and Patty to check on them before their first Half Iron race at Mussleman the next day. Aimee and I had a good drive home together and dinner consisted of pizza and wings. Oh what a treat after a great race.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Maumee Bay Tri Race Report

First I have to say what a great event this was. HFP Racing always does a fantastic job with their races.

Snakebite Racing also had a fantastic showing at the race. We had 14 team members in either the sprint duathlon or Olympic triathlon. And we had great results. There were several AG wins and an overall place.

Aimee and I drove out to the race early in the morning since it was only 1.5 hours away. She slept while I drove and I enjoyed the scenery that I haven't seen in a long time driving out this way. Despite arriving by 6:30AM for a 8AM start the parking lot was already getting full.

I registered and got my timing chip. Then we had to make a change for Aimee. She was signed up for the Oly triathlon but was advised to not race. She had injured her leg a week prior and the wound became infected. So the Dr. didn't want Aimee to swim. We also talked with Jen Kurek of HFP and she said we could switch her entry to another race. Aimee was very relieved.

I grabbed my bike and race gear and quickly placed it all in transition. We had a tent and team banner to set up near the finishing chute just in case people didn't notice all of the SnakeBite racers.

Once the tent was up I finished my pre-race prep. I got my transition area ready and went for a small run through transition. Beach to bike, bike to run. Remember where my bike racked and make sure my equipment is placed how I like it.

Adam and I ran a short warm up. We caught up on how we were feeling for the race and what we thought would be good goals. We chatted with our other teammates at the tent before getting ready for the start.

I got in a small swim warm up to make sure the wetsuit was on properly and check out the sighting for the course. The wind was coming from the west so there was a slight chop to the water as we headed back to the start line. I cheered for friends in the waves prior to mine.

Finally it was time for the 40+ wave to toe the line. Adam aged up this year so he was at the front of the pack. Mikey Donuts shoved me to the front next to Adam. I didn't want to be out front but I went for it. The gun went off and we hit the water. I ran through the shallow water until I could take a dive into the water. I only took one dive and I started stroking immediately, there was no need to dolphin dive several times.

I settled into a great race pace very fast and was watching the people around me. I was trying to maybe find someone to draft off but no one seemed to be going straight or fast enough for me. I decided to just swim my own race and not worry about anyone else.

It wasn't long before I started to pass people in the wave ahead of me. I was sighting well and avoiding the crowds. On the way back towards the start the water was a little choppy so I buried my head in the water to swim through the "waves". For the second loop I stayed steady and pushed all the way to the beach. I knew I had a good swim and was at the front of my wave. I completed the swim in 24:38 and was second in my age group.

I ran into transition and pulled off my wetsuit and donned my bike gear. Helmet, socks, shoes, sunglasses. Grab the bike and head out of transition.

The bike course consists of two loops and is very flat. It's just the nature of the area. We were in the heart of Ohio farm country. Fortunately the wind was not very strong and we could fly. I was doing well and had passed several people. I was settled in and approaching another group of people when the unthinkable happened.

About 100 yards in front of me I watched a guy put his wheel into a road crack and hit the pavement. It looked like his bike bucked him off and he flopped to the road like a fish. Three of us passed the rider and one woman said she was going for help. Up the road were two ambulances and a police car. I flipped around to check the guy on the ground.

I stayed with him to warn people to stay wide and avoid him. The police car finally arrived to block traffic and I went on my marry way. As I was waiting I watched several people pass by whom I either knew or had already passed.

I got back up to speed and made sure I didn't expend too much energy trying to get back into position. I still had one more lap to ride (12 miles) and couldn't blow it all trying to re-pass people. The wind also picked up a little on the second lap. I finished the bike in 1:09:44. Not the greatest time for 40k but I did have a small stoppage.

In transition I took off my helmet and slid on my running shoes. I was out of T2 in 36 seconds. As I started the run I put on my hat and tucked my gels into my side pockets. I took the first two miles rather easy to get my legs moving for the run. I probably took it too easy for a 10k run. I passed one of my teammates, Mikey ZigZag (that's how he swims), and continued to hunt down those in front of me. Mile three I picked up the pace and at the turn around I started the push to the finish line.

I was passing a couple of guys with 1.5 miles to go and a bug flew into the back of my throat. I had to stop at the side of the trail to hack the bug out and get back to running. Now I had to re-pass those two guys. I approached them steadily and passed them with authority. I wanted to make s statement that they would not be seeing me again. I clipped off a 6:30 final mile. I had too much in my tank for the final mile considering my first two miles were 7:45's.

My 10k time of 44:43 placed me second in my age group behind teammate Adam who won the age group. My overall finish was 4th in the AG with a time of 2:21:11. I was happy despite missing third place by 18 seconds.

There were so many great aspects of this race that all of the negative things I could think of didn't matter. After the race I was talking with teammate Adam. I mentioned the stop because of the crash and he said it was good karma. Once he said that I was okay with my race. Karma is good. Being a good sport is important also. I'm too old to get hung up on where I place. There are just more important things to worry about.

I just wish the good karma would come around. Since the race on June 20th, Father's Day, I watched Aimee crash on one of our rides then a friend slip off the bike the next day. I'm convinced that I should just ride alone and not jinx anyone else.

So this Saturday is my next race. The Muncie Endurathon which is a half iron race. Hopefully my race report won't take me several weeks to write, but I'm not making any promises.

Game On