Sunday, April 15, 2007

Pre-race review - Clermont TriAmerica

This race was very "un-Bigun" like. I'm usually pretty OCD about getting ready, making sure I eat right, getting the right amount of sleep, etc, etc. Today's race - none of those things. It was just for fun today. And that wasn't so bad, really.

The last few days, the Biguns have been very social. We saw the redneck concert of all redneck concerts - 38 Special, Hank Williams Jr., and Lynyrd Skynyrd - yes, all in the same night. That was Friday night. Last night we went to a "mini-reunion" of sorts - local folks that graduated in my class met at a fellow's house where we ate and drank and talked late. After the party was when I squeezed in some time to get my stuff ready for today's race. I didn't clean my bike. I didn't rotate my tires like it was suggested I do. No, I didn't put my wheel cover on, nor did I get my Hed Jet 90 front wheel ready either. That's right, folks, I raced on "stock" wheels. I couldn't find my electrolyte pills (which would be bad later...). I threw a bunch of stuff in my tri-bag and hoped for the best, and got in bed right around midnight for the second night in a row, looking forward to a 4am wake up call.

No, the Bigun didn't partake in the spirits either night. While that move showed extreme amounts of discipline and willpower, it made for a long concert...I think I was the only non-drunk person there (besides Mrs. B and the other two that came with us). I did eat at the reunion party. And eat. And then eat some more. 7-layer dip...mmmm. Boiled shrimp...mmmm - sorry everyone, I ate so much shrimp - I don't think there is anymore. I made shrimp an endangered species last night. And a giant hamburger. Oh-my-god...the hostess made this German apple pie that was two servings delicious. Plus some cookies. I destroyed that 7-layer dip, btw. Sampled the hummus with bread wedges - those were pretty good. Carrots off the veggie plate - ate e'm. Lots of 'em. They made the kids leave the room - I think they were scared for their general well-being.

Oh, and lets just say that 100% of last night's food, in it's entirety, took a ride on the Bigun express for 4 hrs and 36 minutes of swimming, biking and running this morning. I was reminded of my passengers at the beginning of the run - but was able to ignore those loud-ass shrimp, as persistent as they were, through the finish line. Barely.

The weather was insane! We knew it would be, based on forecasts, but we were hoping for the best, right? The whole day's weather was less than ideal...but I'm really not complaining. It would be like bitching about the hills or the murky water on the swim - those things were all givens when I hit the "register" button. I even found myself laughing when I was on a long downhill stretch going about 35 into a driving wind and rain, one eye closed, the other squinting to keep the water out, my arms stinging from the small bits of hail mixed in with the giant raindrops - it was an adventure! We truly earned our finisher's medals today!

I think (our times aren't posted yet) that my swim time was best measured with a calendar. I was that guy you see swimming way out by himself, then cutting across everyone to try and get back in "formation"...back and forth, back and forth. It was ugly. The reality of my poor swim stems from my jinxing myself right before the starting gun. Let me explain. I put my swim cap in one of the pouches of my tri-bag, and zipped it shut. Really, I zipped the cap into the zipper - tearing it, of course (jinx #1). My scramble to find a replacement left me with little time to warm up, stretch, swim a little, etc. I found myself with a couple minutes before the gun without my suit on, so I moseyed over to some solid ground and commenced putting my wetsuit on. Damn if it felt funny for some reason. It wasn't bending right around my knees (did the Bigun's legs get that much more massive?), and then I was having a heck of a time getting my arms in - for some reason the arms were pointing behind me. I actually got both arms in the suit before I realized that it was a rare wetsuit that zippered in the front (jinx #2, and for the uninitiated, I had it on backwards). It was at that point I realized it would be a long day.


Oly said...

Dude! You should have gone to an REO concert. They would have played "Riding the storm out". :)

I remember those shrimps from my time in the south. They be good.

Born To Endure said... coach who is at the USAT centre told me how awful the weather was down there..didn't stop him from riding 100k...

ShirleyPerly said...

Way to go finishing that race yesterday, with all your little passengers as well!

That storm yesterday reminded me of the one that pummeled us during the last part of a century ride in Sanford last year. I remember pedaling hard and struggling to go 10 mph down a hill because the wind & rain were driving us back uphill. I'm sure it was even scarier to ride in such conditions with the wind behind ...

Look forward to reading the rest of your adventure :-)

S. Baboo said...

Whoo-hoo! we shared a bad hair day!

Fe-lady said...

I have this picture of you on your bike looking like "Popeye"!
And measuring your swim time with a calendar....too funny!
Good for you for sticking it out and telling the weather to shove it! Glad they didn't cancel it all together!