Good grief! What an eye opener. Well, first things first. This race is sponsored and run by the Mad Dog Tri Club - the largest Tri club in the world, so sayeth our lovely and talented race day color commenter.
Now really, do you need someone to fill in the time between 5:00am and 7:00am? I can just hear the Race Director talking to this woman, "so, I need you to talk, non-stop, for the entire race". And she did. At one point she actually used the words, "you know, what us ELITES do with our transition layout....blah blah blah" - oh, yes she did. Nope, not a Pro. An Elite. And now we know.
So other than that strange ringing in my ear and ensuing neck twitch, I got my crap laid out as usual without a hitch - like I've only done it dozens of times before, albeit minus elite status - and went off to check on my new-be compatriots. More or less, they/we got their act together and off we went to the swim start, a half-mile down the beach.
You know, when you walk it off, it sure seems like a long way. Is it bad when you are already breathing heavy just from walking to the swim start? Rhetorical question...
So my wave, the mighty 3rd wave of Clydesdales, kicks off, and within seconds I'm realizing that everyone else is running out to the water, and I'm casually walking. Excel Man says it best, "My race strategy is to start out slow and finish slower...". By the first turn buoy, I was pretty much all alone, except for annoying breast stroke guy swimming to my left. Every time I took a breath to the left, there he was, looking ahead, and I could see his chubby legs frog kicking out and brushing my arm from time to time. Sadly, he was swimming at my pace. If I picked up my pace. The great thing was that with him breast stroking, and doing a bang up job of sighting, I didn't have to. One of the straightest open water swims I ever did.
Finally completing the first straight 800 meters I'd swam since June '08 (yes, this is May 31'st), I run straight at my bike (why follow the lanes, my bike's like the only one still in there...) and in decent transition time, I'm turning my pedals. Slowly. I mean, crap! This is my shtick, right? Folks, it's all gone, I'm sorry to say. I worked it from seeing my first mile averaging around 15mph to finally finishing up at 19.3mph. Seriously. I know!
If you thought that was bad, it gets worse. I'm pretty sure I could have walked darn near as fast as I was shuffling along. It was a slug-fest, and I lost. Well, I didn't stop and "officially" walk. I continued on at what could sorta be construed as a run and without fanfare or major injury I crossed the finish line. Yay.
There was Beer. There was Pizza. There was an Expo with flashy, shiny things to buy. I felt sick after 1 Beer. I tried to feel better with a second beer, but I was having none of it. There was only one thing left to do. Leave. Excel Man and I hopped back in his car and went home. No pictures. At least none I want posted this time around.
Six weeks of training exist between now and Morton Plant Mease Triathlon on Sand Key here in Florida. It's a sprint, with 3 bridge climbs that are actually pretty major. The run is very sandy, making this race a good, tough test of character. I'm looking forward to it. I can safely lose about 12 lbs between now and then, maybe 15 if I push it. That would drop me down to... wait for it.... 275. And what did I race CdA at a year ago? 250. The race after that will be another sprint at Sand Key. I'm hoping to be able to fit into the awesome Sugoi tri gear I was graciously given to test and write about. I'll sure try it out again before Morton Plan Mease to see if it fits...but the prognosis doesn't look too good.