(My apologies for the un-inspired writing. This entry has straight prose and reads like an online diary, which is not acceptable. The CC Nation has come to expect better from this blog -- fear not, loyal readers! We'll be back to the A-game soon.)
My major in undergrad was math. I pursued the degree rather intensely. Once, I was writing a 4 hour Calculus exam, and halfway through, I assessed the situation: I had skipped over some problems and lazily attempted some others. I told myself:
You have a 65% right now, bud. 2 hours to go.... let's fight back
I pored over the exam and got back into the game. I don't remember the exact result but I received a mark for the class that was probably mid-90s %.
That's the tale of the tri, though on a less successful note.
The 1/4 Ironman was out at Innsbrook, MO. I haven't mentioned it but it's the same site where a guy died (IMHO from heart attack, and drowned) back in June. They had a word from the race director and the man's father. Standing there, mostly naked, with 600 other competitors in the morning fog, listening to the dedication was pretty powerful stuff.
A congregation of people on a beautiful lake on a clear Sunday morning, bowing their heads.
The worst was just before the swim, standing in 70 F water and 60 F air temps. Most people had wetsuits. I did not.
12 minutes later, I'm at the half way mark. And then this surge of pink swim caps: the elite ladies from the next wave had caught me. I had a 5 minute headstart. Admittedly, they were excellent swimmers but it was still demoralizing to get caught so soon.
At some point, I think I took in some water with a bit of fuel from a jetski. Yum! They had oodles of them, and canoes, and kayaks. The most dangerous part of the tri was that if you did have trouble in the water, you'd be run over by a dozen nervous lifeguards on jetskis, as they sped to your rescue.
Coming out of the swim was tough.... It was pretty chilly. I was nauseous and there were some pretty weird things going on (let's just end that thread there).
On the bike, for some reason, it felt sluggish. I might have had "lead legs" or perhaps there was a problem with Blackbird. Dunno. It felt like the brakes were touching slightly. Gah!
About 4 miles in, I was ready to quit. This was seriously not fun. Ironically, in a mere 4 weeks after Mattoon, I was freezing on the bike and was in a massive spat with Blackbird.
I remembered the Calc exam and decided I'd fight back..... Not for a great time, as that would be impossible with an irritated steed. I decided to just enjoy the race. The rest of the bike was pleasant, if not fun. Thankfully I warmed up ok after a couple more miles.
Keen members of the CC Nation know that the Prime Directive is: Thou Shalt Not Walk. In that regard, the tri was a success! I hammered out 6.5 miles at a decent pace.
This was a major tri that serves as the primary race for many of the triathlon clubs in the midwest. So there was a lot of people there, and the MC had a microphone to track the action.
One part of the excitement was announcing the people (by name, via the bib #) as they ran onto the final chute -- a sprint of about 200 metres/yards.
My legs were burning and I was pretty much done with this event, but I decided to have some fun. I knew I could light the afterburners, and I found it pretty ironic given my horrendous time.
So I lit 'em. Bingo, the MC yelled out that "these people from the StL Tri Club have a major kick at the end". With a lift of my arms into the air, I egged the crowd on to cheering a mediocre finish. Ah, the simple pleasures in life.
3 hours 20 minutes. Missed the arbitrary goal. The bike average was 15 mph, which is from the Butterscotch era (Ed's note: A rare reference to the 1st bike. see CC April 06.), and certainly strange for Blackbird. The run, which seemed good, was a glacial 9 minute pace.
But at least I didn't quit, as utterly seductive as that thought was....
I fought back.