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I’m wicked sore, and am going on vacation tomorrow, I wanted to get something out there quickly to give you an update on the race today.
Race prep went down pretty easily. Since I dropped off almost everything yesterday, I just had to show up with my wetsuit, goggles, and chip down in Naragansett. We didn’t end up getting a hotel in RI, so my girlfriend (who can be thanked for all the awesome pics) got up extra early and left Boston at 3:30 a.m. to get to the race start, an hour and a half away.
Even though the first pro wave went off at around 6:00, I wasn’t going off until the very last wave, more than an hour later. It was nice to have some extra time to get mentally psyched for the race and run through my plan.
I’m not sure why I’m standing really awkardly like that. I think I might have been peeing and didn’t want to stand in a puddle of my own pee. Haha. You can make out the swim buoys off in the distance behind my right shoulder.
The time finally came, I got rounded up with the rest of the 19-29 men, waited for the cannon to go off, and off we went. It was my first running swim start and it was pretty cool. With all of the waves crashing in to shore we got to dive through the waves, which was pretty cool. The water further out was a little choppy, but it was surprisingly warm.
Other than that, it was pretty uneventful. I held a solid pace, stayed on course and came out with a pretty solid time of 36:47. As soon as I got to shore and stood up, I saw Chris swimming in right next to me. It was good to see a familiar face.
T1: 4:58 (1:56/100m)
A lot slower than my normal transitions, but I had to re-pack everything into a bag to be transported up to Providence for me to pick up after the race, so it took a little longer.
I felt really strong, and was passing a lot of people in front of me from my swim wave and from all of the waves ahead of me, keeping my HR pretty low at around 145-155. I totally came up with those numbers out of nowhere, but figured it would be a good idea to stay about 10 bpm lower than what I did at the Mooseman Olympic.
The rolling hills let me pass a lot of people who weren’t from New England and were used to riding on anything else but flats. I also blew past tons of people on fancy carbon bikes and aero helmets. It is definitely an ego boost to casually blow by these guys on a clucky ‘ol road bike. Besides a dropped chain, everything went pretty smoothly.
At about mile 50 I did the math and realized that I was REALLY close to meeting my “A” goal of breaking 3:00 on the bike. It almost wished that I hadn’t figured that out since I probably went way too fast on the last 5 miles on the bike instead of resting and staying loose for the run. Oh Well!
I ended up finishing the bike in 3:01:51. SO CLOSE! (18.48 mph)
Since my knee was definitely feeling a little tight during the bike and I was a little worried about it, I decided to just take it REALLY easy for the first of two loops on the run. I was going almost awkwardly slow, doing something in between a slow jog and a shuffle, but it kept my knee feeling alright as long as I kept it moving so it wouldn’t tighten up on me.
When I stopped at the water stations and started running again, I could tell that my knee was tightening up really fast, so I just tried to find one really slow pace, have a nice open stride, and keep moving forward because starting running again after stopping hurt like a BITCH. The hardest part was running up the MONSTER hill at mile 2 and 8. This thing was practically straight up for what seemed like half a mile.
This was the hill that the X Games used for street luge when they came to town. Yeah. Seriously. This thing was no joke and I had no choice but to keep running up it, even though it was only slightly faster than walking up.
First lap – felt good. Wicked tired, but good. I think my first lap was about 1:05.
Just like the first, but a LOT more painful. I kept moving except for really quick stops to take in as much water as I could and strap some cold sponges in to my race jersey.
Because I was the very last wave, the second lap was a lot more lonely since a lot of the faster/earlier racers had already finished by the time I hit the turn around but the volunteers and spectators were still out there rocking it. It was great to see all the locals out there supporting an inaugural event like this.
Except for a brief 400 meter stint at about mile 12 where I walked, I kept on truckin’ the whole time. Definitely the hardest run of my life. I wanted to just stop and lay down on the pavement after every single step I took.
The finish line was the greatest place in the world. It was by far the most emotional race that I had ever done, and it felt amazing to run through the chute and hit that line.
I finished the run in 2:33:27 (11:42/mile) for a total time of 6:20:10. It wasn’t the time that I was hoping for a few months ago, but I was really psyched given the obstacles.
I couldn’t walk too well, but sucked down a whole lot of Gatorade and water and layed out in the shade. I probably looked light a nightmare, but was too distracted by the amazing feeling of finishing to pay attention to all of the pain that I was in.
Here is a pic of the race finish (sans spectators) right under the state capitol.
Amazing race. Really well supported and it was an absolute blast. It was the most pain that I had been in in a long time, but was absolutely worth it.
Oh and I think that I may be classified as a “heavy sweater” now given the salt farm that I grew over my entire body. Check out this sick pic of my tri shorts after the race with the salt crystals all over the place. HI larious.
That is all. Now off to bed and stretch and head off on vacation until next week! Check out some more pictures from the race on my Flickr page on the badge on the right.