Saturday was my June community event, the Sprint triathalon at Eagle Creek. Since you have to get up at the butt crack of dawn for this race and have so much gear to take, I prepacked and even made a list of things that I still needed to grab in the morning like water from the fridge and my watch from the charger. I got up, grabbed all my stuff and got to the course at 7 am. I started empting all my stuff from the car and did a recheck to make sure I didn’t leave anything behind. Googles and swim cap, check. Bike and helmet, check. Running shoes… Running shoes?… Bueller?… Bueller? Whoopsie!!! Oddly, I didn’t panic and just assessed the situation. I had two options. Option 1 – I had approximately an hour and 20 minutes before my scheduled start time. I could try to get home and back and park and set up in time, or Option 2 – Make do with whatever shoes I had in my car because I was wearing flip flops. Option 2 won and I wore the shoes that I wear bowling. I keep a small sports locker in my trunk so it was either that or golf spikes. I’ll take the bowling shoes.
I headed to check in and get my numbers 352 tattooed on my arm. I only knew 1 other person doing the race, and I was able to run into him before we started. He said he forgot his goggles. I told him my story and he said “You win.” Here’s my station.
Instead of starting the swim in age group waves this year, they did it in numerical order about 1-2 seconds apart. They called 350-400 and off I went. It was much better but you still did run into people. I started out freestyle but my lungs weren’t liking it, so I switched to back stroke which was working really well for me. I was making my tangent lines to the buoys to keep the distance to a minimum. I ended up actually hitting one buoy that kind of shot me off like a right hand turn. Took about a minute for me to figure out that I was off course and right might self back on track. I exited the water at 12 minutes and change. I was cool with that.
I got through my first transition without a hitch and headed onto the 10 mile bike ride. My problem in the bike last year was that I had mountain bike tires and didn’t know the appropriate shifting style up and down hills. I fixed the shifting problem so I was hoping to do a little bit better this year. Pretty uneventful ride. Hit the transition area and set out for the 3 mile run at about one hour into the race.
I figured the run was going to suck. I knew I did 27 minutes last year, so I figured I’ll have to settle for 10 minute miles in my bowling shoes. So I didn’t check my watch and just ran how I was feeling. I passed a young kid on the road and he started to pace with me. We started chatting and found out he was going to be a Senior at Logansport High School. I asked if he was going to try and run in college and especially at Purdue. Kirby said yes to the running, but probably at IU because he wanted to go to med school. I told him I’d let it slide. He asked me if I was in school at Purdue. Bless his little heart. I informed him of my age and that he was a baby when I was in school. He did the obligatory, “you don’t look like you are 31.” but it still made my day! We were cruising with about 1/2 mile to go so I started talking up the kick to the end and that we needed to pick up the pace. I don’t think he was happy but he went with it until the last turn. I started striding out and was encouraging him to come with me. He said he couldn’t, so I kept pushing because I had it in me. Right as I was about to the finish, here comes Kirby flying behind me. I think he didn’t want the old maid beating him. I crossed the line, stopped my watch and saw 1:26:29!? WTF?! Seriously? I PR’d in bowling shoes?! SWEET!
Compared to last year…
Maybe next year I’ll remember all my gear and have the right bike!
EDIT: Pictures courtsey of www.photoreflect.com