My little adventure began when HaycraftGTWD (aka SmittenKitten), Talladega (aka Big Kat) and I all piled in the car and hit the road for Chapel Hill to pick up the fourth character in our journey, Mark Carey, from Raleigh’s infamous elite Triangle Multisport Team. We arrived to Chapel Hill at a reasonable hour and spend the evening downing pizza, talking tri’s, and wondering who would crack first on our 14.5 hour drive to Vermont. Despite the fact we were driving through every major city on the east coast, our drive was surprisingly uneventful. We missed all the major traffic jams and two short detours forced us to do a quick Clark Griswald tour of DC and New York City. Not bad. We arrived to the beauty of Burlington, Vermont along rolling major roads that would be considered back roads here in Charlotte. The cats and I ate a great dinner at this little joint next to the hotel and eagerly awaited the fifth and final member of our team, Moose (aka Moose, yeah that’s right).
I was one of the last waves to start the event, almost a full hour after the first wave. I had a lot of time to watch the previous waves glide through Lake Champlain. The course seemed simple enough with 4 90-degree turns and a swim into the boat ramp but as I watched the previous heats make a wide arch around the end of the course, I knew I would have to sight well in order to not make the same mistake. My turn to churn came fast as I struggled to put my 7 year old wet suit on probably for the last time. Like a troop of trained seals, the girls and I shuffled through the shoot and into the water. As we were all lining up for the in-water start and jockeying for a front of the line position this one girl turns around and says, “you all are going to want to get behind me, I am a swimmer.” I had to applaud her strategy but wouldn’t you know people believed her and did it!?! Well that is one crafty way to end the fight for the front! I am not going to complain because it gave me room to squeeze in next to her when the gun finally went off. I have been working on my sprint speed thanks to HaycraftGTWD’s critique towards my lack of such speed. I really tried to hit the beginning sprint hard to find myself some clear water and to trounce "the swimmer.” The strategy worked and ultimately I found myself in a pod of only four girls. We stayed together until the second turn, which can also be described as the turn into the sun, and immediately our group shattered like a piece of glass. As I desperately fought for glances of the next buoy I noticed that I too swam the arch instead of the straight line. I guess my learning curve ain't so steep afterall.
|You can just barely see the swimmers heading out the first buoy.|
I knew there were at least two girls ahead of me coming out of the water and when I was in transition I did a quick recon of the rack. It did nothing to help me, ie time wasted. Thanks to starting later, the bike course seemed overwhelmingly crowded. It was difficult to tell who was coming and who was going, who was blocking, drafting, and overtaking. Maybe I should have shut my mind up but I really found it difficult to find a groove. I found it difficult to hit some kind of appropriate pace. I honestly felt like I was riding in a 56 mile ride instead of a 24.8 mile bike ride but I had a goal. HaycraftGTWD and made a small bet he would pass me before the 10th mile marker. I had a four minute head start and anything I gained on the swim. I had no reason not to make it. Even though he had a heck of a bike ride, he did not pass me until just before the 13 mile mark. Sometimes small victories are the best. I spent the rest of the ride in an unfocused state, “hey look at the silo, hey look at the cows, hey look at the . . . “ Didn’t see until I got my results how painfully unfocused my ride was. Ouch. Not my best effort.
My coworker says my bellybutton is too low which is why I am not a good runner . . . but my low belly button makes me a good swimmer. Thanks for the analysis. Carry on . . .
|Looking fast in my BlueSeventy|
Auckland here I come? Not unless someone happens to drop $5000 my direction . . . hint, hint, wink, wink, hint, hint . . . . dang why doesn't the hint-hint-wink-wink thing ever work!?!