Jun. 19, 2007

Home is the Sailor

I'm back home, safe and sound after my epic weekend. It all worked out in the end, even though I ended up living in my car for the whole trip.

Saturday was a long day with five shows to do, starting at 9:00AM and ending at midnight. Five hours of exercising the day before my race! Oh, I threw in a 5K run as well. The set was a bit fraught as there were three different products to demonstrate each hour and a nearly impossible new routine for one of them. After my last show I jumped into my car and headed north to Huntsville, hoping to be able to get a few hours of sleep when I arrived. Unfortunately there had been a massive accident caused by idiots racing through traffic. Eleven people were hospitalized! Hours later when I was traveling traffic was still being re-routed around the scene, adding a desperately needed hour to my journey. I rolled into the race parking lot at 3:15 AM and managed two fitful hours of sleep in the car. I was able to notice and enjoy a beautiful sunset and new moon earlier in the evening.

Muskoka Finish LineSo what about my race? I was a bit bleary on race morning, but it was nice to see my club mates start to show up in the transition area. I had two surprise introductions at the race, once when a cyclist paused beside me to introduce himself as a club member and then after the race while I was watching the other athletes finish I discovered I was talking to someone from San Diego who'd asked me, as official e-mail answerer for the Toronto Triathlon Club, for some Ontario race advice a few weeks ago!

3:35:33, 281/792 overall, 31/93 in my age group
Swim - 2km. 31:16 (1:34/100m), 8/93 in age group. Transition 1 - 2:12
Bike - 55km. 1:45:04 (31.4 kph), 41/93 in age group. Transition 2 - 1:15
Run - 15km. 1:15:48 (5:04 min/k), 40/93 in age group.

My 2 km swim was strong, in warm water and not too bad traffic until near the end. I managed to get a solid draft all the way from another swimmer. I think he tried to shake me toward the end, but I clung on like a limpet. Seeing the whole 2 km course laid out in front of me was a bit intimidating, not at all like looking down a 25m pool. About half way through the swim the back of my neck started to burn. I think I missed a spot with the Body Glide. Ouch! I have a scab there now.

The bike leg, 55 km in this race, is always my weak link. I got passed by 33 guys in my age group! Disheartening. I think my lack of sleep started to catch up with me on the bike. It was a hilly course though... I saw a few riders defeated by broken chains and watched two riders come together in a low-speed tumbling crash while wobbling up a steep section.

On the run I really felt a lack of energy. I had 15 km to cover and averaged 5:04 min/k, which is slow for me. In the shorter Milton race two weeks ago I averaged 4:36 min/k. Around the half-way mark I started walking up to and through the aid stations. I was beat! I managed to pick up the pace a bit as we came back into town. I get a real boost from the spectators on the run. The downhill finish was nice, as was the cold shower immediately after the finish...

I watched the finish for a while with a friend and then it was back into my car to rush back into town. I got there with ten minutes to go before air. That's cutting it too close! There were three shows Sunday evening. I was tired and stinky, but I don't think it showed on camera. Finally heading home at 12:30 AM, I picked up Sheryl's dog Barkley from a friend to babysit. She's on a trip to London and Paris, timed to let her join her old boss for the premier of the London production of Lord of the Rings. It had been two days of sweat and toil with no chance to shower, but I simply collapsed into bed with Barkley taking the other pillow...

Monday should have been a recovery day but I ended up spending the afternoon at my friend David's home office helping him switch to a new MacBook laptop. This was followed by a long but pleasant evening at my friend Brian's place where we had a nice barbecue in the back yard and then watched the US Grand Prix. There were some interesting moments in the race, but it finished the way in started: "junior partner" Lewis Hamilton's McLaren ahead of Fernando Alonso's, "junior partner" Felipe Massa's Ferrari ahead of Kimi Raikkonen's. Nineteen year-old Sebastian Vettel, filling in for Robert Kubica who hasn't yet been cleared to race after last week's crash in Canada, became the youngest driver ever to score a Formula One point. But Lewis' dominating drive is a sign that he's the rookie to watch this year. That's two victories in a row and a podium finish in every race he's run!

As we drove home Chris uttered some ominous words; "You know, Clare and I have a lot in common." Clare is Brian's oldest daughter, just turned fourteen...

Listening to: All That I Know by The Marble Index from Watch Your Candles, Watch Your Knives.

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