Finally some heat! We got a taste of the 80′s for a few days which felt really good. The month of May is finally here and after 2 consecutive Sundays that were total washouts, I was looking forward to racing at the Jetton Park Sprint Triathlon on Cornelius this weekend. With lows in the upper 60′s and a high expected around 80, it would be a total weather reversal of the last sprint tri two weeks ago.
I was invited to do this race by director Sheila Wakeman. She has asked me to do this race for several years already, but the timing was never right, as I was usually scheduled to work the store.  I was able to help her this year through CRC to donate shoes to her charities and we also, with the help of our Brooks rep Chris Dolan, secure PureFlows for a number of students at the charter Brookstone School. So I made sure that I wasn’t scheduled to be able to race. It fit well being only 2 weeks after the last sprint  as I was looking to make some adjustments. The outdoor pool here was officially opened, so I acclimated to the 50 degree water with skin-suits, wetsuit, AND neoprene booties. I managed 20 minute sessions even though it took another 20 to warm back up. But I was confident regardless of what the water temp would be at Jetton. I unfortunately still lost and never regained the 3 lbs I had lost from two weeks ago and was sitting at 125lbs. It didn’t sap me much as I was able to put together a solid week of training and work without feeling totally wasted. I have been vigilant monitoring my training load via PPT and Polar.
Gina got a pretty good head/chest cold from the cold, dreary weather and spend most of the past weekend getting better. But the last Sunday where is poured all day was productive on projects we needed to do inside the home, but only by default. I have been able to knock out plenty of reading too, finishing 2 books – Power of Negative Thinking and a reprint of Mastery.
So as Friday came around, all was looking good for the event. It was busy at the store as I had to manage a packet pickup for the Keep Pounding 5K, but with a steady repertoire of 110% compression, Arctic Spray, and Dunkin Donuts iced coffee, I stayed afloat. Must pay attention to the details bro. Some areas were sore from the good efforts this week.  After a long day,  get home and try to just chill. And get some sleep.

Saturday morning we got up ripe at 5am (Gina earlier thanks to Holmes) , gathered up the stuff and headed out for Cornelius, a quick half hour drive. It’s funny because Gina now commutes to work by light rail/bus so we don’t really use the Xt all week. It’s a good mile walk where the designated parking lot was to the park’s setup but it was comfy out. I had planned to use my BlueSeventy skin-suit and my Team AAA Carolina’s race top for the race, underneath my wetsuit. The water was surprisingly 70 degrees so there was no issue of me being cold, not after Aquaphoring up either. I love to race in warm humid conditions so all of this was welcoming. I got my packet, got body marked by Kathy Seavers, and was able to say hello to Sheila amist the hustle. I set my transition area up which was simplified as I also opted to go old school style by biking in my run shoes to save on transition. It was only a 20k bike, so I figured I could manage that one. We had plenty of time to hang, warm up, and survey the funny stuff you get to see during the pre-race jitters. Donny was racing too so we had a great CRC representation going. With wave starts, I was in number 2, and after a big hug and kiss from G, a little more lube, and made my way to the start.
It was windy and we were going to swim into a current for the first 2 buoys. There were plenty of lifeguards and once the first wave went off, I understood why.
I would say half of the people in the first wave cold not stay the line in keeping that first buoy to their right. People were all over and one dude needed a kayak help quickly. But why? I went WAY right on the beach start watching it all. This to me seemed the best option and only 2 other dudes seemed to think the same way. There was a good number of people in my wave and with 3 minutes between starts, I had to assess my plan quickly. I knew I cold bust these dudes next to me, but with a beach start, how much do you hop before diving in and starting to swim. This is tricky. Time it wrong and everyone on the left is coming your way – quickly. We got the 15second countdown. I took 3 deep breaths. Inward.
I did five hop runs and the one dude dove in front of me. I knew it was deep enough at that point so I had one more hop, dove right and just start to churn. It was after a few strokes that I knew why the first wave had issues. He swells were certainly noticeable and I had to quickly tap into my motor learning of open water strokes. High and high. I drank a bit from this and adjusted my head turn. It was a mild panic at first, but only because now you have no clue who is around you. Ride the wave, breath out hard, stroke, repeat. It wasn’t until I got to the first buoy that I had everything innervated. Click, click boom!
I caught some of the first wave by the next buoy, made the turn, and felt in sync. The water was nice and warm so no chills. I was able to sight each bout no problem. Churn, kick, yo. Soon at the final turn, the sun was blaring off to the right, but nice again, you can see the line of swimmers ahead, just keep on. Swim stroke till you hit the sand, push up, done. Time for the 750 meters: 12:48!

Quick run to transition peeling off the wetsuit. Helmet on, running shoes on, start up my CS600x, boom. As I exited transition running, one guy in front missed the timing mat and tried to get an excuse me pass from me. No dice bro. I bumped his bike a bit but later son. Onto the Black Widow and spin it. Nice rolling course, perfect traffic control, and with my aero Bell helmet, felt just encased in focus. I had the visor so it was real aero. Unfortunately I didn’t realize it till after the race, but my rear wheel rubbed slightly on one of the brake pads. Gotta note that. But my feet were fine on the pedals despite having running shoes on. By mile 5, the roads are for bikers going out on one side and returning on the other. It became a draftfest for those unruly folks and ticked me off. I did plenty of passing, but one big dude passed me followed closely behind by an aero guy all souped up when it should have been the other way around. Poor guy. I got tired of watching to I just passed them once I saw my heart rate drop 10 beats trying to stay back. Lame man. Otherwise, everything was comfortable. Nicely done. Coming back into the park, it was time to run. Hit T2 and finish the 20k bike in 34:43.

I was outta there in seconds as all I did was rack the BW and take my helmet off. I roared out looking to pac-man the field. I felt great. It was hot, but the run course was primarily shaded on the paved trails within the park. The only downside was no mile markers. I saw Donny once I made the first of two turnarounds and that was awesome. He must have crushed the bike. Now it was all chomp chomp. No issues, the suit made me feel real stable and within form. It was not a fast run course as it has some challenging inclines, but pacing was just a guess. Just run bro. Motor it kid. I hit the finish line in a total time of 1:07, with the 5k run done in 17:17!! Good for 2nd in my 40-45 age group!

Full age group results here: http://www.setupevents.com/files/_WebMaleRes.HTM

Overall results here: I got 8th overall and recorded the fastest run split in the field. http://www.setupevents.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=event_results&id=3447

Awesome. I gave G a sweaty hug and kiss. Cheered Donny onto his finish (he won his age group!) and quickly tried to do some sort of jog down while saying thanks to volunteers, Sheila, and vendors. I have to admit, for a sprint tri, this setup was sweet. Iced cold sodas (yes even DPepsi Max), Oh Yeah bars, Chick-file burgers, bananas, bagels, water, vendor goodies, all secured in a manageable finish line area. Plenty of volunteers. Top notch management. Top notch fun.

We gathered everything up, took the long walk back to the car while rehashing stories, and were home in no time to make some slamming java and pb/fruit sandwiches for breakfast on the patio. Time to recharge as I have to still monitor everything, but was a great second tune up race as I now put together the six week block for the Buffalo Springs 70.3 in Texas. I may try to get in another short race come early June, but may be a matter of schedule as I plan to put in a lot of store time the next month. Onward yo!


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