It seemed like this race wasn't meant to be. I arrived at the race site early. I found what I thought was a good parking spot. Matt Lieto, a pro K-Swiss athlete, parked next to me. A cop pulled up and said move it or get a ticket. Luckily I got there super early and found a good spot just down the street. I guess that is sign #1.
I set everything up and was back in my car listening to the Ipod by 5:30AM. Could listening to "Mad World" be sign #2? I headed back to transition at 6:05AM. There was still air in the tires and the biked looked ready to be ridden fast. I grabbed my XTERRA VENDETTA and headed over toward the swim start. My age group was the 5th wave to start. I lined up on the left.
I saw Lee in the first 200 meters or so. We were swimming side by side. The swim felt good until around 1400 meters. A guy in my age group came up on the right and as he tried to pass me, he elbowed me water polo style. It knock my goggles sideways. Sign #2. I stopped, readjusted, and then swam on his feet the rest of the way. I was 82 seconds faster than last year.
I overshot my rack. Yes, even with a green bike. Sign #3. I exited T1 with my newly colored LYNSKEY a few seconds faster than last year. I did a flying mount and landed on my seat. I felt it move downward. Sign #4. Lee passed me around mile 7. I was feeling pretty strong and thinking I can't believe how good I feel until I looked down at my chain ring. I had been riding in the small ring the entire time. The shifter said otherwise. I tried to get it to shift to the big ring. No luck. UGH!!! A vehicle driving the other way, gave me the middle finger. Sign #5. The vehicles on the course did not help either. I had a vehicle turn left in front of me, causing me to hit the brakes. Then I got stuck behind him and couldn't pass. Sign #6&7. I usually make time up in aero descending. Not this time. On almost every descent I had to sit up and tap the brakes. Sign #8,9,10,11. On the last descent, there were several cars and a crazy racer who passed them all in the opposite lane. Crazy!!! I almost wiped out on the second to last turn. I thought it was a normal 90 degree turn. It was more like a 115 degree turn. I ended up on the shoulder in the other lane. Sign #12. I was still a few seconds faster than last year with all the things working against me.
I overshot my rack again. Sign #13. I quickly racked the LYNSKEY and put on my NEWTON RACERS. As I was exiting T2, I dropped my water bottle. I picked it up and noticed the top was flattened like a pancake. I went to adjust it and the spout fell into the bottle. Sign #14. Even with the drop and pick up, my T2 was a few seconds faster than last year.
I ditched the bottle in the first mile because it was splashing all over me. Sign #15. This would be my first half ironman not running with a water bottle. It was also at least 10 degrees warmer this year. I had to walk through most of the aid stations. Sign #16,17,18,19,20... This helped eliminate the cramping in my diaphragm. I ran several minutes slower than last year.
I finished a few minutes slower than last year and a several places down. It just wasn't meant to be.
"There are signs everywhere."
Next up Ironman Canada. I will only swim and bike. Then cheer on all the people racing.