This is one of those races that people who aren't from around here really don't even know about, but for all of us locals, it is a "Main Event", kinda like Hoopfest, Pig Out In The Park, or growing a mullet.
Hence my double excitement when *I* decided to race and found out *my wife* also wanted to race! With luck, we could sneak off at 4am, throw down an Olympic distance triathlon, and make it back to the house before the sleeping babies even realized we abandoned them.
We ended up getting a babysitter anyways (thanks Grandma and Grandpa Casebolt!).
Since Jessa raced "team runner" for the Troika Half Ironman on Sunday, and I raced the full distance, we both woke on Monday morning not terribly confident about this event. Her toe was swollen like a red pepper, and I was just...tired. Two days before the race, Jessa told me she didn't think she could do it (her first triathlon of the season). I told her that not only could she do it, but she could easily pull off a 2:40.
The night before the big day, I took her out to the river and helped her put on/take off her wetsuit (which she'd been in ONCE) and showed her how she should swim in it. Nothing like last minute preparation.
That evening, we both felt good, rested, and ready to rumble. On the way over to the race on Saturday morning, we must have played the new Black Eyed Peas "I've Got a Feeling" three or four times. Good "pump you up" song.
Oh, and by the way, thanks for eating my morning sweet potato breakfast, babe. I took my second favorite stand-by: a chocolate bumblebar with an iced coffee and GU Espresso Flavored gel.
Transition set-up went smoothly, although I was a bit nervous about racing with a disc on my Specialized for the first time. As I found out later during the bike split, it actually isn't as hard to handle in crosswinds as I would have imagined.
I lined up behind Roger Thompson for the swim, not only because he's a friendly, familiar face to greet before a race, but because he's damn fast and it's always a lofty goal to try to stay on his feet. The swim start sounded about 800 of us were off to the races!
Having had a somewhat sluggish swim last year, with a 4th place finish, I really wanted to push it this year. I was using a new "breathing style" (super secret weapon method), and it seemed like I had a much faster and better swim, although later I found out the course was a bit short, and I didn't actually swim 1:05 100 meter splits. Darn.
In transition, somebody shouted that I was 0:40 down on Roger. This is not a good sign, especially since it appears they gave me that split based on the time he was *leaving* transition and I was *entering* it.
At the first turnaround, I split myself about 2:10 down on Roger, and realized at the same time that a very fast pro triathlete was also racing: Adam Jensen. Having come to this realization just before the big series of hills on the bike course, I realized I would have to really push if I wanted to "hold him back" before we reached the flats again, at which time I would have a small chance of "hanging with him", vs. getting dropped on the hills.
I was pretty happy that Adam didn't actually pass me until the top of the very last hill, but still split 1st place Roger a good 3 minutes up at the next turnaround. That's pretty much bye-bye territory in an Olympic distance event, unless that cyclist absolutely crumbles on the run. I kept hammering, which is what you always should do if you're way behind, because YOU NEVER KNOW, maybe those two guys ahead of you cut off some old lady in traffic on their way to the race, and they have karma comin'.
Anyways, I looked for Jessa on the bike, but never saw her. Later, I found out she had a SMOKIN' 21 minute swim and came out of the water way ahead of almost every girl in her division. So much for being nervous in a wetsuit.
Here I am arriving in transition, about 25 seconds behind Adam Jensen and who knows behind Roger. Although my bike split was nearly identical to last year, I was MUCH less tired and biked much more conservatively in the last 5 miles of this race, so I was pretty confident heading out on the run.
Do you ever have one of those runs where you FEEL fantastic and fast, but when you look at your watch, it's saying just the opposite? That was my run in this race, a little over 39 minutes. I never really felt that bad, but was actually passed twice (one guy was later DQ'd, still giving me 4th place) and ran almost 90 seconds slower than last year. I can't blame it on Troika, since I also did Troika 6 days before last year.
I just didn't run as fast as I thought I was running. Weird.
Not only that, but that makes it three times this season (Onionman, Tiger, CDA) in Olympic type races and thrice in Half IM's (Chile, New Orleans, Troika) where I JUST DIDN'T RUN WELL.
Since I have only three races left this season (Portland, Grand Columbian 1/2, Clearwater), I'm going to have to pull out some decent run splits or else I'll be disappointed. It's not a matter of putting out too much on the bike (I've been feeling very fresh in transition), as much as it is the "stroller runs". I'm serious. The majority of my runs have been stroller runs at tempo pace with the boys.
As of today (literally as soon as I finish this blog post), I am not QUITTING the stroller runs, but we are instead going to switch to stroller intervals. No joke. 1/4 mile and 1/2 mile repeats, because Daddy obviously needs some speedwork.
So...4th place finish, 2nd place division, similar time to last year.
She ROCKED the swim, biked a 1:20-something despite forgetting to take the kid's trailer hitch off her bike and ran a fantastic 10K for an overall time of 2:34 -SIX minutes faster than what she had planned, with blood pooling in the shoe of her torn-up toe! Here I am running her into a 2ND PLACE division finish!
Way to go babe. I'm proud of you. Here we are on stage, with our one child. The other one will wonder forever why his parents only took his brother up there, and will wonder if that is why he is living in a jail cell for blowing up an animal shelter.
Thanks to my awesome sponsors...Specialized, GU, Avia, Zeal Optics, Millennium Sports, Mt. Capra Nutrition, Impax nutrition, WheelSport East, Therapeutic Approach Massage Therapy, Spokane Sports Chiropractic.
I would probably still be panting up a hill somewhere in Coeur D' Alene if it weren't for you.
Thanks for stopping by...