The Evergreen Sprint was a really great race, and a great end for an insane chapter in my life. It was mostly the same course as Tri-Shark, with the exception of a longer 40Km bike route. The weather was in the low 60s, and there wasn't much wind at all.
My pre race routine didn't go very well at all, as I got there a little late, just making same day packet pickup and not really having enough time to set up my transition. Somehow I made it to the starting line in time though, and did pretty well.
Throughout the race I burnt around 2370 calories, and took in about 450. The first 150 was from a sports drink on the bike. Additionally I ate a gu in T1, 45 minutes later on the bike, and then 45 minutes after that on the run.
Overall Place: 67/XXX
My wave was bigish, with every male competing in the sprint starting at the same time. The water was warmer than the air on race morning. It was 76 degrees in the lake and just barely wetsuit legal. I didn't wear a wetsuit however, since I don't currently own one. When the horn went off things got rough really fast. I was in the front/middleish part of the pack and took alot of elbows. About 200m into the swim I took a hard kick to the chest as well. I really need to work on bilateral breathing as well. I was having a hard time breathing on one side because of the chop in the lake and some of the competators swimming closely to me and splashing me on the side I was breathing on.
I ran into T1 feeling like things were going pretty well. Bike shoes...check, helmet...check, garmin...check, sunglasses....uh...uh oh. My glasses were in my transition bag. I had to dig for them, because there was no way I was going to do a 25 Mile bike race without them. That killed any time advantage I may have had gained by not wearing a wetsuit.
I felt pretty strong on the bike. I knew I wasn't going to be able to pull of 20 MPH over 25M, so I made my goal 18 MPH and just focused on keeping my cadence up since I knew I was in this for a longer haul than normal. I spent some time at around 16, and some around 22 and I wasn't sure where things would end up but I just focused on keeping my cadence at 80+.
Just about 2 miles in there was an ambulance tending to a down racer that I had to avoid, which served as a reminder that there is danger in doing this, and that I needed to be careful. Later I heard that the athlete that crashed here ended up in the ER.
About 10 miles in several of us got stuck behind a very slow moving cement truck, which was extremely annoying. While I was curious if I could get penalized for drafting behind a cement truck the guy to my right was cursing like a sailor at the driver, who appeared to somehow be stuck behind a guy on a mountain bike.
A few miles later I was cruising at about 21 MPH when I came accross a large hill that I had to desend. I began my descent and stepped through all my gears, still aero, before spinning out of my casset and thinking "holy crap, this is kind of scary!" Glancing at my speedometer I saw that I had just exceeded my previous bike speed record, and was flying down the hill at 37.3 MPH. At that point my internal monologue went from "holy crap, this is kind of scary" to "wow, 37, sweet!" to "oh god, if I hit a rock I'm going to die!" Of course, since I'm writing this I guess there weren't any rocks.
About 20 miles in things started to really hurt. Riding at race pace for this long was something I wasn't probably ready for yet. My current training plan has me set to do it just in time for Chicago in fact, which made this ride about 7 weeks premature. There was no way I was going to let up though. I'm a crappy runner and an average swimmer, so I always have to have a strong bike performance. I tried to clear my head of the pain and let my mind go somewhere else (no I'm not going to tell you where, get your own happy memory) while I pushed through the last 5 miles.
Distance: 40Km / 25 M
Avg Speed: 19.3
I honestly don't remember much of T2. I do remember not being able to run much in transition off the bike. My feet were kind of tingly and my quads were doing the normal transition thing so I was really in kind of a daze. Apparently my transition was pretty lousy though, since I was 11/12. I'm thinking that I remained standing up through my transition and I probably should have sat down to change shoes.
The run went pretty well. After I got my legs back under me (about .5 miles in) I started to feel really strong. I heard "Go Sharks!" from several of the volunteers and other runners as I passed and that encouraged me even more. About a mile in I saw a water stop so I hit my last gu and washed it down with some water. I spent alot of my time on the run in the 8ish minute/mile range, but ultimately I didn't break out of the 9s unfortuantely.
Distance: 5K / 3.1 M
Tri-Mom Events races are the best, and this was no exception. Everything was great, well organized, and exactly right. The food afterwards was awesome! There were cookies, fruit, BBQ, gondolas from Avanti's (a Central Illinois thing I think) and bagels from Panera.
Our race times were available almost instantly from It's Race Time. We were able to walk up to a kiosk they had set up and they would print our individual times for us, including all our splits. I was very impressed, way to go Eric! I was also shocked to see that I had placed 5th in my AG, and not only did I place 5th, but there were awards for top 5! I was shocked. It felt really great to get a medal for a triathlon and be recognized for some of the hard work I've put into this.
As I walked back to the car I was probably glowing. I may have just been 5th in my AG in the Sprint (all the fasties did the Oly) but it felt like I had just placed first in Kona. I excitedly txted Lana and let her know I was safe and off the course and was happy to tell her about my award before I walked back to enjoy the awards celebration.
Evergreen was a total surprise. I was doing it just because it was a close triathlon. I didn't go in with any specific plan or purpose, I was just breaking up the monotony of training on my way to the Chicago Tri. What started as "just for fun" ended up being the highlight of my very short triathlon career. It was a great time.