Saturday, October 1, 2011

Vineman Thoughts and Reactions

This is old and probably unfinished, but I just realized I half-wrote it and left it in draft mode. Either way, here you go -- thoughts and reactions from a race I did six weeks ago! I know I intended to write more on this... hrmm. 

There a bunch of thoughts and reactions from Vineman that didn't really fit into the full-on race report. In fact, they don't really fit anywhere... so I'm going to lump them all together and stick 'em here.

The swim wasn't bad considering I spent about 66% less time training that discipline this year compared to last year. Sure, I could have probably gone another 1-2 minutes faster, but I think spending that extra time training the run (or resting) is a better use of my time.

The swim course did suck, though. Scraping the bottom of the river with every stroke is pretty crappy. And having to dodge around the slower swimmers from other waves as you lap them kinda sucks too. I spent most of the first lap at the front of a group - I wish I hadn't, but no one would come around and take a pull.

The entire race, starting with the swim, I was thinking to myself, "There's no rush. Just get to the finish line with enough energy to propose." As I was toweling off in the first transition area, I smiled good-naturedly at one of the guys next to me and said something along the lines of, "Oh man, this is gonna be a long day."

As I said before, the bike was mostly boring except for the turn at mile 58 where Kristine and my family were waiting to cheer me on.

The first lap of the run felt incredible. I felt like I was floating. The second lap was more down-to-earth, but the third lap was when it all came crashing down. I don't think it was the heat. My quads were just so sore, and my stomach was gurgling. 

The aid stations weren't serving cold, flat cola - they were serving warm, fizzy cola. Ugh. And they only seemed to have one flavor of Clif shot: lemon lime. I just literally gagged while typing that. I had 1.5 bars for breakfast that morning and only between 8 and 12 gel shots throughout the ten-hour race. That's not a whole lot of calories!

Proposing to Kristine on the finish line was the best thing I've ever done.

I don't remember mentioning this in my race recap, but I walked away from that course just fine. In fact, despite an upset stomach, I felt like a mostly normal person after finishing that race. Having friends and family there (and heading out to a brewpub with them after) was a blast. There's definitely something to be said for races you do that are close to home.

Thanks to everyone who came out, to my sisters and parents for supporting me through the years and through the race, and to Kristine who supports me every day - even when the alarm's set for 5:15am. You're all the best.