Monday, September 11, 2006

The Big Escape

I was the last one out of the water (except the other guy who was taken away in
an ambulance). I biked strong to decent but not much people to pass when your so far away from the rest of racers.

Friday (prior to race Sunday) we pulled up to Mercer Island and got out of the parking lot to view and ride where "The Escape From The Rock" will take place. We followed the arrows and came unto an open field -empty. In the far distance there were honey buckets. D said "This must be it, I like how organized they are". He loved their
emptiness and cleanness and he felt that was organized. The air was very
electrifying. Nobody was there but just knowing there would be fun, chaos and a
thousand racer made the air energized. We rode our bikes across I90 and
the route the best we could. We rode down to the water to check it out. Fun.
Fun. Fun. Only 9 mile ride. The bike will be 12 for the race. Half mile swim. 2.5 mile run.

Saturday. One day before the race I stood in line to register. 3rd in line.

Sunday 620 pick up. 7:00 am arrival. Need to set up TA.

What if I drown?
My entire swimming career (or I shall career with water) is baths, chasing
the rope for wake boarding (scuba - where they insist no swimming just kick with
legs) and a dip in the pool and getting to the edge with a dog paddle. I
have not even swam an half mile in my entire life total.

I was damn organized and proud of my set up. Then the water. Oh the water. We stood why the guy spoke and spoke. Is it me? Or is he just not funny? Then he asked if john ____ was out there. (can’t remember his last name) He said, " John how many times have you done this race?" he yelled back "5." The announcer said "John is blind, his son will assist him.” Me. Tears.

Then his son sang the national anthem and we all sang. I have to say for a bunch of swimmers (some of us not swimmers) we were as good as any church choir –I suspect, I never have attended church…. I cried again. More like teary eyes.

Then the water. I opted for the wetsuit for buoyancy. A lot of good that did me when I was swimming in circles. One time I just needed a big break and decided to do backstroke. I went backwards for 1/10 of a mile before the kayak angel yelled "your swimming backwards." Ugh. The swim never got much better. Although I didn’t move at any pace, there was never even a remote thought, give up. Shore. Stop. It was like, you will get through this. You will make it out. Just never stop. I wasn't even tired as much as kicked in the face, choked by water and just didn't move forward.

My transition rocked. Pulled off wetsuit. Dried only my feet and put on socks
and my bike and ran out of their until I could mount bike (three ambulances
stopped my path running out of the water, which was actually counted as run 1) well the ambulances didn’t really stop me actually D grabbed me by the collar and held me back (after my poor swimming performance he didn't see me as leaping through aid cars as

So off to my bike ride. I stuffed one gu in my pocket and water bottle was already on bike. Didn't catch many too bikers since they had about a 25 minute lead time. Biking was fun.
Fast. I rode hard. D said my time was pretty decent. I then ran my bike and just
switched shoes. Another awesome TA but I had to pee. I think I had cross the
running line too which counts against running time. Running I rocked. Left at
the end of this pack was the weak and the tired. I was very much alive and
picked them off one by one. To one guy I caught up to I said, "red, purple and grey ahead
we pass them" so he stayed with me. Then next I said “down hill six runners ahead
starting with older guy –lets pick them off one by one.” so we sprinted down. Then on the turn around we just kept calling them out to each other then just passed them. Then the run was over. I wish I knew it was that short I had so much more to give. I didn't
nearly run it as fast as I could. It was 2.5 miles I ran in 19 minutes. My time said 20 but I ran back over cross to use the bathroom… WHY? I should
have sprinted that thing. Damn. Anyway. I put my arms up in the air and demanded
a clap from people watching people come in. Crossed over finish line and they handed me a medal. I prefer a medal being put on rather
than handed to. I had a small cry again.. just emotional that day. Just an eye watering cry.

I signed up for the black diamond tri Sept 24. I am no longer denying anyone asking me for a swim.. The answer is YES. YES. YES.


Swim 00:32:08.0 Run1 00:02:57.6 T1 00:02:36.0 Bike 00:56:38.8 T2 00:01:53.3 Run2 00:20:50.1 Finish 01:57:03.9


David said...

Nicely done my friend, nicely done. Just remember, I'm signed up for four races (two half-marathons) between now and Halloween. That'll give me nine bibs on my fridge...

THRILL said...

damn you!
ok.. I have another tri Sunday..
hmm.. now and halloween! grr.
I have a 50 mile mt. bike race ... no bib given... should I fold the race. nah.. give me two seconds. I will figure this out! I will have ten by the end of Halloween. I will. watch me. try to even beat me!