Sorry to all those who have been sitting on the edge of their computer chairs waiting for the write-up on the Peach last Sunday. Man, I ALMOST finished typing that with a straight face. As it turns out, I wrote it yesterday at work and when I went to send it to our other email address so Carrie could put it on the site, it bounced off into cyber-nowhere-land. I'm sure you know that feeling after writing for a half hour and then realize you have to do it all over again. Needless to say I didn't feel like starting over right then and there. I'll try and duplicate what was a guaranteed award-winning article but sometimes you cannot repeat perfection.
So it was a tough week of training after the Desert Half leading up to the Peach which would explain why my heart wasn't totally in it. Could be the beginnings of overtraining but I'm feeling a bit better now. If this hadn't been the race that it is - one that I love - I may have not even done it. I left with Pat from work on Saturday morning after the last night shift and set off to the land of the sun. We got up there in the heat and settled into Tracey's condo on the lake after picking up the race packages. I had planned on a quick bike/run but once again was stimied by lack of motivation. So I just cleaned the red rocket and put it to bed til the morning. We did go and hang out at the lake and enjoy the weather, close enough to a workout seeing as it was at least outside.
The day of the race dawned with clouds and only a hint of sun. It later developed into what appeared to be an imminent thunderstorm but it never occurred. For the swim I snuck in behind Tom Evans, Tom Rushton, and Darren Mealing at the start as I figured they knew the best and fastest line to the first buoy. At the Desert I felt like I could have had a faster swim and tried to go a little harder out for the first few minutes. I don't want to say it was a mistake, it just turned out to be my worst-feeling swim of the year. My arms were heavy and I never felt not out of breath. I think it will pay to take out the beginning of IM easier, find my rhythm and then pick my moment to pick it up. Not that it would be very dramatic or noticeable but to feel strong is to be going strong (doesn't really apply to me in the water however). It was nice on the return trip that the sun was behind the clouds because usually you can't sight on anything but the sun as it's right in your eyes. I got out and ran to T1 with Brent Cyr right at my side. That was good as we use each other on the bike to stay focussed, at least I do. I was ahead of him for probably twenty minutes until he passed me, then I passed him, then he passed me, then I DIDN'T pass him. He stayed out in the front the whole rest of the way but I kept him in sight. It was nice to see Pat come by after I did the turnaround as he was doing well. He's doing IM this year too. It will be his third (I think) triathlon. Almost back to T2 Brent just about caught a group of riders but I think they beat him in.
I managed to get out of T2 ahead of Brent even though he got there probably thirty seconds ahead of me. I asked him after and I guess he had problems with his shoes. I actually thought someone else was him running ahead of me but as I got closer I realized it was not. I knew he'd be hot on my heels though. The hill this year didn't feel as bad as other times I'd done this race. In fact this whole race seemed a bit of a blur, just kind of going hard and not seeing anything but the road in front of me. At the turnaround Brent was only about ten seconds behind so I picked it up slightly on the couple little rollers to the top of the downhill. As I made the turn I started going all out to get the ugliness that is the downhill out of the way. At the bottom in the past I've felt flat but today the legs were okay. The last two km's to the finish are mostly straight and you can see who's coming up behind you if you look. Always trying to avoid a sprint finish, I look behind in this race. I could see Brent behind me but I managed to cross slightly ahead of him five seconds under 2:10 but two and a half minutes slower than two years ago. I guess that's age talking (sniff). It was nice to see the guys from work after the turnaround - Pat, Brice, Dave, Peter, and Alex. Even Mike McGee in his last year as a 45-49 age-grouper was powering through the run course.