Getting up to date…


So, my last race was the 25th Anniversary Make-A-Wish Triathlon at Sea Colony in Bethany Beach, DE.  I registered for this race at the beginning of September after I decided that going to the USAT Nat’l Championships in Portland, OR was too far, too expensive, and too complicated.  Besides, I felt like raising money at that point was the right thing to do.  And, in under 3 weeks, we (me encouraging my friends and family to donate) were able to raise $1,155, which I thought was a fantastic success.  I was hoping that we could at least scrape together a couple hundred, but this number was great.  It got me a free bike jersey that has 25th Anniversary Make-A-Wish printed on it.  🙂

As for the actual race, well, that was a great success too.  It began with getting the disc wheel and 808 front from Cadence in Manayunk.  Once I picked up those, then it was home to begin cleaning the bike.  It was filthy.  The chainring bolts had actually rusted up a bit, so I had to get some WD40 and soak them down.  I also ended up running all over God’s creation to get the Park tool for the backside of the chainring bolts, because I didn’t have a flat head screwdriver that was wide enough.  (It’s sad that my LBS doesn’t have hardly any tools, and I had to go to REI in Marlton to get what I needed.)  I also picked up some Loctite for when the screws went back in — we were going all-out-professional for this one.

Home again, and then scrubbing began on the drivetrain.  Oh, how clean you can get things with just some rubber gloves, some patience, a toothbrush and a small container of degreaser.  I don’t know why more people don’t take their cassettes off and scrub them down.  It takes an extra 5 minutes total.  You can get it so much cleaner.  Anyway, scrubbed down the chain, rinse, dry, rebuild, lube, and voila!  Done.

Speed weaponrySpeed weaponry

The cleaning, prep, packing the car, cooking, and check-listing took way too much time.  The problem was the chainring bolts.  If it wasn’t for them, then I would have had the bike cleaned and ready the night before.  So, by the time I was ready to leave, it was fast approaching 7pm.  I knew I had a 2.5hr drive.  It was going to be tight.  I had a black bean/rice mixture with falafel patties that I spread on some wasabi mayonaise.  I was eating this fabulous meal as I headed down south.  It was quite tasty, but it was even more smelly the next day!

Arrived to Sea Colony around 9:30pm.  I thought I was going to get blown over walking through the parking lot.  The wind was super strong.  Got checked in at registration.  Bike checked out.  Heard the first rumors of cancelling the swim.  Got to the campground, and set up the tent in the dark.  Got to sleep at a reasonable 11:30pm.  Up at 4:30am.  Cooked my oatmeal.  Everything was feeling good.  Arrived, parked, unloaded, pumped up the tires, and confirmed that the swim was cancelled.  Set up transition, stretch, Hammer gels, and most importantly — bowel movement!  Yes!  Feeling great now.  One last pee, and then headed down to the beach for the beach run that was substituted for the swim.  Thank god.  The surf was really rough, and I can only imagine what the current and undertows were like.  It would have been a hellish swim for me.

The beach run was certainly shorter than a mile.  There’s no way I run a mile in 3:45.  Anyway, quickly onto the bike and away we go.  Found my legs pretty quickly, and I begin to really get into it.  Began trading places back and forth with a couple guys until they finally pulled away.  I thought another guy was going to stick with me, but I ended up dropping him.  Anyway, as we continued on, I began to find myself more and more alone with fewer and fewer people up ahead and in sight.  Cool.

Then, I get stuck behind a tractor combine.  Are you serious?  Are you fucking kidding me?  That was crap.  That was worse than me taking a turn seriously wide at the beginning and losing momentum and position.  Anyway, I was still able to keep going strong, and towards the end I passed a couple more guys.  Around a corner and over a bridge, the volunteers are telling me that I’m in 13th position.   Eat my last gel, around the corner, and power it home.  Off the bike, and into transition.  As I’m leaving, one of the race organizers tells me that I’m 11th.  I felt okay.  It took forever for me to find my running legs.  Eventually, they came to me, and I was able to haul in one dude before the 2mi mark.  We joked a bit.  He told me to keep going; it was okay for him, because I wasn’t in his age group.  I told him that he’d catch me on the way back, because my legs were hurting.  He didn’t.  I continued on, and before I got to the turn around, I passed one guy who was in my age group.  I hadn’t seen many people in my age group out on the bike as I passed them, and the guys I saw on the way past me heading back towards the finish line on the run weren’t in my age group either.  I wasn’t sure if I really was now in 1st place for M30-34, or if I missed something.  Regardless, I got some nice support from the spectators along the run.  One guy I remember in particular encouraged me on to catch the guy in front of me with about 1mi left to the line.  I passed him, and right before the final turn to the finish chute, someone yelled out to me that I was 4th.

Crossing the line was a super feeling.  I had put in a great bike and run.  About a minute later, the guy I passed on the run who was in my age group came across the line, and we caught eyes and he looked none too pleased to have been passed.  Oh well.  It turned out that I was actually 6th overall, and I was 1st in the M30-34 group.  Technically, I got my first podium albeit sans water fun.

Enjoyed the rest of the afternoon and evening with a Dogfish Head Brewery tour and a meal at the brewpub.  I gorged myself the rest of the evening.  The next day, I got some serious heartburn.  I never get heartburn.  Drove to WC and went for a ride with Brad.  Home.  Watched an Eagles game with Chris.  The end.

EXCEPT that…

The next week I flew to Wisconsin for my friends’ wedding.  Madison is nice.  I got to scope out the scene for next year’s Ironman Wisconsin.  Had some good beer.  I was able to hitch a ride with them to fly out of Milwaukee.  Milwaukee to Philly (ironically) and then to Munich!!!

OKTOBERFEST!!!

Met up with Zac.  Headed to the hotel.  What a fun time.  Craziness.  Sickness.  Tavis arrived.  More sickness.  Even greater sickness.  Ha!  What damaging photos they will be!  Drove to Berlin.  What a debacle.  What luck we got for the hotel room.  Our stay in Berlin was too short, but onwards to Prague.  Night stop in Dresden.  Out on the town.  Sleeping in the train station.  Back on the train.  Arrival in Prague, and luck found us in the form of a middle-aged Czech woman who asked us if we needed accomodation.  It was downtown.  An okay price.  We were sold.  What convenience.  Prague was awesome.   Met a nice girl.  She ruined our plans for going to Auschwitz the next day, but for me it was okay…Zac just got really drunk.  It made for hilarious stories the next day.  Back to Munich.  Walked around and saw more of the city than just the beer halls…thankfully.  Breakfast.  Packed.  Paid for fare to the airport.  Found where I had to check-in.  Enjoyed one last beer with Zac.  The rest is history.

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~ by jerseyquaker on November 3, 2008.

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