Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Kearney hosted it's first triathlon and a USAT Sanctioned one at that! I make the 3 hour drive the night before the race and stayed in a Motel 6 that had bed bugs...I found out later with red welts on me. Nasty!!! Anyway, the next morning I was setting up in transition and checking out the competition. You know what it's like. Everyone is sizing everyone else up, checking out their bikes, their wheels, their physiques / fitness appearance, etc. You try to not psych yourself out by doing this but, it happens. I notice 5-6 guys who looked fast, were younger than me and who all had top of the line bikes/wheels. They looked fit, lean and ready to fly.
Sioux Center, IA is a beautiful place for a triathlon in NW Iowa. This race has an indoor pool swim of 400yds. then a bike of 15 windy miles and a 5K run. I did this race three years earlier when I was a young spring chicken at only 52 yrs. old. I'd gotten 7th overall in that race and was surprised by the fast guys who came to this race. This year was cool, foggy and we were all waiting for it to start raining, which, it never did.
In March I did a very early season triathlon in Lake Havasu City, AZ. I've only missed one year out of the last six so I know the race course really well. About halfway through that run of races, I once took a right hand turn up a hill...it just wasn't the right hill. I turned too early, up the wrong street. I was in 2nd or 3rd place when I made the wrong turn. I was in 18th when I came back down the hill and got back on course. Figured that I'd gotten that rookie mistake out of the way never to do such a foolish thing again. Well, my buddy Randy and I rolled into town late afternoon the Friday before race day. We registered and heard the water in the lake was super cold, so before dinner we grabbed our wetsuits and went for a short swim. That water was really COLD! Glad we did it because it helped us to start the swim slow and build into it. Had a good swim and took off on my bike and felt really good. Since this was an early season race I was doing it mostly off of base training with little speed work at all. It felt good to get out there and (try to) go fast.