I guess one of the bigger parts of the race happened on Friday last week the day before I flew down to Austin. I was out for a tempo run and 15 mins into a 60 min run got stung by a bee right between my head band and glasses. I have no bee allergies and forgot about it when I went to bed that night. However, when I woke up the next morning to finish packing my eye was swollen a little and very tender. No big deal, just go through the routine and it will pass with some Benadryl.
WRONG…over the course of Saturday it got progressively worse and when I woke up Sunday morning it was shut. The following pic is from about 10 am on Sunday. I think I look like Sloth from the Goonies but whatever. When I woke it was completely shut but luckily started to open a bit. I was gonna race if it was open enough that I had depth perseption so it was game on as usual, get the pre race workouts in, meeting attended, pizza enjoyed and early to bed. I just hoped the next morning it would be ok.
Race morning the eye was swollen pretty good but not shut so pre race oatmeal, First Endurance EFS and Pre Race and on the bike to ride to the race. I always love races I can ride to. Some people worry about popping tires but I just love the early morning rides through cities and the warm up. At the race site, got things settled in transition, did some loosening and headed to the water for the pontoon start. Thats when it was all about to get real interesting.
On the gun thirty or so guys hit the water and headed to the first right hand turn buoy. The course was just a big rectangle, simple right? Well yes, at least until a See Doo pulls in front of us and tells us we need to follow the paddle boarder and that we were off course. I was annoyed but whatever so we headed after the boarder. Unfortunately, that guy didn’t have any idea what was going on and moments later I hear him say I’m wrong head back. WHAT? A professional race was just sabatoged by a couple volunteers??
Dustin and I charged hard and we were able to get all the way back to the front of the group with just a little bit left, or at least we throught. Everything was good until I got to my rack and Pott’s Kestrel was gone! I was pissed, totally confused and wondered how a guy that big and fast in the water had disappeared? Now we know he fought the See Doo and went the right way, sometimes it pays to not listen.
On the bike I was mad! At myself, at the volunteers that sent us off the right course, at Andy for somehow getting it right, so I did what I am trained to do, ride as hard as I possibly can! I just started hammering. The bike was a little hilly and really windy but I did everything I could to catch the big guy out front. Lately I have prided myself on the fact that I lead the bike but honestly it was kind of nice to have a carrot dangling out there to chase. It was hot so I was hitting the First Endurance Hulk Juice pretty hard and trying to turn it into the jet fuel to get back the 2:45 Andy started the bike with.
Glad to say it paid off. I got away from the crew, caught Pott’s on the last lap and rode the fastest 40k by almost 2 mins over the next best split. As is sometimes the case really hard riding makes for a tough run but I battled hard when Andy caught me and then again when Hunter came by and was able to put in a good blue collar 10k good enough to stay in 3rd. Another podium, made 4 top 3’s in 5 weeks, definitely the best month of my career to date. I am making a name for myself, enjoying occasionally rocking the numero uno, and racing fast.
Best part of the trip was my beautiful wife finally felt good enough to make a trip and my lil bro Brandon who recently graduated from CSU came along as well. It was awesome to have a wife and a body guard and all the support I could wish for. Now I have a good 3 weeks to train before the Tri-Wars Battle Royale in Philly on June 26th!
Lessons to learn from the race:
– Roll with the punches, don’t get discouraged because something goes wrong, you can still turn in a good result.
– If you are not yet at the start line, don’t freak out about things that can possible prevent your race. My eye got better and I raced well. You and your mind can be your best friend or worst enemy.
– Race hard…no matter what. Feel good great. Don’t, too bad. You still gotta give it your best.