I got to meet Duane and his family! What a swell guy! I even got to see him quite a bit on the course, which was a nice boostie on what was a really challenging day.
Time for some more math:
Moving - 3 weeks of training + the Hill of Death + more hills + wind = Ugh Fest '07
...and a finish time of 2:12 -- on a SPRINT!
All right, I get it. I have to train.
Not Just a River in Egypt
In the days leading up to this thing, I was in a lot of denial. even as I packed my stuff (the night BEFORE!!) I still didn't believe I was actually going to go through with it. And the next morning, as I was loading the car and driving away...even as I set up my transition area, I still could not believe that I was going to participate in this race. It wasn't until I was in the water getting pummelled (for the first time ever) that I accepted my fate. "I guess I'm doing this," I told myself, finally.
Swim ~12 minutes
Ugh Fest begins. This is the first time I've done an open water swim that was actually crowded. Even at IMAZ I had plenty of space to just SWIM. I spent a good portion of the first 100m doing a breast-stroke/sculling/treading water because I got myself stuck in a clump that moved just slightly slower than me.
Bike ~1:17 (times are approximate because my HRM does not have a lap function -- WTF?!)
I passed Duane just before the Hill of Death. Lots of people walked their bikes up this thing. I'm proud to say that I stayed on my bike and pedaled the whole thing. Apparently even that is an accomplishment becuase I saw a woman about 10 yards ahead of me just completely fall off of her bike and into the tall reeds (you know, when you're clipped in and going _really_ slow and you just lose it?).
Between the hills and the wind (which I won't complain about because it was the only thing keeping the heat at bay) I went slow enough to reacquaint myself with the color green (lots of it, as far as the eye can see) after a decade in the desert's hazel beauty. I also got acquainted with Iowa's aroma: earthy, rich...with a splash of swampy and a hint of pig farm. In wine terms: not a great finish.
Run ~43 minutes
Then I went on a leisurely, 5K stroll. I don't think I can really call this a run, because I only ran about a third of it. But here's something amazing: even walking, I managed to pass someone. Short and stumpy with stubby legs PASSED a guy!
Not Easy Being Green
There should be a sign at the Iowa border saying you are about to enter the world's largest corn maze, and that you had better have a map. The highways here often overlap in some sections...I got lost coming home! SONUVA!