Let's face it guys and gals,
This 2010 has been pretty much a busted up season for me. I know I have re-edited my 2010 race schedule, but if you would have seen the "projected" 2010 race schedule at the beginning of the year, There were double the races, including new ones I wanted to try, "B" races that were training feeders in to my "A" races, and just some others for fun. Well... Life doesn't always pan out the way you want (why not?).
The race I completed prior to IM Augusta 70.3 was TRI - PTC Sprint Triathlon. That was my 6th year competing in the event, and I make a point to doing that race every year because it was the first race I ever completed. Going from the Chattanooga Riverfront Tri to PTC I got in about a dozen workouts total. Not a very productive summer tri-wise. But hey, I am in good enough shape to wake up on any random day and do a sprint tri. Doesn't mean I should be doing that though, bad idea. After PTC (late August) I only got in about 10 workouts or so before Augusta (late September). I thought to myself, "hey I have done an Ironman, and I did a half 5 years ago, so what if I have slacked on my training? I paid for this damn thing, even if I DNF, I am doing it."
One of my good friends Celine has family that lives just outside Augusta, and she said that she would come along and be my tri-sherpa for the weekend as well as let us crash at her family's home. Celine used to date a triathlete who is currently attempting to go pro, so I was a piece of cake to handle compared to him (although she would have to wait longer on me). We decided to drive up on Friday afternoon. I took a half day so I could get everything together and then went to pick up Celine after she got off work. I think we finally got to Augusta around 10pm or so after driving from Atlanta. I went ahead and unpacked a few things since I had to drop off my bike on Saturday, etc. We stayed up and watched some TV, she made me one of her famous Bloody Mary's and then it was off to bed.
Woke up the Saturday morning and had breakfast and Screwdrivers :) then got everything in the car to go register for the event. We got down to the hotel (race site) around 11:00 or so, and we called Mike and Melissa, who were already in line. They said there were hardly and registration volunteers and only one line, which was about an hour long. Celine and I decided to go ahead and get some lunch while we were in downtown Augusta and let the lines dissipate before we headed in. We found this great little restaurant at the corner of the street directly down from the hotel, about three blocks away. Lunch was good (is that a pint of beer at Andy's table?)
There was about a 20-25 minute wait just to make it to the registration table when we got there. Celine took this as an opportunity to get a massage from one of the sports massage people while I stood in line and waited. Once I finally got all of my registration stuff, I headed through the shopping area to see if there was anything that I could get w/ respect to this race. I found a hoodie that I really liked, and then I got a cowbell for Celine to cheer me on. Good purchases. After that we drove down to the transition area to drop off my bike and get a look at the swim exit and then head back to the house.
I was originally planning on driving the bike course to see what it was like, but someone had been nice enough the prior year to drive the bike course with a camera and then post the videos. I plowed through those videos while Celine cooked dinner. Her sister prepared a whole dinner for us, all of it was delicious! Drinks for dinner, watched some TV and then went to bed for the evening.
Sunday Morning! Race Day! We got up early (me first). I always take a quick shower on race morning. Don't know why, since I am going to get sweaty and dirty during the day, but it makes me feel better in the morning. Ate my usual breakfast items and got in some water and a bottle of Cytocarb/Accelerade. Wasn't able to use the restroom, but I figured there would be plenty of porta-johns to take care of business when I got to the race site. Celine's brother-in-law left his truck at the house for the weekend, so Celine drove his truck, since she cannot drive my car (stick-shift). She dropped me off and wished me good luck, as she was headed back home to go sleep in. The night before she asked me what my proposed times were for each leg of the race so she knew where to be on race day.
After dropping of my gear in transition, it started to rain slightly. I found Mike and Melissa at the transition site after finishing up my stuff. Melissa decided to get in a good walk back up to the hotel and swim start, since it was only a mile and change away, and she had nothing to do for the next hour. As Mike and I were about to get on the bus, I took a look at the porta-johns.... nothing. Mike and I got on the bus, it took about 5-10 minutes to get to the swim start. I kinda had a nasty blister from a couple days before that I should not have messed with, and did anyways. It felt like not matter where I walked, I was stepping on some pebble exactly at my exposed blister. Mike and I soaked the whole experience in. This was his first half, my second, albeit my first was 5 years before. We chatted some more and decided we would get in one more bathroom break before we donned our wetsuits and headed to our respective corrals. I went in an peed...... but nothing (I hope you have gotten the idea of where this is going...). Got the suits on, and it started to lightly rain again. We got into our respective corrals.
It was cloudy and rainy, but it was becoming more light out. The singing of the national anthem was the last point where I was in tune with my surroundings. The silence of being alone in your head, even with the thousands of people around you, the race director barking orders, the 90's music blasting (thank god they have moved up decades, I have never been much of an 80's person). I began reflecting on my experiences over the 6 seasons I have participated in triathlon. The ups, the downs, the highs, and the lows. Long training hours, meeting new tri-friends, going to places I have never been before, taking my body to limits it has never been before. Now I am jumping off the dock into the water. The current is decent, they let some water out of the damn earlier that morning to get the flow up. Strong enough where I had to swim backwards a bit to stay behind the start line. The silence in my head drowning out everything........Then...
(to be continued)