Quick summary: I dislike driving, near-crisis averted with my bike, thought I led the swim but didn't, held back on the bike more than usual, had a decent run and an overall result that gives me a good warm and fuzzy. Bailey outran me. Bailey wore two different shoes. Bailey won. Zoos are awesome. I actually think I may hate driving.
Columbus, Ohio seems like a pretty random place for me to go to a race, but it happened to be the only other 5150/HyVee qualifier that was reasonably close. It was also a nice halfway point for me and Bailey; my drive was somewhere between 9 and 10 hours, hers was just under 8. While I did race another 5150 at Columbia a few months ago, that was a terrible experience with my messed up back. Also, Bailey had yet to race a 5150, so she needed to race and place top 15 (as did I) to qualify for HyVee.
The drive was pretty horrendous, as I pretty much sat in traffic for the first two hours. Sometimes I think I'm living in the world of the Truman Show, where I'm fine in my day-to-day life, but the second I try to leave Hampton Roads, the traffic is HORRIBLE and keeps me from going anywhere. Then, I realized that my Bob Marley station on Pandora was rather repetitive (but I swear all reggae is NOT the same!). Also, my iPhone cord on the car has corroded to the point of not functioning, so I had to use a Bluetooth speaker. It took some getting used to the fact that the knob on the car did not adjust the volume of the music. Then I realized that my cruise control was not functioning...but all of this was made better once I decided to go with my playlist consisting of a mix of Cream, the Grateful Dead, the Allman Brothers, and others (I am my father's son. I accept this now at age 23) Then, I hit Charlottesville and the foot of the Appalachains and the drive got fun/not cruise control friendly anyway for the next several hours. I was driving through West Virginia and realized that it's as or more beautiful as, say, Colorado, but just has a reputation of hillbillies and poverty, rather than the gorgeousness of Colorado. West Virginia has always been an enigma to me for that reason, but I'd forgotten just how incredible it is.
My parents lived in Charleston when they were in their 20s before moving back to NJ, so we visited a few times when I was really young. The way they talk about it though, it's always been interesting to me, and somewhere I'd like to spend more time. However, it appears it's not as isolated and insular as it was when they lived there:
I took a mini detour off the highway in Charleston to see mom and dad's old place. I'm pretty sure I would either become an incredible cyclist/runner, or I would just be fat and lazy if I lived there. There was a switchback climb just to get to their apartment complex!
|Just your standard mid20 year old style of apartment/townhome...whether it's in Virginia Beach, Charleston, or Fort Collins, they all seem the same...unless you are my brother and live in Manhattan and somehow have a backyard.|
|Gourmet meals like this were served at every rest stop along I-64 and U.S. 35. I swear. And that peanut butter is gone. I'm sad. It was ridiculously large and barely lasted a week and a half.|
We rode our TT bikes like rockstars in downtown Columbus to the expo (aero helmet and all for me; Bailey thought ahead and brought her normal human helmet) and I started noticing a little funky behavior of my rear wheel, but I thought I'd be able to adjust it with the dropouts and set screws when we got back. When we got to the expo, we had a nice chat with a very eager and enthusiastic man who I'm pretty sure didn't breathe for a solid 4 minutes; he just talked. I'm not sure about what, but I heard Savageman, P2, Kona, wheel drafting, and something about his son not being able to run (Dad?). Bailey and I then got confused for pros (ego boost?) when we were in the expo, but we politely said no, we got our packets and walked around looking for free stuff, but just found weird stuff instead at the health and fitness expo.
|This was I believe supposed to raise colon cancer awareness and encourage screenings. Instead, it grossed me out that children can crawl through colons. The only thing that should ever enter into a colon is a camera on your 50th birthday. That's it.|
Race morning came absurdly early, waking up around 4 to be exact, to ensure we had enough time for breakfast and to walk over to T2/finish area to set up in the dark and catch a shuttle over to T1/start. As we were eating breakfast with my trusty Bluetooth speaker playing a Jock Jams playlist, Bailey broke into dance.
|Proof she was wearing the same two shoes at one point. That will come in handy later.|
|That's me on the left, looking like an athlete. Don't be fooled, I'm just good at exercising.|
I came across the line, run split ended up being 39:52. While I'm far from content with that time, the more I've thought about it, I'm almost positive that's the first time I've run a 10km under 40 minutes since The Nation's Triathlon in 2011...and that was only a bike-run. I think I've been having a bit too unrealistic expectations for myself, so I'm going to take this opportunity and evidence of improvement and continue to work and expand on it. Oh, Bailey ran a 39:40 on her way to winning the overall amateur female race, though, mismatched shoes and all. I'm not upset, actually thrilled for her to be outrunning me. She's been having a killer season so far.
|I'm wearing mismatched shoes at Hy-Vee. Obviously it makes you faster.|
|In hindsight, it should have just been a feel sorry for us if we really were pros and were coming out of the water 9-12 minutes back of the real pros like we did.|
|The star of the day, Brewers sausage race tshirt and all|
|I'm pretty sure I do this every time I go to a Brazilian steakhouse. It's really not that impressive.|
|I think Caesar (who made an appearance in my blog about XTERRA Jersey Devil) weighs more than this guy. This guy may be a bit more vain, though.|
|Orangutans may be great butterfliers, and I may have be the same size as one, but trust me, I cannot swim more than 25 yds of butterfly. I wish I was still in the 8 & unders though; 25 fly would be a prime event for me.|
|Drama at the Columbus Zoo|
|Vanilla, kosher, nonfat, gluten free fro-yo: better known as air.|