This year I was gunning for a good time and wanted to do well there. I wouldn't say it was an "A race" considering I am heading up to Canadia (yes, I spelled that correctly- just say it out loud. No offense Bold..) for the Muskoka Loung course triathlon to try and grab a slot for IM USA.
The swim was cold, but not as cold as in year's past. (and by not as cold, I mean that this year I didn't put my face in the water and get instant "brain freeze"...) The swim was good though, it was a little bit chppy which made us all inadvertantly eat a lot of lake water in the 0.93 mile swim. There was a dude that drafted off of me the entire top leg of the swim and was touching my toes and that is the WORST feeling in the world. It wasn't until I realized that I could lengthen my stroke and get a little distance on him before I got some reprieve. I was the first one out of the water and up the stairs, as depicted below. My time in the water was a 23:57 which also takes into effect the run up the stairs and to the transition area (where the timing mats were) so I can only assume that I was faster than what was listed on the results...
I had a MUCH faster transition than last year and was basically the only one in transition (which made it really easy to find my stuff...) I was out on the bike course in a flash and ready to tear up the infamous hills of Keuka.
The first half of the bike course is basically ALL up hill and is a beast. For me, I was in the lead with a nice escort truck leading me around (so I wouldn't go the wrong way, thanks Rich at Score-This!!!) I knew that Carl Johnson had started in the wave 5 minutes behind me and I was thinking he was going to just TEAR by me on the bike (like last year) and I was just BOOKING it hoping that he wouldn't catch me. There were 2 turn arounds in the course and I saw him and talked trash to him mid race ("Hey CJ, looks like your back tire is flat!"...it was all about respect though, he's blazingly fast!). Carl never caught me on the bike and looking at this years results, I had the fastest bike split of the race with a 1:07:00 for a 40k and that averaged to 22.4mph on THE BEAST.
I had a quick T2 and was ripping off on the 10K run and heard the announcer Rich advise over the loudspeaker that I was "going to have to run a blazingly fast 10k to hold off the guys in wave 2" and I groaned as I exited T2 becuase I knew this wasn't going to be a walk in the park. I dropped the first mile in 5:43 according to my watch and immediately got the BIGGEST side stitch/cramp in my 2nd abdominal muscle on my right side and was really worried after that. I was still the first guy on the course and I slowed considerably before the turn around (it was an out and back course) and I was just waiting again for Carl to blow by me because I thought it was inevitable at this point. I held on thru the 5k turnaround in 19:04 and when I turned did the pattented T. Earley spin move around the cone (always goofing off, even in the lead of a race) You have to make things fun :)
I tried to surge several times on the way back to the finish line in the next 5k and must have negative split it, but it felt slower. There was no one in sight for a while and I was astonished and beginning to think if I put 5 minutes on Carl that I could win this... I was determined, but there was no one to run down in front of me so the whole time I was just running scared. I crossed the line in 2:10:07 and didn't look at my watch in the last mile (otherwise I think I might have been able to pull off a sub 2:10 because I didn't kick too hardly - I just kind of forgot about the time aspect of the race) I crossed with a 37:36 10k and split my watch to see if I had put 5 minutes on Carl.
He crossed 3:20 later and he was the winner of the Keuka Tri. I was 2nd overall and it was a single place better than last year andmore than 4 minute PR from last year which was nice. The best thing is that Carl beat me by 7 minutes last year and only 1:40 this year (so I am catching him!) I got a nice new plaque for the office and it was all in all a great race. I was pleased and it was comfortable racing weather too (although the awards were REALLY hot)
I have other GREAT news about stuff that happened later after the race, but I will keep you all in suspense right now. (just think, sponsorship...) and I will post on this later this week. (with LOTS of pics!) But for now it is a rest week and slight taper going into Muskoka on Sunday to try and nab a slot for Placid. Wish me luck as this Sunday's race decides my whole summer! See you out on the roads and I'll keep you posted on the BIG NEWS later on. Cheers. :)