Today was the 27th annual Tulsa Triathlon and I entered the Land Lover division. I felt like such a hack for doing so, but when I saw the choppy water, I was glad I did. Swimming is something I am still working on and I know from experience that open water is a different animal than the YMCA.
This picture here makes it look like that the water was not too bad, but it was not. After the women started, there were several that had to be pulled from the water and I knew I had made the right decision. For the Land Lovers we had Carolyn Fairless, DVM and Secretary extraordinaire for the Tulsa Area Triathletes, as our designated swimmer. We waited in the transition area until she crossed the mats and we were off. I immediately had trouble with the front derailleur and I could not get it to shift up from the small ring to the big. After a few miles, it went up, but I shifted back down on a hill and it was stuck again. I decided to just gut it out in the big ring on the hills, but I think it partially fried my legs for the run. Between that and not eating enough, I think that slowed my run down. With having to go to these events earlier, I have yet to figure out how much to eat and how soon. Today I did not eat enough as before the bike I had to snag some Goldfish from my youngest son as my stomach was growling. I took a gel before the bike and drank Gatorade, but I don't think it was enough.
On the run, I felt really bad for the 1st K or two and thought I might have to stop. The heat was brutal and I did not have any energy. I took a gel at about 2K and that seemed to help, but I realized I was going to have to settle into a nice, easy pace and just finish. I have ran a lot faster before, but today was not the day. I started to feel better and just hung in for a 46:20 run. Not bad, but not my best. I can do a lot better. With the conditions and how I was feeling, it was the best I had.
Here I am finishing up and just glad to be done. The clock read 2:42, but my time was 2:07, minus the swim. If I had a decent swim, I could have still done well. The second fastest Land Lover was 25 minutes behind me. I was the only one in single digits for the mile splits on the run and I did have the fastest bike time also. They ended up scoring me for the second fastest master male at 2:33, which I think it was Caroline's swim time and my bike and run. I told the scorer about it and it got fixed and fixed well. When the announcements for the Land Lovers came out, my name was not called. Back to the scorer's table I went and they got it fixed and I got my water bottle. Even though I did not swim, it was a well earned water bottle.
Here is my good friend Mitch finishing up. He is a lot slower than me, but he did all three aspects and finished it all. My hat goes off to him for his diligence. I admire his perseverance.
Also in the Land Lovers was a Zombie, Trail Zombie that is. Good friend Ken and fellow TATUR, did the bike on a Hybrid and completed the run. This is what a Zombie looks like after a day in the heat.
Also, today I got a chance to meet Internet friend, blogger, and triathlete stud, Rob Chance. He had just completed Kansas 70.3 last weekend and earned a Clearwater 70.3 slot. I saw him on the run heading back when I was still going out. He finished 4th overall and 1st Master Male. I really enjoyed meeting him and talking with him. It is not very often I can talk with and learn from somebody who really knows how to be a triathlete. I hope that I get the opportunity to meet with him again, just not on the race course. LOL.
Last, but not least, Happy Father's Day! Father's day is special for me as I have three kids and I did not really know my Father and he was tragically killed when I was 11 while he lived in Louisville, KY. It was very similar to the two cyclists who got killed recently here in Tulsa. He was not on a bike, but on foot because of car trouble on the Interstate, and was hit by a car. The accident here in Tulsa has kind of brought that back home. To all you Fathers out there, hug your kids, call your Dad, and say a prayer for those families of the cyclists.