Rookie replay

Getting ready for the dismount(race picture courtesy of Kevin Saunders on flickr.com)
Well the master of over expectation got the result he deserved, well maybe not.

I lined up at the front of the last mens wave 50+, my goals were 55-mins, 1st place, and not passed by any women, who were starting 3-mins after us.

The swim start went ok, the sulphur from the clay was disgusting in the water, there's no doubt with churn and wash, that was the worse water I've swum in. AS we settled in, I kept getting bumped on the left, almost full body. I would say it was either of us, but no, when I eased off to let him pass he promptly swum across in front of me, and the way wide on the right.

By the turn around, not including mr way right, I figure I was in 5th. On the run in, I passed two, and stormed out of the water and into transition. The attached picture is the results sheet for our wave, so I know I was 3rd on the swim with 7.04.43. Even allowing for mr way right, there's no way that was 300m. Not that I care, but when it's that short of a swim, and extra 10m makes all the difference.

T1 was lightening fast, one of my best to date. 1.14 for a longish run and then the entire depth of transition to the mount, which as as smooth as I could hope, fastest in my age group and hard to think many could be much faster.

Out on the bike I was kinda hoping I was in 1st, I pushed as hard as I could, well over 24MPH for long stretches. I passed a hundred or more on the bike, and never got passed by anyone, period. Last year I'd been over taken by two women by the dismount, not this year.

Bike finished in 32:36:25, 20.6MPH average, which is not at all bad for that course as almost half is uphill or a gradient. 3rd in my age group again. I stormed into transition running litterally as fast as I could, still hoping I was in first. When I got to my space, a quick glance down the racks revealed two bikes, one fast one with a ZIPP 808 set, and a regular older road bike. I kinda assumed that meant I was maybe in 2nd, and the older road bike guy had dropped out... I fumbled a bit getting my shoes on and knocked the bike, causing it to half drop off the rack, I put it back on and let rip out of T2 sprinting.

T2 was 1:04.40, even faster than T1, although only 2.25 seconds faster than the next guy but still fastest. I could have been maybe 10-seconds faster, although I was only 2-seconds slower than 2008. Heading out of the Texas Ski ranch I had my number belt and hat on and was going as fast as I could. I didn't get passed by anyone until after the mile turnaround, but then they started coming, mostly guys in the 30-45 age group. Then two women passed me, and just before re-entry in the Texas Ski ranch, a guy with 52 on his calf, crap, that meant I was probably 3rd.

I pushed as hard as I could on the final 250m but couldn't even keep with him, let alone pass. I ran through the finish line in 16:48.55, 8:24 pace, and as it turned out, 8th in my age group. My race time was 58:47.98 - Not the 55-minutes I'd be hoping for, not the win either, and oh yeah, I'd been passed by two women.

Still, 58:47 was a minute faster than 2008, T1, bike, and run were also faster but I lost 30-seconds on the swim compared to last year, which I find hard to believe. So, the only question was, where did I finish? Well a quick glance through the provisional results said 2nd. After chatting to a number of people, I went back and checked the latest provisional results, 3rd. Thats what I figured, the guy with the 808's was so far ahead I didn't see him at all and I got passed for 2nd 250m from the end and beaten by Rob Murphy, who was 5th in 2008.

I took my stuff back to the car, changed and came back. I was ready for my name to get called, but alas not. Rob was actually 3rd, he beat me by 18-seconds. John Amundson was 2nd in 53:53, and Scott Hammond was 1st in a stunning 50:06, giving him 3rd overall.

Still, I had great fun, nothing went wrong, I went as fast as I think I could. I got beat on the run, which I guess I'm coming to realize(hint its only taken 10-years) that I'm just not going to win with one leg 2-inches shorter than the other. Still, I'll be back next year to try again!
IMG00086-20090510-1716.jpg
Very good, indeed. All sounds well but for the funky sulfur water.

And by the way, I only believe one line from that last paragraph.. the last line. ;)
Shoe Modification
I wonder if there is an insert that you can put inside your shoe to help with the height difference? I am sure you have looked into that. Just crossed my mind reading your recap.

Did you have a good time? How was the food? :)
Re: Shoe Modification
Thanks, I started down that path in 2001 and have a 3/4 inch heal lift in my regular shoes and used to have the same in a full foot irthotic in my running shoes. You really can't do much more than that as the foot is pretty much out of the shoe.

I have the new shoes now, my first run last night wasn't encouraging, picture and journal entry to follow. Thanks for the suggestion though.