triathlon training


New England Triathlon - The Bike

The bike is 5 times a 21 mile loop with what race director Richie Havens(not the singer) calls a splinter loop of the difference to make it a full 112 miles. Hooray, they didn't shorten the bike either. I'm not cold although I think I should be as there's a chill to the air and I think, what a great temp for a race.

About 2 miles up the road on the left, yes, It's Gumby and yes, Gumby, and yes, another Gumby. Three Gumbys and supporting crew with banners and cheers. I yell GUMBY!!! and get an excited response. I think boy, before the day's over these people are really going to be an intregal part of my success, I'm going to let them know how much I appreciate it. I later learned these same people were offered a chance to win the best "aid-station" contest but declined because well, they like to party and were afraid that after midnight the competitors wouldn't be served properly!

I take the left for the splinter loop and head back to the start for the first of 5 loops. It's hard to judge where in the pack I am but figure the day's young. Back past Gumby and friends with another" GUMBY" shouted and here we go. I tear open a Power Bar given to me from Paul or the free one given with goodie bag and wash it down with Gatorade. I was lucky to get 4 Cliff Bars and two other bars of some kind from the bike shop for a total of 2000 cals. I could get 2000 more from drinking Gatorade, two water bottles full each hour for the 10 hours +. ( I must interject now I was quoted both in the newspaper and on the video the race people made that I was hoping to break 11 hours). Boy that kind of enthusiasm and just pure stupidity is what got me to the starting line!

So now I'm thinking about my sister Beth and nephew Matt who are coming down from Maine to watch and help. I hadn't expected them till the first bike loop and wondered which aid station they would be at. I pass by future run aid stations not ready yet, turn right on rte 11 and in a while there it is, the first hill.

At the crest of the hill there's a sign that reads" pink oasis" and another "ape aid ahead" and I can hear loud music and finally I can see it, SUPPORT! And the first to help is a big pink gorilla with those ugly hands they have and it high fives the guy in front of me. Yes I WILL make it through the bike.

This hill is one of those long gradual climbs that makes you feel good at the top, unlike the other 2 in the loop which get steeper as you go till you're in the last gear and up and out of the saddle. And so the decline is fast and long and I hope this will get me back on course for a little over an hour loop. Wishful thinking.

The backside of the loop is the best for sightseeing. We get off the main road and there's expensive homes in the New England tradition built either in the woods or on the lake. One on the lake had their own speedboat and seaplane. The area is filled with history and I'm glad I spent the few days before exploring and discovering. I don't think I'd ever seen a lake with so many lighthouses.

Time to eat again and what? Don't tell me I'm tired of PowerBars already. Four more loops and not only am I not looking forward to eating but I'm spending to much time in the aero position and my lower back is trying to tell me something. I think it has something to do with being 40 and trying to be 20. There's lots of hills, rolling ones, long ones, little ones ,curving ones, some have bumps but the course surface is mostly smooth.

The first loop goes by and no Beth or Matt. The second time around and I spot Beth at the rotary. I shout my time of 1:15 per loop. Past the Gumby's, high five the pink ape, a Cliff bar on the backside. And oh no 1:20 for the loop. Third loop Beth and Matt have established themselves at the run aid station at mile 3 and they take my picture.

A day that started in fog and then bright sunlight has slowly developed some high clouds that cut the sun. The wind never really developed and the sky turns grayish around loop 4 and 5. I took my sunglasses off for the picture of me high fiving my sister on the last loop and never put them on again.

On the backside of the last loop who pulls up next to me but Paul.

"Man, we were destined to run this race together" I say and he agrees.

" I've broken down four times" he says.

"What?"

"Yea, my chain and I had to wait for the wagon and they said it'd be 10 minutes and it was 20!".

He pulls away and I pass him 2 miles from the bike finish while he's, yup, putting his chain back on.

Time for the bike 7:00. Each loop took 5 minutes more than the last. Oh well.

Now for the

The run

Did you ever stop to think that life might be as simple as doing one thing instead of another?

GOOD LUCK and Keep It Fun!!!
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Good Luck and Keep it Fun!