Â If you’ll be my bodyguard, I can be your long-lost pal.
Closed out the first half of 2007 with a pair of huge races for me. First was a tough, hot, non-wetsuit day at the 5430 half ironman in Boulder. Steph came out to watch, and so did Paulo, so I was extra motivated to do as well as I could. Steph was a little nervous that she was “bad luck” after witnessing my disastrous performances in Arizona last year and at Boulder Peak in July.
But the race went quite well: I was out of the water in 12th or so, again a non-wetsuit swim, and I had a very good bike ride of 2 hours and 10 minutes for a 25.8 mile per hour average speed (!) to arrive in transition in 8th place, three minutes behind fifth. It took me until 3k to go before I moved into seventh, and 400 meters to go before I moved into sixth. I ended up crossing the line in sixth place, an excellent result for me but about 20 seconds short of fifth place and thus just out of the money. Them’s the breaks. It was still my best performance of the year so far.
After the race, I had the toughest taper week of my life as I tried to get ready for Star Island, recover from a quadricep-rending last 3k at the previous weekend’s race, and taper for the Timberman 70.3. So Steph and I flew to Boston, did some last minute shopping and with Dan’s help we made a pair of waterskis and bought over forty pounds of candy.
Then everyone else went out to Star, and I drove up to Gilford to continue the quest. They had helpfully printed everyone’s first name on the race numbers for this year’s race, but I hadn’t made it onto the pro start list in time. So in lieu of a pro number, I would get #1288, previously belonging to “Jenny”, who wouldn’t be able to make it. That was OK – my bike was racked with the women’s 35-39 age group, and they turned out to be a lot more mellow pre-race than the pro men typically are. So that was nice.
Then a decent swim had me out of the water in the second pack, and a solid bike ride brought me briefly into the top 10 before being passed by perennial bike/run ass-kicker Mike Caiazzo. I tried to stay with him, as I thought I might be able to run with him if I could just get to transition with him, but it was not to be. I ran well too, faster than I ever have on that course, to move into sixth across the line. Again one place out of the money. Then, just because not enough things have been oh-so-close, the top age grouper posted a time that would bump me back to seventh. He is a friend of mine though and I look forward to racing with him in the pro field next season.
THEN – you didn’t think that would be it, did you? – I had to get myself to Rye, NH to catch the Star ferry. I’d already missed the whole first day of the conference and I was not about to miss any more. So I pleaded with the police officer directing traffic on the bike course, and drove clear across New Hampshire without so much as stopping to change out of my disgusting race clothes. I made it in the nick of time, and managed to wash myself off in Rye harbor before catching a much-needed nap on the floor of the boat, the only extra sleep I’d be likely to get in the next seven days.
So two very good races on consecutive weekends, but the thing I am proudest of is that, after all that, I made it to the ferry on time. You have to have priorities, you know?