Hey everyone! Well Columbia triathlon has been completed by me once again.
The trip to Baltimore started off pretty good. At first I was slightly panicked as I couldn't find parking at the airport. Once I did I ran through the carpark with my luggage eventually reaching the checkouts with an hour to spare before take off. I was hot and tired and was constanly reminded by my Dads words to me "JIM! Why are you always late??? You have to be more professional! I bet the other Pro athletes are nothing like this...I bet they're here two hours before take off!" I felt disapointed as I realised that he might be right...however I then saw my friend and training buddy Michael Lovato (husband to Amanda) at the airport checking in behind me... he was surprisingly even more late than I was. It was great to see him but even better to know that there was a professional athlete that had a similar regard for time management as myself...I realised then that there was hope for me yet ha ha.
As I went to get my ticket though I was offered to take the later plane and recieve a $450 credit for another flight. I took it, but unfortunatley Michael and I were separated on different flights lol! I felt sorry for him as I know that he must have been so excited to sit by me thoughout the journey to Baltimore, but hey life is tough sometimes lol!!!
I sat down on the seats reading my book looking very nonchalant and cocky as everyone was standing and waiting in line to be seated for the next flight. When I finally boarded the next flight the smile was wiped off my face as I noticed that there was only one seat left, and the guy sitting in his seat and also half of my empty seat was probably weighing in excess of 300 pounds! I squashed myself in next to him as comfortably as possible. This situation was far too intimate for me...I felt like his bitch lying in bed next to him! All I could feel was his hot sweat seeping through my t-shirt! Oh can it get worse??? Well it did. We got delayed on the tarmac for an hour and half! We looked like little and large! I couldn't help but chuckle at first, and that soon became a total giggle fit on the plane which was also embarressing. The only good thing that came out of the flight was that the airhostess that was serving me was the hottest chick I have ever seen!!! I fell in love..for the 3rd time that day (there was two other hot chicks I noticed earlier on in the airport). Anyway, I saved my flirtatious charms as I didn't really didn't think being soaked in another mans sweat by sitting next to the big guy out of Austin Powers was going to be much of a help lol! Don't get me wrong I have nothing against over weight people, I just don't like sharing my seat as I paid good money for it. I wouldn't mind so much if it was female though.
Anyway enough chit chat, lets get to the race report!
Everything went well and the Columbia triathlon was great from the start of the week-end. The organisation was awesome, and the venue was beautiful! We even had an expo at the sheriton that was most impressive.
Race day morning was a little cold for me, but the decision was made to swim without wetsuits. I went out hard with my mate Michael Lovato to the left of me. We got a little boxed out from the main pack on the left hand side which eventuated in me getting dropped by the main pack. Which is frustrating for me as I should have been up there. It was fresh water so very little buoyancy. It made the swim tough but I started to pick it up well in the last 400 meters. I exited the water and hammered out onto the bike course. After 5km Michael Lovato went passed me even though I was thought I was grinding away pretty good. I was cold and my legs just didn't seem to be firing too well. I just put my head down and fought against the rain, but I couldn't help noticing the awesome houses around the area!!! They were huge!
To be honest despite not having ran for 7 weeks I was looking forward to getting off the bike just so I could get warm whilst running.
After 40km and half a bottle of drink I lunged off the bike and made my way to the run course. Now, the cycle course was tough...but the run course was even tougher! Beautiful though. Terrenzo was way ahead in the distance in his battle to win against Andrew Yoder and I was in 6th position holding off the chase from Adam Webber and Holden Comeau. I could feel in my legs with every stride the harsh impact on the tarmac due to the lack of run training. It was cold so the first 3 miles seemed to hurt that little bit more. The calfs were tight and the quads were heavy. Webber caught up to me on mile 4 but to my relief the warmth in my veins had reached the muscles. I got fired up and started to smash the down hills as hard and as fast as my legs could go. I remember Craig Alexander pulled away from me in training one day on a down hill with tremendous speed. He then said to me afterwards "mate...you gotta learn how to run downhill, it's where you can drop them". He was right, and now was a good time to demonstrate that fact.
Anyway, I continued with that effort until I reached the finish line in 6 th position.
Overall I wasn't disapointed with my race, but I am not satisfied at all either. The swim was ok, but not good and the bike portion was a big surprise as I really expected to perform a lot better than what I did. The only thing that I was pleased with was the run. I haven't ran for such a long time, and yet it was my most saisfiable discipline of the day. Anyway, in general i like to take each and every race as a learning experience. The most important part of being an athlete is the state of mind. As long as you maintain a sheer determination to perform at your absolute best at all times, and the fire is roaring in the heart then there is always hope and the dream is still alive. Ha ha! It's true but for some reason it sounded good in my head, but real pathetic on paper!
My next race is Eagleman or Kansas so back to Boulder now to work on the problems that I have exposed from this race.
Anyway, I'm in my hotel room now writing up this and also organising my day trip for tomorrow...well, I am near Washington so I might as well go and see the sights!!!
Take care and speak to you soon