We had a very fun pre-race dinner at Tomato Palace in Columbia! Adjacent to the host hotel, handled a big group quite well, broadcast the Preakness on a big screen right above our table, great folks and great food!
Sandy, Chuck, Jim, and Michele before dinner. . . .
Dave, the lean mean cycling machine:
Holly and me trying to snap a self-portrait of us:
Host extraordinaire Bill "Jellyfish" Wheeler and his handsome son at dinner:
We probably had 20 people altogether!
A rainbow appeared over the lake outside, which I thought was a good omen. Hah!
Swim: Went fantastic! I was comfortable the entire trip, sighted easily, swam straight, got bumped a few times but that didn't rattle me, passed caps from two waves ahead of me (and got passed in turn by numerous relayers starting behind me). I was delighted with my time coming out of the water! My pace (2:04/100 yards) was slightly faster than my average swim pace these days in the pool, so that's my first race day swim where the wetsuit advantage didn't get canceled out by swimming off course!! Can't really expect better than that. Yay!
The rest: It went downhill from there. Probably the less said about it the better! My lack of hill training was painfully obvious on the bike course, my legs got toasted, and I had a low-energy bonk on the run. No power coming from the engine room, and then I started getting a bad attitude, which just makes it snowball. I ended up walking a lot of the run. Oh well, some races are like that!!
It was definitely more a physical bonk than a mental one, though, because on the 90-minute drive home I got so sleepy that I had to stop to pick up some Mountain Dew to recharge! That did the trick, fortunately, and even though I was exhausted I made it home safely!
I had great fun seeing everyone and putting together names and faces! At the end of the day yesterday I was thinking I'd never ride that freakin' course again, and today I'm thinking I have a score that I have to settle! We'll see. On to the next race, Eagleman half Ironman in 3 weeks, which is blessedly flat as a pancake!