June 11, 2019 - A Pretty Good Day for a Terrible Day, or Everything Happens for a Reason
This was my first Eagleman (and second 70.3). It's held in Cambridge, a lovely small town only 40 minutes from home, so how could I pass it up? Leading up to the race I prepared myself for the soul-sucking Eagleman of legends-hooooottttttt and windy. So naturally it was quite cool and pouring rain. But at least it was still windy ;)
Saturday I planned to sleep in a bit, take my bike up to rack it, enjoy a relaxing pre-race day. Instead I woke up sick as a dog.
"It's okay honey. I'm going to get myself together and we'll go rack my bike" I exclaimed weakly from the foot of the bed where I was curled up in the fetal position.
"Ummmm about your bike," he replied.
It turns out the "rattly noise" I had described after my last ride was in fact a sheared bolt in the headset. I went back to puking, and Mike commenced to moving as many components as possible from my bike onto the bike I had borrowed my first season. Fortunately I could still borrow it! Deep breath, repeart "It's not the arrow, it's the Indian" just pedal the hell out of that heavy thing. I started to feel a little better (no food yet) and we headed to Cambridge with Frankenbike on the rack at about 2:00. Got it racked and headed home.
Sunday morning I woke up feeling much better-like a human, even. Well rested and sort of nourished we headed to the race. This was my first IM branded event. So many people, so much energy! That can sometime undo me, but it felt good. As the wind rose, I looked nervously at the Choptank and had a chat with myself about how this was going to go . And then it was cancelled! This is ALWAYS to my advantage, but I was so upset. I wanted a redemption swim! I couldn't let the Choptank nickname me "the stripper" indefinitely! (For background, see my race recap on the Freedom Swim).
Ok reboot-how does this work? A time trial bike start?!? Am I coordinated enough for this?
And then it was race time. And as almost always happens, the jitters faded and I got going. Water in the aero bottle, 2 bottles of Infitnit on board. Remember to hydrate even if you're cold and wet, Melissa.GO!
The way out I saw 27.5 on the flat (it's all flat) and loved it...except I don't ride 27.5 mph and I knew I'd pay the piper on the way home, which I did. Driving, stinging rain made for less than ideal conditions, but overall I felt good-strong and happy to be riding. The start was organized strictly by bib number, so that was a mess of speeds to sort out and meant you had NO idea where you stood in terms of your age group, so there was certainly the mental challenge. If you don't know who you have to chase, chase 'em all! It turns out that the heavy Frankenbike was a blessing in disguise. The extra weight helped keep the wheels on the road in that wind.
Off the bike in 2:45 and out for my favorite part of the day. The rain let up for the run but it was still cool enough to be comfortable. Infinit in the handheld and water through the aid stations kept me fueld and steady. Happy runner was in full effect. 1:41 later I was finished, and ready for a beer and a burger and family and friends.
The best surprise of the day was seeing my grandson at the finish! Hence the goofy (and my favorite ever) finish chute pic.
I'll be back Choptank, this isn't over yet.