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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

WLS 1 and 2 Race Reports

I woke up Sunday morning fresh and ready to race. As I began my warm up I was pleasantly surprised at the relatively agreeable temperature and lack of humidity, a deviation from typical White Lake race conditions. The race began without incident; I quickly found a draft for the first third of the race. After finding myself about 50 yards off course I decided to go it on my own and emerged with a small lead. Then it was off with the wetsuit (which offered little resistance as I squirmed out of it) and onto the bike (which offered much resistance as I picked out a hard gear to grind). I held my lead until about mile ten of the bike, when Richard Swor briefly passed me. I dropped back for a mile or so and then repassed, coming into transition with a small lead. On the run I put it in cruise control and went on to finish in 1:03. Afterwards it occurred to me that the conditions would likely not be that good for a few years and I regretted my decision to rein in the effort, but what’s done is done. And so I looked forward to leaving it all out there the following weekend…
…which did not surprise, though it did disappoint, as it dawned hot, sticky and humid. Again, I felt fresh and ready to get after it as I warmed up. This time the swim went out faster and I had to work harder to stay up with the leaders, but by 200 yards in things had settled down and I took the lead. I came out in first, a few seconds faster than last week, and hopped on my bike- though this time the wetsuit got stuck somewhere between my ankles and knees. I held the lead all the way through and was pleased to drop a little time from the previous week, riding a high 33. Then came the run: hot, lonely, and altogether slow, though not for a lack of effort. I ran over thirty seconds slower than last week, a margin large enough to eclipse my gains on the swim and bike. I crossed the line in first again, but this time I was a few seconds slower than last week. All in all, I was quite pleased with the fitness Dave Williams’ coaching had cultivated. I love the White Lake course and I am so grateful- to Setup events for putting on another pair of top-notch races; to my family for driving me up there on Mother’s Day and the weekend after, for cheering me on shamelessly, and for holding my gross retainer when I forget to take it out before I go to the swim start; and of course to God for allowing me to feel His presence within and around me, and for giving me the ability, strength and courage to race and test my limits.

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