Chicago Triathlon

The Chicago TriathlonA beautiful clear blue sky day for the Chicago Triathlon 2007

“Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.”    
    Oscar Wilde

I’m doing my best to gain a lot of mistakes (experience) in my 2nd year as a professional athlete.  My 1st year was a wash, for racing, due to an over ambitious attitude that tipped my life out of balance.  I did learn a tremendous amount about harmonizing my life and living in the moment from those hard lessons.  So this, has really been my first year racing as a pro triathlete and I still feel like a rookie learning the nuances of his sport.  This challenge is an opportunity to change and adapt and grow.  That is a fun thing to feel as a 32 year old athlete.  Maybe after 20 years of experience (putting me at 48 years young) I will make it look as effortless as Greg Bennett did in winning the Accenture Chicago Triathlon in 2007.

The Chicago Triathlon was a blast and I had a wonderful time staying with the Broads and the Jones, who were generous hosts for the weekend.  Thank You!

2007 Chicago Trathlon had a crystal clear sky

A pristine, clear blue sky welcomed racers and spectators to a magnificent day.  The previous days of rain had cooled Lake Michigan to a brisk 67 degrees so we had an unusual wetsuit legal swim.  I wore my super fast F2R wetsuit and was the first pro racer to make a plunge into the refreshing waters.  It was way to hot outside to be standing in your wetsuit.  The cool water was a welcome reprieve. 

Out of T1 with the leaders

We lined up and everyone started creeping forward.  Officials were yelling for us to get back but no one wanted to give up their position.  We were 10 meters past the starting line when someone started swimming.  I wasn’t going to wait around, so I ignored the official’s pleas to stop and joined the other swimmers.  You can’t give an inch to the talented swimmers in this kind of field or you will be left behind.  I wasn’t feeling very fast and was getting thrashed by the other swimmers.  I started working my way over to the group at 300 meters when everyone pulled up.  A boat had cut us off and stopped our progress.  An official was yelling at us that we had cheated and to get back to the starting line.  I could understand his angst, but did not feel like I had done anything wrong.  At many races, once someone goes, there is no stopping him.  I was doing my best to limit my losses. 

We swam back to the starting line for start number 2.  In under a minute we were again racing ahead, fighting for position in a froth of white water.  I was getting pummeled, literally almost fully out of water swimming over and around people.  For a few hundred meters I just needed to accept my position as it was just too crowded.  After the first buoy, the chaos calmed and I was secured in the 1st chase pack.  The rest of the swim was a breeze as I easily stayed on different feet and preserved energy.Entering T2 in good shape on the SCOTT Plasma 

The string of swimmers ran the ½ mile to T1 with Greg Bennett leading the way.  I biked the first mile with my feet on top of my shoes in an effort to pass as many people as possible.  Then, once I had my shoes on, I hammered it and felt great.  I just love the smooth fast ride of SCOTT’s Plasma.  No one passed me until Dave Thompson powered over a small hill just before finishing the first loop.  I finished the next lap bridging a gap up to Stephen Hackett and then kept him in my sights the rest of the way.  I let up quite a bit the last couple miles in anticipation of closing with a strong run. 

I came into T2 in the top 10 and within seconds of 4th position.  Those guys ran away from me pretty quickly and I was left to run alone.  By mile 3 I had been passed by only 3 runners and did not see anyone coming at one of the out and backs.  I was too alone and I ran without a sense of urgency.  I also started fading and feeling hot and the last mile was a slow trot.  I stumbled across the line but managed a 17th place overall and I’m stoked about that, especially considering the slow run. running in the Chicago heat    

I have achieved much of the goals I had set forth for myself this year, like; stay healthy, enjoy the training day in and day out, travel, being a competitor through racing from within myself, not from being competitive and most importantly… having fun.  But one goal I have not achieved is breaking even by winning some prize money.  No, at this point, triathlon is a fantastically awesome hobby that costs a lot of money.  I am getting closer and am happy with my improvements as I have been in ‘the money” (usually top 10) in most of my races after the bike leg.  But my running has been, ugggghhh, painfully slow.  So, my experience, is telling me that I have a great opportunity to improve my running ability.  I know I can run much faster…….I’ll be pondering and brainstorming with friends and family for a while to figure out how to make it happen. 

RESULTS for the 2007 Chicago Triathlon

Articles: Triathlete MagazineSun Times, Chicago Tribune, Inside Triathlon,

Kevin Everett

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Mark Dauenhauer H.H.P. – 208-365-3176
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Dealing with race week stress

By Matt Russ

I recently received an email from an athlete asking if it was normal to break up with her boyfriend during her race weeks. Although this is not indicative of a particularly strong relationship, race week stress levels do run very high. It is important not only for the athlete to recognize this, but their spouse or significant other as well.

Racing is the culmination of many, many hours of hard work. But, beyond the time invested in training, it also validates training effectiveness. There can be anxiety as to whether the athlete is adequately prepared, or prepared to the level of performance or placement they desire. The open water swim is often a major source of pre-race anxiety in triathlon. Race week may involve travel, which in itself is stressful, and getting equipment organized and prepared for a race can sometimes be a logistical nightmare. Life still goes on the week of a race and the stress from work or family responsibilities only compounds an already stressful situation.  Sleeplessness is not at all uncommon during a race week. The athlete is also tapering which means their level of activity is reduced significantly at precisely the same time as when they have an excess of stress and mental energy. This may lead to a feeling of being “flat” or under-prepared for the race.
If you happen to be the spouse or significant other of the athlete, your frustration levels may equal that of the athlete’s pre-race anxiety. You may find your athlete short-tempered, anxious, moody, and even slightly depressed. Saying things like “it is just a race, what is the big deal?” or “what is your problem, it is not like you are going to win” will only compound the situation. Their racing is very likely an important part of their life. First and foremost, it is important for you and your athlete to recognize and understand what is going on – a little objectivity can go a long way. Give your athlete some latitude and space during race week. Realize that their stress is not directed at you personally. That being said, you do not need to be the whipping post. Being a member of their “team” and helping reduce stress levels will bring you closer together. Ask how you can help them, encourage them, and keep things positive. Taking any of the logistical stresses off of the athlete helps immensely. Allow them talk through their stress and anxiety. Leave a good luck message or note for them on race morning.

As an athlete, you must keep the lines of communication open. Simply saying “I am a little wound up this week because of my upcoming race; I appreciate you putting up with me” can mean a lot. Give your spouse or significant other an active role in your racing and allow them to be a part of your event. Don’t marginalize them as this may lead to resentment of your racing. They may be the first one you see or call from the finish line. Instead of expounding on your splits, try “thanks honey, I could not have done this without your help.” If you feel you need some “space” to get focused and prepared you must articulate this. Don’t expect anyone to read your mind. If your partner is a fellow competitor, they may have a greater understanding of race week stress, but if they are a non-athlete, you will have to communicate to them what you are feeling.       

After a few races together, you may fall into a routine and function more as a team rather than adversaries. Race day will be a much more enjoyable experience for both of you. Having relationship issues the week of a race will only detract from your performance and add more stress to an already stressful situation. And don’t forget, post-race you owe your support staff some personal attention in reciprocation for putting up with you!   


Matt Russ has coached and trained elite athletes from around the country and internationally for over ten years.  He currently holds an expert license from USA Triathlon, an Elite license from USA Cycling, and is a licensed USA Track and Field Coach.  Matt is head coach and owner of The Sport Factory, and works with athletes of all levels full time.  He is a free lance author and his articles are regularly featured in a variety of magazines and websites.  Visit for more information or email him at

Get the most out of altitude training

By Melanie McQuaid

Aug. 14, 2007 — I have had a lot of reasons to learn about altitude, most of which revolve around my struggle to perform well at elevation. Over the years I have learned largely from trial and error, but also through some research on the physiological effects of altitude. I will discuss the physiological effects of altitude on the body and in particular explore the consequence of altitude on athletic performance. The use of altitude training to improve athletic performance is widely accepted, evidenced by the massive migration of superstar athletes to Boulder, Colorado. Either by traveling to high altitude locations or by using hypoxic tents (which increase the concentration of nitrogen in the environment and thus simulate a lower partial pressure oxygen environment) athletes seek to reap the physiological benefits of altitude exposure. 

Physiological Responses to Altitude

There are three main responses to altitude: respiratory, cardiovascular and metabolic responses. Although thorough research has not been completed to explain, in detail, each response within the body, a lot has been discovered since the Olympic Games in Mexico City (2,240m or 7350 feet) in 1968, where altitude was a factor in athletic performance for the first time. However, some details have yet to be discovered. Numerous studies have been completed on theories relating to how altitude can be utilized to improve sport performance and to date there is no consensus on the benefit of altitude on sport performance. However, in theory it should promote better performance, particularly in endurance sport. 
Physical performance is dependent upon respiration to bring oxygen into the body, transport it via the bloodstream where it is taken up by the muscles. These three steps, pulmonary ventilation, pulmonary diffusion, oxygen transport and gas exchange at the muscles is the first and most symptomatic of responses to altitude.

The initial response to altitude, lasting 7-10 days, is an increased alveolar ventilation both at rest and while training.  Because the partial pressure of oxygen (hereby referred to as PP0) is less at altitude, more breaths of air must be inspired to get the same amount of oxygen. The body responds to decreased arterial PPO by taking in more volume of air through hyperventilation. Hyperventilation decreases the partial pressure of CO2 in the alveoli of the lungs which then creates a pressure gradient in the alveoli forcing more CO2 out of the blood stream and into the lungs to be exhaled. This increased CO2 clearance allows the blood pH to increase which is known as respiratory alkalosis. When the CO2 decreases during the altitude response, there is less acid in the blood and the pH rises which limits the buffering capacity of the bloodstream. This becomes a concern during intense exercise when lactic acid is produced.

Increased ventilation also increases dehydration due to normal fluid losses during respiration. At high altitudes, the amount of water held in the air at increased barometric pressure is reduced, thus the amount of water inhaled during each breath is less which further compounds the fluid losses at high elevation.

It has been shown that VO2 max decreases very little at altitude until the PPO reaches 125 mmHg (at approx 1,600m). However, VO2 max decreases exponentially with a decrease in barometric pressure at increasing altitudes. Since VO2 max drops so drastically at very high elevations, this is why supplemental oxygen is required for mountaineers at extreme elevations. A very high VO2 max (approaching an elite athlete’s level) would be required to successfully climb Everest without oxygen for as the summit is approached, the maximal oxygen uptake drops to nearly a quarter of its original value, which leaves the climber with very little capacity to do work. If that climber started with an average VO2 max, there would be little chance they could continue when their VO2 max was decreased at high altitudes.

This decrease in VO2 max is a consideration for athletes competing at altitude.  A very high VO2  max would be required for great performances at moderate altitudes as it is shown that VO2 max will decrease by 15%.  Since VO2 is considered a metric for aerobic capacity, relating this to your maximum wattage on the bike may see your watts decrease from 300W at sea level to 255 W at altitude. VO2 max is already related back to your weight, so often lighter people with huge aerobic capacity will have higher VO2 numbers.  However, if you consider power to weight ratio as a metric of relative fitness you will also see this value drop drastically. The only way one could counter the decrease in power to weight ratio due to decreased power would be to lose weight. However, for a 60 kg person this would be a whopping 9 kg weight loss if their max power dropped from 300W to 255W at elevation. This would likely result in further loss in power so probably would not be effective regardless. It is often seen that athletes with a lower weight, and corresponding high VO2 numbers, tend to fare better at altitude. This is probably related to a smaller decrease in overall power to weight ratio.

The second physiological response is in the cardiovascular system. In the first few weeks of exposure to altitude (a minimum elevation of 1,600 m is generally required to elicit a response in the body) the blood plasma volume decreases, which increases the number of red blood cells per unit of blood. This is the body’s attempt to increase the amount of oxygen reaching the tissues. For athletes, this decrease in plasma volume also results in a decrease in stroke volume for each cardiac output. Coupled with a decreased diffusion gradient limiting oxygen exchange at the muscles a significant decrease in performance is seen in the first 10 days at altitude.
The body’s compensation for a pressure gradient limiting O2 delivery is to increase the volume of blood available for transport. After the initial drop in plasma volume, the total number of red blood cells remains unchanged, and the resulting increase in hematocrit is reflecting the increased concentration in the bloodstream. This means that overall the volume of blood initially is reduced. The body releases erythropoietin into the bloodstream to increase reticulocytes (new red blood cells) during the first 24-72 hours at elevation2. In addition, the body then starts to produce more blood plasma to bring the volume of plasma back to normal levels. These adaptations ultimately result in an increased stroke volume of each cardiac output.  This is the primary objective of athletes training at altitude.  By influencing the stroke volume of each cardiac output, more oxygen is being transported to working muscles and thus an increase in VO2 max can be expected along with improved performance.

The third response involves metabolic changes at elevation.  Athletes would experience more anaerobic metabolism at lower heart rates where aerobic metabolism would be expected. This would increase the amount of lactic acid produced at any given work load.  This influences the volume and intensity of any training that might be done at altitude as the response is different than expected at sea level. This is particularly significant for endurance athletes who mainly compete in aerobic energy systems for longer periods of time; as they would expect to require greater recovery time because of the higher lactic acid response and also because of the decreased buffering capacity of the blood to facilitate lactic acid flushing.

An increase in anaerobic metabolism may lead to a decrease in the production of, or an increase in clearance of, lactate over the course of training 2-4 weeks.  This would be a beneficial training effect for endurance athletes who train to increase lactate tolerance.  This would allow athletes to maintain longer periods at lactate threshold due to increased lactate clearing and/or tolerance, which would result in better performance in high intensity endurance sport.


It has been shown that athletes require a minimum of two weeks for altitude acclimatization; however an even longer period would be required for optimal performance to be achieved. An alternate strategy would be to arrive to competition within 24 hours to minimize the adaptation response to elevation.  The numerous physiological responses which occur at altitude create a great deal of stress on the body and inhibit high level performance, so a recovery period would be required to regain top athletic ability.

To use these adaptations to altitude to best advantage for endurance athletes, in theory, would require athletes to live at higher altitude but train at lower altitude.  The main challenge is the detraining effect that happens if high intensity training cannot be completed because of extreme altitude.  Therefore, training at a high PO2, sea level, but recovering at a low PO2, at elevation, while utilizing physiological responses to altitude is thought to be ideal.  However, all of this is controversial because many studies have shown that there is considerable variation in individual response to altitude.

Based in Victoria, Canada, Melanie McQuaid is a three-time defending XTERRA world champion. For more information about McQuaid, please visit



1.    Jack H. Wilmore, PhD. / David L. Costill, PhD. 1999 “Exercise in Hypobaric, Hyperbaric and Microgravity Environments” in Physiology of Sport and Exercise (second edition), pp. 343-357, edited by H. Gilly and J. Rhoda. Human Kinetics: Windsor, ON.

2.    Allan G. Hahn and Christopher J. Gore. 2001 “The Effect of Altitude on Cycling Performance” Sports Med Volume 31 (7): 533-557

3.    Susan Niermeyer, M.D., Ping Yang, M.D., Shanmina, M.D., Drolkar, M.D., Jianguo Zhuang, M.D., and Lorna G. Moore, Ph.D. 1995 “Arterial Oxygen Saturation in Tibetan and Han Infants Born in Lhasa, Tibet”  New England Journal of Med Volume 333(19):1248-1252

4.    David F. Moffett, Stacia B. Moffett, Charles L. Schauf. Human Physiology Foundations & Frontiers, p. 585, Mosby-Year Book, Inc: St. Louis, Missouri..

Inside Triathlon article on Colorado Triathlon

LONGMONT, Colo. – Six up-and-coming triathletes battled high heat and strong competition to earn national titles at The Great Colorado Triathlon in Longmont, Colo. on Sunday.

The event at Union Lake Reservoir featured the USA Triathlon Elite National Championships for Youth (age 13-15), Juniors (age 16-19), and Under-23 triathletes. The day also showcased the top American elites in the fourth race of the USAT Haul to the Great Wall Series, an ITU Pan American Cup intermediate distance event.

But it was the younger athletes that took center stage early in the day. For the youth girls, Canadian Christine Ridenour won the 400m swim, 8.4 mile bike, 2.5k run race in 42:51.6, but the national title went to Jennifer Howland (Elburn, Ill.) as the first American across the line, in 43:12.9. It was Howland’s second-straight national crown. High school classmates Bryn Morales (Golden, Colo.) and Ryan Russ (Golden, Colo.) finished third and fourth overall, respectively.

For the boys, Ben Kanute (Geneva, Ill.), who finished 8th overall in 2006, earned the title in 38:24.7, followed by Multisport Madness Kids teammate Kevin McDowell (Geneva, Ill.). Interestingly, it marked the third time Kanute and McDowell finished 1-2 in elite youth races this season. Linley Wendt (Golden, Colo.) finished third.

On the junior side, it was Canadians in the first two positions as Sarah Anne-Brault (1:05:14.3) and Rachael Edwards (1:05:33.3) outshined the American girls. However, as the first American across the line, Natalie Russell (Batavia, Ill.) was crowned the U.S. champion. Russell finished second in last year’s youth national championship. She was followed by Lauren Goldstein-Kral (Shaker Heights, Ohio) and Meghan Lapeta (Downers Grove, Ill.).

Greg Billington (Spokane, Wash.) improved on his second-place performance from 2006 to grab his first national title in the junior elite boys division in 56:52.3. He was followed by two international athletes, Ryan Sissons of New Zealand and Jeffrey Phillips of Canada. The U.S. runner-up position went to last year’s champion, Willy Pickhardt (Fayetteville, Ark.), while Ben Steavenson (Ann Arbor, Mich.) was the third American and sixth overall.

In the 1.5k swim, 40k bike, 10k run elite race, which also included the U23 athletes battling for their national crown, it was two-time Olympian Hunter Kemper (Colorado Springs, Colo.) taking the win in 1:44:28, followed by 2007 Pan Ams gold medalist Andy Potts (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Brian Fleischmann (Colorado Springs, Colo.).

The U23 national title went to Ethan Brown (Lowell, Mass.), who finished fifth overall in the elite race in 1:48:37. Kevin Collington (Gainesville, Fla.) and John Dahlz (San Francisco, Calif.) finished second and third, respectively.

For the women, it was a two-person race as Sarah Haskins (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Sarah Groff (Boulder, Colo.) got out to an early lead on the bike and pulled away from the chasers. Haskins was able to edge ahead early on the run and earned the win in 1:57:52. Groff followed her in second, just 20 seconds back. Mary Beth Ellis (Boulder, Colo.) was more than six minutes back in third.

Justine Whipple (Duxbury, Mass.) earned the U23 national title, finishing 7th overall in 2:08:14. It marks the third major win of her 2007 season, as she had previously claimed titles at the USAT Collegiate National Championship and the U.S. Armed Forces Triathlon. Rebecca Witinok-Huber (Iowa City, Iowa) and Amanda Hahn (Gainesville, Fla.) were the second and third finishers in the U23 category..

Haul to the Great Wall, Colorado

Haul to the Great WallLining up with 50+ other pros at Colorado’s Haul to the Great Wall series Triathlon

Longmont, CO. has made my life as a professional triathlete and full-time IT employee very rewarding and manageable.  It can be a big time crunch when one tries to train enough to compete with pros while working full-time and maintaining healthy relationships with my wife, family, and friends.  That being said, has some awesome projects in the pipe line which will make the site fantastic, but it is a lot of work.  Our little company is super busy getting things ready for the up coming holiday season.  So, when my boss lets me leave early on Thursday for our 10+ hour drive to Colorado, not too mention taking time off on Friday when there is so much to do…it really helps maintain my sanity and is greatly appreciated.

sporting the Tamarack jersey on a Boulder bike pathHortense was also doing this race so we packed up our car with our racing gear and the usual things for a 4 day road trip.  Our bikes were effortlessly loaded onto the TULE rear rack, which still allows us to open the 5th door on the Malibu Max as well as saving us about 4 tanks of gas (1700 mile round trip) due to the aero position of the bikes behind the car instead of on top.  Cheeky!   Most importantly, we bring the laptop and about 5 movies; an awesome way to pass time when driving the expansive deserts surrounding Boise .  

We finally arrived around 1am and after a lazy morning the following day Hortense and I were anxious to make the short drive to Boulder .  We had never been to the mountainous town and being triathletes you can’t help but notice all the attention this city gets for its tremendous lifestyle.  We spent the day biking, walking, eating, having coffee and perusing what Boulder had to offer.  The charming town lends itself to enjoying the great outdoors and Hortense and I immediately felt drawn to the scene.  Boulder is one of the most progressive biking communities in the US and the clean air and the healthy people are testament to the benefits.  The afternoon was too short and we look forward to coming back and enjoying the ‘happiness’ surrounding the city soon.

Race morning came early for Hortense, getting up at 4:00 am for her 6:30 am start time.  This was too early for me so I was unable to watch her event.  But gathering from her race report later that morning…altitude and heat seemed to be a theme.  Her swim was OK but she could feel the altitude and was unable to get the nice big gulp of oxygen that we are accustomed to at Boise ’s elevation of 2500 feet.  Her bike was strong and she entered T2 in the top 3.  At the start of the run, the heat and elevation packed a nice one-two punch that made it difficult to get out of survival mode and into those racing gears.  Albeit, the tough conditions and the sup par performance, Hortense still ended up 2nd in her age group. 

annnnd there off!

My race started at 11:45 am with the temperature in the lower 90’s but would quickly be approaching 100 for the start of the run.  I wasn’t too concerned with the heat because it was dry heat just like what I train in.  The 50+ pro men lined up along the beach for the race start and I felt calm and subdued.  We ran as far as we could through the shallows before diving in.  I stayed relaxed to be conservative and respect the altitude while still maintaining myself near the front.  After the first loop I was in about 8th position just a few drafters from the leader.  In the second loop the feet I was following lost touch with the 4 or 5 leaders.  I decided to stay on those feet rather than attempt a hard pass and then an even harder gap to bridge.  Thus, I finished comfortably in the top 10 within 15 seconds or so of the leaders.

Leaders out of the waterKev coming out of the water about 30 seconds behind the leadersLead group on the bike 

T1 was pretty neutral, but could have been faster as I didn’t seem to be running all that fast.  Before the race I decided that I would catch anyone in front of me before actually getting my feet inside the cycling shoes.  So after about 1.5 miles of pedaling with my feet on top of my shoes I was secured in what I hoped was the lead group and then, took a few moments to get my shoes on properly.  It wasn’t long before I noticed that the group was missing the likes of Potts, Kemper and Fleischman.  There was a group of 4 (O’Donnell) working together as a team about 40 seconds in front of us by the end of the 1st of 6 laps.  Realizing this, my attitude changed and I began setting the tempo.  There were about 10 of us but only 3 or 4 of us were doing any work, the other 5 or 6 enjoyed a leisure stroll in the draft.  My legs seemed to have endless energy on the bike.  They just never let me down and I never got to that point were they said, “whoa there….anymore of that and were toast”. 

1st chase groupkeeping the pace honest in our disorganized groupMathews and I in a break away that lasted over half a lap

I worked relentlessly to keep the pace honest and attacked several times when the disorganization was too much for me to handle.  A couple times someone else attacked and every time that happened I would bridge up in the hopes of dropping the parasites enjoying the free ride.  A few times; myself, me and someone else, or a few of us; broke away long enough that it seemed it might stick.  Alas, sitting in the draft zone is too easy and the group eventually caught up.  In hindsight, I was too aggressive and too willing to work in hopes that we might get organized and catch the leaders.  It was a learning experience and a moral victory to have biked so well.  By the end of the 6 laps our group had lost about 35 seconds to the 4 leaders and I think that would have been well over a minute without my pace setting.   

entering T2 in good shape just over a minute behind the leaders 

The last 2 miles of the bike I attacked again and went solo in an effort to have a small lead starting the run.  I had a good gap but eventually got reeled in, letting only Joe Umphenour past me, making me the 6th person to get of his bike.  I was right in the middle of things and enjoying a good race.  There was about a 1/6 of a mile run from the dismount line to the bike rack and during this time I undid my helmet strap.  Upon reaching my bike rack, I heard an official yell my name, “ Everett !  Your strap is undone!”  I ignored him and worked on getting my running shoes on.  He repeated himself, this time while pulling up a red card.  I had flash backs to my days of playing over aggressive soccer.  I ignored him and continued on my quest when he stepped in front of me and yelled, “Stop!”  Suddenly, he had my full attention.  I quipped quickly, so as to continue with my race at hand, “I took the strap off AFTER the bike dismount.”  Pointing back towards the line to animate myself and thinking that I had proven my case and would now be allowed to continue.  His reply, “You can not undo your strap until the bike has been racked.”  My response: a quiet, guilty, “Oh”.  I stood for a moment and watched my bike pack run in and out of the transition area.  No, it was eternity.  Once, I had clearly been left behind, the marshal released me by yelling, “OK, go!”  I was back in the race.

I’m doing a good job of fake running 

Here, at the start of the run, the heat cooked me.  The nice breeze I had from biking had ceased and I now felt like the turkey in the oven.  I had little to no leg speed and I was beyond uncomfortably hot.  I kept racing and hoped that I might find that second wind but the heat and elevation gave me a one-two punch both landing on my exposed chin.  I was done as far as racing went, but was still determined to finish.  I resolved that I would not quit, albeit, I had to stop at the aid stations and trotted along at slower than recovery training speeds.  It was difficult to watch the 25 or so guys run past me in a short 3 to 4 mile span but finishing is still rewarding while hopefully giving me some added character for the next event.       

Now, came the hard part.  It was about 3:00 pm and Hortense and I had a 10+ hour drive ahead of us so that I could be home and ready for work the next morning.  Our sleep deprived bodies arrived in Boise close to 3:00 am and I was back to work early that same day.  The driving made me way sorer than the race did…my trapezoids where aching from holding my arms in that fixed position on the wheel.  As of writing this on Wednesday, my traps are still sore and I am still catching up on sleep, however, I feel super fast in the pool.  For lunch today-> 6 x 500 / 1 warm-up, 2 & 3 on 6 min, 4, 5, & 6 on 5:30.