The family and I packed up the car Friday morning and headed up north US-15. We arrived at our hotel around 3:00 pm or so and unpacked everything. We picked up dinner, and then headed to the packet pickup. After that we headed down to watch the Micro-mussel which is a super sprint triathlon (100 yard swim, half-mile bike ride, and quarter mile). It was quite amusing to watch and was a good way to start the weekend. We headed back to the hotel for a good night sleep.
On Saturday I got up around 5 am to make sure I had everything I needed for the sprint triathlon. I got everything mounted R2D2 (my bike) on the roof of the car and drove down to transition. The transition area was a little wet probably from the early morning dew, I set everything up and was ready to go. Joe Saultz (Team in Training coach) was there preparing to race this triathlon. We chatted for a while and waited for the rest of our Honey Badger team to show up. We had Kelly Hoffman, Erin O'Brien, Alana Bortolin, Jason Fogelman, Phil Shar, Joe Saultz, and Bob Rudolph (the assistant Team in Training coach). After I met up with everyone we headed down to the race start, and took a practice swim. We listen to the race director's and the official's instruction to race. I met up with Jason at the start and we proceeded into the water for the race start. Eventually we got to the start line and the race started.
The swim was in a channel of Seneca Lake, 750 meters. It was a tough swim with a lot of people trying to get into position, I got kicked and hit a few times, but I made it through in about 14 minutes (Which isn't bad for me). I got out of the water and ran up to transition area to get my bike shoes on and get the bike out on the road. I mounted the bike and I was out like a rocket. The bike was a 16 mile ride, and I felt really good. There was pretty severe bike accident around mile 6. As I road by it I could see a lot of blood and people yelling for someone to get help. I saw people going to the firehouse down the street and to a house up the road to get help. I later learn that evening the racer did not survive the accident as he hit a park car head on. I rode on though and I was aware of everything around me, I looked for any rough patches and the road or any tight corner. I got to transition my bike split was around 49 minutes average speed around 20 mph.
Off to the run (my event), it was an straight out and back along the lake. I ran out pass my many supporters (team honey badger, beautiful wife and daughter) cheering me on. I ran out saw Jason was only like 2 minutes behind me on my way back, and saw Coach Joe (he started in a later wave), just behind him. I finished the run and the race in a time of 1:26:50 just one second after Joe.
We waited around for the rest of the honey badger to finish, and then headed back into town for lunch. Bex and I took a short nap, and then headed back in to get our new race chip at the packet pick up. Then headed to the race information meeting, and then to dinner with some of the honey badgers. We also met up with Lisa's friends Matt & Stacey Fisher who were doing there first half iron distance triathlon. We enjoyed dinner, and also heard the horrible news of the death in the morning race. After we finished dinner Lisa, Bex, and I headed back to the hotel room. Lisa got Bex ready for bed and I dropped my bike off at tranisition. When I got back I prepared everything for the next day, and got ready for bed. I turned the Tour de France on and drifted off to sleep. I got up at my normal time 4:00 am and packed everything up and got dressed for the day. I walked across the street to Bob's hotel, and he drove me down to the race area.
We got down there shortly after 5 am and I set up my transition just like I did the day before met up with Shelly who brought me the most important part of my daily ritual the Twizzlers. I put the Twizzlers in my Bento Box and ate a few before the race. Jason and I headed down to the practice swim and swam a little. Then we heard the national anthem and the race was going to start. The elite athlete went in the first wave and then we were off in the second wave. The swim felt really long to me, and I went off course at least once, but I got my self back on track and headed into transition.
When I got into transition I got my bike shoes on and headed out on the bike. I wanted to catch Jason on the bike, but I wasn't sure how far ahead of me he was. So I put the hammer down and I was moving. Every time I looked down at my computer I was going around 18 to 19 mph. I eventually caught up to Jason around mile 32 and went past him. However I didn't make much time between us, because he ended up in transition right after me. When I finished the bike and got off the bike I felt the cramps in my legs. I knew I went way to hard on the bike, and I also noticed my shorts were turning white (which means I was losing a lot of sodium) which was causing the cramps. I started the run feeling okay small cramps in the quads but other than that I was feeling good. Saw my supporters and went out on the run. I got to mile 3 where the cramps starting to get really bad in my calf's and quads. I walked up the large hill at mile 4 and started running again when I got to the top. For the next 5 miles it was really a blur, I remember walking up the hill at mile 7 which is a huge hill and then I started walk running 1 minute running and walking for 30 seconds. I did that till around mile 10 where Jason caught me. He decided to be a friend and walk in with me, since every time I started to run, Jason told me it looked like I was 90 years old man trying to take a dump. The cramps were so bad at this point I was surprised I was walking. When we got closer to the finish I grab Bex and jogged into the finish line with her. Jason took Bex from me, afraid I might drop her and he handed her back to Lisa.
Jason and I went into the pools that were at the finish to cool off and I was just having major cramps in my legs and my chest (Don't ask me why my chest was cramping). I eventually got out of the pool where my legs just seized up I was is such pain I laid on the ground and decided not to move until the pain went away. Some people asked if I need medical help and I waved them off, but someone knew better and grabbed one of the doctors in the medical tent and they helped me over to the tent, where they took my vitals and told me I looked dry (I still don't know what"You look dry" means though). They weighed me and I lost 15lbs from my weigh in on Friday. They hooked up a IV and put three bags of fluids in me. Lisa and Bex came into the Med Tent with me and Bex took care of me kissing my "booboo" (where the IV was) and pretended to take my blood pressure and take my pulse. I eventually left the med tent feeling a lot better and got my flip flops and had to go to the bathroom, which is what the doctor wanted me to do anyways. I hung out at the finish with the rest of the team honey badgers and cheered the final competitors into the finish line.
Later that evening we met back up with Dave Erb, and his wife to have some dinner and some s'mores at their camp site. We had a lot of fun where Ginny made Bex and the other Honey Badgers hats out of paper plates.
In all except for the medical tent I had a great weekend. I had one great race, and a good swim and bike in the other race. And a great time with some really great friends. I just need to know if I ever do another two race day weekend again to hydrate, hydrate and hydrate after the first race. When I went to clean up my transition I noticed my arm rest on my aero-bars wear white as well from the sodium leaving my body. I always wanted to know what it felt like to give it my all, to have nothing left in the tank, and I think I was there this weekend.
So lesson learn triathlon gods, I will hydrate next time I do the Double Mussel. I want to thank Team Honey Badger (Central PA TNT crew) that where there cheering us on. I also want to thank my wife for letting me do these crazy races, and not yelling at me when I put my body into some kind of disgusting position. I also want to thank Jason for walking in with me, he had plenty of energy to finish the race 20 - 30 minutes earlier, but decided to walk in with me.
Thanks for reading this blog and I hope to see you at the next race.