I had not intended of participating in any event this year. Due to the birth of my daughter, Summer, I just didn’t have the time or the energy to train. Also, ever since a medication change last fall I regained the 20 lbs. I had lost last year. I just wasn’t feeling like doing much of anything.
I hadn’t even gotten out on the bike just for fun much either. Typically I pull the girls in the Burley about 500 miles a year. As of today I am just shy of 100 miles. Sometime around the end of July I decided to work on my weight loss again so I started running a bit. Usually only once a week, but it was something. I had not been in the pool all year.
A little over 2 weeks before the Des Moines Tri, Jen got a message from a friend that she had won an entry though work. Since she had no use for it she asked Jen if we were interested. I figured since it was free, why not? The DSM Tri offered both a Sprint and an Olympic distance this year. Since Hy-Vee was shortened to Sprint due to weather last year I threw caution to the wind and signed up for the Olympic. Go big or go home, right?
Since I had exactly two weeks to train I decided to go with the same plan I did last year. Concentrate on swim and run. In two weeks I swam 4 times, a mile each time, and ran 5, running 6 miles each time. 3 of those runs where with 2 of the girls. Pushing 60 lbs. is good resistance training. J I also did one day of bike. It was a 60 mile ride with a local group of people that regularly train for Ironman’s. About 30 miles in I was unable to keep up and got dropped. I was a little disappointed as this was supposed to be an easy, taper ride for them. More than anything I hate riding alone on the road. Too many a-holes in cars. After a piece of pizza and a little pity party I continued on my own route and finished the ride.
It was a pretty difficult two weeks. When you work two jobs, have three kids, one of which is a new born and working around Jen’s schedule (she teaches swim lessons a couple nights a week), made for some very long days for me and short tempers at home from everyone.
On the day of packet pick-up I had to work at the mill in the morning. That was the deal I made with Jen’s parents so they would watch the girls while Jen worked and I participated in the Tri. After work I grabbed lunch and headed down to packet pick-up. Race briefings were every hour. Since I have about 30 minutes to kill before the next meeting I headed up to the Expo. Since Jen likes to do some of the more popular running races I have been to many Expo’s all over the Midwest. They tend to be very large with lots of vendors and free samples. I had been to the expo several times back when it was Hy-Vee and now this one and they have always been very small. I would guess maybe a dozen tables? Surprisingly Bike World was the only bike shop and the guy manning the table seemed very put out that he had to spend his entire day there. I figured Discount Tri Supply would be there since they are local. I left with an empty bag and proceeded down to the briefing.
After briefing I headed back to check-in to get my packet and swag. Again the swag was a little disappointing this year. Last year we got a kick-ass backpack, a bike jersey, sunglasses and all kinds of product samples. I’ve actually started using a lot of those products because I got to try them out first. This year we got a long sleeve dry-fit shirt (I hate long sleeve) and a pretty crappy bag filled with advertisements. I’m probably complaining to much for getting a free entry but it’s the same management company so the bar was set pretty high last year. It just kind of adds to the fun and excitement I guess.
During the briefing I started to get nervous. I was 20 lbs. heavier than last year, I did about 1/100th the training of last year, it was forecasted to be in the 90’s with humidity and I was going to do double the distance of last year. I was a little worried about finishing.
I then drove down to Gray’s Lake to drop off my bike. I always like walking around the bike corral. I like to drool over the fancy bikes. It’s probably the only place you will see a $20,000 full carbon tri-bike sitting next to a $150 rusted out Wal-Mart special.
I went home, mowed the yard and had dinner. Hit the bed about 9 pm. I really had a hard time sleeping. My phone was soon buzzing at 4:45 and I remember why races are not really my thing. I hate getting up in the morning. I’m not sure if it’s a proper pre-race meal but I had two hard boiled eggs and a Bonk Breaker bar that I had gotten for free along with a large glass of water. I had packed up my bag the night before and was already in the truck so I wouldn’t forget it so I filled up three water bottles and another glass of water and was out the door.
I left about 5:30 and it was already 80 degrees according to my truck and you could feel the humidity. I got to Grey’s lake much earlier than last year when we had to park about as far away as you could and had to rush to get my stuff set-up before transition closed. It was so nice to be able to take my time to set up all my stuff at a leisurely pace. I had my stuff set up by 6:30 so I sat down to relax and eat my banana. About 6:45 I headed over to the start. Due to the heat they had extra water so I grabbed one and ate my Honey Stinger waffle.