New orleans with the evotri team was quite a trip. I couldn't make this stuff up. First off, I had so much fun with everyone. They are absolutely hilarious… I wish I could have stayed much longer. New Orleans was awesome as well. It was my first time in NO so the cool architecture and grunge of the city was really interesting.
I guess I will start with the flight into NO… I nearly missed the flight thanks to a family trying to check four pugs in the baggage area. I got on the plane just as it was closing boarding… breathed a sigh of relief, and took my seat across the aisle from a hilarious five year old. She was talking to her pink stuffed animal and cleaning his giant sunglasses for the entire flight. As we were landing, we had some serious bumps and I was so impressed with how she handled them… she was calmer than the grown men who were jumping out of their skins behind me. Just as I was thinking about that, she started projectile vomiting all over the seat and floor. It went on for about 30 seconds and I had to yell at her mom to get her to notice. I went to gather some towels and started helping her mom clean the puke… her mom was so frazzled and embarassed that she flicked puke all over my arm. Brilliant.
Now on to the race, I felt alright in the days leading up with my forced taper from the car accident. I was confident in my swim as I have been hitting really good times in the pool and came out first in my age group by over a minute… which is new for me. I had several annoyances on the bike, the first of which being my powertap computer falling off my bike four times costing me about 1:30 - 2:00 I would guess. The second was the enormous head wind coming back into transition. Both were acceptable though, as I got into t2 right behind third place. Average watts of about 287 give or take the first section when I cleared the meter so I think about 290 (probably a tad too hard but I was trying to really go deep on the bike a la chris lieto).
The run was a different story. As soon as I hopped off the bike, my knee screamed in pain from the car accident (see below post). I had to abandon a short race last weekend and couldn't stomach the thought of another dnf. I was done being smart with the injury and I was absolutely compelled to finish. I hobbled out of t2 and set a blazing pace that took me in with a 2:35 1/2 marathon (Approximately Oprah Marathon pace). Sad, because I was having my best half ironman compared to the field I have ever had and had I run my worst half marathon (excluding this death march) would have come in at 4:40 and given the conditions would have been a great race. However, I experienced part of a race I have never seen. The back half of the field and the less fit athletes are essentially on a death march. It was amazing… the grit some of those people showed was really something. Some were unbelievable sallies and bent to the pain a bit, but the majority were possessed by the finish line and ignored everything else.
Major takeaway from this season so far has been up top and between the eyes. I am really getting a teeth baring mentality when I race and I am getting better at focusing throughout the day. I am getting much better at smashing the dark parts of the race and hopefully my knee will get better so I can really unleash.
The flight back was also a bit eventful. I was wasted from the effort of the day as my swim bike was a huge effort. I slept a bit but the pain in my knee woke me up and I had to get up to stretch it a bit. By then it was melon sized and I asked for some water as I was walking around. Suddenly a rush of pain went to my knee and I passed out. Hit the floor and watched as the rushed for the oxygen. After sucking on pure o2 for 45 minutes, I was fine. A bit ashamed for passing out from pain, but it was kind of a funny incident.
The knee is still a ways away from being 100%. Sorry for the long windedness, but it was a jam packed three days. Bottom line, my knee sucks, my team rocks. Oh also, I met MACCA!!!!!!!! He is more beautiful in person. I shook his hand and he drank from my water bottle. I am sleeping with the bottle he touched.
May all your Clevelands be Steamy and your Donuts filled with Jelly!