Monday, October 19, 2015

The Third Time's The Charm (B2Bx3)

7:30 a.m., Saturday 26 October 2013
Terrified.  Freezing.  "It's my birthday."  Anxious.  Terrified.  "What have I gotten myself into?"
8:34:02 p.m., Saturday 26 October 2013
I'm an "Ironman!" Tired.  Freezing.  Exhilarated.  Hungry.  "I can't move."

7:30 a.m., Saturday 25 October 2014
Anxious.  Not quite so cold.  Not quite so frightened.  "I know what's coming.  I can do this."
8:03:59 p.m., Saturday 25 October 2014
Finished.  Super stoked about my swim.  OK with my ride.  My transitions were tons better.  Disappointed in my run.  30:03 minute PR

7:30 a.m., Saturday 17 October 2015
Ready.  Shivering.  Ready.  "Let's do this!  Play me that Eminem song.  I'm ready to go!"

The sun rises behind me, and I turn into to for the Star Spangled banner, which is being sung by one of the racer's family (who I will later see on the course at least 10 times).  I'm shivering, but not freezing.  We are called into the swim start corral, and I wait anxiously for Eminem to blast from the speakers:

Look, if you had, one shot, or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted. In one moment
Would you capture it, or just let it slip?

His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy
There's vomit on his sweater already, mom's spaghetti
He's nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready to drop bombs,
But he keeps on forgetting what he wrote down,
The whole crowd goes so loud
He opens his mouth, but the words won't come out
He's choking how, everybody's joking now
The clock's run out, time's up, over, blaow!
Snap back to reality, Oh there goes gravity
Oh, there goes Rabbit, he choked
He's so mad, but he won't give up that
Easy, no
He won't have it, he knows his whole back's to these ropes
It don't matter, he's dope
He knows that but he's broke
He's so stagnant, he knows
When he goes back to his mobile home, that's when it's
Back to the lab again, yo
This whole rhapsody
He better go capture this moment and hope it don't pass him

You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go (go)
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime (yo)
You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go (go)
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime (yo)
(You better)

The soul's escaping, through this hole that is gaping
This world is mine for the taking
Make me king, as we move toward a new world order
A normal life is boring, but superstardom's close to post mortem
It only grows harder, homie grows hotter
He blows. It's all over. These hoes is all on him
Coast to coast shows, he's known as the globetrotter
Lonely roads, God only knows
He's grown farther from home, he's no father
He goes home and barely knows his own daughter
But hold your nose 'cause here goes the cold water
His hoes don't want him no more, he's cold product
They moved on to the next schmoe who flows
He nose dove and sold nada
So the soap opera is told and unfolds
I suppose it's old partner but the beat goes on
Da da dum da dum da da da da

No more games, I'm a change what you call rage
Tear this motherfucking roof off like two dogs caged
I was playing in the beginning, the mood all changed
I've been chewed up and spit out and booed off stage
But I kept rhyming and stepped right into the next cypher
Best believe somebody's paying the pied piper
All the pain inside amplified by the
Fact that I can't get by with my 9 to 5
And I can't provide the right type of life for my family
Cause man, these goddamn food stamps don't buy diapers
And it's no movie, there's no Mekhi Phifer, this is my life
And these times are so hard, and it's getting even harder
Trying to feed and water my seed, plus
Teeter totter caught up between being a father and a primadonna
Baby mama drama's screaming on her
Too much for me to wanna
Stay in one spot, another day of monotony's gotten me
To the point, I'm like a snail
I've got to formulate a plot or I end up in jail or shot
Success is my only motherfucking option, failure's not
Mom, I love you, but this trailer's got to go
I cannot grow old in Salem's lot
So here I go it's my shot.
Feet, fail me not
This may be the only opportunity that I got

You can do anything you set your mind to, man 

Then, we're off and into the Banks Channel - 2.4 miles from the ladders at the Sea Path Marina.  I know that one of my besties is looking for a sub-50 minute swim and I also know that she will get it.  This swim is fast - even I have gone under an hour in the past.  I am hoping for a second sub-one hour today.

This is the first open water RACE DAY swim where I feel in complete control of everything:  my stroke, my breathing, my pace, my sighting - everything.  There's a chop on the water, and I don't internalize that it means there will be wind on the bike until later.  I reach the ladders in 58 minutes and the timing mat (after strippers and showers) at 1:00.  I'm out of T1 and on the bike in just about 1:09.  I feel good so far.  I have not swallowed a ton of salt water, and I already have the first bite of my favorite Kidz Z Bar going down.

The bike is tougher than I had hoped.  112 miles of wind and a nice stretch of "this is not pleasant for the girl parts" bumpy pavement.  But, everything on the #PinkPanther stays in the racks and bolted on.  The bike and wheels feel great, and I keep wishing that they will time travel me to the finish in a bike course PR.  Not so.  The wind does a number on me for the first 70 or so miles, but I come into T2 only two minutes slower than the year before where I felt little to no wind.  In this case, the gear was definitely worth the investment as I am sure that the carbon bike and race wheels kept me rolling forward at a pace that allowed me to recover some of what might have otherwise been lost due to the wind.

I roll into T2 and manage to NOT fall over.  I grab my Garmin off the bars and shuffle to the hook where the bag holding my running shoes, visor, belt, and bottle is waiting.  I make a pit stop in the Ladies' Room and head out the door in about 5 minutes.  Not blazing, but not awful considering...

The run begins as I expect based on the previous two years.  Then, I am directed to turn where I'm not ready to turn.  I say out loud, "What? What?  This isn't the right way?"  But, I go with the flow, and am pleasantly surprised by the change(s) in the run course.  More spectators, more things to keep your mind occupied, more lights once the sun begins to go down.  I'm at about Mile 2.5 when I see fellow Big Sexy Brad coming towards me as he is rounding out his first loop of the run.  We cheer, stop, hug, high five, totally hold up traffic, and then are on our merry ways.  At not quite Mile 3.5 I see my girl Marci who looks like a rock star and is moving right along headlong down the hill in my path.  More hugs, love and joy shared and then off.  The midpoint turn around on this course is "Kona" and I look forward to it in ways only 140.6 racers understand.  7+ miles done and I'm on my way to back to the Special Needs pick up.  I see Marci again (on her second lap) at approximately my Mile 10.  She is hurting, I can tell.  Her hip has decided to remind her it is indeed attached and has made her pay attention in a not so happy-go-luck manner.  She's tough.  She'll super star through it.  I'll see her at the finish.

Thinking that Brad will be pretty consistent on his second lap, I start looking for him at my Mile 1ish.  I don't think I actually see him until closer to 15, maybe 16.  He looks good, high fives me and promises beer at the finish.  ;-)  I'm cruising, not fast, but consistently, toward Mile 17.  I am just in front of the "Biker Bar" on a "regularly scheduled walk break" and realize that a beer would taste AWESOME.  I guy in front of the bar hands me a bottle, I take a huge swig, and then there is Marci again.  She's in tears disappointed that she missed her "perfect" race goal.  I hug her; tell her I love her; and remind her that she is going to finish, and that I'll see her soon.

By now my run pace is slowing some, but my overall is still in the 4:20 - 4:30 marathon finish time pace.  I'm trying not to be disappointed that I won't PR the run (4:26 in 2013) by telling myself that I can still PR the race.  I am drawing on so many other people's trials and tribulations:  Grayson, Cheryl, Jackie, Eric, Kathy.  "I will NOT give in.  I will NOT give up.  I will NOT quit. They didn't quit. They don't have the option to quit."  There's the turn around.  Only one 10K to go.  I.  Can.  Do.  This.  I.  Will.  Do.  This.

A mile and a half from the finish, there is a racer wearing a Marine Corps jersey - walking, head hanging.  I can't tell if he is active, retired, or just a supporter of the military.  I yell at him, "Ooooh Rah!  I don't have cash to buy you dinner, but I'll run you in.  Let's go:  3 and 1.  You've got this!"  Off we go.  He falls back, then catches back up.  Falls off again, and then he's there.  I come around the last hard right turn towards the finish line.  I see the lights; I hear the announcer; I can almost read the clock.  Then I see that it says 12:19...  I can be there before it turns to 12:20.  And then I'm there...  

7:49:32 p.m., Saturday, 17 October 2015
Finish Time:  12:19:32.  I've pulled off a 14:27 PR.  Now I'm happy.

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