Man, What a Day!!!
The expectations I had in my head for what the day was about and what going to be like were not even close to how it played out. The love that we experienced out there on the course was beyond anything we could have hoped.
Waco turned into a long Sunday brick workout. With the flooding going on in central Texas, the swim was cancelled due to the unsafe
conditions in the Brazos River. In other words, they could not safely put water crafts, like a kayak, in the water. Honestly, I did not mind this. The swim is always my weakest of the three and I really haven’t been in the water since Augusta
The bike started in a Time Trial format, so they started us individually at 30 seconds intervals starting at 7:50 am. Our time slot was randomly drawn at the pro meeting the day before. I went off at 7:57.
The course was a 56-mile loop with a couple of out and backs, but like any competitor, there was someone 30 seconds in front of me and I was going to catch them. Well to my surprise the
person who started behind me caught me first. “No biggie, allow him to pull you along to the rest of the competitors”, I thought. That is exactly what happened and about an hour in, I found myself in a group of 5-6 riders.
In the pro field, we are required to have 6 bike lengths to the next competitor. If we are in a legal pace line, then you must over take the entire group when passing. We were legal since we had a ref on us all day. I stayed with this group until about an hour and forty minutes into my ride, which is when I started to reach my fitness level. I knew looking down at my power a couple of times that I was riding strong but not working out for a month was catching up to me fast. Around this point, we hit a long chip seal road into a head wind.
It was the perfect storm and I broke and fell off the back of the group. I knew the fastest way back to the house was with that group. I slammed the rest of my nutrition and just held on to what I perceived to be a hard effort (I didn’t look at my power). I also started to focus on miles, “just five more miles and you can make it.” By mile 50 I was back in the group and stayed with the group the rest of the way home.
Rolling into transition, I knew my day was done. The run was dedicated to my daughter and I was going to enjoy it, so I took my sweet time, and put on one of our Olivia Grace shirts.
The Mind Right Endurance (MRE) crew was around a mile and a half into the race (this put them at 4.25/8/10.5 roughly). This is where my family was going to be and I was pumped. I rolled up, gave Brownie a huge hug and preceded to walk the MRE hot corner, slapping hands and hugging anyone who wanted to touch me. The love there was incredible and not just because they had the best station on course (yes I know, I am biased). I was overwhelmed with the amount of people who were wearing our shirts, how excited the kids were to see me and to have my people, all my people, in one place.
I left the area and headed into Cameron Park. We had to run 2.8 miles in the park, but the park had some of the hardest climbs and, in my humble opinion, was the most challenging part of the race. Out of the park, more hugs and kisses with the MRE peeps and then on to finish the first lap of the two lap course.
Around 5.5 miles I saw Paul fly by me on the bike. He was heading into transition from the bike to start his run. Doing some quick math, I knew it was going to be close, but I was going to try and catch him at the MRE corner. I made the decision then that if I missed him, I was going to wait for him and we were going to finish together.
Luckily, I caught him right at the tent. I think he was surprised, especially when I told him we were walking the area. Running my last lap with Paul, was the most fun I have ever had on a run course. We chatted about the race and life. We laughed, had fun in aid stations, danced and had a manly hug as I ran towards the finish line. I crossed the line in 3 hours and 56 minutes and I couldn’t be happier about what we came to do.
There were a lot of really cool things about this race. Being in a pace line and tactically attacking and having to make true game time decisions was amazing. The run course well I don’t have words to describe that feeling. All I can say is thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has reached out to me about this event. I never thought so many people would care about my family and my little girl. Your love has humbled
me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.