Red Dot on the Right Bus

I raced the Lake Lemon Triathlon September 18th again this year just outside Bloomington, Indiana. This was the only race I repeated from last year and a decent chance to compare fitness from a year ago. Last year I held back on this course with an Ironman 70.3 the next weekend, but this year I had no reason to not give it my best shot.

Like last year, I went over a day early with Greg Lucas to setup the bike racks and swim course. It was a beautiful day to hang out at the park, and the setup went easy so we really enjoyed the day. After setting the buoys and making sure it was accurate via a Garmin GPS watch, we set back in the kayaks and just enjoyed the sun for a nice long time. Went for some good dinner at Nothing but Noodles and settled into a hotel for race morning.

Race day itself was near perfect weather. A bit cool in the morning, but warming up by mid-morning to a very comfortable temperature. Troy Charters was also racing so I knew it would be an interesting day since I had a feeling we would be finishing in very close proximity. The three of us started together in wave 2 of the swim. Once the wave starts, it is hard to tell who is who so I just tried to keep a long smooth stroke and not lose too much time. The swim is a triangle and I managed to navigate it nice and straight with not too much bumping around with other swimmers. Made it out of the water in a rather average time, but feeling very fresh and ready for the bike to begin.

My one mishap of the day happened crossing the timing mat into transition 1 (T1). I tried to make a hard left toward the rack my bike was parked at, and ended up slipping on the wet rubber mat and went down in rather a quick fashion. Someone yelled at me to get up, but adrenaline was so high that I was up before they finished saying it. I made haste to the bike and out of T1 in really quick fashion. Next order of business was to ride up a nice long steep hill right from the start. Add to the fact that Troy and Greg were already in front of me, my patience was growing thin. As soon as it leveled off, I set off in a high speed pursuit. It was probably 5 miles before I caught them and I was working 100% effort to do it. Close enough to want to hurl, and back off just a little would give you an idea what it was like. I made it passed Troy and gave a good yell at him which I knew would be like stirring a hornet’s nest. Just after Troy I caught up with Greg and repeated the same pattern. Next up was turn around at mile 8 for the hilly trip back.

The largest hill of the day is not too far on the way back to the lake and Troy was kind enough to pass me and let me know the hornet was indeed stirred. We passed each other back and forth for the next few miles till he must have settled in behind me till the transition 2. Back at the lake I made a quick dismount and ran the bike back to the rack, made the shoe switch in short order and headed out for the run. Legs felt decent which is good since the first big hill you have to ride up, you also have to run up. The one guy who came out of T2 with me dropped back a bit on the hill which was a good sign I was keeping at least a decent tempo. Not far passed the top of the hill you make a left and down a long steep hill to the half way/turn around point of the run. Just after the turnaround I saw Troy with a determined look on his face. Good for him, bad for me. About half way up the long uphill toward the finish Troy caught me so I tried staying on his heels for a while. That lasted for about 30 seconds and he started getting a gap on me. By the top he probably had 20 seconds and no catching him at that point. Ended up finished 22 seconds down on him, and we were 13th and 14th overall. Not bad out of 184. Also about the same time I finished in the previous year considering the swim was longer this year.

After the race the three of us chilled out at the park and just enjoyed the sunshine. We were joined by Ethan Page who hung out with us. Ethan is a sophomore at IU, and if he was racing we would have been another place back.

If you look at the results page you can watch a representation of the race with the three of us at all points of the course. At this link, the red dot is me, and the blue ones are Greg and Troy.

My pastor, Mark Tobey has a saying that sometimes you are in the right bus but not necessarily in the right seat. This is a nice way of saying you are not doing what God would have you do according to your gifts and talents. On this day I had the idea I picked the correct seat on the correct bus. At some point I believe everyone has to come to grips with the direction they are headed as a person with a wide angle lens. Triathlon is a particularly easy sport to be overcome with self. Some of this sport in the correct measure can be very good for you, but too much and you easily got lost in the perspective.

My hope is for all of us to find not only the right bus, but be sitting in the correct seat.
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