Friday, June 13, 2008

Eagleman 70.3

Boy was it a hot weekend in Maryland (and everywhere on the East coast) last weekend! We left Boston on Friday with temperatures for the previous two days having been in the 50’s and 60’s. When we got the BWI at 8:30pm that night it was already hot. It was quite a shock for us as we’ve had a mild spring this year.

A high school friend of Janda lives in Alexandria, VA, so we headed down to his place. We didn’t think that it would take that long, but we must’ve chosen the wrong route b/c the traffic was insane. It wasn’t just heavy, it was actually stop and go at 11pm. After an incredibly long ride we finally arrived. Rob’s place was really nice and it was also air-conditioned, so that was great. The next morning Janda and I went for runs. I only did about 25-30 minutes plus 50m strides and I was actually drenched. I could tell that Sunday was going to be a tough day.

After breakfast we headed back up to MD. Another high school buddy of Janda’s that was staying with Rob took us on the scenic tour and we got to see all of the sights of DC, although from afar! The ride wasn’t too bad and we got to packet pick-up in plenty of time. After Janda got everything that he needed, we headed over to our homestay. We have really lucked out at Eagleman, getting an awesome homestay that is only about 3 minutes from transition. The woman, Marge, who so generously opened her home to us, is a graduate of my alma mater, Drew University, and just a fun person. We talked to her for a while and then headed out for a quick lunch. After lunch it was time for the pro meeting, shake-out ride and swim and then bike racking.

Finally at about 6:45 we headed out with Marge to meet up with one of Janda’s athletes, Dave, his wife and their friends. Janda has athletes all over the country, some of whom he never meets, but at races we often get to meet these guys and girls- luckily there are pictures on Janda’s blog! Dinner was ok and we had fun talking to the other couples. It was Dave’s birthday so his wife got an awesome cheesecake sampler, so that was a nice ending to the meal. Then it was back to Marge’s and off to bed.

Janda in transition

The next morning it was already hot by 5 when I went outside to take a picture of the sunrise. Yikes! We had some breakfast and headed over to transition to get ready. Janda had just gotten into transition when the announcement was made that the swim would be wetsuit illegal, contrary to the announcement made in the pro meeting on Saturday. I could tell that Janda was a little worried about that, but he shook it off. He did all of his pre-race stuff and then it was time to race.

Janda's in the middle, adjusting his goggles.

Wetsuit-less, Janda headed off on the swim. I found a nice place to sit by the swim finish and started waiting. About 20 minutes later the first guys started hitting the pavement. Then a few minutes later the mid-pack guys and the girls started coming in. Then, just when I was about to send out the Coast Guard to look for the body, Janda made it to shore, in a personal worst swim time! I felt so bad for him- after this past track season I know how PW’s feel. Not quite as nice as PR’s!

I ran over to transition to encourage him, hoping that it was bad swim and not a bad day. After I saw him off on his bike, I went back to Marge’s, dropped off our stuff and went out for a run. Even at 7:30 it was hot and sunny! I ran pitifully slow for a while and then ended up finding a spot in the shade to watch the bikes come back in and then the run out and back in. Even though it was at least in the 80’s, the humidity was so high that for the 2ish hours that I sat there, my running clothes didn’t dry! After about an hour of waiting and watching the age groupers go by, the first pros started trickling in. Janda’s Craft teammate Chris Bagg was riding in 2nd when his group went by me. He ended up posting the fastest bike split of the day. Janda came by a few minutes later in about 12-13th place. He was looking pretty good and moving up, so I was glad to see that his bike was going reasonably well.

Janda coming in on the bike.

The first pro runners started coming by and a few of them were already complaining to the spectators about the humidity as they went by the 2.5 mile mark. I was glad to see that Janda had already passed one or two guys by the time he got to me, so I was very encouraged. On the way back, he had passed a couple more and was looking pretty well in control. I raced down to the chute to see his finish. He had run his way into 9th place (we didn’t realize that he had gotten 8th until Monday actually, when we found out that someone in front of him was DQ’d). Of course he was toast after that race, so he chilled in the water for a little while and then we headed back to Marge’s to clean up.

Janda sizzling on the run.

After cleaning up, hanging out a little, eating a little and packing, we headed back to the airport. This year we got there in plenty of time and good thing that we did. After we had gotten out boarding passes and began to look for a dinner spot, Janda realized that he had left his cell phone in the rental car. He quickly began calling the rental car place and we hopped back on the shuttle to the car drop-off. Luckily the phone was indeed there, so we grabbed it and managed to hop back on the same shuttle. We were back in a half and hour. Then we managed to grab dinner, and get on our flight, which was delayed 15 minutes getting back into Boston. We finally got home to Gloucester around midnight.

I know that Janda wasn’t pleased with his race, but I think that he did a good job in a tough situation. It’s hard to play catch up for nearly 70 miles, but he did it and didn’t give up. I know that if he had had a better swim and had been able to actually race the other guys he would’ve had a great race. The good news is that Janda thinks that he pinpointed his swim problem and has already begun working it out, so I think that the guys at the next race will have their hands full with Janda!

Unfortunately with the end of school and all of the functions that I've had to attend, etc..., my training has been pretty sporadic. I've decided to finish this week out just doing whatever I want and then resume structured training next Monday.

2 comments:

amanda russell said...

love the swim shot. You always take nice race pics! (You'll have to give Matt some tips sometime.) ;)

Michelle C said...

Thanks! We don't have the best camera ever - but I love to get shots of all you crazy people doing your thing!