On Sunday after Muncie and sitting in a car for 7 hours I relaxed in Glen Arbor, MI at the Homestead Resort. The cycling in upper Michigan is amazing. If you ever get a chance try to cycle on M-22. Also, there is a 17 mile trail from Suttons Bay to Traverse City. The swimming in Lake Michigan is pristine and cold and there are even some nice running trails if you search for them.
After a few days up there I had to head back home and cram 5 days worth of training my clients into 3. It was non-stop before jumping back in the car and driving to the Maraccini household to see Ed, Cheryl, Nick, and Madeline. Kate and I had a wonderful time visiting and taking the kids out for ice cream and cooking with the family. We went to the expo and pro meeting and even visited the Lighthouse near the run turnaround. It felt more like visiting friends than racing quite actually.
That being said a race was still to be run, and my bet with Nick was that if I beat my time from 2 years ago he was going to buy me ice cream and If I didn’t, than I owed him.
The swim was wretched, choppy, terrible sighting, and literally an act of survival for me. As I exited to T1 Kate let me know that everyone was pretty much spaced apart. I could see a guy in front of me a little ways off and I took me about 10 miles to catch up. When I did, I suggested we worked together to catch the next guy. Well, as it turned out, I pulled him to the next guy. I suggested to him that the 3 of us work together to catch the next guy. As it turned out, I pulled both of them to the next guy. Then when I passed this guy I thought ok, maybe we can work as a bigger group. Well, buy the time I hit mile 31 I had a group of 4 guys riding my rear wheel. So, I politely pulled over and asked some else to to do some work.
This is were the race got interesting. My friend Tom Gerlach had worked his way into the group and seemed to be just chilling out (he is an extremely strong cyclist). So, he took his turn at the front, and blew us up! He told me later he dropped a 40 min pull at 320 watts. I tried to go with him and another guy for awhile but by the time we hit mile 40 it was just 2 of us riding “together”. Tom was long gone and the other guys dropped off the back a couple of minutes. By mile 45 I was alone again and pedaled the last 10 miles into T2 by myself.
It turns out that I came into T2 well out of the money, nor in any position to improve my Vegas standings. I needed a top 10 finish to do so and I was sitting in 16th or something and maybe with an incredible run I could pull it off, but not after having done Muncie the weekend before. I chose to cool the jets and tempo a half marathon as best I could while still finishing faster than I did 2 years prior. I even had time to for a long pit stop and some socializing with other guys on the course. The ice cream was delicious afterwards, thanks Nick!