Monday, June 14, 2010

Am I really 22?

So today is my 22nd birthday! Just about as pointless of a birthday as turning 20. At 18 you can buy lotto, and smoke cigars and cigs, 19 you can (or at least could at the time) go to Canada and get sauced out of your mind, but when you turn 22 you have nothing to look forward to other than getting older, which is nothing to look forward to at all.

My sweet and beautiful girlfriend (Iris) came down to visit me this weekend, which I appreciated very much. She came down Friday, and we went to the movies. We saw "Get him to the Greek," and going into the theater I had high expectations of pissing my pants, but much to my chagrin, i was disappointed. There was potential for nothing but humor throughout the entire movie, but i was let down :(

Saturday we got up and went for a bike ride that was cut short by torrential downpours...It was very entertaining to watch, but not to be in. We only rode about 20 mins, but that was ok because we just needed to spin our legs out for the upcoming race on Sunday.

After cleaning up, Iris took me to downtown Chicago for a nice birthday dinner at Bistro 110. It was a very classy place with delicious food...probably one of the top 5 french onion soups of all time!

While downtown, we walked through Memorial Park, which is home to the largest Bean Statue of all time. 50 feet tall and probably 300 feet long, this bean is massive! There were also a ton of other cool things around the park that I enjoyed such as this wierd ass pig with 12 nipples with fat people hanging onto it:

One of the more controversial sculptures I have seen in my days, but nonetheless, I am still very amused by it.

Sunday morning came very early, a 3:30 AM wake-up call was not exactly ideal for any person, but the race we were doing started at 6:30 and was an hr and 15 mins away, so when duty calls, duty calls. We were on the road by 4:00 and at the race site by 5:45. The race was called the Lake in the Hills Sprint Triathlon. Consisted of a .5 mile swim, 15.5 mile bike, and a 4 mile run.

Overall this was a very fun race. Relatively small (320 People), very well run, and the weather was perfect, low 70s and cloudy. I signed up for the race 3 days before race day, so naturally I was thrown in the last wave with all the procrastinators who cant make up their minds what races they want to do.

As the gun went off, into the water we went. I felt really strong in the water, and managed to put a gap between myself and the other racers in wave 8. I came out of the water feeling very strong, and confident that this race could be my first W of the season.

I hopped onto my bike and off I went. I saw a guy in front of me who was from wave 7 and seemed like a strong cyclist, so I tried to latch onto him for some competition, but by mile 2 he was out of sight. He pulled away from me hard, I was holding 27.5 MPH for the first mile and a half, but that wasnt enough. The bike course was particularly deceiving. It had lots of false flats, and lots of extended uphills that you couldnt roll your speed from the downhill to carry you up it. I came off the bike knowing that I had given back some time, feeling as if I needed quite a strong run to pull out the victory.

After struggling to put on my shoes in transition, I knew I had my work cut out for me. I passed the first mile in 6:15, and knew that wouldnt be quick enough. I tried to find some strength from inside to motivate me to a stronger run, but nothing was working. I hit 2.5 miles and saw the guy that had pulled away from me on the bike. I marked where he was at and found that I was about 3 mins behind him. His wave went off 3 minutes before mine did, so I said to myself 'beat him and you got the race.' I hit the aid station with a mile and a quarter left and found the strength needed to kick it into the next gear. I passed the 3 mile marker in a time of 18:44, and knew that wasnt going to be enough. I told myself the only way that I am going to beat this guy is if i run a sub 6 min mile. The pain came on me like a ton of bricks with 3/4 of a mile to go, but I pushed it to the side as if it was the last thing I was worried about, I had one thing on my mind, and that was beating the bike machine. with a quarter of a mile to go I was feelin the pain everywhere, luckily just about that point I came into the park where all the spectators were, and they were cheering me on tellin me i was 200 meters away. Usually when people tell you how close you are you need to double it to get to the right distance, but as I passed the last tree line, I realized these people were right. I sucked every last bit of strength I had left in those last 200 meters, and crossed the line. I ran the last mile in 5:39, and I was pumped. Unaware of what the rest of the field had done, I thought I had the race in the bag.

When they posted the results, I looked and did not find my name atop the the list, which was frustrating. I had placed 3rd, but I beat the bike machine by 1 second. Even though I didnt win the race, I was pleased with myself for the effort I gave in the last mile, but i was mostly pleased that I beat the guy.

When the awards were passed out, I was eager to see who had won. Turns out that this big Russian guy who is 37 years old ran 5:30s and took the race by 2 mins. It was, and still is hard for me to believe this result, seeing as the guy was 6'4, must have been 200 + lbs. Maybe its the competitor in me, but I would love to see this guy run 5:30s.

But Congrats to the big Russian guy for the W, and also congrats to Iris, who placed 8th out of nearly 100 women, and posting up her best bike avg and run avg at a legit tri.

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