As Dave Chappelle pointed out in one of his performances, Michael Jackson can only be accused of being a good host. Call him what you will, but I for one, do not blame MJ. I blame the money hungry (blanks) that were all up his ass when the getting was good and didn't care about his well-being. And the parents who put their kids in the way of alleged harm. I love you Michael Jackson, thanks for being a good host.
Enough of that.
Actually, no, wait. I'm also pretty pissed about Donte Stallworth. He killed another human being because of being reckless and was rewarded with 30 days of imprisonment and 2 years of basically probation. But Michael Vick? What did he do, he fought some dogs that were probably going to fight anyway. I'm certainly not a fan of dog fighting, and I love dogs so I don't wish them harm but seriously - Vick spent mad time in jail and his whole life is now fucked up over some dogs, but this other guy gets off with a slap on the wrist for KILLING a person. Bullshit.
Enough of that.
Later today I'm headed up to NJ. This will be nice as I haven't been home since Easter, and that was just for about 24 hours. The goal is to recover for a few days and not be around the distractions that exist around here. And by distractions I mean the endless barrage of texts, phone calls and emails of nonsense. I'll chill out tomorrow and Friday and then head up to Providence on Saturday morning to prepare for the half Ironman up there.
I did this race last year in its inaugural year, mostly to take advantage of my fitness following the bad race at Eagleman. So many things went wrong in the morning of the race though I felt like a total rookie. Fortunately I kept my cool and didn't let it affect my performance, and had a significantly better race than I had at Eagleman.
A year later and I still don't feel like I'm any fitter or faster than I was this time last year, but I feel more confident. Ultimately I think that's what I'm running these races on right now. Confidence. I know how fast I went last year and where I fell apart. Making a few adjustments this year and knowing what my body can put out makes this year's goal more reasonable.
My 2008 stats were:
Swim: 30:45 (190th)
Bike: 2:23:03 (31st, 23.5mph)
Run: 1:50:56 (270th, 8:29/mi)
Swim was pretty good, it was obviously an improvement over Eagleman and I really enjoyed the bay swim with waves and a tide. I feel like I'm swimming a little quicker this year, but as swims are quite unpredictable it's hard to guess for this year. I'd like to think a time in the mid 29 range is reasonable. T1 was slow last year, and I've been doing better so far in 2009. I could expect to take at least a minute, maybe more, out of that.
Bike was mad easy last year. The first 15 miles were super fast and with the wind, and then we turned inland and hit some rolling hills and a little bit of headwind. At no point was I overdoing it, in fact I felt like I could have ridden about 2-3 minutes faster with ease last year. With 7 miles to go I basically had to sit up because the roads were narrow and sketchy. T2 was alright, but if I could go a little faster than that I'd obviously prefer it.
Run, well, the run was the run. It's always embarrassing, as a runner, to have your run be your worst rank. I'd have to look back at my splits but I remember starting out pretty well and then completely biting the dust. I had to walk, I remember stopping to go to the bathroom. Still kept most of the miles under 10 minutes, so I was moving, but not very fast.
Ahead of the race, here are my goals. We'll see how close I am to these. I was pretty darn close on my Eagleman goals, really the run was the only exception.
Bike: 2:19:00 (I think I can ride just as fast on this course as I did at Eagleman)
It may be a little aggressive, but I believe with that kind of time and depending on the age group competition that a place between 3rd and 5th is possible. The run course is hard and I think a big mistake was trying to get out in 6:00 at Eagleman. I anticipate the temperatures will be in the mid 70s, which will be great, and there may even be rain. I hope for dry roads because I don't trust 99% of the shady triathlete bike riders, but I could be down with some cloud cover.