Today was the Lake Geode Challenge. It was the longest race I have ever done. 15oo meter open water swim in Lake Geode, 40K bike ride through steamy Iowa countryside, and a 10K run through the hilliest state park in the world. I am glad this is over. Every part of my body from my waist to the tips of my toes hurt. I also forgot to put on Body Glide so I am severely chaffed where my arms rubbed my tank top. I don't have all my splits yet but my final time was 3 hours and 5 minutes. I was aiming for a sub 3 hour race but at least I finished. The winner finished in 1 hour and 59 minutes. I was about 200 yards into the run, climbing this insane hill when he passed me coming into the finish. Talk about having the wind taken out of your sails.
The swim was a water start with all the men 44 and under starting in the first wave. The water was almost unswimmable due to coliform contamination but the DEQ decided that the water quality was just above allowable limits. Still, the water smelled and tasted a little on the skanky side. I didn't have any trouble sighting for about the first 1000 meters but as I got tired, I started to pull to one side and had to start sighting about every 6 strokes to stay on line with the finish. As I was finishing up the swim, the sun came out from the clouds and I knew that it was going to start getting hot. Running out of the water, up the beach to the transition, I was breathing pretty hard and my legs were a little unsteady. I took a little longer than usual to throw on my shirt, socks, and bike shoes hoping that I would calm down a little. Hopping on my bike out of transition, I tried to get a little speed in the first 200 yards because we had a huge hill to start climbing out of the beach area. As I started up the hill, I was pedaling pretty hard and as I geared down, I lost my chain. I quickly got it back on but it is very hard to get going back up a hill from a dead stand still. Once we got out of the park, I was able to pick up some speed but the hills kept coming. After flying down into the Skunk River valley at 40 mph, I had to immediately climb back out. I was largely able to hold my own during the 25 mile ride but I did get passed a few times. The scariest parts of the ride were during a couple of the descents that ended in blind curves but the speed was a rush. Since this was not a draft legal race, all riders had to be careful to stay away from the other riders. One rider actually got a 2 minute time penalty for riding too close behind another rider. When I dismounted the bike, I actually had to lean on the bike for support so that I wouldn't fall over. I quickly slipped my running shoes on, got rid of my bike helmet, and took off on the run. Right away I had to run up the same hill that I lost my bike chain on. It was incredibly miserable. I was feeling pretty badly and actually ended up walking part of the hill. Unfortunately, the hills just didn't stop. Thankfully, there were water/gatorade aid stations about every 3/4 mile. They also had bags of ice and ice-cold sponges. The ice bags were the best thing. I crunched on ice most of the race. That was the only thing that kept me going. I walked several times throughout the run portion but once I hit mile 4 I ran the rest of the way in.
|Happy to be done!|