The race atmosphere is pretty mild to say the least. There isn't to much buzz going on here. I have seen the same 3 people over and over again. The course though is really beautiful, full of mountain views, farms with huge barns and silos, and the smell of cows.
The water temp today was 80 degrees so as of today we won't be wearing wetsuits, but we'll see in the morning. I am in the very last wave with a start time of 7:50. The bike course is going to be extremely challenging. The first 12 miles is uphill with some very Very steep sections. The key will be to stay patient and not over do it to early. Then the course goes into a bunch of rollers, with an occasional steep section. The views on the bike course are really amazing and the roads look like they are in good shape. Then for the run, it is a 2 loop course with rollers leading into a 1 mile steep climb to the turnaround and then head back to do it all over again. The run is probably about 50% in the sun so at the hottest point of the race we will have some cover which is always good. My goal is to race hard and extremely smart. I can't wait for the morning to arrive.
My wife often asks me what do you think about while you do your long rides or long runs? So, this one is especially for her. On my long runs I tend to head out into the country, where I run by farm after farm. Most of the farms are crop farms but every now and then there are farms with some big groups of cattle. So as I make my way passed these cattle farms my mind begins to wonder.
I come around the bend and I spot them, probably a ton of pure beef per head of cattle ranging in colors from a rusty brown, brown, white, black and white. I don't think they spot me yet, as they are too busy with their faces stuffed in the long grass eating breakfast. They usually don't pick their heads up 'til I am almost right in front of them. I make my way towards them staying strong, keeping perfect form, and gliding like the wind when the first one spots. After the first one spots me they all start picking there heads up from the knee deep grass and start MOOING and staring at me. Each moo that comes out sounds a little different.
This is were I get paranoid are they MOOING about me. I think this is how it is going down.
Cow 1 says, " Look at that form it is perfect."
Cow 2 says, " He's going too fast he's going to blow up on the way back."
Cow 1 then asks, "Where do you think he is running to?"
Cow 2 then replies," I don't see the point of running, I am so glad I am a cow where I can just watch knuckleheads like this torturing themselves."
Cow 3 then chimes in, "Whoa look at that cool belt (Fuel Belt) he's wearing is he a superhero or something?"
Cow 2 states, "Superhero or not, its too hot, those water bottles are too small, and he started out way too fast."
That's all I can make out as I make my way passed them. I tell myself - I will show them on the way back that I can hold my own. But that's when I start to question myself was Cow 2 right did I pace this wrong, am I going too fast, what should I do? I decide - screw it and I drop the hammer. I stay strong to mile 10 my turn around point and back to my mooing friends. I have about 7 miles till I get to the farm and I am running out of liquids but still feeling great. Finally I get to the farm, where I gather my composure, straighten my form and wipe the sweat from my brow. I am thinking "What are they going to say this time. I am still crushing it and probably going to negative split the run." I spot them and as I approach they are not picking there heads up so I break stride a little trying to make more of a stomping sound to get their attention, but that doesn't work. They're more worried about the grass they are basically inhaling. I decide to clear my throat to get their attention. That didn't work either. I am devastated they are ignoring me and don't care about my great run I am about to put in the bank. I pass them and finally make my way to the bend where they will be out of sight and I make one last look back and Cow 2 looks up at where I just was. I think to myself, " Come on Cow 2 you're killing me. He probably thinks I gave up since he won't see me come by."
Oh well there will always be another long run and I'll show those cows. Hope you enjoyed my thoughts from my long runs.
Kenrick Smith - Be a part of the K17Sport Lifestyle.
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