Pre-Race Report Vineman

Everyone gives their post-race report but I’m just going to tell you how it is ahead of time. Here’s why:

  • I’ve spent 12 months training for this race. Unintentionally. I never train this much for a race but my crash on October 18th happened. What do they say, “It’s all about the journey?” so who cares about the actual race and this is more important to write about. I’ve had a great time training for it. Plus, Kennett regularly reminds me that I typically pay the outrageous entry fees for the motivation to train regularly and therefore eat more food. I’ve trained regularly since January minus maybe March. March I was depressed. Also the last few weeks. We’ve been traveling and I’ve lost my routine. If what Kennett says is true, this race already paid for itself and next Saturday is just a bonus. Which, by the way, is a shitty bonus because it is going to hurt.
  • I probably won’t be able to walk much after this race. This may leave you to believe that it would be a perfect time to churn out a blog in front of the computer with my legs up, but I really won’t want to recall the pain nor will I be able to string together coherent paragraphs. Better to just surf Facebook, watch Parenthood, and listen to music after the race.

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The race is a full-distance triathlon called Vineman. It is basically an Ironman without the branded name attached to it, which means the entry fee is less money and the concentration of racers with an Ironman tattoo is reduced. It’s also the oldest running independent full-distance triathlon in the United States. I discerned that this means people keep coming back to race it multiple years in a row. Given the numerous vineyards in the area, I’ve also concluded that people must get really drunk on wine post-race before forgetting the pain and entering in their credit card numbers for the next year’s registration.

The race itself starts with a 2.4 mile swim. I think I’ve got enough swimming under my belt from high school that it should carry over to a decent result in the swim. 2.4 miles equates to just over an hour which isn’t bad as long as I can stay out of my head and focus on the rhythm of my strokes. The 112 mile ride is going to be a lot of time in the saddle. I haven’t trained much on my bike this year but I’ve had one day where I spent 100 miles in the saddle when you count miles on my TT bike and my road bike together. I’m really banking on that ride having been enough to prepare. I’ve had the occasional strong 2 hour ride on a weekend, but by hour 2 I’m pooped. I am hoping I can dig some strength from what we’ve all gone through the past year around my accident to keep my head in a positive place. Finally there’s a 26.2 mile run. Luckily aid stations about every mile break up the long distances. I have three major concerns in this regards. The first is my stomach holding out through the last miles of the race. Similarly I hope my foot holds out. I’ve sprained it so many times that I have tendinitis. Until it was diagnosed I really didn’t even consider that you could get tendinitis in a foot. And, then externally, there is the course. I haven’t been on the race course yet, but I’m worried about endlessly straight sections of asphalt.

There truly is no need to worry though because I have been given a mantra to get me through Saturday. Kennett’s motivational speech to me is, “Would Froome give up in a race, no. He’d take more pills and remember he has more blood than everyone else in the race combined”


We’ve been on the road the last three weeks in our trusty, slightly rusty 1995 Dodge Elk Van. Here’s Kennett blog about some of our trip. IMG_0673

The river where we’ve been swimming the last week. The current means we spend 40 minutes going one way and only 20 minutes getting back to the dock.

IMG_0686Now it is just time to rest, relax, and remember it is going to be great. I’ve just got the pre-race anxious feeling that will last until the finish line Saturday evening. And then, who knows, maybe I’ll sign up for next year.


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