Going in to NOLA 70.3 (swim/bike only) I knew it wasn't going to be pretty. The shoulder pain had taken me out of swimming more than 1000 here and there for the last few weeks and even when did swim it was terrible. I had no form, my feet were all over the place and I couldn't get the core to engage to give me any rotation. I also struggled on the bike a lot in the previous 6 weeks due to the back pain. But I was committed to doing the swim and bike portion so I packed up and headed to NOLA. Without half of my tri kit.
In my mind the TT start would be completed within 45 minutes. That's how long it took to get everyone in the water in Louisville. But this TT start had long periods of down time between 'waves'. Once again I was in the last wave. So once again I was dead last. Only dead last was almost two hours after the pros started. And I did not have enough food for this. I ate what I did have and just chilled in the grass. Finally my wave was called and we all lined up. They were putting six people in the water at a time and I was the odd one out. I really was last and I started my race with a cannonball. Everything went down hill from there.
I think the only positive thing about the race was I swam straight. But that is greatly overshadowed by my 37:xx swim. Seriously slow. Somewhat embarrassingly slow for me. I swam sloppily. Just like I had been swimming in the pool. No coordination. No reach. The wetsuit pulled on my shoulders a bit which made it worse. The swim just had no oomph!
Transition was pretty normal. A little slow because of the wetsuit. I also had to put a bike jersey on since I didn't have my tri kit top to wear (under the wetsuit). I made it on the bike and started rolling. My Garmin was completely screwed up. I wanted to keep a check on my power when I was riding but that field wasn't showing up. I finally pulled over to fix it. I wasn't racing, but I wanted some valid data from the ride.
I was finally on my way when I hit a bump and launched my bottle of nutrition. I wondered if it was the same spot I launched it in 2010. It wasn't. I checked. Once I was back on the bike with that bottle I realized my bottle cage was installed backwards. The opening (top) was towards the back. I was going to continue to launch it with every bump (and there are a lot of them on this course). I decided to down my water and put the nutrition bottle on the down tube. That was a bit awkward holding onto the extra bottle until an aid station came up. Because of my bad shoulder I can't reach behind me to my jersey pocket with my right arm. Because I'm uncoordinated I can't take my left arm off the bars and ride with my right arm controlling the bike. The ride was uneventful. I didn't see drafting. Nobody passed me except on guy and we went back and forth twice in 20 miles. Then I passed him and never saw him again. My power was low, my back hurt, my crotch was on fire from chafing. I had no water on my bike and was dehydrated. I lost all desire to ride my bike and forgot to eat. It got
The night before I picked up a bottle of something to drink after the race. I swore it had rum in it. It didn't. And it tasted like crap. I almost cried. My race sucked and I couldn't even buy alcohol correctly. It was that bad. And that's it. Or all I'm telling anyway. Tomorrow is The Mullet Man Triathlon. I can't wait. Hopefully what happened in NOLA stayed in NOLA and it will be a good race.