The following picture shows just what lack of proper fuel can do to you in an endurance race. Our transition area is trashed, because I could not stay organized or focused.
10 minutes into this walk/run of the 4th lap, I found new legs and began my comeback. As I finished the run I felt awesome. I thought I could crank out the bike leg in about an hour which would put me in the running for a 5th lap. After 3.5 miles on the bike I realized that the 32x17 had taken it's toll. I settled for just rolling out to the gravel and waiting for Wendy so we could finish together. As I exited the jeep trail about mile 9 I saw Jason(race director) watching the riders exit the woods for the last lap. So I stopped to chat. You know I had time to kill. I figured I was in about 10th at this point, so no podium finish. After about 5 minutes of chatting we hear voices from the trail and I look over my shoulder and see the two guys I had been trading slots with all day. I couldn't believe it. I had passed them in the last transition. Makes since...as my last transition was 3.45 minutes whereas, all the others were in 10-15 minutes. Jason urged me to continue on and take my slot. I thought I would rather surprise Wendy with a rolling finish, a cheap token to make up for the fact I forgot that Friday was our 11 anniversary of our meeting. I hung a around for a minute or two and decided to roll on in toward the finish and wait...after a few minutes I decided to do it up right and roll through the finish and grab a couple Delicious Ice Cold PBR's for the finish line hand up. I made my way back out to the road in time to see Wendy rolling in, only 2 minutes behind 2nd place. I only wish I had a camera to capture the smile when I handed her the PBR. Very well deserved!
At the awards ceremony I learned of my mistake. Had I just finished and gone back out to meet Wendy, I would have taken 4th instead of 6th.
Next year 5 laps and no regrets!...maybe a different gear choice as well. ouch!