The week had been tough for me. Monday evening I took sick and was unable to train all week. My voice and ability to breath were in serious question with a nasty head cold. I tried to be optimistic and view it as a taper. The race plan was to go hard. The fear was to go hard and risk further sickness.
I packed up Saturday. I have found that ironman training and racing has taught me to minimize my belongings and weight, so I have refined both my race and gig kit to the point where it can be carried in one trip. I had dinner and coffee before sleeping. At a weeee bit past 5am Sunday, Bbop and Mel picked me up and we headed east through lightning storms towards mentor Headlands on the shore of Lake Erie.
As we arrived the skies began to clear, but the lake remained agitated and rough. The Coast Guard quickly canceled the swim. Bummer, but I get it, Lake Erie is unpredictable. Swims are never a sure thing on this body of water.
I set up my transition very quickly and just milled around. I left my guitar and cables in the car just in case the weather acted up. For the most part I was very relaxed.
We all gathered around the start to watch the oly race begin. GCT being the Cleveland Triathlon Clubs home event makes this race a great social event for us all. For CTC members, it does not matter your role in the event,you just want to be at GCT for the chance to visit with everyone.
30 minutes after the oly got going, we lined up and the race began. I took off in a group of other CTCers. With a 2 mile run, I ran as hard as I could with my head still stuffed up. I hit T1 in 17minutes. My transition was slow. I have not added yanks to my lacing system and continue to use road shoes on the bike. Once thru, I hit the bike and hammered all but two RR crossings that appears to be eating tires and delivering triathletes faces to the pavement. During the second crossing the gates closed while I was on the track. It was spooky for a moment, but we all kept riding as we heard the roar of the passing locomotive behind us. The last couple of miles up rt 44 gave me a good tailwind to ride. I hit T2 and joked around with volunteers a little to long before taking off on the final 2 run miles. My running was good and I felt fast. One section had a huge puddle with a single track pass. With oncoming runners on the dry section, I took the plunge through a 4 inch deep puddle before dashing to the finish. 1:18 .09
At the finish they took my chip and gave me a medal for my might accomplishment. I grabbed some water and headed straight to the car to get my guitar, mic and cables. I got set up quicker then either of my transitions during the race and began to play"Going down the road" by Woody Guthrie. I felt good singing and everyone seemed to enjoy my noise.
Following the race I helped clean up before Mel and I jumped in Lake Erie to bob in the waves. Bbop took off for a 2 hr run in the heat as he is prepping for IMKY. As everyone was thru at the park, we all headed to Pickle Bills for and Great Lakes brew. Twas a fine Day. GCT and Mickey Ryzmic put on a great event. I love the tradition we have developed with me playing in the finish area.
This is my last post to this blog. I am moving on to the next stage in my life where I will be applying all I have learned while training and racing ironman triathlons. My ability to accomplish what I have car free and plant based has taught me that I can do what ever I dream of doing the way I want to do it. The world I want to live in exists if I make it so. My only limitations are in my lack of imagination. If I allow my self to dream, then "Anything is possible".
When I left music in 2004 as my primary motivation, I had become disheartened by the need for so many belongings to present folk music. My business had lost the magic that it began with. The idea of a guitar and a singer going anywhere people were became so complicated and impersonal. My friendships were sometimes overly competitive in very unhealthy ways. The need to own and maintain a car was absolute. I rarely had time to sit with people and get to know them. I would drive 50 minutes, do the show, get paid and drive home. I dreamed of being more independent as a musician, but struggled to visualize a world that would allow me the freedom to do this.
Having spent the past few years learning to minimize my needs and belongings during a race as well as traveling to races through out the region and into the United Kingdom, I have found it very simple to become a regularly performing songwriter with out a car. My standard gig set up is lighter then my bike now. It includes a small PA, guitar mics, cable, stand, recordings and postcards. I am now able to be the performer I had dreamed of becoming. Self powered.
My next big project will be planning and executing a tour next summer using only bikes and bike trailers. A friend will also join me and film it as a documentary. I will be starting a new blog dedicated to this project, so please stay posted.
Thank You for being a part of this adventure. Let nothing stop you from living your life the way you truley want to live.