Itâ€™s Tuesday night and Cortney and I are finally en route to LAX.Â We have been on a long journey.Â Hawaii 70.3 seems like eons ago.Â First off, let me enlighten you as to why I titled this report, â€œThe Transit of Jim and Cortney.â€ (Warning: You may learn something new here which is not triathlon related.)Â June 5th, 2012 is a HUGE day in the world of Astronomy.Â This is the day the â€œTransit of Venusâ€ occurs.Â This is the day Venus passes in front of the sun making it visible as a small speck on the face of the sun.Â The Transit of Venus only happens every 105 years in pairs of 2 which are 8 years apart.Â The last Transit was June 6th, 2004.Â After June 5th, 2012, the next Transit will not happen for another 105 years.Â Why do I bring this up?Â I read about the this occurrence last night, June 4th, on the plane from Kona to Honolulu.Â The article said that the best place in the world to see this Transit would be Hawaii.Â I thought, â€œDarn, that would be cool if I could see that.â€Â Long story short, I saw the â€œTransit of Venusâ€ today(Really cool if you have the right equipment.Â You can only see it by looking directly at the sun.Â I found a British Chap who let me use his viewing goggles). If you want to learn more about this occurrence, look it up because it is pretty interesting.Â You donâ€™t come here to read about Astronomy so I will get to my preferred topic of discussion which is triathlon.
There were 11 pro men in the field on Saturday, June 2nd.Â Some of the participants in the field were Chris Lieto, Greg Bennett, Maik Twelsiek, and, oh yeah, this guy named Lance Armstrong.Â It was a super strong field and I knew I had my work cut out for me just to hold my own.Â From the moment we woke up Saturday morning the wind was howling.Â I am not talking just a breeze.Â This was full on hurricane feeling WIND!Â The Lance show was on in full force on transition.Â Pictures, autographs, film crews, etc.Â It was a jungle not unlike Florida 70.3 two weeks ago.Â I headed out of transition early to avoid the chaos.Â I got my usual warm up in, exchanged pleasantries with Lance, Chris, and the other professional athletes, and entered the water for the deep water start.Â It was kind of alarming that 2 minutes before the gun went off we were still asking each other the exact route of the course.Â All of the buoys were red, the lifeguards had red shirts on, there were 2 random yellow buoys, and the wind was making the surf extreme(later we learned there was a small craft advisory because of the rough water conditions).Â The gun blasted and we were off.Â I kept a solid even effort to the first turn and around the second buoy.Â Thatâ€™s when things went ary.Â The high surf was making it hard to see the buoys.Â I typically sight off of the athletes in front of me but because of the surf I could not see them either.Â I tried to keep straight by sighting off of the lifeguards but they were few and farÂ between.Â Usually in IM races the turn buoys are different colors and much larger than the straight sighting buoys.Â This wasnâ€™t the case in Hawaii.Â I hit what I thought was the last red buoy and turned in for home.Â I got about 100 yards from shore when a guy on a stand up paddle board came up to me and told me I missed the last red buoy and that I would have to go out and round it if I wanted to continue.Â I was PISSED OFF.Â This was my fault.Â I should of done my homework and picked a stationary object to sight off of.Â This way I would have been able to better count the buoys and not worry so much about sighting them.Â I finally rounded the last buoy and came back in.Â I figured my swim was about 45 minutes but since I do not race with a watch I had no accurate time to go off of.Â I knew it was bad by the sea of age group athletes I was exiting with.Â I ended up swimming 35 minutes for the 1.2 miles(although I swam at least 1.6 miles)
I sprinted through T1 as fast as i could and hit the bike feeling like I used to back in 2008 when I was an amateur.Â I was surrounded by swarms of athletes.Â I jumped in the left lane, put my head down, and tried to make up as much time as possible.Â It was actually pretty amusing to go through the amateur field like that.Â Since the amateursâ€™ race was a mass start 3 minutes behind us I could notice the different types of athletes as I worked through the field.Â Itâ€™s funny how similar athetes perform similar in their racing.Â First I weaved through the older, stronger male athletes.Â Passing these older dudes who were in awesome shape took about 5 seconds.Â Then I hit the stronger women amateurs.Â Passing these ladies took about 7 seconds.Â Then I hit the strong male amateurs.Â These guys were pushing and I noticed the passes took 10-12 seconds.Â Then it was on to the the elite amateur men and the pro women.Â These guys/girls would hang for a while and really dug deep to give a great effort on an extremely tough bike course.Â About 25 miles into the bike I knew I had made up some good time because I was at my usual race location, alone and grinding it out.Â Have I mentioned the wind yet?Â For the first 30 miles of the bike course the wind was stop in your tracks strong.Â When it wasnâ€™t directly in your face, it was blowing you across the road.Â More times than not I found myself riding completely sideways bracing my body from blowing into the ocean.Â I was pushing hard and putting a lot of power into the pedals.Â I knew there was a good chance I would blow up on the run because my effort on the bike was too aggressive but with the horrible swim I had to take a risk in order to take anything out of this race.Â I finished the bike in 2:20 which ended up being the 5th fastest bike split on the day.Â Yes I was demolished by the 4 guys who out rode me, but at least I could take something out of my ride.
I hit the â€œToughest run course on the IM 70.3 circuitâ€(as they said in the prerace meeting) feeling pretty good.Â Like I said, I had pushed hard on the bike and I was not sure how my legs would hold up for 13.1 miles.Â I eased into the course taking the first two miles fairly conservative.Â Then I began to open it up.Â Yes, the wind had picked up even more so than it had been blowing on the ride but I just put my head down and grinded it out.Â I used the tailwind sections to push me along and flush out the lactic acid that had built up in the head wind sections.Â I was really happy with my fitness and my ability to push myself the entire 13.1 miles.Â I finished the run in 1:22 which ended up being the 3rd fastest run behind Bennett and Jose Jeuland.
Overall my time was 4:21 which put me in 10th place.Â Post race was great!Â There was a solid BBQ (free), a beer garden (free), and good hanging with friends (free).Â As I was fighting through the swim I thought to myself, â€œYou know, I could quit right now, but who know what this day will bring?Â Stay positive and stick with it.â€Â I am glad I did.Â I proved to myself that I could recover from a very negative occurrence and come out stronger for it.
Since the race Cortney and I have been on a journey.Â We stand up paddle boarded, we hung downtown Kona with friends, we did some open water swimming, we hiked in the rain forest, we drove the outskirts of Hawaii, we flew to Honolulu, we had our 1st flight to LAX cancelled, we were treated poorly by the United Airlines gate agents, we were put up in a roach motel by United Airlines(There were literally roaches crawling in our room when we walked in), we were given a $10 food voucher although there were no restaurants to eat at, we ate chips and salsa for dinner, we woke up at 5 a.m. on Tuesday only to get to the airport to find out our 2nd United flight was canceled, we were treated poorly by the United Airlines agents, we took a $20 cab ride to Starbucks, we drank coffee, we took another $20 cab rice to Pearl Harbor, we were in awe as we checked out Pearl Harbor, we took another $20 cab ride back to the airport, we found out our 12 p.m. flight had been delayed until 2:30 p.m., we were treated poorly by gate agents with United Airlines, we drank a few beers, and, FINALLY, here we are on the plane headed home.Â Seems like 105 years(Like what I did there? Â I brought it all back to the Transit of Venus a.k.a. Jim and Cortney).
Although I complain about our LONG trip, being the reflective soul that I am I like to bring it all together and relate one experice to another.Â In the race just as in our journey I had to stay positive.Â Negative thoughts would have gotten me no where except for irritated, stressed out, and mean.Â In the race I had all of the other athletes to push me and inspire me to take my mind out of the gutter and take my performance to the next level.Â In our travels I had Cortney to keep me going and not rip my hair out.Â In both instances I took negative events and made something out of them.Â My race ended up being positive and Pearl Harbor is a National Monumet every American should visit.Â Next time you are feeling negtive in a spot that is trying to keep you down find someone or something to help inspire you and get you through it.Â Thanks to all of the athletes who helped me push through at Hawaii 70.3 and thanks to Cortney for being my companion in this Transit that I hope doesnâ€™t happen for another 105 years.Â RACE HARD!
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Originally posted at http://jimlubinski.com/2012/06/06/the-transit-of-jim-and-cortney/