An admitted shoe geek waxes philosophical about running, triathlon, and life in general.
Comments welcome!

Friday, July 27, 2012


View from the start line.
RAMROD. One of the toughest one-day rides in Washington.

I'll start by saying this isn't the first time I've done this ride. In fact, it's the third time I've done it, but I also knew going in that I wasn't going approach my best for the ride of 8:15, some 15 years ago when I was bike racing basically full-time.

My wife and I had volunteered last year to secure spots for this year's ride, bypassing the lottery entry process. She was volunteering again this year, at the start and finish, so will have another bypass to use next year.

Getting Eric ready to ride.
And my wife had two jerseys made for Eric and I to advertise Lucky Cause Sports, as well as give a little humor and personality to our kit. Eric's had "Put it in the Big Ring" on the back, and mine had "Velominati's Rule #5" (which basically means HTFU, or Harden The F^#$ Up, for those not in the know). Nice. The full zip would be a very handy feature later in the day...

The day started well before the day... Meaning well before daylight. Three AM wake-up call, get dressed, bowl of cereal, load up the car and off to the races. My wife needed to be there at 4:30 for her volunteer duties, which left me with some time to check in and get ready before my start.

This isn't a race. The signs around the course called it a rally... Not sure what that's supposed to mean. But it seems that they don't even keep times for the event any more, I guess in an effort to make sure people obey traffic laws. When I did this event before, they had a time clock at the start and finish that you clocked in and out with, so you had an official time... Not this year. Anyway...

Clicking in for 150 miles of fun.
I was ready to go by 5:20, and was waiting for Eric. We'd agreed on a 5:30 start, but he had issues with a valve core on topping off his tires, so we didn't actually get going until 5:55.

Within a very short distance, I saw a good paceline forming ahead of us. I told Eric we should catch on, and I bumped the speed up to 26 to get the back wheel. Good move, as that paceline absorbed another, and kept a good speed all the way through Orville Road. On the hill just before the Kapowsin turn, the line split up into two again, and I didn't know that Eric hadn't made the front group.

Along Ohop Lake, we kept the pace going, and at the end of my last pull I picked up a helmet number off the road into my front wheel. "Flat!" every one was calling. But it WASN'T a flat -- the sticker had just caught in my front brake. I stopped to take it out, and the group held up the speed until I caught back on. We did the last two miles into Eatonville, then stopped for a little rest. At that point, the average speed was over 21 mph... Awesome!

Eric pulled into Eatonville a couple minutes behind me, and we left together a little while later after pit-stops.

Coming out of Eatonville, instead of taking the direct route to Highway 7 that leads to the more interesting sections of that highway (especially on a motorcycle -- nice "twisties"), we took the more eastern cutoff, bypassing Packwood. Construction was cited as the reason, but I think this also cut off a few miles.

On the first little hill, the paceline we had joined became very disjointed every time we came upon a slower rider. I kept my pace, which left the line behind, and went solo for several miles, catching onto another paceline just before Alder Lake. The pace was a nice, sedate 19 for that section, but when another pace line came by I jumped on a rode with them all the way to the Wildwood rest stop. Pulling in, I was still over 20 mph on the rolling average speed.

At this point I decided to ditch the arm warmers, gloves, and the clear safety glasses I'd been wearing, and go with the dark lenses. The sun was up to the point where they'd be a benefit.

Eric pulled in little while later, we both noshed and emptied, and he told me to go on ahead. I knew that once the climbs started, we'd be at different speeds, so I got back on the road and let him finish his fill-up.

This is where the ride really begins -- the entrance into Mount Rainier National Park, and the first climb of the day up to Paradise.

I was passing people constantly from that point on to the top at Inspiration Point, and I didn't even get out of the big chainring until passing Longmire, where the road pitches upward at a more... insistent... grade. I saw people already in their lowest gears on this climb, and I don't know whether they were just conserving energy, or if they were truly already geared out. If they were already challenged enough to need that gear on THIS climb, then they were in for a long, painful journey in another 30 miles...

The area is beautiful, with open valleys all the way up to the top of the mountain, and moon-scape vistas above the vegetation line. But often the areas where the view is best is also where you can afford to take your eyes off the road the least. Passing cars made the challenge even greater.

The rest stop at Inspiration Point was sparse, with only water and Gatorade (purple flavor), the main food stop farther on after the next climb up Backbone Ridge. It was also just past this summit where the road became more treacherous, with several sections of gravel. I spent too much time here before moving on, and when I came to the gravel I slowed WAY down. The only one that proved to be of any real danger was the long section that encompassed the entire hairpin turn past Reflection Lake. People go off the road almost every year here when the road is paved, unable to scrub enough speed before needing to lean hard into the turn. Gravel? Fuggetaboudit. Though I never heard of any one going down there, I did see a few people with dusty shorts and shirts later. Two tunnels (which always make me feel disoriented on a bike), grates to bunny-hop... It was pretty exciting.

But I also found another issue rearing up -- I wasn't liking riding in the drops. Just the reach and my back getting a little tight (partly due to too much time at the top) was causing discomfort. So I ended up mostly riding the shifter/brake levers and trying to keep my weight off my hands on the rough sections. I had two riders pass me on the descent, one going by like I was standing still.

Then came the "short" climb up Backbone ridge. Three miles, approximately, being short. I remember the first time I did RAMROD, back in, I think, 1990, and getting to the rest stop at Upper Box Canyon, and asking people about how bad Backbone Ridge is, and they'd told me I'd just climbed it. It didn't even register to me that it was a climb. But not this time. I felt it. And the day was beginning to warm up significantly.

Bacon Salt = Ambrosia.
As I rolled into the rest stop, I was ready for some grub. The best part of this rest stop was the steamed red potatoes, with salt bar. BACON SALT! If Mountain Dew is the Nectar of the Gods, then Bacon Salt is ambrosia. There were several of us camped out at that end of the feed table, all trying to look non-chalant about stuffing our faces with sprinkled tubers...

I left that rest stop after being well-fed, topping off the bottles with Purple Flavor Gatorade and water. With the warnings of more gravel sections, and some one-lane roads with stop-lights, I forged on to the descent out of the park. On a couple of the gravel sections, the oncoming lane was intact, so with no cars in sight, I moved over to avoid the danger (and keeping my speed up). Somewhere between the two one-lane sections I lost my rear blinking red light on a gravel patch, the vibrations finally taking their toll on the poor little thing. Oh well... On the last one-lane section, I could see a Parks Department SUV larked at the other end, just waiting to ticket any cyclists that didn't wait for a green light. But once past this, the part exit was within sight, which means just one thing.

Cayuse Pass is next.

For me, this is THE crux of the ride. Not the distance (though it definitely takes its toll), and not the climb up Paradise or Backbone Ridge (though they take their toll as well). THIS is THE climb of the ride. Eight miles, eight percent grade, constant, and fully exposed to the sun for more than half it's length. Distance-wise this climb start at almost 100 miles, but mentally and physically, it's not quite half-way. This is definitely a Hors' Categorie climb.

Turning left out of the park (and mysteriously there were no road markings indicating this is the proper direction), the climb starts almost immediately.

I wish I'd looked at my odometer at this point. I had no gage on the distance left to the summit at any point, and I was alternating standing and sitting, though not really forcing the pace at any point -- the change was just to give each set of muscles a break, a little recovery. I'm one of those freakish riders that can recover standing up. But there's a very demoralizing factor to this ascent -- if one doesn't know it well (which I don't), one's mind starts to think that the top is "just around the next bend". And when that proves to be untrue, it is a let down.

At the Deer Creek rest stop, I kidded the workers there saying "just 10 miles to the top, right?" They said I'd be pleasantly surprised. But when I passed a Ham-radio station, I asked them how far to the top, and they told me one mile. I immediately switched to the odometer, and when I hit the next mile, only to see the sign indicating another half mile, I was cursing them as liars and worse... Such is the mental toll of Cayuse Pass. I had completely forgotten about the tunnel going up this grade. Pulling the glasses down to be able to see inside the tunnel proved to be vertigo-inducing. Something about not seeing down makes me dizzy and always has... I took the glasses off and was fine for the rest of the ride through.

At the top (finally!), I stopped to refill the bottles, and again spent too much time standing still. I think the better choice would have been to ride through, as the next stop was only a few miles down the road at the Crystal Mountain turn-off, and all downhill (though it was into a headwind). Again I was passed by a couple riders, but I never went faster than 40 mph. Riding the drops proved uncomfortable again, but I forced it, knowing this was possibly my last chance at free speed.

The final rest stop was at the Crystal Mountain turn-off, site of what will be the start of the Crystal Mountain Hillclimb Time Trial in another two weeks. And just when we thought we were finished with the gravel, we rode into the large parking lot that was ALL gravel, just to get to the food. Yeah, I could have gotten off and walked, but what fun is that?

Again, too much time eating, sitting, talking... My jaw was actually getting tired from chewing food. I should have seen this as a bad sign of things to come, but I tried to down as much water as possible. Cookies, chips, a breadless sandwich (no high-fiber breads for me, and that's all they had), and some conversation, and I got going again.

As I walked my bike out (not wanting to risk tires at this point), I talked with a guy who wanted to form up a paceline. Sure... We picked up another one soon after, and within a few miles we were up to six riders, and the pace was high. After a few pulls, I could feel my right leg cramping -- I think it's called the gracilis, one of the deep quad muscles that goes under the vastus medialis and up the inside of the thigh. When I finished the pull, I couldn't get back on the tail end, so I let the line go about a mile before Greenwater.

I rode solo again for several miles, taking a short bladder break about a mile out of Federation Forest. With about 12 miles to go, caught onto another passing paceline (barely), and just hung out at the back as long as I could. At the turn off to Mud Mountain Road, I lost them, but they didn't gap me horribly. Still within striking distance at the top of the last descent, I stopped to stretch a bit. There was another rider there, so we talked a little, then I started off again.

This is a fun descent -- enough turns to keep it interesting, and you have to keep your head up because there are several potholes (well-marked, though). But at the bottom, there one more final uphill. Not a climb, just a little positive grade that's cruel -- just thinking you're done with the hills. Add the headwind, and I felt like I wasn't making any headway.

But one last paceline caught me, and I hooked onto the tail of it, staying with it to the end, and crossing the line at 4:18. Ten hours and 23 minutes from the time I started the journey, and 8:24:26 on the bike, for a rolling average of 17.60 mph.

I was surprised, though, to only see 148 miles on the odometer. The ride was advertised as 152 miles. I was very careful to make sure I was reading the entire ride distance, and making sure to start and stop the computer clock at all the rest stops. So I guess the re-routes did cut off some distance.

My wife was there to take my finish tag, and she helped me not fall over as I got off the bike one last time. It was very nice to have her there.

A shower, a Coke, and some ice cream and I was feeling almost human (though a shuffling, old-feeling human). Eric came in about 15 minutes behind me, and I think he made a good chunk of time up on that descent from Cayuse (he said he drafted a Nissan Xterra at north of 50 mph).

Dinner at Applebees... I was ready to drop off to sleep by 7...

Summary: The climbs were, in the end, not the most difficult part of the ride. Certainly the Cayuse Pass climb was the most physically taxing, and possibly the age-old trap of constantly thinking "the top has GOT to be around the next bend" set me up for the mental difficulties in the final miles.

 But by far the most difficult part of the ride was the last 25-30 miles, where I was battling the headwinds alone because I couldn't pull through on a paceline without cramping. I did find myself slouching on the saddle, too much spinal curve and using more lat tension up front than I should. Straightening out my back helped, but I'd find myself creeping back. My right shoulder was having issues with the position by the end.

I rode a compact 50/34 chainring set-up with 172.5 crankarms, and am 11-25 cassette with a long cage rear derailleur. But I never did use my lowest gear.

There were some entertaining points along the way, like seeing the six oldest riders of the day (rider numbers were in reverse age order), and the guy wearing the Buttcrack Riding jersey.

I'm glad it's over, and I know my wife is glad that the weekly long training rides are done. She asked me if I wanted to do the ride again. I said I don't think so. She'll have another bypass spot for next year's ride, but she said she isn't going to give it to me...

But the pain hasn't quite worn off yet, so by next week I'll probably be planning how to do it faster.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The eve of our destruction

On the eve of The Ride (RAMROD, for those not versed in my blog), I sit on the couch with a B movie playing on Netflix (SO many movies I've never heard of...), wiling away the last few hours before I feel tired enough to actually go to bed and sleep... Most events don't put me into this kind of mood. I've done so many runs, bike races, and tri's that I don't get nervous any more. 

I look ahead to not only the event itself, but what comes after -- a little rest, then some time with more concentration on running, and adding some swim training. I'll be doing the Bonney Lake Triathlon on September 1st. 

Whatever happens tomorrow, I've put in a lot of good bike mileage, I've enjoyed the journey, and my weight has come down to about 155 lbs. Good climbing weight. And my wife likes the definition in my arms... 

Weather for tomorrow looks perfect -- morning temps in the low 50's, and should be about 75 at the finish, and few clouds. 

My only real concern is the condition of the road on the descents. There are reports of several sections of gravel, with high pavement lips at the end that could cause pinch flats or even failed rims if hit too hard. I'll have to keep my speed in check on these parts, which is too bad. That's the reward for the climb! 

Look for an event report in the next couple days.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The last long ride.

There comes a point in every build-up, whether it's for a marathon run or ride, some long event for which the normal sanity-maitaining level of workouts is just inadequate, that you have to stop the progression and call it good enough. You've added up the miles as best you can, and anything further will only drain you for event day. The taper must begin. Or at the very least, no more long road time. The horses are in the barn, so to speak.

For me, in my build-up to RAMROD, that was this past Sunday.

I chose for this final long ride a solo trip from my house to the lodge at Crystal Mountain and back. Sixty-two miles one-way, mostly uphill, and then a return that would have a final (relatively) short climb right at the very end. For those of you who care to look, it's logged in the Routes section of Beginner Triathlete.

When I left, though, I had no idea how varied and epic the ride would be... I had revised my gearing on the bike, but was having issues with the shifting -- I'd basically run into the limits of my rear derailleur, not with the largest rear cog on the cassette, but with the overall capacity of 16T difference up front and another 17 in back. I procured a long-cage Shimano 105 rear derailleur on Saturday, and installed it before setting out on Sunday morning. No worries there.

The clouds were breaking up before I left, the sun showing through in bits and pieces, so I opted to not carry a vest, and swapped the orange lens in my Oakleys to the standard smoke lens. These two things would prove to be ill-advised... Stay tuned.

As I started out heading south along the trail, I was pushing into a headwind. Not to worry, as I knew once I rounded the bend out of Orting, the wind would turn to my back and push me into South Prairie. And in fact, this tailwind stayed with me all the way up Highway 410 to the base of the climb to Crystal Mountain.

The roads were getting progressively wetter as I went from Buckley to Enumclaw, and by the time I started up Mud Mountain Road, it was clear that a rain storm had passed through earlier. With luck, I'd stay behind it and the clouds would break up at my back.

Once I passed Greenwater, the roads were dry again, with only occasional misting from the clouds that were just overhead, all the way until I made the turn off the highway for the final ascent to Crystal Mountain. Six miles left, into the clouds I went.

This last 6 miles is also the Crystal Mountain Hillclimb TT course. I've ridden it many times, and several of those were USCF (now USAC) District Hillclimb TT Championships. I thought this would be the best preparation for dealing with Cayuse Pass during RAMROD, which is 8 miles of constant 8% grade, starting just before the 100 mile mark.

As I pedaled along, the clouds got progressively thicker. There was an eery silence -- no wind, no sounds of birds, even the few cars that passed me seemed to be muted, and disappeared into the silence very quickly. My bike was much quieter than normal as well. The pavement was in a worse state of repair than I remembered, but, to be fair, it's been a good 12 years since I've been up here...

 Finally, the road widened, and the centerline disappeared. I knew I was close. But because visibility was so bad, I had no idea HOW close I was. Suddenly there were cones in the road and a sign directing me to the right... I was there. A circle around the parking lot, and I stopped at the lodge.

Snack shed first! A Darigold Refuel for now and a Snickers bar for later, then into the pro shop -- could I find a vest there? I was ready to make the purchase. Yes, it was that kind of cold, too. But no dice. The only things there were expensive jackets that were overkill both in coverage and price. Hmmm... The lady who worked there asked if she could help me (I could see the thoughts in her head -- "How can I get this stinky guy in lycra out of here?"). I spied the trash can... "I think one of those plastic bags would work perfectly. Surprised, she dug out a fresh trash bag and handed it to me, asking if I wanted to use a pair of scissors. "Nope, this will work just fine as is."

You see, many years ago, on another ill-fated ride up this same road, a buddy and I had gotten utterly soaked in a rain squall just a couple miles from the summit. He had brought a vest, and again, I hadn't (some lessons just don't take, right?). We bought some socks in the pro shop to act as mittens, and I dug out a cardboard box from the garbage, tearing off a piece to put under my jersey (which I kept in there all the way back to Enumclaw).

I knew that what I really needed was just a layer to block the wind. I tore open the seam at the bottom of the bag, and stuffed it up under my jersey all the way to the neckline, tucking in the bottom. Good to go, I thought.

As I started out, the mist got heavy. And heavier. Within a half-mile, it was a steady rain. I could barely see where I was going due to the rain and the dark lens (that "other" ill-advised pre-ride adjustment) on a long descent on crappy pavement with my brakes only partially effective. Add to that an apparent front wheel shimmy (which was due to my shaking with cold, not anything to do with the bike), and it was an exercise in controlled terror for the six miles back to the highway.

 The rain abated just as I made the bottom, and I continued on as best I could, trying to relax my arms and shoulders from the cold and tense fear I'd just ridden through. It took a while...

I stopped at Greenwater, and ate the Snickers, amazingly cold and not at all melted, even being in my jersey pocket for 30 miles, finally getting the feeling back in my hands and feet. Tearing into that bar, I had trouble gripping the wrapper... I had noticed the screen on my Avocet 45tt computer getting dim, so I started my wrist stopwatch to capture my actual ride time.

Another stop in Enumclaw at the McDonalds for a cheeseburger and Coke... Finally able to get rid of the garbage bag under my jersey and take off my gloves and arm warmers. Balmy now at 64 degrees...

The last 22 miles went easily, and then the last, cruel and steep ascent home had me with only one gear to spare... But it was done. I'd made it with energy to spare.

Tired, 122 miles on the odometer (clocked the next day), but feeling pretty good (far better than at the end of the 88 miles I rode the week before), I knew the gear and clothing I'd be using for RAMROD. With just barely over 8 hours total time (7:11 on the bike time), and adding another 32 miles, I think I'm fairly safe for a 10 hour RAMROD, or there abouts.

The hard work is done, now it's just a matter of making sure I don't do any final damage before the event date, next Thursday.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Put on a happy face.

My old high school cross country coach was a smart cookie. You'd have never known it listening to any of us chipping on about what a task-master and all-around goody-two-shoes he was. In fact, in my senior year for our end-of-the-season track banquet, we put together a little band and played "Running on Empty" and a re-write of Steppenwolf's "Born to be Wild", affectionately re-named "Born to be Bald" (dedicated, of course, to this same coach and his blessing of a perfectly smooth dome). His response was that he felt a little like Rodney Dangerfield...

My noontime ride on Thursday made me think of something which he did to us during races back in the day (WAY back, like 1981).

He'd see us coming and ask us, "How are you feeling?"


Wrong answer...

He'd ask again, "How are you feeling?"

"Like crap!"

Wrong again...

He'd ask again, "How are you feeling?"


"That's right!" he'd reply.

It would accomplish one of two things: we'd get ticked off and surge, or we'd laugh, smile, and surge.

There's something about smiling, even when you're feeling like crap. It actually helps your speed. Why? You can't smile and NOT feel at least a little better.

I tried it on my ride, though not on purpose. A truck passed a little close, and instead of cursing under my breath, or saluting his apparent intelligence, I just smiled. It was kind of a smile-and-shake-my-head thing, but it was a smile anyway. And an interesting thing happened -- I sped up. I smiled more. I sped up more. It turned into kind of an evil grin, and I spent the rest of the ride in masochistic attack on my average speed number.

Ever watch Chrissie Wellington during an IM? She's got this perma-grin pasted on her face. She's pushing past world-class pace over 8 hours in blazing heat, and she's SMILING like she's just having a little stroll through the park. I'm convinced that she does this to make herself feel better, and therefore IS better and faster. (Photo from

It works. Try it.

Next time you're in an event, put on a happy face. Maybe even give my old cross country coach an "I FEEL GREAT!" down the back-stretch.

Thanks, Larry Sefrovich. Your lessons did stick.

Post-race lows

This is a different kind of post-race experience.

For most racers, especially people who spend a long time working towards a particular event -- triathletes doing an Ironman, for example -- the post race euphoria of accomplishment swiftly becomes a mental and emotional low, a "what now?" state maybe accompanied by a physical lack of energy and desire to train.

For me, today, it's different (and I'm sure it's more than doubly so for my wife).

Yesterday, just over 24 hours ago, in fact, the Category 4/5 men racing the Joe Matava Memorial Classic Criterium were whistled onto the course to sprint each other figuratively into the ground (and in one case, literally onto the ground). After another nine groups had made their rounds of the .6 mile loop, we sent the kids off for their enthusiastic lap (and I got the honor of handing them their ribbons at the end), then we vacated quickly to open up the Independence Day Parade route.

The culmination of many hours of work leading up to the high-stress day, my wife doing the bulk of them while I worked my day job.

The event itself was a huge success. With 174 online race entries as of the day before the event, and almost the same amount on the day of the event, we came close to equaling record attendance. The nice weather may have had a lot to do with that, but you can't argue with the end results.

The racing was exciting, I'd love to say that the day came off without a hitch, but there were a couple minor glitches (which we quickly corrected), and we'll have a de-briefing (and my jr high sense of humor can't say that without thinking of being pantsed) with the lead USA Cycling official on how to improve for future events.

The low today? Well, mostly not enough sleep (after yesterday morning's early hour and last night's war zone impersonation in my neighborhood -- with the requisite road litter and fog of sulfur this morning). And just wanting a day off. My wife already asked if it was okay to take today off... OF COURSE IT IS!

It was a good day, which wouldn't have come off without the help of our sponsors at Burien Toyota/Scion, Bicycles West of Burien, Eliot Bay Brewhouse, Burien Press Coffee, Mick Kelly's Irish Pub, Vino Bello, 909 Coffee & Wine, Grand Central Baking Company, and Skinperfect.

 And a HUGE thank you to all our volunteers at Wheelsport Cycling Team (who was our partner in putting on this event, and have put on the previous 36 editions of this event) and our Lucky Cause Sports board members.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The view from the back

I did my first tri since Labor Day this past Saturday. Quite a different experience than my normal race, to say the least.

This event, the Five Mile Lake Triathlon, put on by BuDu Racing , was a sprint (400m swim, 14 mile bike, 5K run) in Federal Way/Auburn, Washington. I've done this race several times, but this was the first time I did it this way -- I raced with my wife.

WITH her, as in by her side the whole way. Well, okay, I couldn't be "beside" her through much of the bike, or risk a blocking DQ...

We had decided to do the "Retro" division, which doesn't allow wetsuits or any aero equipment on the bike, and also has a retro-spirit award for the one who most exemplifies the origins of the sport. Speedos are definitely worth bonus points (Lisa, my wife, nixed that idea almost before I'd completed the thought), as are neon and down-tube shifters. This division also is a direct benefit to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). But we had signed up for this division so we could start together. In fact, the Retro division had its own start wave (last), and cheering/support section (the folks from JDRF, who did an awesome job making us feel like pros).

My daughter loves to help with body marking, and so she gets to take a few liberties with us. I added my own homage to my "retro-ism"... Retro? Hey, I was RACING in those days! Lisa added her own, in an inspiration taken from my "Hammer pants", with a "Too Legit to Quit" on her calf.

Pre-race, the JDRF folks were asking for poses and taking pictures... My wife posed with Squirt, who is both her mascot and the name of her bike (because it's a size XS). The "I <3 D.T." was my daughter's addition. I had a matching "I <3 L.T." on my shoulder.

Wading into the water sans wetsuit is something I rarely do in Washington. The water was even colder than the night before, when we went to packet pick-up and took at dip in the lake to "prepare" for the next morning. I don't know if that was a good thing or not -- I think the only thing it "prepared" me for was dreading a cold swim. You know, that point about mid-way up when things start REALLY getting cold...

With an already 3-minute deficit from the get-go on the rest of the field, it was pretty certain we'd finish at the back as well.

And yes, we made the whole distance just fine. My wife made it out of both T1 and T2 ahead of me, and we did the "family finish" with my daughter running in with us. JDRF gave us a tie for 3rd in the division, and we celebrated with a kiss at the finish line. Yes, we finished DFL, but we didn't care.

 And we got a growler of Mac & Jack's!

 It was a fun morning, with much less "game face" and worrying about having the perfect warm-up, lining up for the right start position, getting the primo transition real estate... It's too bad that there won't be a Retro division at the Bonney Lake Tri...