There was so much good that happened to me as part of the prep for that race. My weight was under control. I started working with a coach. I was seeing genuine improvement and the sense of accomplishment was high.
I did race the 2010 version but that was a fiasco. First I was dinged up so a raced the AquaVelo instead. Second, I spent the week before the race in Hong Kong and commuted halfway around the world to just get to the race. I drove directly from the airport to Maryland without stopping home (I stashed my stuff in a relative's house in New Jersey). Thirdly, the water temperature in 2010 was a record 79.4 which made this a non wetsuit swim. Of course, it didn't help that there was a significant current and my body clock was still in Asia time. I missed the swim cutoff, did the bike anyway, suffered through it, got the medal, but a few days later my time was taken down since I missed the swim cutoff. The blog post can be found here
Since then I've improved my swim to the point where my 2011IMFL swim time was only a few minutes slower than my 2010Eagleman time despite being twice the distance. I've raced a few more HIMs since but they will never replace Eagleman in my heart.
I started wondering when I can go back. I'm thinking that 2013 will be the year of the Olympic for me. Might go back to StA, want to do the Aquaphor NYC triathlon, and perhaps a few other local olys. I would want a PR somewhere in there but I haven't raced Olympic since I was, in fact, a rookie. That means 2014 could be the return to Eagleman to take care of some business.
Good luck to all the athletes racing tomorrow. Hope those stepping up in distance have a day worth remembering.