Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Steelman/Man of Steel

This was one crazy race...

For starters, since Dad was a volunteer, we were up and out by 3:30 on Sunday morning. That wouldn't normally bother me, and I had slept pretty well, but the bagel places were closed so I had to settle on a luna bar for breakfast. While I love Luna bars, they aren't my normal race food, so I was disconcerted. Then, when we got to the site, my worst fears were confirmed- it was raining hard. And it was cold out. So, I helped dad find the volunteer site, then stayed in the car and snoozed while poor Dad was out in the rain helping out. I was cold and wet and pretty uninterested in racing, but trying to psyche up.

An hour before the race, I ate a Gu, which didn't go down too smoothly. I was pretty nauseous, actually. Bummer. Then, hit the lines for the bathrooms, hoping my digestive tract would get moving. It didn't.

Finally, a few minutes before the water opened 15 minutes prior to start, I was shivering in the Port-a-potty line and finally my stomach started agreeing with me. To some extent. Hit it once, and would have again but the line was huge. Got in the water for a warmup swim and met some nice people, including a woman who "just raced Lake Placid two weeks ago" (as she pointed out about 15 times. I'd bring it up too though, I admit.) Then, a newbie, and a seventeen year old named Taylor who was into bike racing, which made us best buddies. Out of the water, then realized I needed a bathroom again: no time, my wave went off in 5 min, so I decided to suck it up and hope for the best. The potties were right by the run exit so I figured I could hit them if need be.

Taylor and I started near each other, and for the entire swim, we were literally neck and neck. We sighted off of each other, and whenever one would veer away, the other would recalculate. It was pretty funny, actually. This course was a lot longer than the NJ State Tri, so it took a few extra minutes. I still wasn't psyched about how the swim went but I figured between the rain, no warmup, and the extra distance, I did ok. I was about midpack of my wave when we exited and made our way to transition. Luckily Dad was working a station right there and could shout encouragement.

Onto the bike! God, I love that Profile aerodrink system, it is the greatest invention ever!! It was raining steadily as I chugged up the first hill, trying to keep my heart rate down and stay relaxed. I knew once I was out of the park and onto the road for 2 loops, it would get easier. It was a rolling course, some downhills I hit at 35 mph (scary as hell in the rain), other hills took me down to 17-18 mph. But it was fun!! Even when it started pouring, I just remembered the Yale race- a downpour, riding in a pack of 40 B women (scary in and of itself) and 35 degrees. Yeah, I can handle this.

I ended up with a 30 year old woman with a sweet Splish suit (I complimented her, since I was sporting my Killa Splish bikini) and a 21 year old dude. We sort of had this crazy I pass you, you pass me thing going on. In any other race, it wouldn't have worked, but since this race was on a wide closed road, it wasn't a problem. And in the wet weather, no one was getting blasted for riding side by side, so it was easier to pass people safely instead of trying to blow by them. But the RAIN!! I had to throw away my sunglasses in order to see, and I was pissed about that!

Anyway, then the run... I forgot how much I love to race until this part! First, an awful transition where I ran to the wrong rack, saw a towel my color but no shoes, and panicked, yelling "shit shit shit!" Finally spotted my stuff, got ready and hauled ass outta there! It felt lke forever, but was only 1:57. Then, my dad saw me and screamed "what the hell happened?"

I freaked out. I knew he was yelling it because a lot of women passed me, so when I passed him on the way back (weird course), I yelled, "how many women with O's on their calves are ahead?"

He suddenly smiled and yelled back that I was first or second in my age group. He had been counting sprinters and panicking because he thought they were all Olympic!

Anyway, first mile at 7:30, right on pace. Feeling great. The miles ticked off and for once, I felt good. I was passing people, staying steady. I wanted ot go faster, but I didn't want to blow up at the end, so I stuck to the plan. It went pretty well, and I sped up for the last .5 miles.

I ended up 17th female, 2nd in my age group, in a pretty legit group- a lot of the women were crazy strong swimmers, according to my dad, so I can understand that. I really need to work on my open water swimming, which I'll do at the beach next week!

More later about actual improvements I want to do and a recap of my crazy-ass training from the past two days. But for now, off to Chipotle for dinner with an old friend after a very long very hot brick workout!


Missy said...

Great race report! There's always this or that we need to work on. Considering the day, sounds like things went pretty well to me!..and dad was there;)

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Considering the race conditions and the stomach issues, I think you rocked it.