Saturday, September 19, 2009

Skylands Race Report (No, Really!)

Just to prove I really mean it, here's the proof of my picture from US Candids:
(Easily my most attractive finisher picture to date.)

Anyway... race report, right. It's been a crazy week, but more on that in another post that will quickly follow this one. I'm having "study hall" tonight to catch up. And I promise I'll be better about posting now!

OK, seriously, race report.

This race was amazing for two major reasons:
1. 9 AM start time
2. 5 minute drive from home

So I rolled out of bed at 6:30, ate half a bagel, and got ready to race. We got to Spruce Run around 7:15 with tons of time to set up in transition. There were only 4 stalls in the bathroom, so as usual, I was in line for most of the time.

I got to warm up for a minute on the bike, and got to see my favorite local blogger/fellow racer, Maija, who was doing the relay event. Awesome.

The race was running behind schedule and the buoys for the swim were a little out of whack, but the weather was incredible. Nice, warm but not hot, sunny, and even though the water was chilly, with a wetsuit it felt great. So wetsuit on and splashing around.

Then mom and Colleen showed up wearing shirts that they made to match my suit- grim reaper and KILLA down the side.

When the race started, they didn't waste any time and before I knew it, I was heading to the water. I'm not usually great at swim starts, especially when they involve running into the water, but I decided that the name of the game for this race was "the best pace is a suicide pace and today looks like a good day to die."

So I shouldered my way to the far right, in direct line with the buoy and prayed that I could get out fast enough to veer left and avoid it. We started and I had quite possibly the best swim start I've ever had, pounded into the water and got way out in front. Managed to stay with one girl through the whole swim, and I knew I was doing pretty well. When we made it out of the water after passing a bunch of men, Dad yelled that I was the fifth woman out of the water.

Now, onto the long run to the bike. Didn't seem so bad this year compared to last year. Got up and onto the bike with minimal difficulty. The bike went smoothly- not as fast as I would have preferred, but overall it went pretty well and I managed to hold my position. The hill was ripping people apart, but I've practiced it so it was no big deal. Plus, the woman who was there last year was at her driveway again, boom box in hand, playing Eye of the Tiger right at the steepest part. Just what we all needed for that extra boost! I wish I had gone out a bit harder, I think I had it in me, but it is what it is. I think it went well, and I was the first female off the bike without a tri bike. Guys were so nice to me on the course- I was wearing the suit with "Killa" on the butt, so as I passed, so many people yelled "go get 'em killer!" and would tell me how many women in front of me.

Lastly, heading back into transition for the run... I went to rack my bike and Maija was in the same row as me, waiting for her cyclist to get back so she could run. The guy next to me had racked his bike in my spot (jerk!) and Maija was trying to shift it for me, but I got frustrated and just dumped mine on the rack right on his stuff. Hmph. Then, pulled on shoes and headed out, trying to tell myself to stay strong. I knew there was a woman with a minute or two on me and I wanted to catch her.

First mile, felt great. Hit the turnaround strong, hadn't been passed by anyone and was making some serious progress and saw the woman in my sights. Then, we finally hit the home stretch- it goes up a parking lot (a long one) then back down to the finish. I knew it was now or never, so I passed her and as I did, she smiled and told me to Go Hard. I love it!

Dad saw me and her behind me and yelled to watch my back, so that pushed me to sprint it all the way in for a great finish.

Alas, no vomiting- which means I clearly didn't go hard enough. But bonus: no real cramping!

Conclusion: Best race to date, and next year, numbers one through three better watch out, I'm going to give them a run for their money (not much of one, as I'll be recovering from Ironman. But you get the point.)

I have to give a huge shoutout to the North Hunterdon Rotary Club- they let me race for half cost, and that allowed me to add another race to my season. So I really appreciate it. When I told them I could promise that if I raced, as a local girl, I would be at least first in my age group, and I was glad I could deliver. So thank you so much for the great opportunity!

And of course, thanks to my Dad, once again. He deserved my trophy more than me, and the first thing I did was give him my trophy when I got it. And Mom and Colleen are the best for making the sweet shirts and watching and cheering!

1 comment:

Missy said...

Way to rock it! I love that the other chica you passed gave you the thumbs up. Very nice sportsmanship for sure.