Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Timberman 70.3 Race Report
Ange and Me--nervous before the swim.
The Cliff Note Version of the RR:
We will both go on to qualify for Clearwater. Ange will go on to break five and crush our entire AG. I will go on to have a great swim, and a pretty solid bike and then.........................
then slower,slower, slooooowwwwwwer, sloooooooooowwwwwwwwer, painnnnnnnnnnnnn on the run.
The Long Version of the RR:
Andy and I stayed at the luxurious Super 8 in Tilton the night before, which is a good half hour from the race start. So we got up around 4:15 a.m. in order to make it to the race site by 5:15. No one should be up that early. It's just not right. Anyway, luckily the Super 8 is right next to a 24 hour McDonald's, so I was able to get some coffee and Andy a very healthy Egg McMuffin Meal before the day began.
I, as expected, was a bundle of nerves and no fun to be around. However, I was definitely less scared than I had been the year before. On the drive to the race start the year before I felt like I was headed to meet the Grim Reaper, and by the time we began walking to the beach to begin, I felt like I did when I was told I would be having my first baby by C-Section, RIGHT NOW. Total panic-ville. But this year I was calmer. Last week I watched Jonathan something something--a US Olympian gymnast say that he was able to calm down before competing by telling himself it was "just another day of gymnastics." So I just kept repeating that to myself--Just another day of gymnastics. Just another day of gymnastics. I know you're thinking I should have replaced the word gymnastics with the word triathlon, but frankly, that word made my heart pound wickedly, so I didn't.
I went straight to the porta-potties when I got to the race site because I noted there wasn't really a line yet. The result of the porta potty trip wasn't satisfactory, so I knew I would have to make another trip--or three-before the race began. I found Ange in transition. We chatted and tried to stay calm. Then I went back to the porta potties to wait in line again. When I finished going to the bathroom I simply walked out of the john and got in line again. It was a good 20 minute wait, and I knew where I'd want to be in 20 minutes. So that was my early morning. In line, smelling the sweet wholesome goodness of porta potties filling up with pre-race jittery shit.
I exited the bathroom just as they were closing transition. I raced in, grabbed my wetsuit, cap and goggles, and headed to the beach. Ange and I were wave 10, so it would be awhile before we began.
The time actually went really fast. I took in a Gu and chatted nervously with the women around me. Finally we entered the water. I got right up to the front and to the right. Ange was right next to me. We said good luck to each other about ten times. I felt as if I would never see her again--as if we were both going on some long, long trip--and it was questionable whether we would both survive to see each other again. I almost felt sad. Weird, huh?
And then we were off! Ahhh! Finally I could let go of all of my worry and just go! My first ten strokes were so light--I felt I was just skimming the water's surface. Ten more strokes and that party was over. My breathing was labored. I had to keep trying to separate myself from a girl swimming exactly parallel to me who kept clonking me on the arms. I almost smashed straight into the second buoy instead of swimming by it. Argh. Here we go!
The water was warm. I felt I must be sweating and I suddenly felt thirsty thinking about it. Fuck. It was going to be a warm day. The morning had been cool, but I knew the heat was coming. There was no denying that now.
There were a lot of buoys. I kept thinking this MUST be the buoy we turn at to head into shore, but no, it was just another little one, ushering us deeper and farther into the lake. Finally I saw the BIG orange triangle ahead and Yes! people were turning!
I was now mixed in thoroughly with the stragglers from previous waves. The caps were mostly pink and light green--the two waves before us--but there were a few yellows too--women who had started 20 minutes before us. Wow. That's a long swim for them...
Then I saw the beach. THE BEACH! and then it hit me again, the beach... no... not the beach! I wasn't ready for the swim to be over. I love the swim. I am fast in the swim. I am not sucking wind violently in the swim! I feel good--don't put me on that damn bike! no!
But the swim always ends. At moments like that I think Alina has it just right. Why do the other two disciplines when I love the swim the most?
I stumbled out of the water. I began my run to transition. I hard Mark (Ange's Mark) and the hub. shout--Go Mary! The run was a single file path, and these two women from previous waves were ahead of me. I was, at first, polite, but then I said Excuse ME! very loudly and shouldered my way past. Don't yet hate that? Stay to the right if you sense someone wants to pass you! For crying out loud!
Anyway. Swim Ranking:
5/101 in AG
153/1900 OA (not sure how many competitors--I head about 1900 actually competed.)
T1 was fine. No major mishaps. The run to the bike could've been faster, that's all. T1 time: 2:29. Rank: 12/101 in AG
The bike. The course starts out hilly, then gets really hilly, and then flattens out a bit for a nice, pleasant middle portion. Unfortunately, you must repeat the hilly portion that you began with at the end, as it's an out and back type of thing. This is a big fat, bummer. In the last 10 miles of the bike you just want to grind it out and get it done. This course forces you to slow down and contemplate the fact that your average miles per hour is getting SLOWER. argh!
56 miles is a long way in my book. I had moments where I thought, God! This is taking for f-ing ever! I am only at mile bleep bleep! You must be kidding me!
I rode with two men the whole way. One was short and dark with a nice silver Cervelo. He didn't look at me once, even though we played cat and mouse the entire ride. Because this was an Ironman event we had our names on our bibs. I think this guy's name was Iain. I spent several 20 second bursts passing him, but I still can't be sure I was reading it right. I wanted to ask, but he seemed pretty intent on ignoring me. The other guy was wicked tall and rode a bright yellow bike. Every time he passed me I thought, Man! He is twice the height I am on my bike! I couldn't make out his name because his bib was turned around, but he was pleasant and he smiled a few times as he passed or I passed.
I passed many, many women on the ride, which was nice. This is, of course, because I was a part of the last female swim wave. There literally were no women behind me except those in my wave. Two 35-39 AG women passed me early in the bike. One of them was named Robyn and the other Laura(I read their bibs). I made a mental note to try to catch them on the run.
The bike ended FINALLY. I averaged 19.3 mph. My goal had been 19.5-- so pretty close. I had forgotten how hilly the first and last 10 miles of the ride was, so I was still pretty pleased with my ride.
Bike stats: 2:54:19
T2 was FAST! I got in and out of there in 1:35. I was pretty psyched about that.
T2 rank: 2/101 AG
The run. I knew from the minute I got onto the course that it was going to be a tough one. It was hot. Actually, it wasn't that hot. I think it was in the mid to upper 80's in the sun. Here in New England, though, we have had two weeks straight of misty, cool wet. My body was not acclimated to nor happy about the heat.
I tried to take in a Gu. Uck. I did it, but I felt sick. About two miles into the run I passed Robyn. One down. About 2.5 miles in I passed Laura. How many were still ahead of me? Ange, of course, but how many more?
At the turn around I saw Mark and Andy. They were loud and encouraging--but at this point I felt like absolute ass. I was slowing with every mile. I decided my goal for the second loop would be to just not walk. I heard Jesse, Cait, Pat, Courtney and Chrissie, my QT2 team, cheering me as I went through the first loop too. I tried not to look as bad as I felt.
During the second loop I spent a lot of time just telling myself I was doing great, that whatever happened was fine, and that I just had to finish. I could feel blood blisters forming on the sides of my big toes. They squished in my shoes. Argh. It was becoming a definite, bona fide sufferfest. Good bye hopes of 5:15!
I was so happy when I made the turn to finish, I wanted to holler aloud. I didn't have the umph to do that though, so I just kept trudging. At the end I duked it out with a 40-44 women. She was awesome and just wouldn't let me pass. It kept me moving. Thank you, woman, whoever you are!
Final run time: 1:50:03 8:24 pace. (LAME x 1000)
rank: 8/101 in AG
Final overall stats:
47/449 females OA
36/424 female amateurs
Details of getting a Clearwater Slot in my next post!