This Sunday I did the CELT Sprint Tri in my hometown in Maine. The big news for me is that I placed third overall! Okay, it was a wicked small race and some of the competition stayed home because it was small and because it was pouring the whole race and a total mudfest on the run, but still. I placed third. And if I were a guy? I would have placed fourth. And I was ninth overall. And I was first in my age group. And I really suffered on the bike for most of it. And I definitely suffered on the muddy slogfest run (which was so fun).
What this says to me is that I need to do a few more small time races. Small time = good time = good place = good feeling. I am a small time girl. haha
Also placing well was Team Triple Threat (also known as Team Wilson/Perez). They placed third in relays--losing only to two all male, totally scary fast corporate teams. Triple Threat consists of scary fast swimmer and best high school buddy Alina, her biker brother Lorenzo, and my hub, the runner.
I knew it would be a wet one. Hurricane Kyle was passing through town, and he did not disappoint. I was still psyched. The run portion of the race was on grass and trail, and there's nothing more fun than a hugely muddy messy run! I need to take up Xterra. Anyway.
The swim was tame. It was in the high school pool, and only 425 yards. I was, at first, very disappointed. I wanted to be in the first heat with Alina and two very fast women with whom I wanted to compete. They have both won the race in the past, and maybe it is for that reason that they were placed with the relays in the first heat. The rest of the field started in later heats.
It stung to not be considered "good" enough to be placed with these women. I was bummed. However, this did make me determined to race well and really get close to them--if only in time, not person.
Alina's heat, the first one, went off and I cheered for her like mad, and also for Katie and Erin, the two women with whom I wanted to compete. Both Katie and Erin went to high school with Ailna and me, but they are several years older than we are. Great people. Anyway. Alina did her usual thing, kicking everyone else's butt in the pool and making everyone look bad. She finished the 425 yards in 5:15. Pretty awesome. There was another heat of relay people, and then I was off.
There were these two women in my heat that were SO FIT looking, I wanted to cry. I had seen them warm up, and they were amazing swimmers. I tried not to appear too intimated, but man, they were intimidating! When we were off, I didn't even try to stay with them. I lapped the woman in my lane twice, but these two women, swimming one lane over, lapped me almost twice~! Jessie, (I later learned her name), the faster of the two (who I also learned were sisters) finished in under five minutes.
I had a good, strong swim. The only problem is that I wasn't positive I was done at the 425 and I had to pause and scream, "Am I done?" Duh. I finished in just under six minutes, which is a real improvement for me. Last spring I did 400 yards in a race in just over six. My recorded time is 6:15, but that includes the run to T1. I was the 13th fastest swimmer of the day. Alina was the fifth fastest. And yes, that includes the guys!
Onto the bike. I was going to eat this bike leg alive. I was going to suffer. I would not let myself down this time! I did not straddle the bike and start, I mounted like a normal person, swinging my leg over the bike as I began to move. Enough of this granny crap! I bounded up the hill and first off passed those two fast swimmer sisters. Yeah! Take that perfect body people!
A few minutes into the bike I was passed by a guy. This, I decided, would not do. No one would pass me today. That was the rule. I tried to get him back, but basically I just remained behind him by a quarter mile trying to catch him the whole race. At one point I got just close enough to make the pass and he turned to me as I wheezed away and said, "Does my back tire look flat?" The dude wasn't even trying! I coughed out, "No, it's fine." Then he took off again. I think he slowed down just to ask me that!
The rain pelted down on us. It was a Lake Placid 08 kind of day. Relentless, hard rain. I loved it. (Good for a sprint, not for an Ironman, I will add.)
The 14 miles ended almost instantaneously it seemed. It's obviously been awhile since I have done a sprint! I finished in 41:40, which works out to be over 20 mph, and that time also includes most of T1 and T2, so maybe a bit faster than that. Still much slower than I'd like, but better than usual! I was the 21st bike overall, including the dudes.
The run was a blast! I heard Alina, Andy, Erin and Katie cheering for me as I began. They were already done with the race, as they started in the first heat.
It was a slippery, soaking wet mudfest. I continued to trail the guy I tried to catch on the bike for the whole run. It was frustrating. He was just out of my reach. If frustrating for me, it must have been SO annoying for him. At every turn I was right there, like a little pest that wouldn't get away. The trail was tree-rooted and narrow, and it was a little nuts to train and pass anyone anyway, but still, I'm sure he wanted to tell me to leave him the fuck alone! At the end of the race, with a 1/2 mile to go, he'd had enough. He took off. In my head I screamed, Wait! Wait! and I tried to catch him, but to no avail. Oh well. He had been a very good rabbit for almost the entire race. Thanks, buddy! I think his name was Chris. I checked in the results. He placed third for men.
Post race: Andy and Alina were there cheering me in. Such a great feeling. Thanks, guys! They stayed and chatted with me in the rain. I then found my rabbit and thanked him, and he was very gracious and smiley. Best of all, Jessie, the woman of perfect body and scary fast swimming fame, found me. She asked if I had been at Lobsterman, she thought she had seen me there, etc. Then she said, "YOU ARE AN AWESOME BIKER." I was stunned. Then I thought, well yes, I AM faster than you, of course. But it still felt good. She was scarily intimidating at the start of the race, I had beat her by A LOT, and she thought I was a good biker! This made my day. haha!
A great race.
Here are a few pics:
Andy on the run. It was WET. I believe the hub has quite enviable quads.
and Me on the run.
Andy and me--all smiles after a good, wet race.
Talking to the man who placed third, who I tried to catch the whole race, but who I, alas, never did. The trickster had another gear that he shifted into in the last 1/2 mile. I did not.
The legs looked much worse up close! Really!