Monday, February 9, 2009
Cape 10 Miler Race Report and Maine Masters' Swim Meet Report
Cape Mid-Winter 10 Mile Classic
I love this race because it's in my hometown in Maine. This year a whole troupe of my runner/tri friends were running it. I know I always say it, but this group of friends is a good one. I love coming home to them.
This is the beginning of the race. We were all clustered together and it was impossible to really run. It took at least a minute to get out of it and run free.
I am in the center in the blue jacket. Behind me in blue is Tim, a tri friend, and to his left is Mike, another good tri friend. Both are doing IMLP this year. Just behind Mike is a tall man in red; that's Ange's husband, Mark. Ange is right beside me, but it doesn't look like her in this picture. In the colorful jacket and hat just behind Mark is a friend from high school and a fellow triathlete and swimmer, Steve. Missing in this picture, but close by, are Stacy, another good tri friend, and Jeff, Ange's little brother. Every single one of us finished within two mintues of each other. Neat, huh?
The first half of the race is very hilly, especially mile 2. Still, this part is fast because the downhills are as steep as the uphills. Despite being in that clusterfuck of people in the beginning, I managed to take it out in 7:02. The first mile is largely downhill, so I wasn't too alarmed, even though I was aiming for a 7:15 pace. My big goal was to stay ahead of the men--all named above--until the very end. I knew I wouldn't beat Ange, so I let her go in the first mile.
Here is Mike (in the red) just after the first mile. Doesn't he look fast?? And, yes, importantly, I am ahead of him. Ba haha.
When I was just about at mile 2 I looked at my watch and realized that I had pressed stop instead of lap. Damn! So mile 2 pace was a mystery. I turned back on the watch. Damn. Damn. Damn.
I knew I was keeping a fast pace (for me)--between 7:10 and 7:20 per mile. I worried a bit that I would crash. I haven't done any tempo or speed work, and so therefore didn't feel it would be right if I could hold 7:15s, which was my goal. But I figured if I crashed, I'd crash. Better to be aggressive and try to hold on, than to hold back and not be able to make up for lost time.
Miles 7-9 of this race are just torture in my opinion. They gradually go uphill and it's just unrelenting. Plus you're out on a main strip, and there are no twists or turns to look forward to. I was still holding just under 7:15s, though, so I began to have faith that I could finish up this baby with strength and style. None of the men had passed me. I was all good.
At mile 8 I heard a familiar voice behind me. It was Mark, Ange's husband. Rats! Could I hold him off? I managed to stay just ahead of him until about 9.5, which is when he made his move. Double Rats! Not only that, Jeff, Ange's brother was with him. Triple Rats! Beat by two of them! Argh! Mark shouted at me to stay with them--but they were sprinting and I was just toast. Don't you hate it when people tell you to come with them? I was like--well, yeah, I WOULD come with you if I COULD. What-you think I WANT you to beat me??? (kidding. I still love you, Mark... :)
I picked it up as best I was able, and hoped to God the others weren't close behind. They were....
Ange finished up first, of course. Here she is, all in black, storming into the finish. Next was Jeff, her brother, and then Mark.
Here's Jeff, in the shades, finishing up in just over 1:12.
Mark was only a few seconds behind. He's in the red and blue. Next I came in, flipping exhausted, but totally excited that I had held off the other men. I crossed the line, hugged Ange, and then turned to see that Mike and Tim were just behind me! The six of us all finished within one minute of each other. Crazy. Mike is in the red, and Tim was just barely behind him in the blue. Also pictured are Stacy (smiling!), Steve, and my new friend Erin in the red.
After the race Ange and I showered in the locker room of our old high school, and then came out to discover that we had placed 2nd and 3rd respectively in our AG! Yeah! This race is notoriously competitive, and neither of us has placed in the past, even with faster times than we ran this year, so this was a pleasant surprise.
After that, Ange and I got lunch. That was the best part of the day of all. Thanks, Ange.
This last weekend I went to a Maine Masters Swim Meet. What a trip! What I have to say about the meet is this: wow. swim sprints hurt. I had forgotten what it's like to go into anaerobic debt like that! My longest event took just under three minutes, but each event, no matter how short, flipping hurt like hell!
Once again a whole bunch of my Maine tri/runner friends were there: Ange, Jeff (Ange's little bro), Steve--and this time Alina, too and my new friend Ted. Mark (Ange's husband) and Mike were there too with kids in tow, to cheer us on. Mike is a God with the camera, and he took a billion pictures, so this post will be rich with photo!
First off, you should know that I wore the most ballsy blue, sparkly suit. Swimmers aren't a showy lot, that's for sure, so I stuck out completely. My thinking? If not now, WHEN. It's all apart of the mid-life crisis. I'm almost 40. How many more years will I be able to wear a shiny blue suit with pink straps? Not many, my friends. Not many.
Here I am, shiny and proud:
Right after the meet I shot a rock video.
I warmed up for about 800 yards. I felt pretty groggy. The day before Ange and I had taken a bike class with our tri friends (Tim, Mike, Stacy, a bunch of others we knew) and rode for 2.5 hours on Peak's trainers. Then we ran 3 miles. Later that day, Alina and I went out to eat and had an amazing feast at Street & Co in Portland--we're talking apps, dinner, dessert, several glasses of wine, coffee... the works. It was awesome. (Thanks, Bean.) Anyway, after our feast I went home to my parents' house, where I was staying for the weekend, and went straight to bed. It was like 8:30 p.m. (You must remember I had no KIDS with me. Time to catch up on sleep, baby!) I slept until 7:15 the next morning--so we're talking close to 11 hours.
In short, I wasn't feeling too perky.
Add to my lack of perk a big dose of paralyzing fear.
I was not scared of the pain, or of swimming, or any of the events. I was scared of diving off the blocks. I haven't been in a swim meet since I was seventeen years old. That would be -- ummm -- 21 years ago. Diving off the blocks isn't something you do unless you're in a meet, so that's right, it had been 21 years since I had stood on a block and attempted that kind of a dive. Those suckers are really high up. Am I getting wimpy in my old age? BLAHH!
I dove off the blocks a few times in warm-up. The first time I went so deep I could have licked the bottom of the deep end, and I didn't come up for like a half hour. Not pretty. By the third or fourth dive I was doing slightly better. Then I found out that for the backstroke competitors are no longer allowed to put their feet in the gutter to push off on the start. DOUBLE BLAHHH! I tried a few back starts, and frankly, I know I looked positively demented. I did a back flop each time. So not smooth.
Okay! The meet! I've blathered on for so long now, I think I will just say this:
I did seven events. That was way too many. I was really tired. duh.
I loved watching my friends swim. Ange swam a billion events and did things like swim the 100 fly in 1:12 and the 50 fly in 30. My friend Alina did a 1:07 in the 100 fly and she broke 30 in the 50 fly. My friend Steve did a 53 in the 100 free and a 24 in the 50 free. Jeff, Ange's little brother, did a 52 in the 100 free and a 23 in the 50 free. Do you HAVE ANY IDEA HOW FAST THOSE TIMES ARE?
Wicked, wicked fast.
My times were not so fast. Still, I pretty much think I am a swim goddess worthy of worship.
Here are my times:
200 IM-- 2:50
100 free -- 1:10
100 back --1:19
100 IM --1:21 (that's kinda lame)
50 fly --36
50 back --37
50 free --32
None of those times compare to what I did in high school. But whatever. They're fast for a 38 year old mom of three! Plus, I was wearing a shiny blue suit with pink straps. Nothing could keep my mood down.
After the meet we all went out to lunch at some super yummy organic sandwich place in Portland that Steve suggested. I love Portland. I love Maine. I love swimming. I love my Maine buddies. I am lucky to have these things--even if I can't live in Maine, my true home.
Here are a bunch of cool photos from the meet. Thanks, Mike!