This morning Jordan competed in her first triathlon. She was a rockstar out there. I'm basically bursting over with pride.
The triathlon was designed for kids -- with a 50 yard swim in an indoor pool, a one mile bike, and a 1/2 mile trail run. They placed the kids into five different heats based on age. Jordan was in the third heat with the 16 other 7 and 8 year-olds who were competing.
Here she is before the swim.
Jordan has been swimming with a USA team called the AAC, a club which she had to try out for, and which is pretty competitive. Since she joined she's become a very strong swimmer. I knew (and she did too) that she'd likely win the swim portion of the race. They pushed off and Jordan quickly took the lead. She did a fast flip turn at the wall, and extended her lead by a lot. I was just tickled and so proud, and also cheering like a crazy woman. She finished in 41 seconds. That's damn fast for a kid who is eight, and who didn't even start from the blocks!
I know you can't see her at all, but she's the tiny purple dot half way across the pool. The pool looks empty because she is so far ahead of everyone else. The rest of the crowd was still finsihing the first length.
Things didn't go quite as smoothly after the swim. She ran outside to transition, but it was POURING when she came out, and I think it threw her off a bit. She padded her way over, but then really struggled putting on her shirt, shorts and sneakers, because they were soaking wet. In transition, a girl caught up to her who had decided to just compete in her bathing suit and to forgo struggling into wet clothing. Finally Jordan was able to get on her bike, and she took off. The bikes at kids' races are awesome. There were baskets and fat tires--even a few training wheels! Jordan has a Trek Stormy-- a mountain bike that weighs about fifteen tons.
Lara and I stood by the Bike In and waited for Jordan to get back. We got soaked, but it was still great fun. Lara cheered for all the competitors streaming by.
She got a big medal and we went out to Bertucci's to celebrate. She had a great time racing, and wants to compete again, so I'm looking for more kids' tris for the summer. In the meantime, she'll compete in the pool. She has a meet tomorrow, and will swim the 100 free, 50 back, 50 breast and 50 fly. It will be an awesome Mom's Day present to watch her. I love racing-- but really, I love watching my kids race more. I can't tell you what the pride is like--. It's just awesome.
I've had two good rides this week. My weeks, lately, seem to be measured against the backdrop of biking. If I have a few good ride? Good week. A few bad rides? Breakdown. Mrs. Z holds the ropes these days. She has so much power over me, and I know she is just loving it, the brat.
She was good to me this week, though. We had a fast ride on Monday which picked up my confidence a bit after last week's fiasco ride. I felt strong after my days off and I only had to ride for three hours, which seems like a short jaunt these days. Even my T-run felt great.
Then ,on Thursday, I did a super long ride of 115+ miles. I was supposed to do 120, but a few wrong turns and come commuter traffic sort of wrecked my goal mileage. I was actually nervous to start this puppy. What if I sucked just as bad as last week? What if I crashed and burned again?
When riding long I have to load up Mrs. Z like a pack horse. I had five bottles, countless bars, salt tabs, phone, money, credit card, a couple mini-bagels with pb & j, tubes, tools, co2... I started as early as I could, because getting it all in before the kids get off the bus is tough. Sometimes that fact truly stuns me. I get them on the bus, jump on my bike, ride all day, and then jump off the bike and get them off the bus. And it's not like they have half days...
I actually left even earlier than the bus this for this ride. I left the kids with a friend and hit the roads at 8 a.m. What I forgot was the fact that 8 a.m. = commuter traffic. I tried to take a few new back roads, but ended up on dirt paths. Not good. In an hour or so I got clear, and headed west. Into the wind. And it was slow. And hilly. And I doubted.
But I trucked on. and on. through town after town. At one point there was a thunderstorm and the rain pelted me so hard I caved and held out in a Dunkin Donuts for a bit. But it passed, and I went on, steam oozing off my body and clothing as the day warmed up again and I dried out.
At one point I took a wrong turn and ended up going into farm country I had never seen before. I was a little bit despondent when I realized how far I'd come on the wrong road, especially since this wrong road had included about hundred killer hills. To reset my bad attitude I decided to get off the bike and pee. I found a wood patch off the road. I remember thinking it was probably full of poison ivy.
Mental note: if you think you are heading into poison ivy, find another place to piss.
This patch is on my hip. WTF? How did it get on my hip? I know it doesn't look that bad, but it itches like a m-f-er.
After my reset piss, I turned my bike around, not knowing I had just exposed myself to the IVY, and headed back down the hills I had ascended while on my wrong road. I got going FAST--like 40 mph fast.
And then I saw a pit--a huge sand pit and I had to MOVE over or direct hit direct hit! but I couldn't because there was a truck coming fast in the other direction and the road was narrow (as I said, farm country, winding roads) and I was FUCKED. I flew into the hole and my whole bike slammed and then jumped! I unlclipped, and ended up, somehow, upright. My heart was thudding like a hammer. The truck blazed off into the distance. Then I looked down. My handlebars! They were pointed down! I also noted I had lost two bottles--and the liquid in them. fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.
I couldn't get the handlebars back up. They were wedged down, and I didn't have the right sized Allen wrench to fix them. (stupid). I retrieved my bottles, sighed, and got on Mrs. Z. I'd just have to ride the rest of the way with my bars pointed toward the ground. No problem! So I looked like a tool and I had to sit straight up. No biggie. I was at mile 80. Forty miles to go.
Then my thirst kicked in. Problem is, I was short on time. Had to get to bus. Had to get to bus. Two hours and counting and where was I? How far did I have to go? No time for a water stop. NO TIME. I admit towards the end I started battling with myself. Water or kids? Water...... please water..... I thought of the stewardess on a plane reminding her passengers that they need to put the mask on themselves before their spawn... water water water water.
So why was this a good ride you ask? Because I finished it (without water). And I wasn't unhappy. I wasn't defeated. I got home, finally, and did a very short t-run before racing to the bus stop. I got my kids, and they offered to finish up my t-run with me. It was cute. We went another six minutes.