My trip to Lake Placid to sign up is now wellllll into the past, but here are a few highlights:
- I got to see so many friends race and that was plain COOL.All my friends finished, and all of them did well, and all of them looked psyched and happy all day-- (at least until about mile 17 of the run, but let's be real, who looks happy at that point?)
- I worked the mile 4/17 water of the run, and that was also very COOL because I saw everyone close up. The problem with working at mile 17, though, is that people start to look plain exhausted by mile 17--even the pros. It's hard to escape the reality of IM when you see the glassy eyes of competitors who are trying not to despair that they still have to run nine more miles. I remember very well how I felt at mile 17 at CDA... and the looks and expressions of the runners at IMLP brought that memory right up to the surface. On a positive note I got to see the famous up close: the first, second and third place male runner, and the first and third female runner chose to take water from ME! It must be the way I shouted water in such an enticing way....(you just need to practice at home. It's kind of an art...)
- I spent a long long long time in line the next morning to sign up. There were rumors that there wouldn't be spots left after the volunteers finished signing up. I had volunteered, so I wasn't worried, but I felt bad for the people waiting in line. It turns out that everyone on site did get in, but there were only a handful of spots left after that, and it was sold out in one minute after going online. I'm not sure why LP is so popular compared to some of the other IMs. I loved CDA. Why doesn't CDA go as fast as LP?
On Friday night Andy and the kids and I headed up to Windham to meet Ange and her family so we could go their camp on Sebago Lake. Oh.... it was SO. SO. SO awesome. The kids played on the beach, Jordan and Noah tried waterskiing (Jordan loved it and actually was able to ski around the lake!), we had steaks and drinks and made S'Mores over a campfire. It was an awesome weekend. Their place is just completely awesome. Thanks, Ange!
On Saturday we left the camp and went to stay over Ange and Mark's house in Paris because the NEXT morning Ange, Mark and I were racing! (Andy was the official kid watcher, even though he was signed up to race. He gets like five billion points for that... Thanks, Andy. xo). We headed out to Bethel at the crack of dawn to get our packets and rack our bikes.
Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling to jazzed to race. The weekend had been relaxing and indulgent, and I just wasn't feeling psyched up to move my body as fast as a sprint triahtlon requires one to move. One good thing about this is that I wasn't really nervous for the race. I hate pre-race nerves. I actually ate enough for breakfast and ate again an hour before the race--which NEVER happens. I'm alwasy to geeked up to eat.
Before the race I was interviewed by Channel 8 news. I think I sounded like a dork, and I think they cut a ton out of the interview so in the end they had me saying like one sentence before they cut me out, but oh well. It was still a little cool. I then warmed up with my friend Mike. Our 15 minutes jog seemed long... not a good sign!
By the time I got down to the water the director was calling for everyone to get out. Warm up was over! Fabulous. So much for that! I got in anyway to do a few strokes, just so the water wouldn't shock me. The lake was warm, and honestly this race probably should have been wetsuit illegal. I wish it had been. I hate being hot when I swim.
Ange and I were in the third wave. All the men were ahead of us. This was kinda nice, actually, because when I passed a guy on the swim/bike/run, I knew I was not only passing him, I was already ahead of him by 4-8 minutes before the pass even happened. It also meant that if a guy passed me, I had beat him by a lot out of the water, and I still may beat him in the race. Finally, it also meant that if I passed a girl I could be pretty sure that she hadn't started after me (although it was possible, since there was one wave of relay women behind us). BUT MOST of the women started with me, so if I made it pass it was likely a legitimate, I am BEATING YOU pass.
Ange and I got right up front on the swim and when we were told to go we both pounded. I got away from all the other girls and just started sighting off Ange. This was a very bad plan. Ange started heading for a kayak instead of the first buoy. I followed her like a lap dog. Finally she stopped--looked up--talked to the kayaker and started heading back to the first buoy. Who KNOWS how much time we lost. Damn! Lesson here: Don't trust your BF to sight correctly. haha! We both started pounding again and soon passed all the girls and got back into our 1-2 position. Ange got farther and farther away from me (man is she fast!!) and soon I could no longer see her. When I finally got out of the water I heard the shout--2nd woman! which, of course, I had hoped to hear. Later I found out that although I WAS the second woman out of the water, Ange had kicked my ass by a huge amount of time. Actually, she beat everyone in the swim, even the male pro (Mike Ciazzo) who won the race by like five minutes. She is just a swimming stud.
My transition was tres slow. I just was a bumbling idiot. So far this season this was my first race shorter than a 1/2--and my first race where I didn't have access to wetsuit strippers. Have I mentioned how much I suck at getting my wetsuit off? It is seriously painful to watch. I fumbled onto my bike, and by this point a woman had caught up to me. Damn. I stepped on the gas and passed her immediately, but I cursed myself for being so slow in T1.
I knew the bike course was pretty flat, so I had decided to try to ride as evenly as I possibly could while maintaining my LT watts. This didn'thappen. I ended up averaging 10 watts below my LT watts for the ride. It makes sense to me that this is the best I could do (why should I be able to maintain LT watts for 45 minutes?) but I still had wanted to try it, while simultaneously not allowing my wattage to dip below 105 or above 250. My watts weren't crazy high, but my speed was faster than it has been, and this I must attribute to my fitting from Kurt. Thank you, Kurt! Anyone who belives an aggressive fit does not make a difference in terms of speed--is just wrong. It does. My bike split wasn't the fastest for women, (that goes to my friend Mary Lou--who is in her late 50s and still kicks everyone's butt on the bike), but it was fast for me. I was pleased. I was only passed twice on the bike course, by men. I was pretty psyched about that. There were no women in sight. Ange was far ahead of me--and who knows where the other women were. I imagined them right on my ass. I didn't dare to look.
T2 was faster than T1, but still not fast. Somehow I got grass in my mouth and was trying to spit it out while buckling my race belt and then I tripped. Hello, I am a loser! I got up and then made my way out onto the run course.
The first mile was sorta flat and fast. I did it in 6:45 and I felt pretty good. I was working, but not so hard that I couldn't hold pace. I passed a bunch of guys and started looking for Ange. Where was she? Could I make up enough time so that I could actually make her out in the distance? This became my run goal. The course turned and went onto a trail. I'm not a fan of trail. Trail is slow. Still, I tried to keep my cadence up and my attitude posistive. I was pretty sure I was securely in second. I just had to run well to hold my place, and I was running well. By mile three, though, I was pretty cooked. I knew I didn't have much left, but I imagined that there were girls right behind me who would pass me within feet of finsihing if I didn't hold onto my pace. The last 1/2 mile I got passed by one guy, and I was pissed. No one had passed me yet on the run. I tried in vain to get him--but to no avail. My pace was was it was. I couldn't speed up.
I finished in 1:24 and change, and Yes! I was the second woman! Ange had got me by a little over two minutes, and the next woman was three minutes behind me. A solid second place for me!
The best part of the day was when I got my 2nd place award .I had already received it and was walking back into the crowd when Noah ran out and said, "Hey! Mary is my mom!!" Everyone laughed. It was wicked cute.