Monday, September 27, 2010
CELT Sprint Tri RR
I also found a picture of me running the final stretch of the race. My TriBike kit was still dirty from racing the day before, so I wore Lululemon instead. I love that top! I do look slightly unhappy in the picture, though.
I started my rest last week. I literally did nothing leading up to this race. It didn't matter, though. I was as psyched to race this weekend as I always am. There's nothing like a nice little sprint!
CELT Sprint Tri is put on by the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust and one of the race directors is my friend, Ted. I never want to skip this race because I know how hard he works to make it a good one. And it was a great race this year! Thanks, Ted!
Things have gone wrong for me in the past at CELT. In 2008 and 2009 it poured rain and it was freezing cold. In 2008 I competed against three women (Erin,Katie and Stacy) who were incredibly tough to beat. I managed to beat Stacy that year, but not the other two. I vowed I would get them in 2009. That did not happen! In 2009 I went off course on the run. I think this happened because I was slightly hypothermic from the rain and cold, but I can't be sure. It could have just been that I can be dumb when it comes to following directions. In any case, I lost to Katie again (EB didn't race) and also to my friend Stacy. I vowed that 2010 I would get everyone and win overall.
And I did!
Except that Erin, Stacy and Katie all didn't race! Oh boo!
Things did not go entirely right in this race either. On the bike I dropped my chain going downhill (how does one even do that???) and when I tried to correct it the chain got wedged between the cassette and the area where the down tube meets the sit tube. It was so stuck that I had to lay my bike sideways on the ground and yank at it to get it out. I lost time... I have no idea how much time. You know how it is in a race. I also got grease everywhere. My hands were a mess--and I had cut my finger when trying to release the chain, so blood mixed with the grease. Add to that a very snotty nose--and I was just a piece of work: bloody, greasy hands with a layer of snot atop them. Lovely!
Anyway. Back to the the beginning.
I dropped my puppies and kids with Alina before the race. (Andy was away this weekend.) Thanks, Alina! (Who else other than a very very very good best friend takes three kids and two puppies on so her friend can race--especially when she already has three kids of her own! Six kids and two puppies. No problem!)
I found my friend Mike when I arrived. We were racked next to each other, and we chit-chatted about competition. For him there were quite a few men who could give him a race--not the lease of which was Mike Caiazzo, a pro. For me? I knew that Katie and my friend Carrie were in relays. They are always big competition--competition I have yet to beat in any race. Erin, my next door neighbor growing up who is a sickly good cyclist, was not there. My friend Stacy, though she had signed up (turns out she was just too end-of-season burned out to do the race), was not there. My friend Martha, though she had signed up, was not there (apparently she had raced the day before and placed second overall!). Erin CM (another Erin) and Ange were not there--already starting their end-of-season rest the week before after Lobsterman.
No one was there.
At first this made me happy. This was my race to have! But then it dawned on me... What fun would it be to win without my usual posse of women there with whom I can compete? What glory is there in winning a race in which there was no one TO race?
I looked around me. Sometimes there are randoms at these small events that show up--randoms that turn out to be great competition. I saw a slight Asian-American woman with a disc wheel on her Cervelo. Ahhhh... maybe she would give me a fight?
I had to believe I had competition. Otherwise I wouldn't race hard enough, and my goal was to PR this race. I decided that I would beat disc girl and also my guy rivals: Mike, (not Caiazzo) who I had beat by a mere 8 seconds at Lobsterman the week before) and Brian, the younger brother of a swimmer friend of mine in high school. Both of those men could make me work. They were now my targets.
The swim is in a pool. I was not looking forward to this. My swim has been rather sucky lately, mostly because I have not been swimming--at all. For previous late season races I made excuses: the current must have been different this year; the swim was long. etc. But the pool doesn't lie. It's like a track. You can't excuse your way out of a poor pool swim.
The relay heat was first, and I watched my friends Steve and Peter crush their swims. (Peter's relay, which included Ted on the bike, went on to win. Steve's relay, which included his daughter, Leah, did awesome too. Leah is a trooper!) After their heat, it was a wait.
I was in wave 4 with Mike and Brian and Mike C (the pro). I decided to share a lane with Brian. I knew he was about my speed in the water. He would make me work it. Mike C was one lane over. I was curious to see how much he would beat me by. I didn't know where Mike M was.
We started and I was right: Brian and I were the same pace. Exactly. I mean exactly exactly. We swam stroke for stroke, turn for turn the entire freaking swim! This was nice--it did make me work. It was also a bit tough, though, since we were sharing a lane and going stroke for stroke. On the last length (425 yard swim) Brian let up a small bit. I swear he did this on purpose so I could get out first... So I beat him by 2 seconds out of the water, but I think he gave it to me. I also PR'd the swim. What was that about!? This was going to be a great race!
I got out of T1 faster than Brian and was on my way. I was hammering. I was averaging higher watts than I had all season long. I would not let Brian or Mike M catch me. I would not! There was a bit of wind, and I didn't actually feel very fresh or strong, but my power meter, like the pool, does not lie. I was having a great ride.
Until I dropped my chain. ARGHHH!
As my bike laid prostrate on the side of the road, me desperately trying to free her chain, me thick with panic and snot and grease, Brian zipped by. GOD DAMN! It was awhile longer before I finally got the chain released and re-positioned. I hopped back onto Mrs. Z and re-passed a bunch of guys who had passed me. But no Brian. He was gone.
When I entered T2 Brian was miraculously still there. Bummer about the chain! I saw you dropped it! he said kindly. And then he ran right outta there! Grrrrrr.....
I hammered after him. I could catch him! I stayed right on his butt. I was working hard. He didn't seem to be working at all.
The run is a 5k trail run. It goes up and down and twists and turns. It's actually a great trail, but definitely not a FAST trail. I worked as hard as I could to stay with Brian. He was my rabbit.--until, that is, we got within a 1/2 mile of finishing. Then he picked up the pace a bit, and I simply COULD NOT hold on. I didn't beat him to the line. He got me by about 30 seconds in the race, overall. Still, chasing him allowed me a 30 second PR on the run course! Thanks, Brian!
I ended up winning for women by 8 minutes. My swim, bike and run were all the fastest female splits of the day. That was nice--but again, I say, it would've been nicer had my posse been there. I ended up sixth overall for men and women, finishing just behind Brian, who was fifth. Mike M, who should have been in my wave, missed the swim start and began more than 10 minutes behind me in the following wave, which explained why I hadn't seen him in the race at all. Mike finished second overall to Mike Caiazzo, who beat everyone by whopping 11 minutes.
I had a great time--and a great day, despite the mechanical on the bike. I love that little race. I understand they might not have it next year--at least in late September when it has traditionally been held. That makes me sad. It has become a bit of a habit to race it.
And now---time to rest.
Now it's time to get fat.