Wow--that last post generated a lot of response! Thanks to all who contributed. I took away quite a bit from the discussion, and it affected not only how I raced this weekend but also my interpretation of those races.
Here's what I decided after reading and digesting all of your comments: during my final races of the season I just needed to compete. That may sound obvious. Of course I'm just going to compete. Duh..
But what I mean is that my intention was too focus on racing people--and not so much on the time/watts/mph/pace data I have been so focused on this season. Instead, I just wanted to race--see a girl in front of me and try to catch her. Pass a guy on the bike and try to stay ahead of him. Make it hurt. I love that shit.
At the start of last weekend I had three races remaining in my season: Lobsterman Oly, the Dover/Sherborn Boosters Sprint Tri the next day, and the CELT Sprint Challenge the weekend after that.
As of today, two down.
I was most nervous for Lobsterman. It is a big Maine race--the last big one of the season. All my friends were there (except Stacy. We missed you!), and I have done it every year for four years, so it is easy to compare one year's performance to the next. I have been focused on this race--maybe even more focused on it than I was for Timberman. I really wanted to do well. The other two races were/are like dessert. Little hometown sprints. I love those, but I don't get so nervous for them.
The short version is that both races this weekend went swimmingly.
Or maybe not swimmingly. The swim portion of each race was less than stellar in terms of my actual times... but because I am ONLY focusing on competing, and not the TIMES, I will still say they went swimmingly.
My bikes and runs went great, and more importantly I had fun, and I raced hard, and I placed well. I finished Lobsterman 5th overall and 2nd in my AG, and for the Dover/Sherborn Tri I was first overall.
It was my first triathlon win. I was so excited I won I almost peed my pants when I found out. Wahoo!
Now for the LONNNGGGGG version of the races.....
Andy and I dropped off the kids at my in-laws on Friday night and headed up with the puppies to Maine.We debated leaving the puppies with my in-laws, but then we decided we just really wanted to show them off at Lobsterman. They are so damn cute! (No comment that it was harder for us to leave the puppies than the kids.... )
Anyway. We got up sort of late to Maine, and so we had to move fast to get to bed at a reasonable hour. We turned lights out by 10:30 (still too late) but wouldn't you know that the puppies would not let us sleep. Hazel was pissed. She wanted out of that crate. GOD DAMN! I didn't get to sleep until after one, and then I woke up at three to take them out to pee. Great idea to keep the puppies with us, huh?
Oh well. We arrived early to the race site and got ourselves registered and ready to race. We got caught up with friends who were racing, and of course I found Ange and Alina. (Alina was in a relay--the swimmer, of course!) I didn't really get to warm up because I was too busy socializing and taking care of the puppies. Hmmm. So far I wasn't doing well considering I cared very much how I did in this race!
We donned our wetsuits and I kissed Andy goodbye. He was two waves ahead of me, so I knew I wouldn't see him until the race ended. Ange and I did our usual push our way to the front routine. The water, which was so freaking cold last year, was quite pleasant considering it was the ocean in September. 61 degrees!Positively bathwater!
I have only swum three times in the last three weeks. So I was kinda worried about how the swim would go. To be honest, my not swimming recently was a bit of an experiment. My swim seems to never change. I wondered--what if I just stopped training? Would it change then? And by how much?
I got my answer at Lobsterman, and the next day at Dover.
It changed. And not for the better.
I must train the swim. Or I suck on the swim. The end.
Oh well. Good to know, anyway!
I will say I felt great in the water. I was cruising along, passing people. I found my friend Anne and tried to stay on her feet. I lost her a few times, but mostly I kept her in my sights. I thought my swim had gone very well, but when I clicked my watch getting out... gasp. choke.
I was a full minute and twenty seconds slower than last year! Cripes!
Oh well. Lesson learned! And furthermore, I was NOT focusing on the times, right???
I got through T1 as fast as possible. I couldn't get my wetsuit over the damn chip, as usual. I couldn't buckle my helmet because my hands were frozen. Argh.
But then I was on the bike. A girl with a big fat 40 on her leg passed me immediately.
I. DON'T. THINK.SO.
I passed her back.
She passed me back.
I decided she was toast. TODAY I was competing. I blew her away and didn't see her again.
From then on it was mostly a pass-fest. Our wave had gone off second to last. The roads were thick with riders by the time we got out there. People were blocking big time--and I was pissed. I kept shouting on your left! Move! A few guys got pissed and tried to pass me back. Most of them just let me go. I meant business. No one was passing me today.
Except. At one point a young blonde girl with an R for relay passed me. Oh, I wanted to catch her, and I spent the bulk of the rest of the ride trying to do so. At one point on a pass she said, I'm only a relay! No worries! To which I responded-- But I still want to beat you of course! She laughed and I passed. She passed me back like 20 seconds later. And so it went. Toward the end of my ride my friend Mary Lou passed me. Mary Lou is an incredible rider--. I mean it. She is incredible. I really, really wanted to stay with her but she was just hauling. We passed back and forth a few times, and then I let her go. Damn! Passed twice today! Not good! And then my friend Anne passed me too! Triple Damn! And where was Ange? I wanted to catch Ange! I never did catch Ange. But I still had an awesome time on the bike. I beat last year's time by two minutes and forty seconds. My bike was the strongest leg of my race this year for sure--even if Anne, and the cute blond relay girl, and Ange and Mary Lou all beat me.
And then onto the run. As you know, the run has been plaguing me lately. I really needed and wanted this run to go well. I had blasted the bike as best I could, but I didn't care. I still wanted a great run.
I didn't take my Garmin. I just need to run, and run hard. I heard my friend Anne's name announced when I was in T2. She was just heading out on the run. I could get her! I ran out of T2 and saw her in the distance and I put a target on her back. Could I get her? Could I get her? Finally, at about 1.5 miles into the race I passed. She shouted encouragement. Thank you, Anne! But now I was running scared. Would she pass me back? And where was my friend Erin? She would be on my ass any moment now--I just knew it! And where was Ange? Why hadn't I seen her? How far ahead of me was she?
I didn't look at my watch. I just ran as hard as I could. And in the end? I was only 12 seconds slower than last year on the run! Running scared and running to pass worked! After having such poor run times all summer I thought FOR SURE it would be slower run. But it wasn't! And not only that, I PR'd the course by a minute and forty seconds--even with my sucky swim! Wahoo!
Final finish time: 23:20 for the swim, 1:11 flat for the bike (21 mph) and 44:58 for the run. Total time was 2:21:41. I placed 2nd AG to Ange (who took second overall) and 5th overall woman. I was 40th overall with both men and women. I might be most proud of that. This is a competitive race, and there were 600 individual racers!
After the race we headed to Ange's to party for a bit, and then we headed home so I cold get ready to RACE AGAIN!
I will write that race report tomorrow, though. This post is getting too long already! The important thing to know about the next day's race is that I won! I won! I won! ueueueueueu!
I leave you with a few pictures from Timberman. Thanks, Mike! I love these pictures!
On the run.
And this is the W40-44 podium at Timberman. We are all holding our maple syrup.
Dover Sherborn RR tomorrow!