Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Gear West Duathlon Race Report

Ok got some pics and actually there is a Video up at the finish so you could watch yourself finish. Sorta fun. Considering i passed a gal within 100 Yards of the finish. I never miss a chance to run down a drop shot.

So the race. This, other than a fall du Iron girl, is the only one i usually do. Though to be honest i sorta like them and with the cold springs we are having I may try to do a few more next year. Anyways. The race is not typical. This year Sean, the RD, dubbed it "MUD SWEAT AND GLORY." Every year it is usually a mud fest on the ball fields and orchards of Orono Middle school. This year we got lucky. There was soft grass for sure but no shoes were lost, stepped out of, and as far as my race goes i didnt STEP into anything that really made me say " UGH." That being said there were some LEAPS over gullys and some tests of the ol' hamstring as you jumped to avoid a deep wet area.

Drew promised me this was waist up. oops. I was sorta pretending i had muscles to pose. PRETEND being the key word here. Pre race fun with the best shop in town. ( or any town for that matter)

Something was funny. I am not sure what:) 
 So run 1: You start on a road the then run about 1/2 mile before you jump back into the fields. Photo below is run 1, lots of running in and out of grass and well...lots of people go off course:) Its marked but the 2nd run you have to sorta pay attn otherwise you end up elsewhere. Been there.
Run 1 was good for me. I took it out hard and held it and thought " ok lets see what happens. " I know in theory you should hold back but that just doesnt really seem to enter my mind in a race.
Transitions were actually decent. My new bike is lower and so the T issue isnt really getting in and out its the getting the shoes on and not falling over.

Just out of T1 with Sara on my heels. 
 So Bike! ITs about 18 miles, not quite 30k i think. Super rolling and super fun. Its one where you need to always keep the gas on bc there are ample chances to rest as in the photo below.
Sara ( Yay Dartmouth grad) told me before the run that she was going to " sit right behind you the entire race." and That she did! Legally. On the bike she was in front, besides, behind...sorta a nice thing to ride legally with a nice person. Luckily i didnt get all Dartmouth chit chat with her bc i couldnt breathe. I would pass her up and she would PASS me down. All good. I thought i lost her then within 2 miles she was right there. Oops:) I think she put the gas on bc i didnt slow up.

Grimace of Sarah is coming to get me, pedal hard on the downhill! 

I knew that there were many women ahead of me. I didnt know how many but i was hoping for top 10. This race is super competitive and there is always a strong field. My friend and excellent triathlete Julie Hull was there and had blown by me on the bike and i knew i didnt have too much chance to catch her but why not try? 

So as I started the 2nd run I just thought " ouch, are we done yet?" I passed claire which felt wrong, but   she sure helped me run fast at the start of the run but i think she could hear me breathing on her so she may have been happy. She slapped me on the butt and said " go get it." And then i saw Andrea up ahead. I was closing but i also knew Sarah ( Go Dartmouth) was close to me too. This run snakes in and out so you see people behind you. AWFUL! You had better get moving:) So the finish of the run goes around a track and i got closer to andrea but she was not budging. As we did a 180 on wet grass and got to the walkway behind the tennis courts ( Asphalt) I hit it and just went for it up the slight incline. We turned Left into the Finish chute and I never looked back. Super happy with that, and knock on wood i could walk the next day so it was worth it. 

I finished top AG and 10th :) Thanks to Andrea there was a girl who doesnt race Elite and usually races AG and i think i got her by about 1 second. Hard when you dont know your competition. But that is her choice i guess...hmm.....If i hadnt sprinted i may not have gotten 10th.

So now its on to IRONMAN TRAINING:) Its always good to know that while those short ones HURT, they are over SO FAST. Grass is always greener isnt it. And i am lucky that i like them and seem to have some speed in my legs at 48 years young. 

Thanks to the volunteers, thanks especially to John at Gear West, Hannah and Sean for all the help with Penelope the new bike and special thanks to Chris Balser the BIKE FIT GURU bc he and I spent ALOT Of time together last week. I think we are close to finding a good fit. 

Best news is that our weather seems to be warming up , sorta. I will believe it when i see it but at least the forecast is for 60-80 not 40-60. 

Thanks for reading:) Stay healthy and be well!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Gear West Duathlon; A look back!

I dont have any photos yet from the Duathlon yesterday so i will start out with what i have been thinking lately. I miss Rich:) I miss his enthusiasm, his ability to not take life too seriously, and his always happy demeanor on the bike. " Any day riding is a good day." With this always on my mind I have found it easier to race because i know how lucky i am to be riding my bike. Or moving at all. Sometimes this makes me want to stay in bed and not get up. It makes me think that I dont HAVE TO DO THIS racing stuff. Or this Ironman stuff. I could just be happy riding my bike around and running if i feel like it. 

But then I always remember that I GET TO DO THIS. And Pressure is something i put on myself. When i used to play tennis i had a lot of pre-competition anxiety. It carried into my game bc with tennis,   you can really turn yourself inside out if your head isnt where it should be. Luckily with triathlon this doesnt happen to me. Once the gun goes off I do my part. IF i am lucky enough to pass someone, good for me. If someone is lucky enough to be trained well and fit to pass me, then good for them. It may not be anything to do with my performance, they are having a good day. These head games i used to play in tennis have really helped me accept my performances and the memory of Rich has sure helped me enjoy that i get to be out there. 

I will write more once i get some pics from sunday. 

Rich at BOUS with me, he was practicing my finish

Rich with my sister waiting for me at IM Wisconsin. They had written TRUST on the road for me. To TRUST myself. 

And now a look back at some other GW du's
With STeve in a speedo, it was cold that day. I think this was  my first one.

ME, Kort and Karen showing off our mud.


Me, Marta, Jen post race maybe 3 yrs ago?