Sunday, August 24, 2008

Columbia I "Tri-ed" but I am not sure I succeeded

At the swim

Well, the IronGirl results have not been posted but I am not sure I made the time cuts.

I easily made the swim in under an hour (okay easily is a little optimistic considering my time of about 48 minutes). My bike was 1:40 which was slower then last year (and in a moment you will see one of my excuses). My run of 3.4 miles in ~40 minutes was actually pretty good. Add in 25 minutes in the transition my time was 3:48. A whole 45 minutes slower than last year!!!

One of my major issues was a 20+ minute transition. I thought I had set the bar really low last year. But clearly I have no idea the level of my incompetence. In my defense I did feel it was necessary to stop my transitioning to go say "hi" to Tristan who was standing outside of the Transition area (he got up early and drove 30+ miles to see me the least I could do was say hi and give him a kiss with my fresh minty breath...yup at transition 1 this year I had a small mouthwash, this may have been this highlight of my hygiene in this race). Also, because this year I had a chair for the transition, I think I got a bit more comfortable when I was cleaning my feet. But I still have no idea how 20 minutes elapsed!

The swim was tough. I do not like swimming, I do not like open water, I am afraid there might be gators, snakes, sharks, snapping turtles... in MD lakes. In addition I have no upper body strength, so my swimming left quite a bit to be desired. And of course I had a waterproof camera that took the 1 km swimming journey with me. This camera does not know how to swim so I had to attach two swimming bobbers to it to ensure if I dropped it while handing to kayakers that it did not drown. The camera made it the entire way without complaining or drowning but it did create a lot of drag along the way. I think my water shoes also did not make me very aerodynamic, but alas I never worried about stepping on anything that might adversely affect my fall running.

Once I transitioned (after 20 minutes!!) I got on the bike, met up with Tristan and had two Krispy Kreme Donuts (and stowed one away for the mile 10 water stop). I like donuts (my favorite are fractured prune but they are not very neat or portable). The only minor sad note is that my Krispy Kreme's were no longer hot. But alas a donut is better then anything else that I had packed myself to eat. The bike course was just as brutal as last year. Uphills, downhills, more uphills and more downhills. My problem with biking is that I am afraid of falling so I go very slowly on the down. Then on the uphills I am not very powerful (recall I did not do any bike training since May), and for whatever reason my extensive running hill work outs (and even VT 100) did not prepare me well for this. Finally I got to the water station. I busted out my celebratory donut. I was on target for about a 1:30 bike (not great but not too bad). Well perhaps this was premature. Although in my defense some of my latter race slowness was contributed by helping this poor bicycler who had something jammed in her chains. I have PLENTY of stuff in my fanny pack, and my bikes pannier (recall I used to bike to work in which case I need alot of stuff just in case). I offered up an Allen wrench and she was able to get her chain back operational. Now the issue with helping is that she was 1/2 way up a really steep and long hill. I HATE HILLS and I am incompetent on them. I basically had to run my bike the remainder of this hill. During this run I think I determined there is a Mini-Everest in Maryland. By this time in the race my hamstrings (or is it quads) were angry because I had run alot of the hills pushing my bike (anything to get off the bike, arrggh!). So I did lose some time. But I knew I helped someone. This gave me the energy to get to the bike finish. A few more hills, one turn and pretty soon it was the homestretch. I pedaled my little heart out in excitement to get off my bike for good. As per Tristan I was moving as I finished the bike portion of the race.

Well finally when I made it and it was off to the run ( although not very fast since it took me 4 minutes to do absolutely nothing except drop off my bike which I WAS SO HAPPY to get away from). I think in the future I need to attach a camera to my head to see what I actually do because I suspect this transition time may be in the lowest 95th percentile.

The run (my "sport") went very well. It is a pretty course and on a surface I like (macadam). I do have to confess I spent about 10 minutes in the bathroom that had running water along the course. During this break I was able to use the potty, wash my face with soap and was my arms with soap as well. I was probably the freshest smelling competitor at the finish. If only freshness was the goal!

Finally I was running along the lake, hearing the music and there was the finish line. A few photo's later and I crossed it!

After finishing, I thought my husband had agreed to meet at Ulman Cancer Research Team in Training Tent where I was going to meet one of Tristan's co-workers and his daughter. Tristan was not there, but I met Julie, her Fiancee Brock, Len (Tristan's Co-worker) and his wife. We chatted and ultimately Tristan showed up about 15 minutes later. Once Tristan got there, I went up the hill to get some food. As I was heading back to Tristan, I ran into Julie and one of her friends from the Ulman Cancer Research to the awards ceremony, it happened to be my new friend from the course whose bike was having issues. She was really appreciative. Even if my 3:48 causes me a DNF (I actually have no idea what the time limit it), this is still a win in my book because I burned the calories, had a great time, met lots of nice people and was even able to help someone. In the IronGirl it really is not about the competition but about the experience and the friendships and thus in my mind this was a really sweet victory!

P.S. tommorrow I will post some pictures to this report and some to a new post (I have 250+ of which 50 include me along various portions of the course:-)

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