And the 2010 tri season is off . . .
That is what happened to me Sunday morning. I went to bed early and was sound asleep. Suddenly, or so it seemed, the “alarm” went off. I sprang out of bed and raced to the other side of the room (nearest outlet) to turn it off.
I remember being in a fog and thinking, “wow this came fast,” and “boy the room is awfully dark.”
I looked at the phone – still half asleep – and saw the “answer” and “decline” buttons. I pushed the decline button since it’s red, the same color as the “dismiss” button on the alarm app. But, then the alarm app came back on and I saw that it was only 1:50.
It took me a minute to put it altogether. The call was from Florida – a number not in my directory.
I crawled back into bed, hopeful I'd get back to sleep. Then, weirdly, not 10 minutes later, I heard a little “ting ting” letting me know I'd receieved a text. I wondered if it was related to the call.
It wasn’t. It was from some moron on Long Island, again, someone I don’t know.
The pre-tri sleep gods were clearly out to make me insane.
Now I was wide awake and I did little more than doze for a few minutes here and there until finally dragging myself out of bed at 5:30 when the real alarm did go off.
I ate, dressed, grabbed my bag, kissed my kids and husband and got in the car. I was tired, but felt pretty good otherwise. After all, I know the JerseyMan course from last year. So I felt pretty relaxed.
It was drizzling on and off, but nothing too bad. I arrived, parked, picked up my packet, got body marked and made my way to transition. I was early enough to get an end spot, gaining a little more room for my stuff.
About 15 minutes after arriving, the skies opened up. It was pouring. The spot under my bike filled up like a lake. My towel was soaked. My shoes and socks were in plastic bags, but everything else was drenched.
Eventually it let up and by the time they called us down to the beach for the warm-up swim and pre-race meeting, it was only lightly raining. I slipped into the water (70 degrees) for a warm up. And? Immediatley felt panicky. Oy. Will I ever feel comfortable in open water? Ever?!?
I stood in chest deep water and took several deep breaths, then started swimming again, and it was better. The announcer called us out of the water and the first two waves took off. Soon, it was my turn. I stood off to the right and off we went.
I surged forward with the crowd and started swimming when the water was about up to my waist. Again? Panic. Just for a few strokes, but still? What is my hang up here? I’ve done this now quite a bit. Grrrr!
But soon, I started feeling pretty good. I was actually bilateral breathing, the way I do in the pool and sighting pretty well. I swam around a bunch of women and rounded both buoys easily. Soon enough I felt my fingers scrape sand so I stood up and ran out of the water.
Last year’s time: 25:43.
This year: 22:24.
And what’s more, this year, the timer didn’t click you out of the swim until you ran back to the entry to transition area, so my actual swim time is probably about a minute less than this. Not bad!
Transition was easy. I slipped off the wetsuit easily and got ready for the bike. I sipped a bit of water, grabbed the bike and ran out.
Last year’s T1: 4:56
This year: 2:40 (which is probably actually 3:40 due to the above, but still--faster than last year!)
The bike (20 miles) was tough. It’s a hilly course and I couldn’t seem to get into a rhythm. Anyone I overtook in the swim passed me here. I was so frustrated. While I do OK on flat roads, I slow down drastically on hills. On an up note, the rain held off, the 20 miles passed without any drama and before I knew it, I was turning back into the park.
Last year’s bike: 1:46:48 (keep in mind, I was nauseous and crampy for the last 10 miles)
This year: 1:36:14.
So? Eh. Better, sure, but not great. At least I know what I have to practice.
This was the first time I had to change into running shoes at T2, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Despite that, I was still faster than last year. Go figure?
Last year’s T2: 2:14
This year: 1:58
I was dreading the run. I knew I didn’t do enough bike-run bricks in training and I was expecting it to be really hard.
I decided at the last minute on Saturday night, to wear my dad’s old baseball hat for the run. So I pulled it on and every time my legs felt tired, every time I felt a cramp, every time I thought about stopping to walk, I thought of my dad and how he couldn’t take a single step for 40 years and how this run was for him. And I kept running.
Even if I was only running 12-minute miles, I was determined to run every step of the 3.1 miles. About a half way through, my legs loosened up and I picked up the pace a bit. It felt, quite honestly, great. One of the best runs I’ve had. Before I knew it, I was turning toward the finish line. I could hear the announcer. I thought of my dad and nearly burst into tears, but I held it in and ran faster.
Crossing the finish was an amazing feeling. I was so happy!
Last year’s run: 41:48
This year: 32:02 (yay!)
For this race, I had one goal. Improve on my time from last year. And I did that in every aspect of the race.
Last year’s time: 3:01
This year: 2:35
This is a tough course – the swim and bike are on the long side for a sprint-distance race, and the bike is pretty hilly, so it feels good to tackle it so early in the season. I’m really looking forward to the next one, which will be SheRox New England in July (unless I register for a local one sooner).
For Michael Gorman
Labels: Triathlon training