EAGLEMAN 70.3 Cambridge Maryland June 14, 2009
I need to start off my race report with a HUGE thank you to all of you who welcomed me back at the finish line! That was the most wonderful finish I have ever had! I can’t believe you all waited so long for me…… it was so much appreciated! It really was incredible to have such a big crowd of supporters – I LOVE MMTC!!! Thanks!
Pre-race: I wasn’t stressed at all about this race, except for some concern about the heat…I read last years race reports and I am not a big fan of hot runs. I came out with my friends Gina and Patty (soon to be MMTC member) and we had fun at packet pick up, bike drop off and then out to dinner at an authentic Italian Restaurant in the very quaint historic section of Easton. We also did the 5pm race talk and Vigorito told us about the snow cones at the halfway turn around. I am a big fan of snow cones!
Prior to the race it was great to hang out at the MMTC tent. I was in the second to last wave so I had plenty of time to relax. It was great to see our wonderful tent volunteers Eriks, Maura, “more cowbell” Winsome, and thunderstorm camper extraordinaire Jellyfish! Thanks for all you do! (Thanks also to those whom I didn’t know.) Enjoyed meeting some new club members and of course Mark Yost with his new and awesome looking aero Helmet!
Swim ( 1.2 mile 45:25 ) The swim went well and I hit my target so I was glad. It was a little dishearting having Relays and AquaVelos as the wave after me because they overtook me long before the halfway point….and they were much more aggressive than the 45 and above women in my swim wave. Sighting was pretty easy and the only choppiness was after the last turn.
Bike ( 56 mile 3:30:59) Since everyone had passed me on the swim I was pretty much solo for MANY miles on the 56 mile trek. Thankfully I had gone out two weeks ago with my good friends Jen and Yvonne; so I knew the course and remembered all the things we talked about along the way. So even though I was alone I had my friends on my mind and it was fun to recognize things. Two great things on this ride were: Hearing the peacock that we saw on our last trip and seeing a Bald Eagle. It is one long FLAT ride. (I so much prefer the Columbia tri bike route!) Since it was so flat I got to use my aerobars most of the time so that was at least enjoyable. With just a few miles to go I realized that I was also making the exact time I was hoping for on the bike portion! My legs felt great and I was in very good spirits. But that slowly faded as I caught up to all of the runners coming back to the finish. The bike/run course overlaps for a good distance at the end. There were hardly any cyclists coming through anymore so the runners had taken over the course and I had to maneuver around them. It was hot and I knew that although I was passing by all of those runners at a good speed I would soon be turning around and running out on those exact same roads to do my own run. The bike dismount is right next to the finish line which is also near the run out…. (In my opinion not a very good set up in the least.) Lots of triathletes were already leaving for the day so when I finally pulled into the dismount and by then my good spirits had all faded.
Run ( 13.1 mile run 3:09:11)
Having to begin the run right next to the finish line where they are congratulating everyone for finishing was absolutely demoralizing. Maybe not when you are in the middle waves… but as one of the very last runners out it certainly was. My times on the swim and bike were exactly what I hoped for but I felt like I had already lost the run before I even got to start. The whole first mile I just wanted to quit. I saw Mark coming into the finish and I was happy for him because I knew he was hoping for a qualifying slot. For myself I was just trying to figure out if /how I should quit. I saw two women on the side of the road and I asked them if they just finished the run… they said they did the AquaVelo and didn’t do the run. I told them I really just wanted to quit and they said “Don’t quit, you’ll regret it.” OK. In those few words they convinced me - so I just continued on. At the next water stop I sat down on the curb (at one of the very few shady spots of the whole race) and ate a banana and drank some ice cold Gatorade. I felt much better. Then I passed the worst part of the run which was through some future development construction site where I had just dodged all of the runners back on my bike and was finally starting to feel like I was up for the run and would be able to make it. I think it was around mile 3 when I came across another runner who was not having such an easy time and I did a walk break with him. (Misery loves company) He didn’t think he could finish. I told him I would stay with him the rest of the race and get him to the finish line. I also let him know that there were snow cones at the turnaround. The thought of helping out Dan totally changed my attitude about the race. I had a new purpose. I told him I had thought of quitting in the beginning so my time on the run really didn’t matter anymore; because at least I was going to finish the race. He appreciated the help and we set up a great plan: I would pick the landmarks where we would start running and he picked out where we started walking. It worked! We chatted the whole time, which after that long bike ride practically all by myself, was enjoyable! I got to see my friend Gina who really made me laugh…. She said “Aqua Velo!” Yeah that would have been enough! Saw lots of MMTC members on the run and my new running companion was impressed that I knew so many people. We saw Patty too! We enjoyed our snow cones at the turnaround and I honestly felt great enough to run fast the rest of the way; but it was so much nicer to stick around and help someone else out. He knew I wanted to make it back in time for the 3pm awards ceremony so we actually picked up the pace on the run for a while. But it was no big deal anymore – all that mattered was to just finish. Dan had friends who were doing race support on bike and would come up and check on him. The only “fun” part of the whole race was the slip and slide…I didn’t even mind getting soggy running shoes. At one mile to go Dan’s Mom and fiancée were jumping up and down to see him. It was very uplifting. He struggled to the finish where he had a nice group of friends cheer him in. Then I saw Jellyfish and all the MMTC folks and got my own Stupendous and Very loud welcoming! It was absolutely wonderful! I am so glad that I didn’t quit – it was so WORTH getting to the finish line and seeing you all! Thanks a million for your fantastic support!
Dan thanked me for staying with him. Even his friends thanked me; so that was nice. My friend Gina also waited for me. Friends are wonderful!
When I was leaving I saw another runner finally coming in. I have much more respect for those who come in last. They have to persevere even more and it does take guts to finish up when the course is deserted. Heck, it no longer would have bothered me to be the last finisher. In the end my time literally did not matter - it didn’t even get listed on the overall results. Oh well!
The next time you see me at Eagleman will be to volunteer at our club tent. That is where all the fun is!
Also much appreciation to Mark and Tom for helping me haul my stuff out and recovering my van for me! (I really didn’t have the energy to look around for it with all my stuff & I am glad you let me know it was where I thought it was!)
Please don’t worry about me. I have totally recovered! When I got home I jumped in my pool swam a few relaxing laps, unpacked my van, and went to bed. The next morning I felt so great because I didn’t do too much running at Eagleman and went for a 6 am run on my beautiful, hilly and wooded 5 mile loop and jumped in the pool again. Eagleman is over and I am already looking forward to other events. My new plan is to “Eat clean”, do more bricks, and get some speed workouts in. And Jellyfish if you want to set up a club brick at my house one weekend that would be cool.