Again, this race represented some firsts for me….first IG, first local race, and first race with club member and great training partner, Kim Sheridan. I was so excited just to be doing this race; I knew it was going to be a wonderful experience.
I was a bit nervous because the course is much more challenging than the other 2 tri’s I have done and since I had just done a tri the weekend before I wasn’t sure whether I should train through it or taper the week between the 2 races.
It was fun doing the all pre-race prep with Kim. During a brief warm up on Saturday, we were talking about socks vs. sockless. I have never thought about going sockless but the thought of saving time during transition was appealing. I know you should never try anything new on race day, so I decided to go sockless on my 15 min bike and 10 minute run. Felt fine then but know the race is much longer…..have to think about that one and maybe try training sockless.
Mike Barrone met us at transition on Saturday evening in the pouring rain (what a trooper) and helped us cover our bikes. We all went out to dinner and tried to talk about things other than triathlons. After dinner, I went to a friend’s house for a party (good friends of my family were in town and I really didn’t want to miss a chance to see them).
Even though I didn’t sleep much, I slept soundly and woke feeling ready and refreshed.
Met Kim at the park for body marking and transition set up at o’dark thirty. I had a great spot right in front by Princeton’s tent. Steve from Princeton came over and checked/pumped my tires (isn’t Princeton great?). I walked around transition, chatted with friends and just took it all in. I decided to go back to my spot and give it a once over before heading to the tent. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Mike B was already doing that for me (and apparently it needed more than a once over because he changed things around quite a bit). I left transition feeling calm but I was still wondering whether or not I was going to wear socks for the bike and/or the run.
It was wonderful to see so many friends and to have the support at the club tent before the race. My dear friend Kim from college met me at the MMTC tent bright and early to cheer me on. What a special surprise! I was so busy getting the MMTC tattoo, I had to run to get into the water. I wanted to make sure I had enough time for a quick warm up swim.
Swim: 27:05 (overall place 768/1664)
I felt good during the entire swim. Not fast but strong and steady. I had practiced my sighting and that felt much smoother. It was great to see Bob and hear his shouts of encouragement at the swim exit. I was disappointed when I looked at my watch. My time was 2 ½ minutes slower than my very first race in May. This just didn’t make sense considering that was my first race (vs. my third), it was in the Chesapeake Bay (vs. a calm lake) AND that race I actually went vertical a few time to help me sight (vs. this time I did not stop to sight)…not to mention all the OWS I did on Thursdays.
T1 2:27 (95/1664)
Decided to go for sockless bike ride. Much improved from past 2 races. Made me feel better when Mike B. hollered “how’d you get out of the water so fast, you must have had a good swim”
Bike 1:05:42 – 16 MPH (416/1664)
Was very stoked with my entire ride! The best time I had while training was just under 1:11. About halfway through all previous IG rides, I would wonder if there would ever be a time when I would not struggle through this course. I was always feeling fatigued by the time I got to the turn around at the school. Well, talk about perfect timing – this was the day that I thoroughly enjoyed the entire ride! The hour just flew by and I was loving every minute of it. I had no issues on the bike and had my best time by over 5 minutes. (I just need to figure out how I timed that right). I remember the first time I rode IG back in May at the first bric n pic – I struggled through with many stops and was barely able to maintain about 12 MPH.
T2 1:52 (298/1664)
Hopped off the bike feeling great and just slipped right into my running shoes. I cracked up when I heard Mike yell “that’s right, screw the socks!”
Run 32:48 9:23 pace (410/1664)
I was a bit nervous about the run as the runs in my previous 2 races were relatively flat (by Columbia standards). Also, I had run the course a few times and it seemed like I would have a good run and then I would really be struggling through it the next time wondering how I was going to make it to the finish. This time the run felt great! It was awesome to hear shouts of encouragement from friends and MMTC supporters. I actually wanted to do Gatorade Hill a second time I had so much fun seeing everyone: Gloria, Alan, Linda, Jim – so many friendly faces. With Geoff’s camera snapping away and hearing so many people cheering me on, I felt like a superstar!
Coming up over that last hill, I thought about those times I ran with Kim and she just pushed right through until the end. So I turned on the after burners and kicked it until the finish. It was great to see my family at the finish line and the best part was having Kim there to give me my medal and say “You are an Iron Girl!”
This was truly a magical experience! Everything about the race was perfect! I have heard many people talking about their “3 goals”. I have 5 goals. I always have 3 time goals (e.g. this race I knew I could do it in under 2:30, I was shooting for under 2:20 and would have been stoked for under 2:15) but my most important 2 goals are the same for every race – enjoy the race/have fun with it and Michele’s goal of “have the best race I can, given what life has thrown at me”. All goals accomplished and then some!!
It was amazing to do a race on home turf with so many wonderful supporters. A great big thanks to Kim, Mike C, Mike B, all the volunteers (esp. @ the tent and water stop) and of course to Sadj – each of you in your own way made this day very special for me.
thanks everyone - MMTC rocks!
Now about this Olympic distance race (my first one) that I have in 2 weeks……