**WARNING** Long Race Report Below!!
This was my second year doing Columbia, which have been my only 2 Olympic distance races. And this is my second race report (my first one was from the Tuckahoe Triathlon I did with my daughter last year). When I signed up back in the fall, I had some lofty goals for crushing my time from the first year by improving in all 3 events, especially given that this was supposed to be my B race, with Eagleman being my A race. But, as it often does, life happened! Luckily, I had done quite a bit of strength and agility training over the fall and winter, which were intended to pay big dividends when I got back into a serious routine of swim/bike/run training starting in January. But you know how that old saying goes about the best laid plans... In the end, that training paid off in allowing me to maintain a decent level of base fitness and still beat my time by a whooping 14 seconds, despite the lack of training the last several months. What time I have put in has been mostly on flat roads in preparation for Eagleman. Just a tad different than the hills of Columbia. Regardless of my training status, I'm ALWAYS in this to have fun. I am thankful every time I’m on my bike, or in the water, or out on a run that I'm blessed with the ability to be able to participate in this great sport. And so I was determined to have a great day Sunday, rain be damned!
I got to the park nice and early, about 4:50, and headed down to transition with my bucket o' stuff. I usually setup all my things and have my bucket sitting upside down at the end of my area to act as a seat for putting on my socks and shoes (I'm not hard core enough to go without socks), but given the rainy morning, I stuffed all my bike stuff under my bucket and all my run stuff under a poncho. Definitely made for some extra slow transitions (not that I'm ever fast anyway!), but at least my socks and shoes stayed dry. I saw Deb Saltz walking around transition, dutifully offering her assistance to us fools silly enough to head down to transition the minute we arrived rather than waiting the rain out a bit in our nice warm cars. We had a nice laugh about the beautiful weather! Then my dear husband (yes, the man actually got up with me at that ridiculous hour to come and be supportive!) and I headed over to the MMTC tent to wait out the 3 hours until my swim wave. Ain’t wave 12 of 13 great!
Of course the highlight of the day was the MMTC Tent! The 3 hours really flew by. I had a great time chatting with everyone...to many to try to name! Met lots of new folks too! HUGE thanks to all the volunteers!!! You guys are awesome! Just can't thank you guys enough for all the time you put in prepping for the event, getting out of bed in the pre-dawn hours on such a nasty day to schlep & setup everything, and then man the tent all those hours in support of you fellow members! Man, this club ROCKS!
This was exactly one minute slower than last year, but still a decent swim for me given my only swim training in the last 2 months was an OWS at Gunpowder with Dawn the Sunday before the race. I felt really good in the water and was able to get into a good rhythm, so I was happy with my swim.
What can I say....I'm not fast on a good day, let alone when I have to "unbury" my stuff from under my bucket and then meticulously dry off my feet so I could put on my socks. I have no idea how long I took in T1 last year since they had that glitch and T1 was combined with the bike, but my guess is it was pretty close to the same as this year. At least I'm consistent in my slowness!
I had a great time on the bike leg! Deb Taylor and I were taking turns passing each other for the first half of the bike. Once we made the turn onto Greenbridge, it was all I could do to keep her in my sights! Thanks Deb! You really helped push me to a PR on the bike! And our cheering sections on the bike were fantastic!!! MMTC rocked the Ten Oaks traffic circle! Got lots of “Go MMTC” from fellow racers too! I love this club!
Like I said…I’m always slow! Maybe I’ll work on transitions next year! ;-)
UUGH, the run! 2+ minutes slower than last year. This is my nemesis! I’ve been plagued with foot problems. Last year it was my right foot, now this year it is my left foot. Again, the training I’ve done has been at a relatively slow pace for distance in preparation for Eagleman. I tried to crank it up a notch for the race, which was a mistake. I felt a big twinge in the bottom of my left heel at the start of the first hill and that was the end of running up hill for the rest of the race. Going downhill was barely tolerable. The flats were the most tolerable, so for that whole ½ mile of flat on the CT course, I was golden!! Just kidding…it’s probably more like ¾ of a mile of flat! ;-) Considering I had to walk up all the hills, I’m pretty pleased that I only lost a little over 2 minutes this year. Not bad. I still ended up beating my time from last year…like I said, 14 seconds is 14 seconds!!