What a fabulous event. Great weather, fabulous Club tent, the camaraderie of the MMTC family, the impeccable planning and hard work by Vig and all his volunteers and the staff of Princeton. and..............a PR.
The week before.. 2 little swims, a short run to the track with 4 400s there, a one hour ride with some hills followed by a one mile run and a massage by Don Klein, MMTC member on Friday. Wednesday evening was packet stuffing and a chance to see lots of MMTC and TNT folks. Friday night went to the Sheraton to hear Susan Williams speak and she was amazing. Saturday spent most of the day around the expo in between taking my bike to the park and scouting the swim course. Bill Wheeler and I set up our Club table and then turned it over to Club members Glenn Byrd and his family and later, Bill Hester and Maura Dunnigan. Saturday night dinner at the Sheraton with MMTC members and home to pack and not sleep much.
Race day: Got there pretty early since I was in the second wave. Set up my transition area and then went down to the Club tent. It was like a party! The volunteers already had a fire going and Kristen's catering service was setting up. They also performed vital auxilliary functions like artfully applying MMTC tattoos and giving encouraging hugs. I really can't express what a high it was to be in the midst of all that support.
and then.....suddenly there I was popping into the water. The swim was lovely. Water not too cold, felt pretty comfortable right away and finally understood all the posts about swimming to the farthest buoy. Tried to find some folks to draft off, but the one guy who was going about the right speed started swimming way off course so I had to abandon him. It was exhilarating watching the sky get bluer and bluer and enjoying being one of only 1500 people a year who get to swim in the lake. Bob, my husband, was in charge of the swim finish and it was a great treat to see him there as I got out of the water.
T-1 was slow motion. I practiced in my driveway, but that does nothing to simulate what it's like to do the same thing after swimming a mile and emerging with a slightly fuzzy head. Had trouble getting my socks to go on (must learn to not wear any) my dampish feet. Also, being a wimp about being cold I took the time to pull on a fleece top. But, finally off I went.
The bike. Grinding it our until High's and then just enjoying the ride and the relative lack of traffic. Got lots of energy out of thanking volunteers along the way. So grateful for the lack of wind. Probably the best biking weather all spring. My favorite scene was riding along Linthicum with the green rolling hills to the left, and the rock strewn fields populated by grazing cows and newborn calves. Except for some of the rude traffic on 108 coming back it was smooth sailing.
T2 was smoother. As I took off I was pleased to discover that the outside of my left knee which has been a bit cranky sometimes was back in the zone. I just focussed to carrying out my plan. Running the inside curves taking my practiced and scheduled 30 second walk breaks out and back on Old Annapolis Road, trying to use the downhills, taking the gu as planned etc. It really worked. I had a PR for the run. My first sub 60 minutes on the course!
Finishing and seeing so many MMTC folks at the end was the biggest high. I LOVE THIS CLUB and I LOVE THIS RACE!! OH YES... THE RESULTS:
swim 32:48, T1 5:31, Bike: 1:40:40, T2 1:54, Run: 59:26 total 3:20:17
This was my 8th Columbia and my fastest time ever. Five minutes better than last year. I credit the amazing Club support, our track workouts with Doug and our Masters' swim group with Adam and my triathlon coach, Phil Skiba.
Bring on Diamond in the Rough!