Teaser: The mature experienced racer can improve
My 11th Columbia Tri. It's our neighborhood triathlon. I trained a lot this year so I felt good. Up at 4:15 had a prerace oatmeal with blueberries scrambled egg, hot tea. Dropped a Hammer fizz in a bottle of water and sipped that right up to the start. It was chilly. Got to the race with Rob my best supporter. Big tradition Winnie McCullogh, Suzy Serpico's mom body marks me. We went to high school together. She's my good luck charm. I've done this race so many times. pump tires, set up, take pump to Rob, promptly lose swim cap. Also lost Body Glide but had an extra. We went over to the start and I mainly stayed by the Team Fight Tent. Saw lots of Team Fight folks and MMTCers and we were all encouraging each other. Ate one gel before the swim. Waited for my wave with my bud Mindy.The usual butterflies. Lots of my friends have aged up into the W-45+ wave. Got right in the water and swam right away before the start. We went off and as usual I found it a little hard to breathe at first but this time the wetsuit seemed tight around my neck. I don't panic so I just kept on swimming. The sun sighting was brutal. Could not see the buoy. I didn't know like others that the buoys were set differently from the other 10 times. Say what? But finally I saw the turn buoy and felt better about where I was going. Next race I'll take a look at the buoys! After the turn I felt good. Did the mile swim the week before and was close to 35:00 so I had goal of going under 35. Goal achieved Bob Bartola there to greet me.
T1 3:49 Also an improvement. We were in K row so it was a slog up with the bike. T-2 better than last year. I also ran in the whole way.No sox no gloves. just strip the wetsuit and go. Not a shoe in the clips person just calmly sat down and put them on.
Bike 1:36:52 15.8 pace
A shocker. I believe this was my best bike time in 11 Columbias. I had just had the custom fit from Stoney at Princeton. What a difference. I felt sooo comfortable. I know this course so well having ridden it countless times. Never felt as good as I did on Sunday. I had passed TFighter Marla on 108 but she almost caught up to me on the first hill. I heard her yell Sue don't let me catch you so I just turned on the afterburners and never saw her till afterwards! Thanks Marla. At the resevoir hill just rode right up. Saw my buddies Sally and Paul who live on the course. They was cheering us on. We got slowed done right around St Anthony'e by some cars that were driving really slow. They were held up at the roundabout. I didn't have to brake but I know I lost some momentum there. The rest of the bike was uneventful. I did not know at the time that this was a bike PR for me.Gatorade and two Hammer gels on the bike.
T2 2:08 Also much better than last year Shoes on grabbed visor, gels, and endurolytes and sped out.
The RUN Always hard for me but I've taken heart knowing that everyone has trouble on the hills of Columbia. I ran up the switchback lovingly dubbed by me heartbreak hill. Ran as much as I could and walked when I had to. I was a bit demoralized when an age grouper passed me at the three mile mark on the run but i said to myself I'm a triathlete I'm tough Im gonna keep going and let the chips fall where they may. Cathy SooHoo from New York had just aged up. I felt strong after gatorade hill (Hi Jackie!) so much encouragement from TF and MMTCers. Got up that last little nasty finisher's hill and was greeted by Michelle and a sea of yellow team fighters as I raced on in. My first coach Patti Harden was there at the finish line. and lo and behold Lizzy Cowan my daughter was right behind me and they announced it! wow what a perfect moment.
One of my better runs 1:12:53 11:45 pace.
Good enough to snag 5th place. Fortunately I age up next year. oh great my main competition are both Ironmen. Marge Burley has done Kona a number of times. I'll just have to work harder. IMLP here we come!! Thanks to both MMTC and Team Fight for all the comraderie and just plain fun.