Monday, July 13, 2009

Old Colony YMCA Race Report

Old Colony went really well on Sunday. I'll give that part away right now.

But before Sunday came Saturday. And what a day Saturday was. Sunny, 70's, slight breeze. When you're in MHD on such a day there's really only one thing to do right? Exactly; Fill a cooler with snacks and bevvies, go to Devereux, lather up with your arms with an insubstantial amount of sunscreen and then gently move your hands over your chest and forehead thinking that the residual ointment on your hands will actually be affective, fall into a light sleep after ten minutes of 'reading' (skimming words), wake up after an hour, hit the cooler, lounge on the beach blanket, people watch, look at your book and think of reading, cooler some more, talk and laugh, pickup said book-flip to current page-immediately replace book to starting position, wish you had a ball to throw, drinks from the cooler, call it a day at the beach, go home burnt.

Any idea what three hours at the beach, plus sun, less a shirt, less actual application of sunscreen equals? No surprises here huh?

The first sign that my sunburn was kinda bad, well besides from the red and hot skin, was when my HR strap felt like it was made out of burlap. I persevered and made it through my afternoon pickups trying my best to keep the fluids coming hot and heavy.

But wait the pre-race foolishness doesn't stop there! Sarah's had Wilco tickets for like five billion months. I think she camped out for three days to ensure entrance to LeLacheur Park in the mighty Mill City (There really are a lot of mills there. Well, old mill buildings any way. She really didn't camp out. Just pumped to see Wilco.) And the good news is that after Mooseman I changed course and wasn't partaking in RI 70.3, which meant I could make the show.

Pretty excellent show. Plus with all Gen Admin tickets we could nestle through the crowd on the protected ball field to get within lougie distance of Jeff Tweedy. Sarah got pretty excited and nearly fainted like the girl in front of us about five minutes after she and her BF burnt through their doubbie. Truth be told Sarah didn't almost faint but the other girl really did! And when she came to she got really mad (embarrassed) at her BF who preceded to limp her out of the crowd. Snickers and chuckels from surrounding concert goers ensued.

The bummer part was that it rained and Wilco wrapped things up a couple of songs early. The upside was that I got to bed a few minutes earlier. Not much of an upside when you still hit the pillow at midnight...

And then wake up at five! Race time!

First and foremost Sarah was a trooper for coming with me. An early start, plus a soggy Triathon site, no purchasable food and an RD that barked at her would put anyone through the paces.

Registration, number marking, transition, change, warm-up run, wetsuit, warm-up swim (warm water again), national anthem, wait for start, watch 40+ wave start (WTF with that any way? I'm really not sure why they have the arguably slower group go first. I like to think seniority and respect...note: I complained about this last year too) then swim!

Old Colony is a pretty fun course because of all the loops you do. I'm a big fan of courses that are spectator friendly. Not only to give the spectators more cheering time and face time with the loved one buzzing by, but the athletes get more encouragement and 'Hi! This is hard!' time.
Two lap swim, four lap bike and a lap of the run that's a reverse of the bike loop.

I had a tricky time grabbing some toes to swim behind and was only slightly disheartened when a blue capped woman poured by me on lap two. Sigh... Nevertheless not a miserable swim and that equals a good swim! way to be positive huh?


Bike. Fast bike. Passing lots of people fast. And passing cars...not as was busy out there.

Felt really consistent even though on the last lap I started to question the longevity of quads. I kept going fast. And surely I thought to myself that I must be laying down the fastest bike split. So imagine my awe when Mr. McWalters passed by and then promptly pulled in front of me. Awesome. Lo! Do not dispair! With out much surprise he swam faster than me, I caught him on the bike and he thought, "Hey! What the!" when I passed him.
In an effort to dispel my annoyance with Mr McWalters' sitting right in front of me, I stood on my pedals for a ten second stint to pop back in the lead as we came to the 'technical' section of the bike. (Two kind of sharp right hand turns in the last half mile...with lots of traffic i.e. lapped bikers)

I happily stayed front side as we worked into T2. I was looking forward to being the first bike in the racks. But-What the! There were like six bikes/athletes racking in T-ville...looks like my slow swim time had foiled me again. Never fear! My power run will vanquish any evil doers! Lo, if I can hold the curse of the six minute mile at bay.
I passed a couple of athletes in Transition. Boo yah to fast T's!
And had serious concerns that Mr. McWalters was going to jump on my tail, hang tough and possible crush me. Not that I had any evidence to support my fears. I didn't even know the guy. He was just right there as I was went through T2...way to be positive again huh?
Plus I forgot to pull the laces on my Zoot Ultra TT's (again) and was sure that I would get caught in the one second it would take me to stop, bend over and pull the draw strings. I didn't.

Good run. Great first mile in 5:37. Catching people. Passing people. Missing the first water stop. Sucking down a Gu. Missing the second water stop because the water table was on the wrong side of the road and there were tons of bikers and cars and if I tried to cross the road I would have surely gotten hit. (As an aside, I saw the water stop and yelled, "Water!". And they yelled back, "Hey! You're on the wrong side of the road." We were running on the left side of the counterclockwise loop.) No big though. Where was I? Oh, missing water. Running with sticky GU taste in my mouth for another mile. Grabbing water at mile three. Missing the lap button on my watch at the mile marker. More water, more missing the lap button. Looking for water at mile four. Finding that water station three hundred yards from the mile five and the water station there. Sweet. Looking over my shoulder for the first time and seeing some guy not far enough behind me. Picking up my pace for the first time. Being thankful that I was at mile 5.5 when I looked over my shoulder. Running a little scarred for the last mile. Thinking, "man this is a long .2 miles." Running more. Thinking,"Man this is a long .2 miles" again. Not getting passed. Finishing First. yah!
I guess I should note that there was a relay team that crossed the line in front of me. Surely it doesn't count. But I was a little concerned when I was on the bike and saw a runner already on the pavement. That is until I realized it must be a team, because surely there couldn't have been an individual five minutes ahead of me right? There wasn't.

Results are here.
For shwag I scored a great pair of Rudy Project Ekynox SX. (Purely sub par to Oakleys though...) Arguably/sadly? the best race loot yet.
I've bequeathed the shades to Sarah. She's happy.

No comments: