Old Colony Triathlon (olympic distance) on July 11, 2010 was a C race on my race schedule. It’s a wonderful race with a very flat bike course so I didn’t want to miss it even if I was still feeling the effects of Patriot and the broken nose I sustained ten days after Patriot. (Ouch!)
Race day arrived with hot, humid conditions. A bit nervous from my Patriot fiasco, I packed Gatorade Endurance Formula and some electrolyte tablets. I was taking no chances even though hyponatremia seldom hits in races that are less than four hours in length.
Our babysitter overslept, yet Don and I arrived right on time despite leaving twenty minutes later than planned. As I set up my transition spot, a woman from the Fuel Belt team pointed out that we had the exact same bike—black Kestrel Airfoil Pro. The bikes looked like twins except mine was a size smaller. We raved about our bikes each of us admitting that we didn’t quite feel worthy of such a cool machine. She had moved up from a low end Trek, and was excited when I told her that I had moved up from a Cervelo P3 and absolutely loved the Kestrel.
The water was warm and a number of athletes chose to forego a wetsuit. Not me. I switched to my sleeveless long john and was good to go. The swim was crowded. I was pinned in so I couldn’t wander off course as is my tendency. The crowd pulled me along. It was awesome. I felt like a cork just bobbing through the water and was happy knowing that I would post a good swim time for me. I must admit I was nervous about my sore nose getting whacked during the swim. I kept bumping someone on my left so I didn’t risk breathing to that side for fear of a fist to my nose. The second lap of the swim wasn’t as crowded which meant I had to work harder to complete that lap.
After the swim, I popped some electrolytes, and headed off on the four loop bike course. I rode nice and smooth, not trying to muscle a big gear. I steadily passed people. By the fourth loop, it was getting crowded with many cyclists on the road plus the runners doing the bike route in reverse. I got blocked in when two guys riding side by side refused to pull over when I called, “On your left”. I had to slow and pretty much beg them to give me some room to safely pass. Finally I passed them, rode about ¼ mile and ran into the exact same situation—two guys riding side by side refusing to make room. Again I had to slow down and beg profusely for them to move over. I can’t help but think they didn’t like the idea of being passed by a female even though I had the cooler bike and faster set up. My husband says that he seldom has problems with people not moving over when he bellows on your left. Maybe I’ll try a deeper voice and see if that works.
I felt very strong on the run. My two hour run workouts were paying off. I passed quite a few people during the run. With about 3 miles to go, I came upon a woman in my age group. I was hot and tired and thought, “It’s a long way to go. I hope she doesn’t fight me for it". Fortunately, she didn’t so I continued on my merry way. The final mile of the run was in a park. I saw a woman from a younger age category in front of me, and convinced myself to go for it since I would be ticked off if I didn’t at least try to beat her. So I passed her at a strong pace which I held to about 300 yards to go. Then I eased back a bit only to see my friend, Kurt Maw, a little ways up the path. Oh I couldn’t control myself; I just had to blast by him for the finish line. So I did. I elbowed past him and two guys that were beside him and tried to hang on for the final 200 yards. Of course I exploded (memories of my old crit days), and had to slow. Kurt tapped me on the shoulder as he passed and raced across the finish line. After the race, Kurt said that the only reason he passed me was because a guy in his age group had gone past. I know he was lying like a rug. So I explained to him that it was totally ok that he blasted past me since that was exactly what I was trying to do to him. Fortunately, his girlfriend took a picture while I was still in front of him so that is what really matters.
I finished the race in 2:29:14--second in my age group and sixth woman overall. The woman who came in first in my age group beat me by almost four minutes in the swim. I made up all but one minute of that deficit. In addition, I posted the fastest bike split in my age group, and second fastest bike split of all the women.
My next race is Lowell YMCA Triathlon (olympic distance) on August 1 in Lowell, MA. It’s a B race on my schedule and one of my favorite bike courses for a triathlon.