The day started at 4:01 a.m. Mark and I crawled out of bed and began our pre-race routine. It was a blast to head off in the dark with my husband on this adventure. Usually it's just me. I loved sharing this with him.
We actually got to T2 Second!!!! What a riot. THe only other person there at 5:40 a.m. was my friend Ali. She is apparently as neurotic as I am and likes to get there early too. It's Always been a trait of mine. Mark just rolls his eyes. We drove over an hour to get there and we beat almost everyone.
This was a tricky race logisitically with two transition spots & a different finish area. So we drove to a parking lot to leave our car, collected just the things we'd need at T1 and rode our bikes to the start.
The race started at a beach I used to go to as a kid. This wasn't the beach I lifeguarded at. It was around the corner from there. The "big" kids went to this beach because there were Big waves. My beach was the flat water-boring beach. Well, Jordan's beach (as it was called when we were kids) didn't let us down today. You could hear the surf as we racked our bikes just a few hundred yards away. Word was out..it was goign to be a challenging swim. I was getting Psyched!!! I love that....it helps me tremendously against the less experienced swimmers.
Here's the weird-awesome----a little twilight zone thing----I went to put my bike at spot 65. Another bike was there. I asked 'the guy' if it had to be In Order...No, this was fine. Good. I looked at the stuff as I contemplated how to do mine. HEY!!! It was MARY's AGAIN!!! She and I are ALWAYS together. Our last names are not close, we don't live together, we registered way way apart, we just can't figure it out. It's so great, but really hard to figure out. The triathlon gods are looking out for us!
We headed to the beach for warm up. OMG!!! The waves were HUGE!!! It was a riot. We warmed up a big and just got tossed all around the beach. If you did it wrong, the waves would break on you and throw you right back where you started. I practed reaching down to the bottom and pushing up off it like a dolphin stroke. It was fun. I was SO so excited.
Finally we started. I admit that my start didn't feel terribly smooth but I did my butterfly trick and before I knew it I could start swimming. There were lots of pink caps near me and a few ahead. Hmmm, I was goign to have to change that! :-) After a week at the lake and swimming every day I felt strong and solid in the water. After a couple minutes, I took over the other girls and went ahead. The current was pushing us to the left so I ended up really hugging the buoys and just making the turn. I was rising and falling with each stroke. The swells were just enormous. I drank tons of salt water. Tons. I just continued to push hard and remind myself not to let up a second. There was no time to spare. No time to be distracted by the fun of the waves. Heading into the beach was a RIOT! I the huge waves forced you to body surf from time to time. I felt like I was 10! Finally I hit the sand but the waves sort of pulled you back and it was tough to get up. I was dizzy and a little out of it but I had just had the BEST swim ever. It was a total blast.
I ran uip the carpet and who was there? Mark. He was in the wave ahead of me and I caught him at the end. He had just said to my friends spectating, "Hey! I beat Ange!" When he heard, "GO ANGE!" He laughed so hard to turn around and see me. He was all chatty but I had to just smile a bit and motor on. He'd understand. I was in this for the big prize. (well, no prize but you know what I mean.)
I hit t1 and did ok. There was lots of sand and rocks but I forced myself not to care. I headed off on the bike and my girl didn't let me down. This bike comes Alive when I race!!!! Woohoo.
I rode around on flat familiar roads that I grew up driving around. It was a short ride (15 miles) with only a few small hills. I saw my Mom and Dad Twice on the route. That was great fun. Here's another funny moment. My little brother raced too. He really hates that I can beat him. Sorry bro. Mile 12 was a corner and my parents were standing there. I saw Jeff. I saw Mom and Dad. None of them saw me. After they yelled, "Go JEff GO!" I hollered to them, "Hey! Dont' forget me! :-) " They were psyched. Poor Jeff. I overtook him right in front of Mom and Dad! He was great and yelled for me to go for it. I did.
T2 was fine. I slipped with my bike Again when I got off. What is up with that??
I headed out and wasn't happy. My stomach HURt! WhY?? Too much water? I only sipped water on the bike? I just felt like darth vader breathing. I had to keep going. I knew this was my race to loose. I fought to the end. It was only 3 miles but I really felt bad for the first 2. The girl who was 2nd at Mooseman ( I was 3rd) was racing. She started in a wave 6 minutes behind me. I raced this whole race alone...well, with men. I was ahead of all the other women which was fun because people were yelling YOU GO GIRL FIRST WOMAN and stuff like that to me. I never get that and it was a real rush. Hey, they're talkign to me!! I soaked in my moment.
I ran and ran. I tried to really make it hurt and not leave anything behind. I run so well off the bike at home but in these races I'm suffering. I'd like to know why. I have a hip pain that is quite bad so that's on my mind. but I just was so out of zip! I passed a few girls going the other way and they looked strong. My friend Ali is a Tough tough runner and she looked so solid. I had to keep moving.
I hit the finish and got a great welcome from the announcer as the first woman finisher. He did howver, acknowledge that we had to wait 6 minutes to see if the next woman could beat me. yikes. I had so many men congratulating me at the finish. It was cool to be recognized like that. Even the surgeon who operated on my torn rotator cuff last year was there! That was great to show him how well I've recovered.
38 seconds. I got her by 38 seconds. YEAH!!!! I knew it would be close and I knew I had to keep focused. It was my race to loose after the swim. I knew I had her there but our bike splits and run splits are close.
My first victory this year. I feel so happy. It's a real thrill for me.
My friend Mary did so well too. I'm so excited for her. I am going to let her write her race report though. :) Ok Mary?
Mark did well but had a strangely difficult bike. He's good on the bike but he had real troubles otu there. His run was fast though. Faster than mine and I think 25th overall.
Big weeks ahead in training as Timberman approaches. I hope I can hold it all together for that.