Friday, September 25, 2009

Lobsterman, Last 100 miles, and Goodbye Horton

So much has happened this week! I raced last weekend and honestly, I can barely remember the details to write my race report. But I'll make an attempt.
I love the Lobsterman Triathlon. It's held in beautiful Freeport, Maine. I love it. Freeport's practically home to me. I get to pick up the packets and drive 4 miles to Mom and Dad's house. A far cry from my norm. I usually have to make an hour drive to get the pre-race essentials. So this one is a treat.
Race Morning: I got up earlier than everyone (even my hubby who was racing too) and did my routine. I even drove to the race site seperately from him since I need to be there early. I'ts just my thing. I arrived at Winslow park to dead low tide. No water in the cove. None. Nada. Mud. pretty funny. The race started at 9:30 and this was why. It cracked me up to watch us all rushing around with our pre-race rituals and yet there was no water.
I love being in the race scene again. I saw friends I haven't seen all summer. I needed this. I saw Mary, Andy, ah yes, Mark (he got there about an hour after me!), Melissa, Robin, Mike, Katie, and a bunch more great Tri buddies.
I finally got in the water for the final part of my warm up. HOLY FREEZING DON"T PUT YOUR FACE IN AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! It was cold. Very very very cold. Hurt me cold. Hurt me cold? You know what I mean. It hurt. I was pretty worried. I couldn't even keep my face in. I rushed out and over to the starting area. We all commiserated over the cold. My brother had braved it and swam out further. He Promised me that the water was warmer out further. We'll see.
I was in the elite wave. I never really know where to put myself but I wanted to race against these fast women. they push me. There was awesome age group competition that day too...ahem, note:MARY!!!., but here I was in wave 1. I had to give it my best shot.
We put ourselves out in the water and begged them to just start us. GOOOOOOO!
It was Rough! The current was pushing us back and the waves were going over my head and into my mouth. Not an easy swim. I pushed so hard. I was out of the pack and 2nd behind the leader. Man is she fast. Before too long, I lost sight of her.
I swam and swam and swam and just hoped I'd see the buoy soon. The sun was in my eyes so I had trouble sighting.
I felt strong and just chugged along. Out of the water....21 min. Last year was 16? Hmmm. Later I was happy to learn it was a bit longer and everyone's times were slower.
I sat on the ground and strugged to get the wetsuit off! I hadn't done it all summer I realized! The two races I used it had wetsuit strippers! This time we also had to wear 2 chips! I couldn't get the thign off. But finally, I hopped on the bike.
I rode pretty hard adn got tossed around the roads. High winds + disc wheel = scary ride. I learned this! I was passed by the Pro after about 7 miles. I held on for a while....but couldn't catch her. I took a corner tight and felt proud. And then I saw the pothole. So I weaved to the right and almost hit a police car. So I weaved the other way, could a big gust of wind, and almost went ina ditch and saw Kona come and go before my eyes. Phew. I saved myself. Close one. NO MORE CRASHES Ange!!!
One good thing about the ride...I felt stronger as the miles went by. Guess that's a sign of IM traning.
Onto the run. I got into T2 and our local awesome coach and athlete was there.....Get outta here Ange...they're right there! I might have taken too long if he hadn't been there but instead I grabbed the esssentials and headed out. Thanks KP. :) I was fast in T2.
My run was adequate. I ran hard and kept my pace pretty steady. I didn't break any records but I think it was pretty solid on my IM legs. I hope so.
I had a fun day and am So glad I raced .It was fun to get out there and get my adrenaline moving.
Total time: 2:21 swim: 21 bike: 1:14 run: 43 4th elite wave

This week I have been back at the long hard Ironman prep. I am 2 weeks away from Kona and feeling strong. Ok, tired, but strong.
I rode my Last 100 mile training ride yesterday. Maybe my last ever. Well, who knows. But last one for a LONG long time. I am just not interested in riding 100 miles by myself again. 50 miles-great 60- still good 70---perfect long hard ride. But plenty. 100 miles is just long. I mean, I rode to Yarmouth. From South Paris. Via Raymond. And back! And it still was NOT long enough! What made it more fun? The headwind. The relentless headwind. It was about 75 degrees. Beautiful day. However, I had on 4 tops. One was a fleece. Another was a heavy coat. Michelin man eat your heart out! So it wasn't my best ride. But I am Sure of one thing. It made me stronger. Tougher. And when I get to Hawaii and it's windier and hotter... I'll be ok. Because as I told my kids--that's the party. People are screaming, GO! You're STrong! And saying, "would you like a drink? " Great things like that.
I'm ready.

Today I swam 2 miles in the lake with my friend Mary Lou who is also going to Kona. It was windy again and so so choppy. Again, great for training. Next time we get in the open water, it'll be warm and full of tropical fish! Yay!!!!
After my swim, I ran for an hour. I felt aweeeeeesommme! Fast and light despite the sore quads. There's Nothing like a good run to make things all seem ok.

One more story from my week. Last Sunday morning, we were all relaxing. My son was outside with our kitty. My 7 y.o. was watching out the window while my husband was on the phone with his sister. I am used to one or all of the boys running in from time to time hollering about who knows what. But this tone was not the same. Cameron came in screaming in a voice I can't get out of my brain. It was panic. And fear. "MOMMY!!!!!!!!! Horton GOT HIT!"
Mark and I were outside in a matter of seconds. My heart stopped. And I shook. My 2 other boys were running down the driveway now. I grabbed all 3 of them and forced them inside to a couch with me. I held htem down as much as I could. Every time I ran out to ask, "Mark Mark can we do anything? ARe you sure? Can we go to the vet?" They "escaped" and ran out too. Oh oh oh...the horror of the scene still make me ache. The poor kitty. He was hit by a car in the head. And it was too late. The person didn't stop. He hit our cat in front of our son, and didn't stop. We have a big yard with woods on 2 sides and plenty of space. It is just heartbreaking to us that this little sweet cat ran out in the road. IF haunts us.
My boys cried all day and night. Tommy couldn't eat. It's been awful. We miss the little guy running around the house. He took turns with a different boy each night. We miss him very much.He was much bigger than this when he died. He was a baby in this picture.
Goodbye Horton


Jennifer Harrison said...

You are doing great, hang in there Ange! The work is all done - time to taper and rest and GET excited b/c you get to race in Hawaii!

I am sorry about your kitty too. I think I never said anything about that, and I am sorry! I was too focused on the race in Hawaii prep.


IronMatron said...

I'm sorry about Horton. Sorry for his short little life, and so sad for your boys, and sad for you that you have to watch the sadness of your boys. Having a pet is wonderful-but losing a pet is the equivalent in pain and sorrow.

You have been so tough getting to this IM. I'm proud of you. I wish I could have done it with you and we could've helped pull each other along. You did it alone, and that is hard hard hard! It will be a great day.

MaineSport said...

So sorry to hear about Horton. And also seeng the boys go through that pain. Nice job with all of the training! And PLEEEEASE...we want a picture of the Michelin woman!

GoBigGreen said...

I am SO SO sorry about Horton. I know the pain of losing a pet who is actually a family member. I have found it is a good thing to have a ceremony or ritual to say goodbye to a lost pet, that way you and the kids can have some closure.
Good luck with Kona, you will have a great day!

Jennifer Cunnane said...

Great job getting the job done!!! I admire your consistency and mental toughness... not easy to do and rebound/recover from one big IM and do another just 2 months later!!

Mama Simmons said...

SO sad about Horton. :( Especially that your boys had to witness it. Ugh.

But great job getting the rough the end of all that training. 4 tops? Fleece jacket? Holy cow. I can't even imagine. That will serve you well when you get here. I kind of wanted to rip my own skin off today while I was running.

Pam said...

I don't even like cats but that story made my heart ache. Especially the picture.

Good luck at Kona!!!!!!!!

Amanda said...

Great race! So sad about the kitty :(
You're gonna rock it in Kona! Very exciting

Kim said...

ange, i am so sorry to hear about horton. it's absolutely awful that the person who hit him didnt stop.

congratulations on getting through your last 100 miler, and a great (yet cold) race! yay for rest and recovery until kona!