Monday, May 9, 2011

PolarBear Sprint Race Report

This race is so fast and furious, I don't even remember very much about it.

I arrived nice and early with a well thought out plan. I would leave my bike in the car, get checked in, drop off the bag to claim my bike spot, then go back to the car for a quick bike warm up. Except I walked all the way to T1 and forgot to get body marked. Then, I walked all the way back to the car, but had forgotten my bike shoes. Finally, I was ready to ride but the bike mechanic needed to adjust some cable. Next thing I knew, I still had to run a bit, and then swim, but there was only 20 min left with the pool open! Uh... was this my First race? You might have thought that if you'd watched mess around that morning.

Oh well. I got it all done. I laughed at myself. I contained my pre-race nerves to a very moderate level I must say. I am honestly not sure why people (ahem, my Friends! ) give me such crap about my pre-race 'state.' I don't think I act any different than anyone else. Ok, I might move around a lot. I might get a little chatty. I check and recheck things I had ready two weeks earlier. Isn't that normal? Well, as my buddy Bob pointed out, it works for me.

My family had arrived (husband and 3 sons, Mom and Dad, and my Sister in-law with her 3 kids) so I was ready to go.

Time to hit the deck and wait for wave 3.

The swim was sort of comical at the start. If you ask me. Here's the thing. We're in Brunswick, Maine people. Not Southern California, or Kona, or Florida or Costa Rica. We've barely seen upper 60s here this year. Barely. It's chilly. It's muddy. It's buggy. We're pale. And, we're Triathletes!!!
I am going to go off on a rant and tangent here. I'll be brief.
There's a 20-something woman who swims in this each year. There are actually a bunch of college women & men who are excellent swimmers and just do that leg of the race.
But this one lady, bear with me men, is a little too excited to show us how Incredible her body is. Yes, I admit it. She looks amazing. All other women undoubtedly envy her. She is tall, tan, and has a strong athletic swimmer's body. Ok! I admit it. She is gorgeous. I have to back up here and admit that I haven't seen much of her face. I've only seen her in a cap & goggles and a VERY SMALL Portion of a bathing suit. THIS year, her suit of choice was a bikini that would fit my BFF's 9 year old.
Get OVER yourself honey! Seriously. Teeny tiny triangle top biking with a bottom that didn't even cover her a--. No joke. She stands on deck and struts herself around for all of us to watch and admire. It's silly. Honestly, she is LUCKY because, she is good. She can at least sort of hold her own in the water. Yeah, she outswam Even my brother Jeff. Even the woman that I have been trying trying trying to keep up with for years. So ok, she's fast. But she Does look Foolish at a Maine race, in May, in a pool, in a bikini. The men all smirk and say, "I don't think it's that
bad. Ha. Of course not.
Back to my race. I shared a lane with a 12 year old girl. We enter our 'times' for a 500 to 'qualify' for certain waves in this race. So I knew she'd be fast. I felt like her Mom. It was her first Tri. I gave her some tips and we decided on a time to break together. Thankfully, I did beat her. Phew...


I told you the race was so short that I didn't remember anything about it. It's all before and after!


the whistle blew and We were OFF!

I couldn't see the main person I was racing. I knew I had to maintain focus, keep count and push hard to keep the pace strong and steady for the whole 525. After about 250 I realized I could see the clock! I saw 2:51 as I hit the 250 and got confused. Is this possible? Maybe I miscounted. But there was no way I was doing 2:51 for a 200. It was right! Cool. I was moving along well.
400 was 4:53 Not bad. Considering 5:10s or so are my practice 400s.
500 6:07 and that was it. I cruised down the last time, pulled myself out and tore out of the building. I heard Mark scream my name from the bleachers above. I scanned the transition area to see where I stood. Where was she?
ah ha...there. just leaving.
Jeff 's leaving too. I ran out just behind him.
T1 :28 seconds.
On the bike and around the two quick corners and off on the first long stretch. The road is a slight slight hill and that day, we had winds hitting us. My Glutes were just screaming. My HR felt fairly well controlled but I was working to get my legs in the game. There is NO time for error. NO time to rest or take a short minute to get one's breath. It's just GO GO GO GO!!! I passed Jeff and exchanged some sort of noise, smile, grunt. Not sure, but we did acknowledge each other!

I was essentially alone on the roads. Well, Jeff was behind me for a while he said but I couldn't see him. I couldn't see ANYONE and that was irritating me. There are a lot of turns on this course so you don't often have a nice view of folks ahead. I just raced. There were some hills although not too bad, some wind, and a rough area that shook me around a bit. (maybe that's why my helmet was crooked?? :o)
Mile 9 or so, my coach crept up beside me. He got next to me, looked at me and quietly said, "Come on.. " As if, "stay with me. let's go."
Oh and I tried! But Kurt is basically like a flash on his bike. He's there, and then he's gone. I saw him for a while and then, he was gone.

And that was that! 11 miles give or take and I was back at Bowdoin. 30:36 for the ride. I made it through T2 without wiping out or running into anyone else. Improvements!
I grabbed my race belt, shoes..that's it! :35 sec. I was off. was Bob. My friend Bob snuck in and out of T2 juuuuuust ahead of me. Just like last year. However, Bob stayed a bit ahead of me this year on the run. (not much though Bob!! watch out mista! ) We ran along the roads for mile 1 and then into the woods. Through the trails and then out to the field. My gang was right there giving me high 5s and smiles. Little Nick had stashed a cow bell won at a previous race and shook that thing so proudly for me to hear all day. Love it. Mark was proudly taking those pictures. You know those shots you wish would go away. The ones where your face is unrecognizable because you've been gasping for air for the last 49 minutes and still have 1.5 miles to go. Oh I love those shots.
We ran around the grassy soccer field and back into the woods. I was still chasing Bob's blue shorts. I couldn't find the black ones I was really trying to catch.

And then, that was it! The finish! My boys were in the field and I yelled, "Run in with me!" Tommy was the closest and ran fast fast fast! He kept right up. It was very cool and I had visions of our future. (Later, Nick said, " I was a little behind. I didn't know you were going to run so fast at the end of such a long race Mommy." Gotta love that...)
So, I ran in hard. I felt good. 20:42 on the run for 5K. I knew I wasn't winning at that point so my next goal was to break the 1 hour mark.
You know what?
2nd woman to break an hour at Polarbear. I'll take it.

It was a great day. I felt pretty strong. It's fun to bust out the race gear and let it all out for an hour. It's even better to reconnect with the Maine Tri community after being cooped up all winter. There's a great group of people around here and I'm so excited to be part of it.

And if I can end up feeling the type of honest pure joy that my little guy appears to be feeling in the photo above, then I've won no matter who finishes ahead of me. That is my new goal.

(dont' get me wrong, I still want to win. )

In the end, I was 2nd woman overall / 154 and 10th finisher overall/284 triathletes.
I'm also proud to say that Jeff and I took top brother-sister team with both of us in the top 18. :)
And! I was happy for my family to point out on Mother's day, that I was the Overall Winner for Moms. No other Mom beat me. So, I sort of won. :) heeheee....


dawn said...

OMG-- I was thinking the same thing about BIKINI Girl. Unfortunately, a friend of mine standing with me swam with her UMaine and said she was really nice and kind of a granola hippy chick and dressed like that all the time.

I felt bad for about 2 seconds and then thought "Yup! She needs to get OVER HERSELF!"

Great race Ange! I was hoping you were going to be able to catch her and make this YOUR year. It seems like there is ALWAYS someone faster.

Beth said...

Awesome start to the season Ange!! Congrats! :)

tri like mary said...

Great result - under an hour! I can only dream....

Ben said...

So, 1: I'm ok with hot chicks in bikinis. Im not gonna lie. Maybe its just the swimsuit she likes?

2. Fantastic race! I can only dream of a 5 minute 400 right now. My best ever was a 7:30 and I certainly didn't come close to that this weekend at our race (actually double that!)

what a great way for you to start the season.

Christi said...

Great race day!

MaineSport said...

Nice job, Ange! I'm sure it feels good to get the first one of the season done. Good luck with the next...oh...9 weeks(?) of training.

Jennifer Harrison said...

Yeah! WAY TO BREAK the 1 hour barrier you have been chasing these last few years! AND great job with Jeff too - how fun!!! Congrats!