Monday, August 30, 2010

Cranberry Race Report: Knocking on the door

[me, Head Coach Ali, Assistant Coach Christina pre swim]

I did it. I finally broke my PR of 2:43:49. My new PR is now 2:43:05. So 44 seconds improvement, which sounds sorta piddly after 18 months of training. Here's the thing: I went all out on this race. I pushed the swim, I owned the bike and I struggled through the run. I left absolutely nothing left in the tank, so I will take those 44 seconds with pride. (I will also remember that this course is technically 1.2 miles longer on the bike than my previous PR).

The swim was .8 miles around a cute little pond. The start was messy. I got out to start in the front, and still got pretty thoroughly pounded out to the first buoy. Then things eased a bit. Every 12 strokes I'd look to my right and I'd see another girl in my wave and I'd think, "ok, push it on this one and drop her" 12 strokes later, I'd look right again and see her, no further behind me, but importantly no further ahead. This girl paced with me the entire swim. And it was great to have some one right there. I definitely pushed harder because of it.

[yay 7th]

I came out of the water in 7th place in my age group, right behind the girl who paced with me and one other. I got out of transition ahead of those 2, so I was 5th starting out on the bike. As I've said, I rocked this bike. Just focused on picking people off and drinking plenty of fluids. I even held my coach off until the last few miles. I passed two girls in my age group, putting me in 3rd until the very end when I got passed just before the chute. Maybe it was getting passed at the end, but somehow, I just wasn't thinking when I was dismounting. I'm not the most graceful at getting off my bike: generally, I take my feet out of shoes while riding, then put weight on the right shoe, come to a stop, put my left on the ground, and swing the right leg over. Somehow this time around, I attempted a different dismount. I tried putting my weight on the left, and swinging the right leg over before coming to a stop. I didn't fall, but I did lose my left shoe in the process.
[just about to attempt an entirely new dismount]

I passed the girl who passed me at the end of the bike at the beginning of the run. Then it was just trying to hang on. It was a long, hot slog, not all that different from the half ironman run. I got passed about halfway through by another girl in my age group, just pushing me out of the top 3. I grimaced my way through the last 3 miles, but never got passed again.

[out on the run]

Finally, I've gotta give a shout out to the awesome spectators who get up when it's dark out just to come out and cheer. It was great to see other BPC and BTT athletes out, snapping pictures and cheering us on despite the pain, and of course, Paul and his parents coming out for it.

[post race cool down]


Matt August 31, 2010 at 8:40 AM  

Awesome pictures - nice work!

Brenda August 31, 2010 at 1:24 PM  

Way to go!! Great race :)

Lauren August 31, 2010 at 9:48 PM  

Great job. Inspiring story.

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