Tuesday, May 23, 2006

sunday's olympic distance tri

columbia triathlon
1.5K swim – 41K bike – 10K run
ellicott city, MD

every time i do columbia, i fall in love with it a little more. it’s high-profile and well organised, and the courses are so fun. not your av-er-age bear.

the swim takes place in a lake with clear, clean water – a world apart from the sludge we braved at devilman in jersey two weeks ago. the water temp was a refreshing 66 degrees, and everyone wore wetsuits. i started at the front line of my age group’s wave and had a good (for me) swim, coming out of the water 8th out of about 80.

i found my bike quickly and began to fight against my wetsuit, with which i’ve had separation issues ever since i got it 4 years ago. i cannot get out of the thing with any grace or speed and my frantic struggles endanger anything within striking distance.

i gave up standing and plopped down on the ground to scrabble at the rubber bunching up around my timing chip strap. precious seconds bled away and i imagined dusk falling and volunteers picking up bits of trash around me 12 hours later when i still hadn’t made any headway. but I finally worked my foot loose and ran my bike out of transition. my T1 was 2:56, roughly a minute slower than my competition.

the good thing about starting in the 10th of 12 waves is that most of the race is in front of you, so i passed a stream of people on the bike. i had some jiggy saul williams in my head, my zipps were flying on the descents and i consumed a gel without smearing it over my handlebars, so life was good. R overhauled my bike last week and cleared a salt lick out of my bottom bracket so it’s smooooth sailing.

columbia’s bike course is hilly and technical in spots and there was a stiff wind, but i still ended up with a significantly faster average speed than i netted on devilman’s flatter, shorter course. the official results show my bike split time as down-to-the-second matching my time from last year. kinda freaky. i couldn’t do that if i tried.

my second transition wasn’t lightening-fast by any stretch of the imagination, but it at least didn’t involve writhing on the ground like the first one did. i donned my socks, racing flats & race belt with saul still looping in my head. i considered chanting to the first water table now tell me where my niggaz at and then thought better of it.

from the sidelines, my parents informed me that there was only 1 woman in my age group up the road, and she had a minute-thirty on me. i felt that frisson of energy that comes with knowing 1st place is within your grasp.

i worked my ass off on that run, knocking out the 4th fastest female run split, pros included; but i was chasing the woman who ran the 2nd fastest. hope hall is way out of my league, and if i’d known i was chasing her, i wouldn’t have been dispirited at the finish after failing to run down my prey.

i ended up 12th woman out of about 400 and the 7th amateur, an improvement over last year’s 10th. i would love to crack the top 5 and get me one of those Waterford crystal trophies, but first my wetsuit and i must come to an Understanding.


fatmammycat said...

Bravo! That was bloody fantastic. Talk about heart. Well done. You may need a new wet suit though. One that sliithers off you for speedy get aways.

finn said...

or i could just butter myself.

thanks ms cat.

Theo said...


Well, my head a splode.

(Congrats on your success at something I could never contemplate, too.)

finn said...

ta, theo. i missa-da CO, and henrietta scratches at the door of the closet: she wants to play but i have been too bizzy.

i may get net access at home, though. MAY.

Theo said...

There's less & less of May left, y'know.

finn said...

i know. and so do the cats.
they're counting the days 'til the bitch leaves.


my brain will simply not hold any more verbos irregulares. que sera sera.