Tuesday, June 27, 2006

another triumph, on a smaller scale

while most of the local multi-sport contingent flocked to the port penn TT, the tri’s in fairmount park or the Cove, i traveled to the NJ park where JZ and hen raced last weekend. i haven’t raced a du since april and need one or two more under my belt before worlds, so i opted for the 40-person du over the 150-person tri running concurrently.

as my and others' experiences can attest, in this area of NJ distances are approximate and course indicators optional. so the runs are a little longer/shorter than advertised, and ya might miss the lone, unattended cone that marks the run’s turn-around. at least you’ve got the stragglers from the triathlon to reel in, as they tipple around corners on their mountain bikes and trundle past the water tables with their children, grandchildren, great-great-aunt and pet ferrets in tow.

since the du was so small, i thought my only competition would come from M, who despite her piriformis issues averaged 23mph on a similar course last weekend. my plan was to be fast enough in the runs to sacrifice some on the bike, cos i was pretty sure i couldn’t peg 23 the whole way.

i felt awesome the first leg of the run – that kind of awesome that makes you want to cry cos it feels so good. i didn’t look at my watch and therefore didn’t begin to fret when 14min passed and we were still out on the “2mile” course. there were only a couple men in front of me, so i figured I was in a good place.

had a relatively unencumbered T1 and eased onto the bike course with nails’ The Collector – very appropriate as i began to pick off the tri stragglers, including one i nearly jammed into on a corner because the queen was now waxing pontific on paul’s divorce from the one-legged chick and i was trying to come to his defense for no good reason and why is that policeman hollering at me??

the jamming incident pulled me out of my somnolence (you wouldn’t think someone could daydream in just 12 miles couldya) and i realised i was going about 18. not 23. i threw a bit of a wobbler then, trying to figure out when M would catch me and what kind of cushion the 2nd run would give me, but i cannot do simple arithmetic on paper, with a calculator, much less in my head when i cannot carry a 1 to save my life.

the queen knocked insistently; i took a deep breath, unpacked my shoulders from around my ears and just relaxed. i didn’t average 23, but i didn’t get caught either.

i could have dogged the second run, pushing only when M got close, but it is so hard to connect perceived effort with real pace and there are so many unknowns on the course; so i just let my legs go, and when i spotted M after the turnaround i went a little faster. i closed in on the du guy ahead of me and probably could have caught him, but an unseemly dash to the line to beat someone who’s not even your sex seems like battling for 37th place in a field sprint. (erm, read: i didn’t know then that he was 2nd place.)

final results: 1st F, 3rd overall.
huzzah, baby.

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