Monday, April 16, 2007

BVD duathlon

i kicked off the multi-sport season with the underwear duathlon this weekend. as far as racing goes, i haven’t done anything more complicated than running since worlds last july, so i’m a little out of practise. some people are good enough to bring their A game to the first race of the year; not me.

so i’m flying by the seat of my pants. i didn’t check out the registrants list, so i don’t know my competition. while i know the runs are 5Ks, i have to confirm the bike distance with the woman racking her bike next to mine, and when she informs me it’s 30K, i immediately assume that’s 24 miles. 2 minutes before my wave takes off, i’m still waiting patiently in the porta-john line. it is what it is.

when the race starts, i’m feeling warped, wonky and clunky, like half of me’s in another place. i don’t look at my mile splits when we pass the markers because i’m happy in space and don’t want to come back to earth. details like this i don’t need to know. i don’t need to know my time coming into T1. i know i’m 3rd female, but that’s because a number of people have told me so. i wish they would tell me where i racked my bike, because i need it now and i cannot find it. i dart like a sparrow among the bright toys, narrowly avoiding multiple collisions with more focused racers, and finally spot and alight upon my fuji. off we fly into the wild blue yonder, urged on by gunfire thanks to the National Guard doing practise rounds at Fort Delaware.

we toil up a long gradual climb over the C&D canal and drop down the other side with Tool’s 10,000 Days. it’s time now, my time now, give me my, give me my wings…. my new bike is so swish; my zipps are so fast on the downhill; i feel so melloyello pedaling so softly going so fast…. and then some dude with a tri-spoke and rear disk shoots by me at like 50mph. he’s not even pedaling.

i feel faintly affronted, but rejoin the tool army and zone out for the next 5 miles, until i am passed by -- of all all things -- another chick!! i don’t mind being skooled by dudes on a bike, but i am not at all okay about being passed by a girl, and this one looks scary: super-aero position with a pointy aero helmet, riding a Lightspeed Blade with seatpost cages with straps that swing in the breeze, hypnotically, swing swing wings wings, you’re going home…. she blasts ahead and triggers my one lucid thought of the race: if it took this scary monster 7miles to catch me, then her run must really suck, so if i can maintain contact with her, i might catch her on the second run.

i work all this out in my head, then tackle the question of how many miles remain to be eked out on the bike. roughly, it is 30K minus 7 miles, or 4412042 apples minus 3636366 oranges. i know a K is 6/10 of a mile; i know 10K is 6.4 miles; and i know 5K is 3.1 miles; but matching any of these ratios to 30K requires too much complex dimensional analysis for my disembodied state. i’m completely at a loss until i recall that my trail race last weekend was 15K, which is happily (play along with me here) half of 30K, and i know i ran 9.3 miles last weekend, so THANK GOD i’m riding something like 18 miles, not 24. by the time i work all this out, there are only 2 miles left to ride and Scary Monster is still on the horizon (as a speck, sure, but there nonetheless), so i suck down a gel to celebrate and mentally gird my loins for the run.

when i roll into T2, i am informed Scary Monster is 2 ½ minutes in front of me. that is a big deficit to overcome in 5K. plus, i am lost in the transition zone again. where the fuck are my shoes?? this is getting really old. thankfully we’re racked by number so i’m reduced to counting back from 119 to 131, and there are my shoes. fast Wing-ed shoes.

i take an extra lap around a tree trying to find my way out of the transition zone and giggle because an unsuspecting dude has followed me thinking i know WTF i’m doing, and then we’re on the course again. i pass a bunch of guys and even for a time use one as a shield against the battering headwind on the way out to the turnaround. i see kerri and then sue coming back the other way; kerri flashes me the peace sign and sue grimaces. they aren’t MILES ahead, anyway, and look there’s Scary Monster just rounding the turn as i’m approaching it.

now my skin is prickling because the prey is in sight, and weak. i survey her from behind as i gain ground. she doesn’t look nearly as scary running as she did on the bike. she looks human, like she’s running an 8-min mile, whereas i feel like i’m spinning out a sub-6. [let it be known that i’m barely sub-7, but with my bronchitis-strapped chest it feels like 5:45ish]. when i pass her, she encourages me, “you’re third place. go get ‘em.” i chirp appreciatively, but i haven’t any such noble intentions. when i cross the line i am 100% happy with 3rd place.

does this make me a weak competitor, someone happy with settling? perhaps, but for fuck’s sake people it’s the first race of the season, both kerri and sue finished on the podium at worlds and this day i straddled the line between here and judith-marie and still walked away with 3rd place.

that night i celebrate with a rack of ribs, french fries and i-don’t-remember how many pints of guinness. after 8 months it is good to be racing again.

now, for some anti-biotics.


fatmammycat said...

Awesome, just bloomin' awesome. Take a bow Miss Finn.

Brown Suga' said...

W00T, babe, w00tw00t. Have some Guinness for me too.

finn said...

and you too, FMC. i am so proud of you. isn't life simple and beautiful when you're in the middle of a race? all the other shit just fades away for a piece, and it's just you and your body. some people say racing is hard, when i think real, everyday life is much much harder.

subh, i got better than guinness: i've got zithromax, thanks to a doc who was able to squeeeeeeze me in this morn. it is a sad day when you relish antibiotics more than stout. but this too shall pass.

Mayrasmom said...

Congrats, but I have to admit I couldn't figure out why BVD would be sponsoring a race in this neck of the woods.
I really do need a brain transplant.

Theo said...

W, to the 0, to the 0, to the T.
Here's to ribs and grease, and a pint of stout (on me).

addon said...

pheeuggggggggghh i am exhausted and sweaty ...