Monday, May 07, 2007

NJD sprint tri

in the spirit of full disclosure i must state that i'm writing this outside, at the picnic table, while the dog worries his ball, the birds twitter and schools of harleys rumble by. ah, serenity. i love my mac.

today's tri was a long sprint: ~0.6mi swim, ~23mi bike and 4mi run. the first leg was utterly chaotic: it was an in-water start, but i never heard a starting gun or nuthin' – suddenly everyone was windmilling toward the first buoy. i drank a lot of mucky water, had to sight every 4 strokes, and never settled into a bilateral breathing rhythm. it was just a mad, mad dash, and by the time i felt like i was doing more swimming than fighting, the swimming part was done.

i then clocked one of the longest transitions in sprint tri history. an epic struggle to remove my wetsuit is par-for-the-course with me, but here, try this: get really wet, and chilly around the edges so your fingers don't work as expected, then try to pull on a pair of double-ply coolmax socks and when you're successful after a half-dozen tries, then try to yank on a pair of armwarmers. now you may understand why i had such a in-depth, spirited conversation with a 62-year-old gentleman 3 bikes down. i'm the only one in my age group, so i'm racing against myself! - he concluded cheerfully, providing me that final kick-in-the-arse i needed to get myself out of transition.

the bike leg was very windy, so when you'd round a corner and a wall of wind would take you down from 26mph to 12, you just had to be stoic. at least if you were on a stretch straight into the wind you wouldn't have to worry about the gusty cross-winds that'd just as soon see you in a cornfield. i got as small and tucked as i could, which meant my vision was fore-shortened so that obstacles came up on me rather quickly. and what's your gut response when a small obstacle suddenly presents itself? why, to run right over it, of course! i must have run over a dozen monkey balls... me, who has to dismount to get my bike through a 5-foot gap in the park's gate –- yet give me a wide-open road and a square-inch monkey ball and i will roll right over that little prickly thing with unerring precision. i rode over a variety of rocks, some sizable sticks and something that looked like a dead pheasant but i might have hallucinated that.

with all the Pantera i had pummeling on the drive up, wouldn't you think i'd have something like “rise” or “by demons be driven” looping in my head during my tour of the NJ flats?? but no, i've got the fucking Pet Shop Boys and “love comes quickly.” WTF??

anyway, i pass a lot of people on the bike, because most of the world can swim faster than i can. another long transition prepares me (ha!) for the run, which took FOREVER last year. the run course is just out & back, on wide country roads, totally exposed to wind, sun and farmers on their tractors. there's no cat & mousing, no hunting of the prey; it's just run down anyone you can run down. snooooooozers.

i finished 5th female overall, not much of an improvement over last year's 6th, when i felt absolutely horrid, but bodies are funny. sometimes you feel god-awful, and you do great; sometimes the opposite occurs. like last year, though, the highlight of the race was hanging out with joss afterward. she's encouraging her swim team to do a kids' triathlon in june and described to me a parent's anxiety about the idea.
-- what if emily falls? - her mom asked joss. like many swimmers, emily's grace in the water doesn't carry over to running or cycling.
-- well, then she'll get back up – which pretty much sums up joss's attitude and the reason why i wish our schedules meshed more.

did i mention i'm writing this outside? in the sun? if i had such a thing as net access i could post it now, but that would too, too... 90s.

UPDATE: official results say i was 4th F.
meb someone had a sex-change mid-race?


fatmammycat said...

That was a fine fine read, and well done on the result. Love the photo of jack.

Mayrasmom said...

Sounds like you had a pretty good day except for hearing pet Shop Boys in your head.

Brown Suga' said...

Aw... but I guess all it takes is one look at that adorable creature in the photo to set things right, eh?

Keep going, girl. We wuvs ya.

finn said...

y thank u all.

i STILL have the pet shop boys in my head. argh!!

FMC, your memory is impeccable btw. and o how i wish today were a bank holiday for ussen.

Theo said...

You've got the brawn, I've got the brains...

finn said...

i must confess that i really do like the whole please album. i don't think there's a bad song on there, unless it's the one that's in your head for 24miles when what you really need is a vulgar display of power.

(am i considerably less brawny in your eyes now teho?)

Theo said...

(nah... because then it would also logically have to follow that I'd be that much less brainy, and I can't afford that today)

finn said...

jah. cos it takes a lot of brains to make kitten videos all day long...

addon said...

The trouble with running is that the ice falls out of your glass.

or so someone said.

good work finn, good read.

finn said...

good point adam, and that is why i prefer just a dash of water with my whiskey.