Monday, June 18, 2007

middletown sprint tri

0.25mi swim – 16 mile bike – 3 mile run

i waffled on this race until the very last minute, leaving the house only under the condition that if my much-abused hamstring rebelled during a warmup i'd pack up and go right back home. but after 2 weeks of chilling the hammie, i was feeling restless and coltish. mentally, i wanted to tear some shit up even if i'm not quite there physically; plus there's the fact that i've done this race for 4 years straight and won the last 2.

i knew i wouldn't be able to win through brute force cos i was feeling neither brutish nor forceful, so i'd have to be smart and calculated -- which i'm sure you've gathered is a stretch for me. i'd need to get to the race with enough time to do a slow, easy warmup run. i'd need time to get in the water and prepare for the shotgun swim start. i'd need to have my shit together mentally. and of course i'd need a huge bowl of haagen dazs the night before.

my warmup run was auspicious: the hamstring was Evident but not Obstructive. i had a peaceful poo in the woods and used the 10min i would have spent in the portajohn line warming up on the bike. i drank some of the noxontown pond water during a warmup swim so it wouldn't be such a shock to my system during the race. the stars were aligned.

my swim wasn't bad – and that is the best thing i can say about the swim leg of a tri. i've accepted that it's never going to be good, or absolutely fabulous, so “not bad” suffices. i stayed relatively on course, didn't run into any buoys and only once swam out to one of the lifeguard kayaks, mistaking it for a course buoy. i didn't wear a wetsuit because i figured the race would be challenging enough without throwing wetsuit removal into the mix. sorry, transition spectators – no sideshow this time.

though i didn't know it at the time, i was about 6th woman out of the water. they're a couple minutes up the road - BV informed me as i hopped on the bike.

sometimes my bike is really really good, and sometimes it's so-so. i knew that today it had to be really fucking fast because i couldn't rely on my run to make up time. but i still started off eeeeeensy-slow in the small chain ring because that's how we roll, and after a couple miles i graduated to a comfortably hard pace.

that would have been enough to make up some time but on the second of two 8-mile laps, i found the Zone. the mental jukebox cooperated once again, serving up Tool's Wings for Marie which, with its rolling bassline, rumbling drums and hypnotic vocals, is absolutely perfect for time-trialing. my focus narrowed to my tunnel of movement – i could have been riding in the arctic circle with polar bears all around for all i know – and i could concentrate without concentrating, if that makes any sense. i felt invincible, which was nice for a change.

i didn't know how many women were ahead of me after the swim, but when i caught joss, i knew i was close to, if not the, front. she's such a strong swimmer and cyclist that i typically don't see her until the later part of the run.

i was pulling on my flats when joss came into transition, with a couple women hot on her heels. spectators told us we were the lead women, but i knew i didn't have much of a lead. still, i started out slowly, trying not to jack my hamstring into tightening or spasming. i took tiny little steps up rises and opened up on the flats. i felt okay – not great, just okay. if i'd had to chase anyone down there would have been serious suffering, but all i had to do was keep the rhythm rolling, and stay relaxed, which i did. i crossed the line with a quiescent hamstring and a huge grin.

i finished about a minute up from joss and was 1st F and 10th overall out of 255. the nice thing about local races is that people in delaware may not know you won a bunch of races in new jersey, or went to duathlon worlds, but they know you won wayne's sprint tri. a local win also gives you more local currency to use with the people you can't do without: rudy, fisch, MM and other members of delaware's inner sanctum of sports.

it's also a much-needed ego boost.


Mayrasmom said...


fatmammycat said...

Congratulations darling! I knew you'd do it, knew it like a fox.

finn said...

you were a crowd of one, foxmammycat. thank you for the vote of confidence though; it did give me courage.

when is your 5-miler?

fatmammycat said...

14th of July. Here, allow me to provide a slinky link. Wanna come over? We can run and then drink all manner of alcohol.
I was over taken by two olden folk yesterday in the park, most shameful. They were even chatting as I, pink-faced and reeling, charged along with all the grace of a drunk rhino.

finn said...

drunk rhinos are not to be fucked with. there are far worse things to be, like the headless vole i discovered on the front stoop this morning. and those olden folk have been running for decades probably.

a friend of a friend is signed up for the dub marathon, i learned yesterday. a support crew has been lined up for the race, and for pub crawls and travels to the north afterward. i have not been to the north yet, and i am almost out of the good jameson.

it is Under Consideration.

fatmammycat said...

Ah, those cat prezzies, reminds me of the time the BOTC spat most of a mouse at me and my very bare feet. Vile.
Duly Noted, Much Approved.

finn said...

an FMC classic, up the charts with the proper preparation of brussels sprouts. i bleeeeeee-d in the mere reading.

heavens the afghan looks nice today.

fatmammycat said...

Nice is a bring him home to Mom way? Or nice in a roll him in oil just to watch him glisten?

finn said...

when you say "oil" and "glisten" i cannot help but think of Carrot Top. THAT is what you have done to me. for SHAME.


addon said...

"If God invented marathons to keep people from doing something more stupid, the triathlon must have taken Him completely by surprise." ~P.Z. Pearce

finn, your stories of these athletic events leave me breathless and in awe. must do more training before the next one. must re-start my afternoon walks. must get up from the computer at least twice per day. will stop reading and focus my energy on my legs. might take the cats for a walk. i'll jog on the spot while shaving, that would be good. my nose is running does that count?

oh i don't know, i may just give up.

finn said...

great quote, adam.

you love photography; i love competing. to each his/her own. i can appreciate what you do, but i'll never have your eye, as you don't have my lungs.

our noses might run side-by-side however.

Theo said...

Hey, nicely done. Belated kudos.

Brown Suga' said...

[sniff]Wow, way to - AT-CHOO! go. Belated congrats.

(Damw dis code.)