On a starless Sunday morning in May, I got up well before any sane person in the world, and went with varying levels of dread and excitement to meet my TriWife DeNiece so we could head to our first TRI of the season. Lot's of folks we know raced Ground Force IT Power Sprint, including Potter, King, and Catalyst J. Everyone had an amazing day in one way or another.
I'm the fool who seeded myself on my best 300m time of the season. I admit, a week before the race, I was pretty nervous about my swim seed position. I mean, if everything went PERFECTLY I would be fine and could make the 5:29 goal. <~ when does everything go perfectly on race day?
Still, an hour after sunrise I found myself standing in gooey mud waiting to swim with only 86 people swimming ahead of me. I chatted with the guy behind me and wondered whether he would catch me. Always my fear in the pool. So my strategy on this length TRI swim is to go all out for the first 100M, settle in for the 2nd 100M, and don't drown in the 3rd 100M.
I lined up in the doorway with T-15 seconds till start and listened to the hollow sound of churning water. The volunteers rinsed the mud off my feet, and "GO". I jumped into the dark chop, pushed off, and went for it.
At about 200M I caught and passed the swimmer ahead of me.
By 250M I wondered if life wouldn't just be easier if I sucked in a lungful of water and died rather than maintain the brutal pace.
The swimmer behind me never caught me (or the guy I passed).
I flopped my nearly dead body onto the cement deck, gasping for oxygen and staggered to my feet... oh... freaking yea. I'm running to transition now. At that point I had NO clue how fast the swim was... you lose time when you catch the swimmer ahead of you, because you have to pass them at the wall and there's a loss in "fluidity". And I never timed myself jumping in and swimming and then climbing out of the pool with dead limbs. But still, it didn't feel like the swim of my life. bah. WTFC? I was glad it was over.
Transition felt fast. Didn't look at my watch - that woulda taken time. Shoes, helmet, bike, go. I decided to take a lesson from my son & race without socks.
Also, I was still muddled when I went to mount, but I got on and got moving. The bike was great. I freaking love my new bike. Did I mention that?
"Keep pedaling, Beautiful!" I heard as Catalyst J passed me going about 9087 mph on his yellow bike.
|Catalyst J - 1st in A.G! So proud of you friend!|
I passed a few people, got passed by a few people, passed a few more. It wasn't the sufferfest from my last TRI ride. It was great. Did I mention...?
I paralleled the run course, and there was Catalyst J again! He looked strong and fast!
"GO Catalyst J!"
Before I knew it, I was back in transition pulling on my shoes, visor and race belt so I could go for a run.
As I ran out, I heard my name, looked up, and there was The Good Dr taking my photo. Right in front of him were my 3 awesome cheerleader kids. It was sweet.
Remember when running was my favorite sport?
That was wicked hard. My achilles started to whine about 1 mile into the run. Every step felt in slow motion. I watched the time click away on my watch. I knew it would be like this, because I haven't been running in weeks... but still...
Thankfully it was a 5k, so despite my pace, the finish came quickly.
And the MC felt like interviewing me for some reason as I was having my chip removed. It went like this:
"VIRGINIA FLYNNnnnnnn, FROM HENRICOoooooooh, JUST FINISHED. VIRGINIAaaaaaa, HOW WAS THAT RACE FOR YOU TODAY?"
~gasp~ "it was" ~gasp~ "a great day" ~gasp~ "out there" ~gasp~ "today".
The Good Dr & T were at the finish to greet me. And I got a few sweaty hugs before covering my injured achilles with ice. I watched DeNiece finish and walked up to her to wipe black... mascara? off her face...?
And she laughed and showed me her hands. "I threw my chain. This is bike grease!"
Anyway, with Catalyst J's EPIC results (first place AG finish!!!), hot showers inside the Y, bike grease, Bouncy Houses, Potter (AG place as well), and all kinds of food stuff flying around, I never really even looked at my time or rank or anything.
I couldn't be bothered. For some reason, I wasn't pleased with my race. I think it was because I was shooting for an A, and I got a B.
And then I remembered something right as I fell into bed for a mid morning nap: Oh yeah. On March 17 I was standing at a post race "party" coughing so hard I pulled a muscle. I couldn't take a full breath. I was using an inhaler 4X a day and sleeping 18 out of every 24 hours ... It's only May 19. I maybe need to cut my sorry self a little slack on this, and be happy with my race today.
So I realized that a lot of variables went into the race... but the ones that matter are that I have an amazing support crew. I am lucky. I am able to get off the couch and race.
8 of 27 A.G.
35 of 143 Female
140 of 325 Overall
That happens to be a PR for me.
Also, as a side note, Richmond Multisports put on a great race this year. It was the smoothest I ever recall and the Rev3 timing was great. Thanks RMS.