I don't really do race reports. I have written one here and there, but I do more than the one or two races that I might comment on. I wanted to write something this end of year to highlight some things that happened during this race season so I would have it in one spot.
This year I "raced" around the Statue of Liberty. It was more like survived. This was one of the hardest events I endured mentally. I almost gave up. I really did. There was a lady on a support kayak not too far away and I looked at her with envy. But on the other side of me walking along with me the whole way was the husband and the son. I think the husband was rather nervous. He could tell I was having trouble. Somehow the words that he yelled made it to my ears. "Just keep swimming," Dori's famous words that have motivated me on more than one occasion. I also really really wanted that darn finishers T-shirt. I wanted that BAD. The rolling waves got me.. they kept coming and coming and with my motion sickness I was a big old mess. Doing the crawl then some breaststroke, etc. Finally later than I expected the current was in my favor and I managed to make it to the finish. I love the water but I have never been so grateful to get out of it. I think I will sign up for it this year :) Oh yeah, the 13 year old pixie that did the race said it was "eh" when I asked her how hard it was. These preteeens finished in like 20+ mins.. I finished in like 34.
Flat as a Pancake tri: This is a great beginners race as well as a great first of the season race. It's flat, short and sweet (they serve pancakes at the end). I ended up 5th which was great and more than I expected because some really fast ladies go to this race sometimes. Considering I stopped for the bathroom after T2 during a SPRINT I am very happy with my finish. I had to go since before the start and I just couldn't make myself go during the swim. So by the time the run came I was dying. Either stop for a break or have an accident while running. I figured I would run faster if I didn't have to go. Who stops for a potty break during a sprint? Me.
Not a race but another mental and physical challenge was the day my husband and I went to the top of Bear Mountain. It's always felt like the Holy Grail type of thing to me. Husband has done it many times through his life. I had not done it once. Part of me felt I wasn't a real cyclist unless I did it. So this was the summer. The kid was with my niece for the day. The weather was good. But we got a start a bit later than we should have and it felt like one of those Everest Movies where just because the group started out 15 minutes too late everybody died. We were going out after most others did. It was hot mid day and we weren't even there yet, but we did make it. I was already a bit tired as I don't like riding much through roads with a lot of traffic but we had to do a bit of that. We made the final pit stop while in the park area and that's when the lies started. My husband "motivates" by lying. First it was, oh we are already part way up.. it's only about a mile more. To, hmm not so sure, we really should be there after the next curve. I usually plot out everything before it happens but when it comes to stuff like this I do leave it in his hands. Well I think it was like the last pitstop was the starting mark to the 3 or 4 mile climb. It was never ending. Every time I thought it was the last curve it wasn't. I was on my old Cannondale from like 1995 and I didn't have it set up like I should have. I was DYING. Or course I was cursing my husband out the whole way inside. We made it to the top - and all the people that got their by cars and motorcycles just seemed like cheaters. Getting up took something like 30 mins to 45 mins. Getting down took 5. So of course it's like Evererst - getting to the top is not the end. We came back down.. and were supposed to get back to our car where we started at the George Washington Bridge.. but I cracked. I lost it. I saw a sign that said 4 miles to Nyack (a pit stop at the Runcible Spoon) and I really did loose it. My body couldn't go anymore and the tears started. My husband was great.. he really knew I had reached my physical limit. We got to the Runcible Spoon and you would have thought I made it home. I sat there until past closing as my husband road down to the GWB got the car and came back to get me.
NYC tri: I did do a recap on this, but wanted to include it. This was another mental challenge. During the run another racer commented that the only weather condition we had not encountered was snow. We had rain, wind, waves, blazing sun and humidity. The swim had waves. Waves in the hudson river? Who knew? or was prepared? Not a lot. Two people passed away during the swim and 20 people were pulled from the water. Thank goodness I had done that liberty island swim or this may have taken me out too. You had the current pushing you down the river but rolling waves coming at you on top of the water. It was weird. I still made good time very close to last years. The bike was a pita. Major bottleneck coming out of T1 that cost me sub 3. It was windy and wet on the road and there are too many people and it was annoying. Myself and a small number of ladies in my AG kinda ended up together towards the end and we just kinda stuck together as the rain and wind hitting you in the face really was annoying. I kept it together well though again with a time close to last year. The weather conditions were really apparent and affecting everyone. Then the run. Well just when I was happy it was raining.. love running in summer rain. Helps with the asthma, keeps me from overheating. The rain stopped the blazing sun and humidity came out. It was torture. My one niece is a very good cross country racer and she had told me something she had learned. Whatever you do don't stop or walk on the hills. Keep running and then if you absolutely have to walk do it at the top of the hill bc if you stop on the hill you can't really get your speed back. So with the words of wisdom from a 15 year old I continued in this manor. (I hate you hill by the public swimming pool.) I knew a woman I knew from the previous years training was doing support somewhere along the run. I spotted her. She yelled and yelled for me and made me feel like a million dollars. Because of her I got myself back together and finished the race. Running the last quarter mile was something else. Last year the cheers of the spectators was amazing. This year it was an out of body experience. I looked at their faces but couldn't actually hear them. One man was looking right at me yelling and clapping and I heard nothing. It was like a movie. At the finish between the physical strain and the emotional strain I started to have an asthma attack.
Last year you would have thought I won the race I was so freaking happy. This year I lost it.
But I ended up 35 out of 143 I think it was..
Well thanks for reading... glad to get this "out on paper."