Saturday, October 07, 2006

Pinehurst Race Report

Yay! I did it! Finished all eight races I signed up for this season!

I forgot to tell you that when I went to packet pick up last night, I didn't know I had lost my license. They wouldn't give me a packet without photo ID. I had to bring my passport this morning when I got my packet. I enjoyed my pre-night routine of putting stickers on my bike and helmet too!

It was a cold, damp morning. It felt like Bandit's Challenge but colder. I didn't want to take off my pants and sweatshirt to put on the wetsuit. It was close to my age group swim start because the packet pick up this morning rushed me. My sister and I donned the wetsuits and headed to the water.

There are a few things I miss about racing novice. When racing novice, the swim start is not very crowded. This morning, I think there were probably 50 or more ladies at my swim start. I had to fight for swim room. Once I made the first turn, it thinned out. I started getting concerned when I saw all different colored caps around me. Were all these people passing me? When I started my swim as a novice, I always knew if I saw a different colored cap, I was doing the passing because I always started last.

I think I had a good swim. Not sure about time yet. Another interesting thing about racing age group is I feel like I'm racing with men. My entire bike ride, I saw mostly guys. Guys passing me with really nice bikes and rims that are probably worth more than my mini-van. I rode Clifford for the last race. He's been my good boy the entire year. Never crashing me or blowing a tire. He deserved to finish the last ride of the season.

When I got out of the water, the cold air hit me. I only own a short sleeved bike jersey, no winter gear. I knew I'd be blue if I wore only short sleeves while riding Clifford 18mph. I had to wear my Bazooka Bubble Gum sweatshirt too. It was drizzling the entire ride and it was heavy and soaked when I was finished with the bike leg.

The course was pretty hilly. My nose was snotting like a faucet. I'd have to move my hood out of the way when I need to blow snot rockets. Or you could call me Bazooka Snot Rocket! At mile 15, I tried to wave at volunteers but my hands were so cold, they were stuck in handle bar hand position. Clifford got the job done, once again. He may not be the most costly but he's very reliable.

When I started the run, I couldn't feel my feet for over a mile. They were wet and cold. It was an interesting feeling. The top of my thighs also went numb on the bike, my bike number kept scratching my leg but I couldn't feel it! I chatted with lots of folks during the run. I don't think my run was fast but it was my favorite portion of this race. It was challenging and hilly. I ran with one guy for a few miles. He kept a pace similar to mine. At mile three, he started walking because he only did sprints. I encouraged him to keep running with me, he was my pacer! He told me to go on, that he'd catch up but I never saw him again.

I was played for a fool again. The last .2 miles of a race, I saw a girl in front of me with a 2-something on her leg. Was she in my age group? She passed me going down hill, I passed her going up and asked her age. 21. I joked around about I was happy she wasn't in my age group. She slowed down, I encouraged her "come on, we are almost there"! She told me she couldn't keep up, she was sick to her stomach.

The last 50 yards to the finish line "sick to my stomach shithead" sprinted to the line and passed me. I was like WTF? I started sprinting too but the chutes are narrow and her butt was running down the middle. It got the crowd all fired up though. The were hooting at screaming at our sprint finish. I won't fall of that one again! Every man for himself I guess?

I did better than expected. I met my goal. I wanted to finish the course in under three hours. My finish time was 2:55.

I'm proudest of my sister though. Even though she has been injured for a month, she did finish this race. She hasn't run for over a month due to knee problems. When she crossed the finish line, you could tell she was hurting. Downhill is most painful so she had to walk portions of this course due to the hills. She didn't whine, moan or complain about her time once. She also didn't cry baby about her knee but she admitted both knees now hurt after the race.

There is nothing like having people that love you at the finish line. This feeling is what I will miss most during the next few months off. Having the experience to talk about and reflect on with people dear to me.

My Mom, husband, sister and I were all cold and tired after the race. We decided to get some Chinese food. I just wanted some hot tea and soup. My fortune cookie said this: "Just begin.... The rest is easy"

I'm thankful I began this journey 11 months ago. And this morning, like all race mornings, I decided to "just begin" by running into the water. The rest was easy! I don't think when I race, my mind and body go into auto-pilot. The hardest part for me is the car ride to race site in the morning.

Thanks for you insight, encouragement, honesty and support everyone!

I'll update when the splits are posted.


At 3:44 PM, Blogger Papa Louie said...

Congratulations on completing 8 triathlons this season. Hopefully, you recover well and enjoy your off season.

At 6:34 PM, Blogger nancytoby said...

Congrats on #8! Your photos look like you're not having much fun, though. Take the season off and come back hard next year! Or not, it's up to you!!

At 8:00 PM, Blogger Flatman said...

Nice race. Congratulations on hitting your goal too!

At 11:41 PM, Blogger tarheeltri said...

Let me know what races you're doing next year. I don't want to race in the rain!!

Seriously, congrats! 2:55 in the cold and rain on a tough course is a great time!

At 11:25 AM, Blogger E-Speed said...

you did great! Glad you finished the season on a high note!

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