Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Not My First Oly Tri

Oh didn't I mention that I did an Olympic distance tri over the weekend? No? I left that part out?

That's because well I didn't actually, like, personally compete myself. OK? Sheesh. Can't a girl live vicariously? And sheesh again, I gotta start somewhere!

But since my good 50-something friend, let's call her Eileen, happened to complete her first Olympic Tri, and happened to KICK ITS ASS, well, let's just say I'm gonna draft off her glory.

I begged her to let me post her race recap. She finally relented. So please join me in a tip o' the cap to Eileen, who submits this Official Olympic Distance Race Recap:

The sea was rough that day, my friend.....hahahahha a line from Seinfeld.....

I was told it would still be dark out as we started the race. I knew this went against everything I knew about time, sunrises and the calendar BUT, it worried me very, very much. The day before the event, I checked the weather forecast for 5:45ish and read that there would be wind and a wind chill of 44 degrees! 44 degrees and the failure of the sun to rise as usual would not be good. I threw all caution to the wind and rose at 4:45 for my nice cup of laxative....I mean coffee. That worked like a charm and as I walked out to put my stuff in the car I noticed what a nice mild morning it was.

As K drove to the race the moon shone brightly through the sun roof but I detected a brightening in the East. We arrived at the parking area and noticed an amazing number of young and fit bodies. We also notice a good number of 50something women. I told K. that there is something biological and spiritual and mental about women and endurance sports. They were all beautiful and friendly and helpful. As we approached the entrance to the transition area one of the event staff, a 50-something woman said to me, "You can't come in, only the athletes." K. said "She's the athlete!" She said "Oh, good for you....are you in a relay?" That gave me little boost! In another life I would have been very pissed off, but now, I"m an athlete!!

I set up my little transition area and went to get marked. I wore the 56 on my calf with pride.

The race started with raising the flag as the SUN ROSE at 6:30 and the Star Spangled Banner was sung. I waded out to the starting buoy and found it hard to figure the course out. I just figured I'd find someone to pace myself with an took off about 15 seconds after the starting gun. I was in the wave with the Elite and 22 to 25 year old men [SORRY WE INTERUPT THIS RACE REPORT TO MAKE SURE YOU GOT THAT. SHE WAS IN THE WAVE WITH THE ELITE. MEN. 22-25 YEAR OLD MEN. SHE'S 56. THIS IS NOT AN ERROR, I REPEAT, NOT AN ERROR] so I let them get a good head start. Swimming that distance in a wetsuit was almost effortless. I couldn't believe it when I reached the turn. Unfortunately, not being able to follow the buoys, which were on my left, I passed the turn buoy on my right shoulder so I swam back and around with it on my left. That was a challenge. The swim back to the start was difficult because the sun was so bright and it was very hard to see through the glare and my goggles were starting to fog. There is a very strange primal reaction that some swimmers have when they come up behind you. It's very similar to a baby grasping at a finger right after birth. If a swimmer feels a foot or an ankle, he grabs on and pulls! Fortunately, that only happened a couple of times and I do understand because they would have been the fastest swimmers of the second wave so they are very competitive.

Coming out of the water was spectacular. The crowd was cheering and since I was in the first wave, the crowd was practically at its capacity and cheering!! Awesome feeling! My wet suit came off pretty easily, although I did get a funny little cramp in my left calf from the weird pulling and stretching you have to do to get out of the cuffs. I wasn't very careful about putting my cycling shoes on and the right one was too loose. I was so concerned about using the bathroom that I rushed through that important detail. The ride was a pure delight! The time of day, the temperature, the countryside, the views, the bike, the Pedialyte. Everything was perfect. I was surprised when we reached the end and felt totally psyched to run.

K. was there at every transition. He was in the front of the crowd when I came out of the water and he was way down in front at the bike dismount! It was great to hear him and to see his surprise when I arrived on the bike ahead of schedule. He called our friends, who were visiting, and told them "you better hurry if you want to see Eileen finish. She's way ahead of schedule!"

I was amazed at how comfortable the run felt and was surprised at how quickly the mile markers passed. There was Gatorade and water at every mile and I took it because I felt one of those little side cramps developing. The Gatorade did its job and I just kept running. On the last mile of the run I passed two 55-year-old women. I figured why not move up in the standings if I could...and I found, I COULD, so I did!

The refreshments afterwards left much to be desired. A few bagels, two jars of peanut butter, a squirt bottle of ketchup, a jar of Nutella and two scary knives to cut bagels and spread. The entry fee for the event was $180 ....I think they could have done better. There was a barbeque at around 11am, but who wants to wait and who really felt like a burger? THE END

Not quite the end, Ei.

Swim: 36:03
T1: 5:42
Bike: 1:24:48
T2: 4:51
Run: 1:03:22


We're all about the love here at NBTR headquarters. Give it up for my girl Born to Tri Ei!


21stCenturyMom said...

THAT was some kind of remarkable. So NOT like my first Oly. Very, very impressive and she had such a great time! She has a bright future in triathlon and I don't mean the sun will be in her eyes all the time. I mean she is going to KILL - whatever she tackles.

LBTEPA said...

Congratulations Eileen! So when are you joining us in a triathlon Jeanne?

Rae said...

Way to go, E!!! I would've decked the volunteer who said athletes only.

Thomas said...

Your friends are highly impressive athletes, Jeanne. When are you doing your first triathlon?

Nancy Toby said...

She did great!

Now. Go get your own damn triathlon race report.

Vickie said...

Way to go Eileen! Can I hire you as my coach??

peter said...

Was Eileen in the race which ruined our last meeting of the 10-Mile Group because no one could get there because all the roads from here to there and everywhere else too were blocked for the tri-athletes?

jeanne said...

peter: ha ha no! her race is top secret. I could tell you but then i'd have to kill you.
vickie: I want her to coach me too!

and omg, three of you urging me to do a tri? well, stranger things have happened!

Eileen said...

Knowing Jeanne, as I do, her first tri will be the Ironman....her first race was a marathon, right? If I do one first, I'm flying her there for my support team. She really knows how to make a person feel great about themselves. If she does one first, we'll all have to draw straws to see who gets to go! I know we'll all want to be there, right?! Thanks to everyone for your comments. You have a great thing going on here.

David said...

Woot Woot!!! Way to go Eileen. I love it when I do better than I expect. It makes it all worthwhile. That's why Jeanne is so successful. Her first tri will be legendary ... if she can avoid the usual pre-race "problems."

Monica C. said...

WOW - great race report. Made everything seem easy and smooth! Congrats!