Greater Cleveland Triathlon Saturday, August 16, 2008Race Report #2: Awesome. (Ok, I promise I'll try not to use that word so damn much)
Saturday afternoon my mom and I went out to the race site to pick up my packet, I'd already checked the bike course and knew what to expect there (a couple good sized hills) and the run course was nice a flat- the water, now there was the variable. Seriously, I nearly fell over dead when I saw the water and course markers. Nothing like waves and swimming against a current that seemed to be moving horizontally to the shore. A couple of the other racers were in the water giving a try and seemed to be doing ok -then again these were like the super swimmers. The top notch of the notches. Me, I'm in the upper 1/2 of the notches but not top, honestly.
That night I eagerly watched the weather and nothing calms a triathlete's racing heart and head like the words "Small craft advisory". Crap. Dreams involving drowning and sucking in great lung fulls of water followed by a tragic picture in the paper featuring myself in a wetsuit which makes me resemble a lame seal.
But the morning of the race they called off the swim portion, because the water looked like this:
Holy hell, the water was rough and choppy and the sky looked crazy.
It was unseasonably cool as well, mid-50's in the morning and maybe warming up to be in the upper 50's low 60's by the time the race was over. Because the swim was out, they added in a 1.2 mile run to start the race- so the tri because a dual-athon. Which is minorly disappointing since triathlete and triathlon sounds so much more impressive, no?
Anyways, the bike was good, sections of it were pretty windy though but I felt relaxed and just enjoyed myself. I was pretty stoked when one of the international distance guys came up behind me and said "Kudos to you for hauling on that bike!" This made me so freaking giddy I peddled just a bit harder after that. (I ride a big clunky hybrid while everyone else in the race, except two other riders, were on sleek road bikes).
The run was decent, I did have a few rough spots where the water I consumed on the bike sloshed about so much that I felt a little sick. So I walked when I felt that it, and ran the rest.
I LOVED the people on course, both the volunteers, the crowds and the racers. HUGELY different than the group last week, lots of encouragement which really means a lot to me. Besides the 'kudos' comment, a lot of people exchanged "good job!" with each other, from the announcer as I came back in from the ride portion "Look at her riding that huge bike!", I also got a "Keep it up Athens!" and a "I LOVE your jersey!"
Plus, kick ass goody bags with SWEET shirts, hair ties, carb gels, lotion, Triathlete magazine, several Gatorade products, Cliff Shot Bloks (salty goodness), and a bunch of other stuff I'm forgetting. As you came across the finish you got a medal, which is my first medal ever. I LOVE it. I didn't place but I want to wear that medal around my neck for a long while. I may be wearing it right now. Shhh.
And even though it's not a one to one ratio race wise I did it in 1 hour 53 minutes which about 11 minutes faster than my race time last year for a sort of equal distance (although this course was harder).
Starting the 5k:
I think this will be my last race of the season. I'm really fighting with myself since I'd like to do another one but I'd also like to enjoy the rest of the summer and not have to keep training so hard. Plus I can put the race fees towards a road bike so that I can knock some time off my cycling portion. But part of me is sad that this is it for the year, but it's good to end on a high note- right?