Saturday, June 16, 2007

Eagleman Race Report

Would you believe, seven days later, I am STILL wearing my Eagleman shirt?
I certainly hope not.
That you would believe it, that is.
So, this was the biggest race of my life...

Perfect. The only thing to complain about is that I can't blame anything on it.

Much as I expected. I did well, but was aware the whole time that I was using extra energy to breaststroke. Don't tell Som.

A beautiful ride. I prefer a few hills to break up the monotony, but this course was flat and fast. There was some headwind on the way back in, and I was starting to chafe a bit--wishing for an uphill to stand on... Although I drank six bottles of fluid, I didn't feel the urge to pee, so I didn't test out peeing on the bike. Years of teaching and waiting tables really enable the "holding" factor. I felt so great during the first half of the bike that I imagined myself saying and doing all sorts of ridiculous things post-race. "Sure, I'd love to bike 500 miles over the weekend," for example. I came to my senses around mile 45.

I honestly have to say the best part about the run was seeing Blake. Then Som. Then Dr. Rick. Then Mark. Then Rick E. Then Ed Amy Liz Susie CynD Deannas Anna Lynn Kate Mary Jo Jonah Molly Sharon not necessarily in that order who did I forget it was so great doing outandback and seeing pink punctuated by Maramarc.
I felt great for the first six miles. Steady pace, walked the water stops. Could really feel the compilation of bike and breaststroke by mile 11, and I walked a bit more. Head up. TRIgirl representin. For most of the run course I must have looked really good or really bad because almost everyone that passed me in the other direction had a positive comment for me. I think it was my contagious positive attitude and gritted teeth that may or may not be a smile. Sorry I missed speedy Jeff, but, wait a second! Didn't I see Karen and Shawn at mile .1, and here they are again at mile 3?!

Most Memorable Moment:
Okay. I TOTALLY crashed and fell off my bike at the dismount area coming into T2. What's that about not using the front brake at twenty miles per hour? And where was Bob Dickerson when I needed him?
Thanks goodness SanDee witnessed the whole thing--the Gammons are always good to have around for an embarrassing moment.

Finish Line:
How wonderful to finish a race into the arms of TRIgirls and Maramarc folk. I especially appreciate the way our cheerleaders ignored that special postrace smell. And I swear SanDee cried first. Not counting when I did DURING the race. Mark handed me my TRIgirl Half-Ironman Finisher pint glass, out of which so far I've only drunk water!

Anna, Deanna, and I "relaxed" on the grass by the car until Mom & Dad finally got there--two hours after I finished. So much for Maryland traffic. They took us out for burgers and beer, and the girls and I made the wisest decision of our lives and stayed over an extra night, chilling with a foot each in the hotel pool and hot tub until we were ready to go out for ice cream.

Post Race Thoughts

Three years ago I ran my first mile since two that were required in high school. Just shy of two years ago I finished my first sprint triathlon. Although "Anything is Possible," I NEVER thought I would do anything this [stupid]. Ha.
So do I feel any different? Yes. I was a lot more tired and cranky this week.
Many peeps who don't TRI or do other endurance activity don't really "get" Ironman, or half of it. They're impressed when I run a mile or three.

So the race itself is six hours and forty minutes or so that I spend with myself and think about how I got to be where I am. Ironman, 70.3, and the other tri distances are less to me about swimming, biking, and running as they are about me, Mom, Dad, Dyron, Shannon, Grandison, SanDee, Susie, Jennifer, Cyndi, Deanna, Anna, Sharon, Molly, Kate, Lynn, Deanna, Jonah, Mary Jo, Liz, Amy, Cheryl, and the rest of the TRIgirls and Maramarc-ers. And goodness gracious, my friends who don't tri and listen to me, anyway. God bless you all, especially those of you who have spent over six hours and forty minutes with me. Time sure breeds some strange thoughts!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Eagleman Eve

Isn't that a new national holiday?!

Kate just chastised Lynn and me for sitting indoors on such a beautiful day, but I am under strict orders from my massage therapist/tanning counselor/mom to stay out of the sun and keep my feet up today! The most invigorating activity I've done today is rubbing some lotion on my legs and giving myself a mini-pedicure.

Kate O drove me, Lynn, and Deanna B up here yesterday--we caravaned with Cyndi and her family. It was great to hit the expo and bike inspection before one million people arrived. We had a great pre-prerace meal of wild salmon, brown rice, veggies, and wheat bread (mine with lots of butter, of course!) before Anna joined us just in time to get a little dinner and play a rousing game of Yahtzee.

We were just finishing up our game when the brewing thunderstorm knocked out power in our lakeside cottage. Thank goodness there was a good stock of decorative candles, most of which had never been lit before. I was happy to put them to good use.

The storm may have cooled things down a bit, but it also created a much more ragged surface on our lake. We're going to check out the Choptank in a little while and assess the damage to the previously serene river surface...

Kate and I already finished a Scrabble game before nine am. She pulled out a couple of bonus words and kicked my ass. On to other ways to distract ourselves from thinking too much about tomorrow's race, while keeping shaded and rested!

Volunteering at the Powersprint Tri

Last Sunday, I volunteered for the first time ever in an official capacity at a race. I figure that since I've completed nine triathlons now, I was behind schedule in giving back to the sport. Despite the hurricane conditions, it was a fantastic experience. Many of the girls I've trained with for the past year or two participated, including my sister. We also had a record number of TRIgirls completing their first triathlon, which was exciting for our group and intimidating?! for the other racers. Aha...

After body marking with Jonah and Susie--and of course we had to add some inspirational messages along with the requisite race numbers and ages--I joined others outside the pool as they awaited their swim starts.

When I though we were getting closer to the time the Beebs would cross the finish, I joined my dad just ahead of the finish line, where we unsuccessfully attempted to ward off the rain by holding umbrellas sideways against the wind. Shannon had a great race, particularly considering she had alreqady been diagnosed with step and has since been diagnosed with pneumonia! As her doctor said after chastising her for racing, "You healthy people are sometimes so unhealthy!"

T-girl Jennifer S joined me for some cheering--encouraging runners to sprint in the finish and smile big for the cameras--and running out to pick up Cathy and Kay--keep it moving, girls! I was so impressed with all of the Baby Pinks and their performance. What a reward for all the hard work they've put in over the past couple of months. I don't know that I would have finished in those horrific weather conditions... but Karen insisted, contrary to my wishes, that she would still rather do a sprint in hurricane conditions than a half iron in perfect weather. Liar pants.

I look forward to helping out again on July 1 for I Love the Tavern!

Peer Pressure

Here I am sitting at the Eagleman TRIgirl house, clicking away on Deanna's laptop. She's killing me on post numbers and details, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to do a few updates...

Admittedly, this kind of TRIgirl pressure is much less daunting than the kind that got me signed up for Eagleman and IMFL in the first place!