I still haven't written a race report for my last bike race (i.e. my first bike race win) but I have pictures from Maine this weekend so I suppose I am doing that one first! I also have the day off and I'm back in town so I have this crazy thing called free time. It feels weird.
Anyway Maine was awesome. It is so beautiful there. This is the scene of our swim!
Now do I recommend doing a tri with an ocean swim involved after not swimming for four months? Definitely not. But I'll get to that. First things first. My awesome friend Tamra and I headed up Friday morning and went to packet pickup and then since we still felt relatively energetic we headed up the coast a little further to see my old school, Bowdoin. I hadn't been back in a while and it has changed a lot and not at all, at the same time.
One thing that hasn't changed is how stunning the campus is. Wow. Here are a few shots. This is the chapel:
Me in front of the Student Union posing with the Polar Bear (our mascot):
Hubbard Hall where I took government classes:
The Bowdoin Pines, a little trail you can walk along outside the back of the alumni house:
It is my happy place, I love it there.
We also checked out the island where I lived my senior year and had dinner at a cheesy but tasty restaurant called Cook's. This is the sunset that evening outside at Cook's:
The next day we did our little pre-race workouts and then had breakfast. This snap is for Kim (who is Tamra's coach and told her to eat a lot of food for breakfast that morning).
Those are pancakes with real Maine blueberries. YUM.
So anyway that was fun, but I know what you really want to know is, how was the race? Well it was awesome. And not awesome all at once but I had a great time. We got up Sunday around 4:00 and had breakfast and headed down to the race. This was such a great venue - very easy to get around, tons of parking, very supportive community. It could not have been easier. So we got there so early because everything was so easy, which was fine. We set up our transition spots and walked about half a mile down to the start.
Now I really had not swum a stroke since late April. NOT RECOMMENDED. I did swim on Saturday for maybe 20 minutes and my arms didn't fall off and I noticed with the current it would be good to sight often. It was a beach start but there wasn't much contact at all so I just started swimming along and tried to swim in a straight line. I was all alone except at the last turn some guy swam over me for no reason so that was annoying! I didn't really get tired except I guess my back felt tired. When I exited the water I realized that was because I swam a 44! Nice personal worst swim. But what do you expect when you don't train? Pretty much that. There was a long run to T1 so I just said well what can you do and started running. There were virtually no bikes left in my area so I knew that the swim wasn't just way long, good to know. But I knew the bike was where I was fit.
So the bike was so great. I loved the course. Almost totally flat. I got into my small chain ring twice, each time for under two minutes. I probably passed 300 people. And this was NOT that big a race. One guy asked me what I ate for breakfast. I said oh that's not it sir, all I've done for the last few months is ride my bike! I wanted to have the fastest bike split and I didn't quite do it but I was close. I was told the course was a little long but my time was 2:34. I guess it was a little windy but I don't know, I feel like I could have ridden a little faster. I suppose that the swim actually taking something out of me had something to do with it! Who knows. I had a great time though, just enjoying being out there. The scenery was beautiful - all these lovely trees and farms and just MAINE. I love that place.
I got off the bike and the good news was that I felt fine. After riding as much as I have this summer I didn't feel like it took anything out of me. Which was good because I needed everything for this run.
So I don't know if I have said anything about this because I never blog but my butt is really jacked. I keep going to people here and I don't know if anything is working. It seems like there is this tightness in the insertion of my hamstring and then on the side and on the top, pretty much all over on the right side. It is really painful when I run but it doesn't hurt when I ride so I've just been riding and not running. I hoped I could finish but I wasn't sure. My friend Randy told me to take 4 Advil at the start of the run so I grabbed all my normal stuff plus a pile of Advil and headed out. I immediately felt my butt - however, it wasn't that bad so I said well worst case let's try to run the Olympic run course (a 10k) and if that's all I can do I'll come back and DQ myself.
I also had no idea how fast I would go if I could run but I knew that when I got back from the bike there were hardly any bikes in my area so I thought well maybe I can get top 5 in my age group and that would be nice. Then I hit mile 1 in 8:16 and my butt hurt so I said maybe not, I am sure someone will pass me! But I just kept running and once we got past about mile 2.5 we were on this awesome trail. It was flat, smooth, and almost totally shaded, and the surface was dirt which was a godsend, it was so much easier on my body and allowed me to continue without too much pain in my butt! I also tried out a new EFS gel flavor - the Kona mocha one - which was delicious, that helped too! I was also just having so much fun out there. Every person I passed I told them good job and if they said oh you look so strong or whatever I said you know I am just happy to be out here. It was so much fun. I was running around 8:00 pace for a while and then slowed down to around 8:30 pace for a while but just kept saying to myself just keep running, and each mile that went by I was happy that I could run that far.
I came into the finish just under 5:15. I think I ran a 1:49 - definitely not a great time, but I'm happy with it considering my lack of training. I don't think I would even have started had the race not been in such a special location for me. I am so glad I did! I still don't know if I want to do any tris next year or just keep racing my bike, because I am really enjoying that. But I do really love tris. I think because I love to run so much. I just hope I can fix my butt either way, so that I can find that joy in running again - it's not fun when it hurts!
Here is a scene from the finish line. REV3 put on such a good race. They were getting ready to cheer like crazy for the last finishers.
And here is a snap of the medal I received along with the finishers medal - they snap together, pretty sweet!