AG: 1/3 (ha!)
Overall Female 6/21
3 Mile Run, 20 Mile Bike, 3 Mile Run
What a crappy day, weather-wise that is. Let me back up a little here. My race was at 8 AM and race number pick-up was from 6:15-7:45 AM. Usually there is a place you can pick up the day before, but not for this race. This meant an extra early wake up call....to the Bronx...on what essentially amounts to a Saturday night still for some people. My husband was not about to let me A) take the subway to that part of the Bronx at that hour (didn't you see Warriors?) B) Was not going to let me drive (in the rain) to that part of the Bronx at that hour (think drunkards heading home after a Saturday night out). So my awesome husband and son got up at 5 AM to drive me to the race in the pouring rain and sat in the car while I competed. How lucky am I? I know, I am absurdly fortunate.
Seriously, it was 45˚F and raining cats and dogs when I got up and it didn't slow until the race was OVER. The course was a mess; ginormous puddles everywhere. Coach Michelle gave me points for mental toughness on this. I have to say, the only mental toughness involved was getting myself out of the dry, warm car to head to the wet, cold transition area. My shoes were soaked traversing those 40 yards. I have to give credit where credit is due; the race organizers at NYTRI.com were fantastic as were the volunteers. The mood of the racers that did show (109 of 250) was light and humorous. It didn't really feel like a race, but like we were all making the best of a bad situation. It was actually fun (and miserable). And with that....
Run 1: 23:35
The course was actually 2.8 miles, which means a pace of 8:25. Really? I don't know why I find this hard to believe. I guess I have no confidence in my run, it has been a real struggle for me (right Coach?). However, that being said, hells yeah! I ran naked at Coach Michelle's suggestion, which I am more than happy to do, it is so freeing (yeah, not naked naked, just without a watch, geez). I did feel like I was pushing myself as we 'discussed' (you really don't discuss via email, you just do as you are told). I was working out of my comfort zone, but I wasn't crazy breathing.
I need to work on transition. It was tough though getting my shoes off and bike shoes on with wet gloved hands.
My average speed was 17:24 MPH. I'm going to cut myself some slack here for a few reasons: 1) it was my first race in aerobars that I had just received this week and only practiced in twice. 2) it was a downpour and there were huge puddles on the highway they closed off for the race 3) there was a drawbridge that we had to cross 4 times in the double loop. The bridge is of metal construction so they made us dismount at each pass so we wouldn't bust our asses crossing it in the rain. Have you ever tried to walk across an open metal grated bridge in cleats? It's like wearing ice skates on a tightrope, and we had to do it four times. On my last pass I looked up at the volunteer to thank her and it was Krista! Boy was it nice to see a friendly face. I was reenergized for sure.
Heading back in the final stretch I saw a woman ahead of me who was pedaling slowly. I knew there was no way she could be finishing ahead of me, she was behind me when I finished the run and I know she didn't pass me. No women passed me and I passed a lot of guys (and gals). More on that later.
I don't think I need to tell you how freaking miserable it was out there on the bike in the cold, in the rain. I was wearing bike shorts under capris and my calves were frozen. I was soaked to the bone, not just damp, I felt like a sponge.
gloves. I need to work on this.
Run 2: 24:19
My legs actually felt good from the bike, surprisingly. However, they were not so good from the cold and wet. I could barely feel them. It was like they were atrophied. I started out with a couple of guys and we were about he same pace. We plunged through puddles deep enough to drown in. I passed one guy and then the other. I kept plodding along and this woman who passed me on the first run, that I passed on the bike, was now passing me again on the second run. Damn! She was fast. I just kept moving my legs, turning them over, and passed several more men. I was definitely breathing hard and started to pick it up anyway since the turn home was coming up. I picked up my speed and then as I was heading into the chute heard Krista yelling, "Go Regina!" That got me moving even more. My pace was bit slower at 8:40, but still faster than I expected.
There were a few 5 DNF and one DQ. A few people wiped out, but no injuries, thank God. I couple of the people who bailed did so during the second run. I'd like to give them the benefit of the doubt; they were cramping. I passed on guy who was limping, but still moving. I'm not judging at all, it was tough out there. I just feel lucky I finished without any problems. I think some folks also did only one loop on the bike (I'm sure that was the case for the woman I mentioned earlier). I did see my 'swim buddy' from last year's TNT OWS. I didn't say hi, only beacuse it was at the start and I wasn't in a talking sort of mood. She did finish.
Thoughts: Winning first AG (of three ha ha) was exciting and bittersweet without a full field. However, as Coach said, you have to actually race if you want to win (or as they say for the NY Lottery, "you have to be in it to win it"). True. I think EVERYONE including the volunteers, organizers and spectators deserve awards for just showing up. A HUGE thank you to all of them! I like what Sam, Krista's husband said, something along the lines of when anyone looks at your award 5 years from now, no one will know how many people were in the race or your AG, they will just see you won. I like that...talk to you in 5 years (when I am crying in my beer and reliving my glory days).