There were so many things that were great about this race, it is really hard for me to figure out a place to start. Exceptionally run, and thoughtfully planned, this is a race I definitely will come back to.
And next time I am bringing friends.
It is kind of cool that this race was put on by a museum. Along with awesome detailed race maps, the swag bag included a historic guide of the course (along with all kinds of goodies). The volunteers were amazing, there was a smiling flag waving, encouraging volunteer on every corner. There were also plenty of water stations and the post race food was great.
On to the race report….
Setting up Transition
I mention this because it was weird not having swim stuff. Or really needing a towel. It just didn’t feel right – I kept going back thinking I forgot something.
Run 1 – 2.6 miles – 20:36 ~ 7:56/mile
I can’t believe I ran that fast either.
I felt really good on this run. My leg was feeling good, and I was feeling strong, like my old self again. It dawned on me that my age group was small (7) and that I might actually place in my AG since I was pretty sure I was within a minute of the leaders.
T1 – 1:05
I have no idea what the heck took me so long.
Bike – 14 miles – 1 flat tire – 1:08:47
Yeah, that sucked.
I was hammering on my bike, feeling strong, passing people, and feeling really good. All of a sudden, about 2.5 miles into the ride, I noticed my tires were really loud. I thought at first, “Gee, this is loud pavement.” Then I looked down, and my rear tire was flat. Crap. There goes my chances of AG placement. Off the bike, flip it over, dumping out my hydration (Aerobottle).
Triathetes/bikers/duathletes/people are awesome. Everyone that went by me asked if I had what I needed or if I needed help, then offered condolences. That was really cool of you guys, thanks.
I grabbed my kit and took off my rear wheel, ripped out the tube, found the problem (little sharp thing, why do you hate my tire so?? WHY??). Changed the tube, and got my tire back on.
I covered every part of my body in bike grease in the process. I wasn’t sure what to do with the blown tube, not wanting to litter and leave it there, but it wasn’t going back to where I got the old one from easily (Why won’t you go to your home little tube? Don’t you know where your home is?). I was rushing and stupidly tied it to to my rear water bottle cage. I made sure nothing was hanging off and took off.
Yes, I know, right there in black and white is proof that I am not very smart. I was just thinking about getting going.
I pushed as hard as I could on the rest of the bike course, but I am not Chrissie Wellington, and
you I just can’t make up that much time.
About 2 miles away from finishing the bike, (some of you could have predicted this, I am sure) that tube decided to unwrap from my rear bottle cage and wrap itself tightly around my rear cog set. Yes, I am an idiot and that was completely my fault, I shouldn’t have put it there.
The knife on my mini-leatherman took care of the issue, and I left the tube there, next to an empty pack of cigarettes, a few bud cans, and a pair of sexy pink sparkly undies. I mention the undies because I actually paused in my ripping up of the tube and thought to myself, “I bet those things could tell some stories.”
I hopped back on my bike and finished the ride. I noted on my bike computer that my actual riding time was 47 minutes (where I had hoped my time would be), so I spent about 20 minutes screwing around with tires and tubes.
T2 – :51
Not much to say here, except I was happy to have the bike behind me.
Run 2 – 3.1 miles – 26:05 – 8:52/mile
I was a bit bummed about the whole bike thing and ran the start of this with my head in the clouds. La la la la out for a jog. Oooooo pretty river… I finally decided I should run harder, and I think the second part of this run was much faster than the first part – which is as it should be I guess, except to say I was a total dub for the first mile and I know it. Again, no leg issues.
When people saw I was covered with grease, the light came on and they said, “OH! You are that girl who got the flat! That sucks!” I thanked them kindly for acknowledging the suckage.
What was interesting to me is that most of these folks said one of two things:
- I don’t know how to change a flat, I would have been screwed.
- I would have quit and started walking back.
I kind of don’t get the first one. I kinda think that is something that bikers should know how to do. Maybe it is just that I am used to doing things myself – I am training alone 99.9% of the time and can’t rely on anyone but me to fix stuff, so I learn how to fix basic stuff.
As for the second comment, I don’t see the point of quitting over a diddly flat really, I mean, how do you know you can finish if you quit just because things don’t go exactly as planned? Adjust! Fix it. Do what you can.
Oh, and the age group thing. I came in 4/7. The woman who came in first beat me by 18 minutes, two minutes less than the time I spent screwing around with tire/tube stuff. So I probably would have had her by about 2 minutes without the incidents. Oh well, next time I am going for it!