Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I Eat Boys Like Bobby for Breakfast: ToughGirl Race Report

Once again, the fun began at the HFWT the day before the race. It was awesome having everyone together to fit bikes, go to packet pick-up, and chow down. I love hanging with my buds before, after and even during tri-events. That's what it's all about for me. THANK YOU to Kate and Phil for always having your doors open.

This was my first official half-iron distance triathlon. The course was definitely Tough and the run was INSANE, which I kinda loved. I was also racing @IronmanBobby because he decided to pick on a girl and I wanted to teach him a lesson.

Since people ask me all the time about training and racing foods (for some reason) I'll include my nutrition details. For breakfast I had 2 eggs, gluten free toast, water and coffee.

I have to admit, I was a bit nervous before the race. I don't race often so I don't have a great pre-race set-up and packing routine. I was sure I'd forget something. My main focus was to get through the swim because that's the part that makes me the most anxious. Before the swim I had a delicious banana since breakfast was a few hours earlier. Starting the swim was weird because the water was shallow (hip level) and everyone was walking out pretty far. Someone once told me that as long as your hands aren't touching the bottom you should be swimming. So I started swimming as soon as I could. The water was choppy and it made it hard to know if I was staying on course. And it tasted funny. I know, I'm not supposed to drink it.

Swim: 37:23

Coming out of the water I was told that I was in second place (in my race against Bobby) but I wasn't concerned. I knew he'd beat me in the swim. T1 was slow because I was thinking about how much I hate triathlon and that it was stupid that I signed up for IMLP 2010. On the way out a guy fell over next to me or I pushed him. I can't remember. I thought he was Bobby.

T1: 2:31

I started out taking it easy on the bike to save a bit for the run (where I would squish Bobby). I was also on a borrowed bike and didn't want to crash (again) so I needed more time to get used to it. Once I settled in I started my gel every hour and race cookie at halfway plan. At about the 8 mile point I heard someone yell "Go Holisticguru!!!" and I was all, "who the heck was that?" I thought about who came to the race with me and none of my peeps volunteered. This guy was wearing a volunteer shirt. So then I realized I didn't know him. He knew me. Then I realized I was famous. Then I was thinking how am I going to wear a big floppy hat and oversized sunglasses when I'm racing so that I'm not always recognized by my crazed fans? Then I realized I was getting ahead of myself. Regardless, that guy got me all pumped and that was the moment when I started racing. His name was @IronmanLongRunr.

The rest of the bike was hilly and fun. I started to think about how much I love triathlon and how psyched I am that I registered for IMLP 2010.

Bike: 3:25:18

As I got closer to transition I saw Bobby already on the run but walking up a hill. He was pretty far ahead of me but the fact that he was walking meant that I could likely catch him. Even if he just walked up the hills. T2 was uneventful.

T2: ?

As I exited the park I ate a race cookie. I was on a mission and I set out to catch Bobby, with a HUGE smile on my face. I LOVE running and I decided that my run goal would be not to walk, not even for a second, no matter how tough it got. At mile 4 I passed Phil coming from the other direction as he was almost done with the race. There was a guy in front of me (#111) and I decided to keep him in my sight. I liked his pace. Running over the dam was beeyouteeful and it led to a switchbacky trail nightmare. The kind of nightmare I live for. I didn't walk even though most people did. I caught #111 and ran with him while chatting him up instead of walking. Just before the turn around I saw Grant and he told me that he saw Bobby ahead of me but I would cach him because he was taking walk breaks. I gave him a high five as a thank you for the information. Then I saw Bobby (after he passed the turn around) and he said that I would catch him by mile 9. I picked up the pace and #111 came with me :)

After the second time crossing the dam there was a huge downhill. I was going to warn my new friend that I run SUPERFAST downhill but decided to surprise him. He couldn't keep up. I dropped him. Running downhill, out of his life forever. I bet I'm his girl who got away.

Meanwhile, I was having a gel every hour and water at almost every aid station. I kept thinking everyone in front of me was Bobby. I climbed the Fake Bobbies like a ladder until I caught him at mile 11. He was taking a walk break (turns out he had a run/walk plan that worked really well for him). I told him to run with me, slowly, and we could finish holding hands. He said we had 17 minutes to run 2 miles and finish under 6 hours. I thought that would be pretty sweet but knew it was too early to pick up the pace without having my wheels fall off. Bobby decided to try anyway and ran ahead. Wicked fast. As the distance between us grew, as I was holding steady, Bobby was screaming and cheering for me "COME ON GURU! LET'S DO THIS!" At that moment I loved Bobby and I loved triathlon and racing. I also missed Coach Adam because if he was there screaming at me I would have been running a 6 min mile the rest of the way.

Sadly, Bobby blew up in the last quarter mile. He was walking again and I tried to get him to come with me. He just cheered for me and told me to keep going. He rocks.

I sprinted to the finish hearing "here comes #234, Christine from NYC, with an impressive sprint to be finishing a HIM".

Run: 1:57:59

Phil, Kate and John were waiting there for me at the finish. I was SO happy to have them there. As soon as I collected my hugs, a bee stung me on the neck. Asshole.

1st HIM finish time: 6:03:09

6th in my AG

Thank you again to Phil and Kate for being the awesomest kind of friends. Thank you to John for lending me pretty much everything I needed and for being a kick ass athletic supporter. And thank you to Bobby for pushing me (he ended up with a 45 minute PR).