Week 19: Learning

As you may recall from Week 18, I had a not-so-awesome race, mostly due to self-inflicted mistakes. But there was no time to mope, as I had another race the next day. This time, things were different. For starters, I was doing the whole swim-bike-run race…and it was significantly shorter. As in, approximately 1/3 the race time. As with any race, it had its share of pluses and minuses. Pluses: lots of people I know from LUNA Chix and DC Tri Club were there to race or spectate, Elliott arrived on Saturday evening and brought key supplies like a spoon for my breakfast and water bottle to mix my electrolyte powder, and the race started a luxurious two hours later. Minuses: about 20 degrees. That’s right, despite being mid-May, the weather was in the 40s and windy. What a perfect day to get soaking wet and then wear minimal clothing in the wind!

But really, it kinda was. Don’t get me wrong, there were still some snafus. I had forgotten that my bike was geared for the end of yesterday’s ride (a descent) and not the beginning of today’s (the reverse). I did not realize this until I tried to climb on my bike at the bottom of said hill, and couldn’t turn the pedals. No problem! Just shift into an easier…nope. Chain fell off. If this had happened the previous day, I probably would have lost it, but today was a new day, and apparently I had mad bike skillz for a change, and was able to restore the chain, down shift, and be back on my bike in [almost] no time flat.

This was the end of yesterday. Today, the hill direction and facial expression were both reversed.

Because it was such a short race and I had some rage from the previous day, I let loose on the bike course. It was so fun to spend the whole time in the big ring, averaging over 200 Watts, laughing at the wind, and actually being sad when the ride was over…but happy to get to run today. (What has Mary done to me? This is the second time now I’ve been happy to run!) When I came into T2, the announcer said I was the second place woman. Wow, how did that happen?! I knew that was going to be short lived, since my former LUNA teammate and speedster runner, Sarah Wassner Flynn, was close behind me. Still, I tried to keep my place as long as possible, and enjoyed all the crowd support. At one point, one of the guys I was passing asked, “Is everyone here cheering for you?!” I smiled and said yes, not because it was actually true, but because it was fun to imagine. I high fived some more people. They got excited. I got excited. Mind games. Highly recommend.

By the end, I got passed by a few more people (including some blazing fast high schoolers!), but wound up finishing close to my friends and fellow DC Tri masters coaches, Rachel and Jule. All in all, the race was exactly what I needed after the previous day: social time with friends, recovering from mistakes, and reminding myself why I love this sport so much. Plus, for the first time ever, I got to share the podium with two friends! Congrats, Sarah and Caroline!

Next up: a trail race in Delaware! Since why not drive across two states to run a 10k in the woods of a state that recently had its first bear sighting since colonial times?



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