Saturday, September 22, 2007

Hard Lessons at General Smallwood

The morning arrived hot, humid, and horrible! How it could be 40 degrees last weekend and 80 degrees at 5 am this race morning are beyond me!

My friend Jean and her boyfriend Ken (both Coppi riders) came to volunteer, and it was great to actually have people who knew me cheering me on at a race for once! Ken was on the bullhorn for the swim start....

THE SWIM (29:30)
Age Group 9/23
Overall 29/77 women

This course, same as last year, was very grassy--tons of hydrilla in the water made for a swampy swim. It's two loops out and back, easy enough. It was really hot in the wetsuit, but I had a pretty straight swim, only veered off course once!

T1 (3:46)
Age Group 5/23
Overall 18/77
Again, same as last year, a long, over .25mile run up to the transition. I stashed my flip-flops and they helped with the concrete/gravel to transition.

THE BIKE (1:15:40)
Age Group 2/23
Overall 7/77
I rented Zipp 404's from Conte's, and they were great! I had a great time on the course. It seemed flatter than I remembered it--guess that's what happens when you ride the Pyrenees a few weeks earlier! I had a smoking bike, and even got kudos on the course from a number of the women I passed. Go Bella!

T2 (:56)
Age Group 2/23
Overall 5/77

THE RUN (52:58)
Age Group 3/23
Overall 17/77

I thought I was mentally prepared for the out-and-back hilly run from last year. But, the race director, David Glover, had a trick up his sleeve! The final mile of the race was a trail/cross country route instead of back down the road through the park entrance.

THE FINISH (2:42:48)
Age Group 4th place
Overall 16th place

At about 400m to the finish line, a lady caught up to me, shouted "We're almost there, come on" and took off ahead of me. Well, she looked to be in an older age group (no number on her calf) and the course wound down a narrow path where it then went uphill over a wooden bridge. At this point, I was just not mentally tough enough, and I let the lady pass me. Turns out she was in my age group, and beat me by 5 seconds and ended up taking 3rd.

I learned a hard lesson today; never, EVER give up a strong finish. I don't care if it's a 90 year old man next time, I'm racing strong to the end.

No comments: