Evergreen is where my Mom grew up only an hours' drive from Denver in a small mountain town with a lake I skated on as a kid. I drank beer at as an adult at the infamous Little Bear Saloon on the short main street with one stoplight. I've taken my kids to the Little Bear for lunch long before the motorcycles line up outside and the beer and music flow. The boys were especially intrigued with all the bras hanging from the stage. "If these walls could talk." A fun little town I'd recommend.
|Checking into Highland Haven|
|Lake the night before the race|
As I mentioned, my diet for the week was not the best and Saturday continued the trend...after all, it was my birthday. I "paid for it" on Sunday morning as I got up early to prep for my race. Once again, an unhappy stomach had me thinking...crawling back into that big bed sounded awfully good. I "sucked it up" after "crapping it out" for the short bike ride through town to the lake starting area.
After visiting the porto-potty a couple more times (Crap!) and setting up my transition area, I worked my way down to the water for the mandatory wetsuit swim start. Mistake #3 was not reading about the race. In the race walkthrough, the race director described the bicycle course as "challenging." For a novice cyclist without much hill training, the first seven uphill miles were going to be challenge indeed. An uphill battle for this newbie that was feeling "over the hill." With only a Sprint race (no Olympic distance,) the field was "stacked" with faster and more experienced triathletes. Perhaps my medal success in this new sport had me overconfident? Perhaps mistake #4.
|Before the race...trying to look like I know what I'm doing|
|Adjusting to this number|
As they say, what goes up, must come down and the best part of the race was flying down the single lane road. With the race course open to traffic, I cursed under my breath at a Jeep that was actually going slower than me on the way down. I had to brake for the car and pull slightly to their right--precariously close to the shoulder and had me thinking I was in for my first wreck. My last race I averaged close to 20MPH. While I was going probably close to 30-40 MPH down the hill, my average MPH on the bike leg was a disappointing 15.3. (I'd later find out.)
Both transitions were a struggle and showed my inexperience. As I compared to others in my age group, there's room for not just seconds, but perhaps a minute plus of improvement. After my transition from bike to running, I headed out for the (you guessed it) uphill start of the run. Did I mention I grew up going to this town...what was I thinking...that they'd somehow found the flat part of the mountain town? #naive
|My post race self portrait|
As the bumper sticker says, "a bad day of fishing is better than any day at work." The same can be said for running, racing and triathlons. No doubt, I'm too hard on myself considering this was only my fifth ever triathlon. I wanted a podium on my birthday, but got Imodium instead. Fifth in my age group and ironically 50th overall. Like many a marathon, I felt disappointed and felt I disappointed others. A lot to learn and a lot of mistakes to eliminate--most of them before race day. As I was dealing with my race hangover on Monday, I thought, "get some rest." I ignored reason and swam on Monday and followed it with an excellent speed workout on Tuesday running 400's at sub six minute mile pace. No doubt to erase the pathetic performance from my brain and to start working on improving my game. No rest for the weary.