Since I last wrote, I ran the local 10-miler in February.
My main strategy this year consisted of wearing a Smith basketball shirt, so that people would think, "She's not that fast, but hey, for a basketball player, she's doing great!" The picture above is about a mile into the race. Below is a shot from near the end, where I look decidedly less happy.
After running this race I lay on the couch, sore and wanting to throw up, for the better part of the day. At which point I decided, having done this 4 times and finished in the same time plus or minus 4 minutes each time, I am crying uncle on this race. Next year I will partake of the terrific atmosphere, the sense of seeing all one's running friends after a long lonely winter, by volunteering at a water stop. I'm writing this here so that someone can remind me of this if they see me with a race application in my hand. Although since then I've joined a running team and may end up having to do this as a team event. Bah.
Speaking of Smith basketball, I spent much of my winter being a super basketball fan. Smith made it to the Div III NCAA tournament for the first time ever, so Patrick and I road tripped to Maine to see their game.
The reason he looks so happy here is that, unexpectedly, Smith won their first-round game, beating the #8 seed on their home court. And now basketball season will be starting again before you know it.
Triathlon season started for me in May this year, when I road-tripped to New Jersey with Alicia to do Devilman. This year I opted for the sprint, which is really more of an Olympic Light. Last year the big story was the vicious biting bugs at the race. This year it was the 42-degree air temps at the start. I pretty much had hypothermia before I even started, and things didn't really get better until the run. The low point of the race for me was being unable to unbuckle my helmet in T2; I eventually found an official to take it off for me.
At this year's finish I looked a lot less haggard (having only done the sprint) and a lot less bug-covered. After the race we hightailed it to Ocean City to hang out with Martha and some of her new NJ triathlon buddies. A neighbor lent me a beach cruiser to go to the boardwalk and buy saltwater taffy for the kids.
Other races this season included:
1) A ridiculously hilly Olympic tri in June, which was fun mostly because several of my teammates made the trip to eastern MA with me.
I shared a hotel room with Lisa, who was doing her first Olympic race, and I can now say with confidence that she is even more obsessive than I am. For instance, she insisted on wading out into the lake the night before to take the water temperature.
2) My super-favorite local race in late June, where I tried really hard to get 3rd but didn't really get that close, ending up 4th behind three fabulous women who are all older than I am. This simply makes me optimistic for my next decade.
3) Back to NJ for the New Jersey State Tri, my A race. It is a long and not that interesting story how I ended up picking this race, but in the end I think it was a great choice. The obnoxious heat wave sort of broke, so air temperatures weren't that bad, although the water was a balmy 89.5 degrees. I still had my best Olympic swim ever, even sans wetsuit. My bike was great, and I pretty much imploded in a sea of cramps on the run, but I had a blast and ended up 5th in my AG.
Also, that's not my time--I started about 45 minutes after the first wave. I want to go back next year for redemption. Two friends of mine did the sprint, and another one did the Olympic with me. Here we are post-race, after taking about 5 minutes to figure out which way to face so we could actually see ourselves in the picture.
4) A 5-mile running race! As alluded to above, I joined a local running team that wants to field a master's team in both the USATF grand prix races and the fall cross country series. I distinguished myself in my first race for them by being the slowest member of my team, but it was incredibly fun. I am such a dork that I was just thrilled to wear a team singlet.
As a triathlete I often forget what a bad runner I am, relatively speaking, compared to people who only run, but in the end I think this will be good for my running, if rather humbling.
5) A local sprint tri to shake off the cobwebs after summer vacation. I went into this race hoping to win and didn't really come all that close, but I did come in 2nd woman, and once again Alicia and I proved we are the ideal road-tripping pair. (Although if you want to take a road trip and know the water temperature, Lisa is your gal.)
Next up: Pumpkinman sprint, my favorite way to cap off the season! And maybe since I'm on sabbatical this year, I'll actually update this blog occasionally.