The Most “A” of “A” Races

My next race is Sunday. It is my “A” race because this event was where it all started for me with triathlon. In 2000 I did this race on a Schwinn Varsity 10 speed that I had ridden 3 times. Those were the first 3 times I had ridden a bike since I was about 16. I had been swimming quite a bit but not really running all that much. The race is 700 meters swim in open water (a first for me), 16 miles bike, and a 4.2 mile run on a convoluted, run in circles dirt trail – with hills. My swim was a predictable first effort replete with panic, rolling on my back and sputtering. The ride was sloooooowwww…. and by the time I got to the run it was about 95 degrees and I ended up walking repeatedly. I finished in 2:31, just ahead of a 9 year old kid and a man who was limping. I guess there were about 5 other people behind me, too.

In the summer of 2005 I went on vacation with my siblings and their spouses and my sister and brother in law and I rented bikes and went for a ride. I was SO impressed with myself. I could ride hills! Thus began my life as a cyclist. I started on that Schwinn but quickly decided to buy a hybrid bike. I thought it was so sleek and cool despite it’s hefty 22 pound weight. I rode and rode that bike with my friends. Last year I did my “A” race again but this time I had way more time in each discipline. I came in at 2:08 – a 23 minute PR. Woot!
This year I approach this race with 2 Olympic distance and 1 super sprint under my belt. I have trained like a triathlete doing brick workouts a few times a month. Okay so I train like a lazy triathlete but it’s better than last year! My goal has always been to break 2 hours and I have every confidence that I can do that.

As though that isn’t enough, my race club has decided to make this a team challenge and they’ve developed some sort of handicapping system. This makes my “A” race exceptionally “A” for me because with my hideous Wildflower time I expect my handicap is HEEEOOOOGE! I could place in the top 3 for my club! Maybe. In any case I will have a lot of buds out there and that alone is worth the price of admission. The club is having a BBQ and doing some awards later in the afternoon so it will be just a ton o’ fun on Sunday.

Here is an excerpt from last year’s (absurdly long) race report:
“The run on this thing is hard because it loops around a couple of times. I kept thinking I was done but then there was another loop or another hill. The thing that made the run so much better than it was last time was the Forward Motion Race Club who came out to pass out water and encourage the participants. This is the club I believe I will join so that I don’t have to cry in my beer about doing these events alone any more. They were fabulous, yelling out ‘Way to go! Looking Strong!” and that meant a lot to me because I was tired. ”

Of course I picked up some airplane spooge on the way back from Madison and my throat has been sore all week and I’m a little snotty in the head. Hopefully this will clear up by Sunday AM. Sick or not – I’m going for for it! In fact I’m so excited about this race that I bought myself some new toys. A swanky new transition bag and a white helmet, because my blue helmet clashes with my team kit. A girl has to do what she has to do, you know?

** minor update** The handicaps were posted and mine, as predicted, is the worst/best. My number is the lowest so I think that’s good – very good. I still have to race really hard to grab a spot. Excellent incentive.

See what I mean – I HAD to get a new helmet. It was not optional. I can’t believe Brightroom thinks I would buy this photo. No way!

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