Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Nation's Tri to Benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society - Sunday, 11 September

Whew! What a mouthful! This past Sunday I participated (I can't really call it "competing") in my second tri: an Olympic distance on the Mall in Washington, D.C. It. Was. Amazing. Due to extensive rainfall from the storms the previous week (parts of the beltline were still flooded and closed), the Potomac was too high and fast (and, I presume, sewage-filled) to safely allow people to swim in it. And, having seen the river in person, it was *really* fast. Thus, the swim was canceled and that, children, is how Nation's Tri became Nation's Duathlon, so to speak (the bike and run distances remained at 40k and 10k, respectively).

I had little problem staging my bike on Saturday, after which I was able to spend a glorious day with E, S, T, and new pal B. By glorious, I'm pretty sure we watched Airplane! and fell asleep. Sunday came, and I woke at 4:30a, ready to be picked up by S' coworker R, who was also in the race. We got there, staged our areas, and commenced waiting. My wave started between 7:55a and 8:30a, but once they started letting people into the TA, it went by pretty quickly. While waiting, I noticed two friends from Mendon in my corral, so we caught up. And then, we were off.

Official (my) Splits:

T1: 2.04

Maximum speed: unknown
Average speed: 19.6 (20.3) mph
Distance: 24.8 (25.23) mi
Time: 1.16.00 (1.14.28)

Average pace: 10.42 min/mi
Distance: 10k
Time: 1.06.08

T2: 1.41

Total time: 2.26.00

The transition area was HUGE and, not surprisingly, a total swampland because of so many feet and so much water. I'm OK with the slower transition times because of these facts -- I didn't bungle anything and did the best I could.

On the bike I was flying, and refused to look at the average speed for fear that it would get inside my head and that I would try to slow down to be ready for the ride. Instead, I hammered it out, transitioned, and forced myself to do 3-1 intervals on the run for the first mile or so. The purpose of the intervals was for me to keep my legs from cramping at the outset and to keep my side from getting a stitch. This strategy worked, and, after walk/running with C for a bit, I found my pace and ran for all but 1 minute of the second half. I felt positively great.

It was amazing to see so many people out there, and to have a (apparently enviably) large group of supporters. I had a great time, and would totally do it again, even if it means getting a mouthful of Potomac (blech).

Finished the morning off with a deeee-licious chocolate shake and a lengthy nap. All told, a great weekend.

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