Saturday, September 23, 2006

My last 2006 race

Saturday, 23 September

My last race of 2006 was another long time trial, although not long by ROF standards (see previous entry). I did the bike leg on a relay team at the Black Diamond Half Ironman. The hardest single moment of the day was getting off my bike after 61 miles and running, in cleats, with my bike, through the transition area to tag my team's runner.

I thought I had the funnest part of the day. Counting all the duathletes and iron folks who got started on the bike leg before me, I had at least 35 people ahead of me on the road. I didn't even notice the rollers in the first 5 miles because I was so busy passing people (no drafting, no riding together). Then the rabbits were far enough apart that they'd motivate me to reel them in gradually. I passed several men who couldn't bear the thought that they been passed by some old lady (they wrote my age on my right calf and my race number on my left). So they'd have to pass me back. And slow down. So I would of course have to pass again. And in all cases but one, I never saw the guy again. :)

I try not to say bad things about other cyclists on this blog (I save that for comments on others' blogs!), but I have huge rant against a group wearing LAKEMONT CYCLING CLUB jerseys. A group of about 8 of them were out on a training ride on our straight shot into Enumclaw. Yes, they had every right to use that road. But they could clearly see that they were in the middle of a competitive cycling event, and simple courtesy would have suggested that they might consider getting out of the way--by, say, riding single file to the right. But no. These guys couldn't keep a pace line running smoothly. Sometimes they were 3 abreast. Sometimes one guy would attack (like when they saw an old lady pass them) and then they'd be strung out all over the road. Then some slow dude would get on the front and the pace would drop to 18 mph and so I'd have to pass again. It took me several miles to get around them for good, and I heard other racers suggesting that they learn how to share the road. Word has it that their skills (or lack thereof) sent a racer into the ditch near the top of Mud Mountain.

And speaking of Mud Mountain, it wasn't much easier today than it is during the Enumclaw stage race. But it was kind of fun to pass all the encouraging words left on the road from this year's version of that race. If anyone wants to know the roster for the Starbucks team, it's all painted right there. No phone numbers, though.

When I did this race in 2003, I hopped off the bike and into running shoes to do the half-marathon that was the other leg of the duathlon I had been talked into entering. I was ecstatic with my bike time that year: 2:59 (I had NEVER ridden 60 miles in 3 hours). This year I thought it would be nice to have the same time, being 3 years older and not having done a speck of training for this race (the 12-hour TT doesn't count...really). I ended finishing in 2:49, the fastest women's time of the day. And I think I was top 10 overall on the bike. Of course, most of the other competitors also swam first in frigid water and then ran a half with a huge ol' hill in it. Still, not bad for the last race of the year. And I decided today that I have changed my mind and I am NOT going to buy a pink helmet. I saw way too many going way too slow--not precisely the image I'm cultivating, eh?

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