Sunday, October 18, 2009

Mount Desert Island Marathon

Totally untrained.
....and when I say "totally" I mean TOTALLY. 
I knew I'd be walking most of this.

Jon, Dad and I flew into Portland and drove up to Bar Harbor to the rental house that Heidi found for us (she was supposed to race also but ended up having to pull out).  There was absolutely no cell service anywhere near the house, nor any internet, but otherwise was a cozy little place (read: next time, do the proper research and find house with proper amenities).

Since I was planning on walking most of the race and wanted the extra time, I elected to start the extra hour early with my dad and the rest of the walkers.  It was *freezing* when Jon dropped us off!!!  One thing I can say is that this course was by far the most beautiful.... and hilly and windy, but I was able to put some of that aside to enjoy the mountains and changing leaves.  I was pretty much running the downhills and walking everything else and then somehow started keeping pace with this girl.  I'm all for meeting new people and having race company, but this ended up being the most obnoxious thing as she wanted to keep stopping for pictures, bathroom breaks, this and that... and I felt guilty about the idea of leaving her behind.  Really, I was in no hurry, but at the end of the day I wanted to be moving forward at all times at least making progress and the frequent stops really irritated me.  My dad was well ahead of me and the miles kept creeping along.  At some point the runners started passing and the course grew a little more crowded.  These were seriously the biggest hills ever!!

I finally broke away from this girl for the last few miles.  So much time had passed already that I was just ready to be done.  About a mile or so from the finish, I saw our rental car and knew that Jon was at the finish already, probably with my dad.... and I wondered why he'd park so far away?  No way I was walking back to that car where it was!!!  The finish line was still up when I finally crossed, completely relieved to be done after almost EIGHT HOURS on that course, partly due to sticking with this girl the whole time, but also my lack of training is very much to blame.  Dad and Jon were there and were ready to walk to the car.  Um... are you kidding me?!!  I could not walk one more step and promptly sat on the side of the road where I told them they could find me.  An officer directing traffic took pity on me and asked me to describe the car so that when it pulled up, he'd allow them to come on the closed portion of the road so I didn't have to walk.  Awesome... except Jon had his own plans and veered off into an earlier parking log.  Seriously?  I don't know why these people thought I was going to walk anymore!!  The officer ran after the car, found Jon and told him to drive the car up to me.  I must have looked really pathetic but was VERY thankful for that officer.

Back at the house, navigating the stairs was challenging, but luckily the soreness wasn't completely horrible the next day and we were all able to go exploring in Bar Harbor, enjoying a nice lobster dinner.  Definitely the perfect time of year to visit the area.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Columbia Triathlon

3rd times the charm?

This race kicked my ass in 2007.  I got a stupid DNF in 2008.  Am I ever going to conquer this course??

Every single year I'm at this event, it's freezing, at least it seems that way.  This year is no exception.  Deb was with me this year and I was happy for the company.  Bikes racked and thus begins the long wait for our wave start.  This is my third attempt at this race and there were a few things on my mind:
(1) get a finish time.
(2) improve my time from 2007.
(3) don't walk the bike.

Finally we're off and once again it's raining.  Awesome.  Uneventful swim and it's suddenly time for the dreaded bike.  Most of the bike course is a blur.  I've done this course so many times in races and training rides, I knew exactly where all of the hills are and how to prep myself.  There is one hill in particular that I have never successfully ridden.  Unfortunately, that particular spot got the best of me one last time.  BUT... I did finish that bike course and set out on the run.
Look how happy I am coming in off the bike!
 It's a challenging run course also but at least I knew I would finish, hopefully with a better time than before?  This is one of those races that gets lonely for the back of the packers, but I made my way along, saw Deb on her return leg and just kept going.  Finally coming up to the lake and around the path as I could hear the finish line chants... I finished, dropping over half hour off my 2007 race time, WOO HOO!!
Equally as happy to be finishing the run...
Very pleased, I met up with my friends at Heidi's place in Rockville for a BBQ lunch before heading home to pack for my upcoming vacation to Spain.  I still haven't conquered this bike course completely, but 2 out of 3 goals met ain't bad.
could not be happier to have this medal