Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dynamic Duo!

Ryan and I headed to Lynchburg, VA last weekend to participate in the Angel’s Race Triathlon. The spirit of this race was to be someone’s “Angel” and to do the race in their honor. We both dedicated our race to Daniel Hersh who was killed a week earlier in a cycling accident in Virginia Beach.

We got there in time to preview the bike course. It was a pretty technical course- hilly and lots of twists and turns... but it was really fun!!! After checking into the hotel, we took a walk down to the local hotspot for dinner. It was prom night in Lynchburg and it was quite entertaining to see some of the outfits! Back to the hotel with full bellies, we got our bikes ready... and I noticed that my rear wheel had a slow leak.... good thing Ryan had a spare wheel with him in the car, so I made the switch so I wouldn't have to worry about it race morning. Not very fashionable with an 808 on the front and a heavy trainer wheel on the back, but at this point I was looking for function not fashion!

The hotel messed up our reservation and had us in 2 Double Beds. Sleeping like the Cleavers, we went to bed pretty early and I must say it was pretty relaxing to have the whole bed to myself. The alarm went off before we knew it and we got up, stretched, had a bite to eat and were out the door to the race site. Our hotel was right down the street from the YMCA where the swim and transition area were, so it was very convenient. I quickly warmed up on the bike to make sure my gears were shifting and then set my stuff up back in transition and jumped in the pool to loosen up. The swim went well, and I felt really smooth... quickly out and on my bike. I passed a ton of the "swimmers" who had started before me (with the pool swim, you are seeded by your 100-meter swim time and start in 15-second intervals) and got into my groove. Things were going well and I felt great until I made a quick gear shift down and dropped my chain! I tried to spin it back in place, but that was not working, so I got off my bike and put it back on... it was a little frustrating, but I knew I would just have to hammer that much harder from then on. The course was out-and-back and I saw Ryan right after I made the turn around, so I knew he would be passing me soon. Coming back into downtown was very uphill and kicked my butt, I struggled to keep it going and rode into transition. Off the bike and onto the run, I knew I rode well, but I was a little concerned because I haven't been running at all for the past month due to nagging shin splints. I tried to just get into a steady rhythm and keep it going. The first mile was hard, I picked it up for the 2nd mile and the last mile hurt bad (and it was getting hot)... the last 1000 meters was about a 22% grade and that was a tough finish. Ryan was there (already finished) to cheer me into the finish line. I was really happy with how I ran each leg of the race. It’s been awhile since I have put together 3 solid efforts in the same race.... Because of the staggered starts, we didn't know the final results until several hours later. Ryan ended up with not only the overall win, but also the course record for the whole race (and for the bike split alone)! It was fun to be co-champions (a first for us) as husband/wife and a fun way to end our Virginia triathlons. That was likely my last race in VA.... and we rewarded ourselves with massages last night.
Thinking about Daniel Hersh throughout the race was motivating and inspirational- to know that he could no longer do what he loved gave me that extra push throughout the race as I was still able to test my limits doing what I love.

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