Monday, April 6, 2009

Vanderkittens Kick Ass

Three of our Vanderkittens represented us well at the Smithfield Sprint Triathlon on Saturday. Julie placed 2nd overall and Kelly and Vanda placed 6th and 14th in the 45-49 category. Way to go girls!

Sunday brought the Conquer the Canal Time Trial. Vanderkitten again was well represented with 13 competitors giving it their all. We had first timers who were all smiles when the race was over. We swept the women’s events with 3 first places and a second.
Congratulations to Laura for breaking the course record in the CAT 1,2,3, Ali winning CAT 4
and BJ winning the 40 plus. Julie, after a hard effort at the triathlon the day before, again brought home the silver.

Five of our team members did their first race ever and were all smiles at the end. Congratulations to Claudia, Donna, Maggie, Meredith and Winnie.

Claudia has included her report as a first time racer. I think you’ll enjoy her “Newbie’s Perspective.”

A Newbie’s Perspective….

My first time trial! Needless to say despite the fact that I did not feel overly nervous, I had very restless sleep the night before, and way too many trips to the bathroom the morning of. Meredith and I caravanned out to the trail which was relatively easy to find and found a parking place pretty easily; shortly thereafter Laura, Ali, Julie and Ryan showed up and we all just started doing the pre-race activities of getting our numbers and setting up our trainers. It was nice having some veterans there if nothing else to mimic their actions and not look like such a newbie beginner, and thanks to Ryan for taking off my gay reflector- lol.

As we warmed up, people came by and chatted here and there and it seemed before I knew it, it was time to head to the start. One more trip to the bathroom – for good luck, a quick spin down the road and back and up to the start. It was actually kind of interesting just watching people go off. Various tidbits of advice being offered from different people such as keep your eye on your 30 second and minute person lingered in my mind as the starter counted down my last ten seconds. I was fiddling with my odometer and didn’t get the greatest start, and then I couldn’t click in immediately which was simply annoying. Finally, I settled in and started my ride. As I slowly watched my 30 second person vanish from view (being that it was Ann Burns, I guess I couldn’t be too surprised, and of course with my minute person being Julie), reality set in that my race would be a solitary journey to the six mile marker as I would never quite catch up to anyone else. So I tried to play music in my head and think about anything other than my leg pain, or my speed- except to maintain at least 19 (my goal), and just ride. The scenery was beautiful and I went back and forth between wondering should I spin faster at an easier gear or try to push a harder gear; I never quite determined which was better- will need to consult Captn’ Cook and others about the best answer to that question. The miles moseyed along and I found myself watching others and thinking they are all going much faster than you Claudia, move your legs you lazy slug! When I got to the turn around I thought what a simply stupid concept, surely a nice big turning circle would make our lives so much easier, and I tried to focus on not falling as I turned left, clearly my non-comfortable side to turn on. (Note to self, practice turning left more) The way back felt windier and I found myself relishing the points along the trail that didn’t include big fields on my right side so as not to blow even more wind onto my already struggling self. Again those voices in my head told me Claudia you are going too slow, PEDAL!!!!!!!! It was right about that time that I heard the humming…..and WHOOOOOSH!!!!!!!! Like a flash of lightening BJ flew by me looking like Wonder Woman on wheels! That was inspiring and I think I actually sped up a bit – thank you BJ. In the distance I could see the tent and the odometer told me I was rapidly approaching the finish so I tried to push it even more. My legs were burning, and I was thinking you need to get your act together young lady and start riding more!!!! When I finally passed the finish I believe it was Barb Ryan who yelled my name cheering for me – Thank you Barb – that was great! But again, like everyone else wasn’t quite sure I was done so I kept pushing pretty hard. Seeing the team at the end was great although being the last one to go simply because of my last name was frustrating. Hope all races are not reverse alphabet. At the end, I unclicked and definitely felt in my legs that I had given my all. I was pretty happy and at that point really just wanted to see what my time would be as I didn’t have a good read from my bike computer.

What I learned. A bike race is completely different mentally from a running race, at least for me. I had no idea what to anticipate. I learned I needed a longer warm-up. I learned that I have a lot to learn and I desperately want to learn more. I got better at running from reading and asking questions and I fully intend to do the same thing with biking. I learned that there is a huge difference from being able to go out and ride even 30 miles and being able to then perform well at a time trial. This is a very complex sport. And I learned that I’m completely in awe of my teammates who make it look so easy even more so than I was before the time trial. This was a fun day and I’m excited to be a part of such a supportive group of athletic, empowering women. Team Vanderkitten is phenomenal!


Aunt Barb said...
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Barb said...

Claudia...that was so poignant... congratulations on your first time trial!

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