Monday, August 3, 2009

Triathlon’s “Tour de PA”

Philadelphia “Diva” Women’s Triathlon
July 12, 2009
This time this kitty kat had to go at it alone, as I decided to do a “Tour de PA” of sorts. I started off in Philadelphia, PA competing in the Women’s “Diva” Triathlon. There were approximately 1,000 women from all walks of life. Unfortunately, for me, the night before the race, it poured down rain and caused them to cancel the swim, thus transforming the race into a duathlon. Those of you that know me well know that running is my weakness…ugggh run 2 miles, bike 17, then run another 5K (3.1 miles). Nonetheless, I tried to remain a “cool cat” and did what I had to do to complete the race to the best of my ability. I finished with a respectable time of 2:11, not so bad for kitty without running legs. The bike course was AWESOME!!! 2 loops around Fairmount Park, along the river and past the Art Museum that the Rocky movie made so famous. Since the race was now a duathlon, had no way to compare it to last year’s results for a PR, however, I did improve my bike time by almost 2 minutes for the 17 miles. That’s saying a lot considering how much running, before the bike, took out of my legs. I attribute my bike time to becoming a part of Vanderkitten Cycling this Spring. Prrrrrrrrrr!!! I decided to create my own VK tri suit before moving upward & westward.

Johnstown YMCA Triathlon July 18, 2009
Onward with my PA tour, moving west across the state to my hometown of Johnstown, PA, due southeast of Pittsburgh, PA. A glutton for punishment, competing in my second triathlon in the same week. If that wasn’t enough, this one was unusual in that the bike portion was and unprecedented 21 miles through the Allegheny Mountains. Ok, I admit I hate running, but climbing on a bike is certainly not a strong point for me by a long shot. I thought “wouldn’t this kitty kat look cute in a red polka dot jersey???” This same mountain brought me to my knees (literally) back in 2007, where I had to dismount and gather myself. At that time I had only been riding two months. It certainly didn’t help seeing signs on the side of the road letting you know that this was an “aggressive driver high crash zone” and this was the biggest gap this side of the Mississippi (1,000 ft. drop over the edge) gulp!!! The Swim was a short pool swim of 400 meters and on to the mountains I went. I took off like a bobcat for the first few miles leaving town. The climbs were unlike I recalled, with a top speed of 9 mph on most steep climbs and as low as 7 mph. I have never felt the base of my lungs ache so deeply in my life.After about 6 major climbs, things began rolling again and one major downhill at 40 mph, before heading back into the city. I made it…and I never stopped moving. I knocked off about 5 minutes from that last attempt in 2007. My legs felt like I had recently been in a “cat fight” as I pushed forward to complete the 5K run. Upon viewing the posted results of my 14th triathlon, I had actually won a 3rd place medal, my first ever!!! My time was 2:18 and oh how good it felt to have my name called, get my medal, and all with my makeshift Vanderkitten tri suit. My husband David was such a great Manderkitty, as he followed me in my friends van, and taped my journey through the Allegheny’s. This video footage was like catnip next to my bronze medal.
Zipp Cat

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