Monday, September 23, 2013

Wilmington YMCA 'Race Report'

This year's triathlon went a little different than in years past. This was my 5th time racing this triathlon and my worst finish (haha).

2007: 2nd
2008: 4th
2009: 1st
2010: we did USAT Nationals that year, which was the same weekend
2011: pregnant
2012: 1st
2013: 90th overall, 1st beach cruiser and fastest run split :)

We rented the same beach house as last year, which is one of the the nicest houses I've ever stayed in. We got down there around 5:30pm after a quick stop at the Lighthouse beer store, to freshly delivered pizza. Most everyone who was renting the house with us had arrived and soon after finishing dinner Alysia and I decided we better go down to the garage and assess the beach cruiser situation.

There was only one that had a basket and I was adamant that I needed to ride this one so we could put food/drinks/phone (for pictures of course!) in it. The only problem was this bike's chain was pretty rusted. Lou put a bunch of lube on it, but I don't think it really made a difference. Anyways, after fiddling with the seat which was low, and the handlebars which were loose, we practiced riding down the street.

This is harder than it looks. To brake you back pedal just like on the bike you grew up riding, so you can't actually pedal backwards, or get your pedal in the correct spot to start off which apparently is something I do every time I ride my bike! I didn't even know this. It was awkward starting from a different position.


I also found out earlier that apparently there are all sorts of beach cruisers - even ones with gears where you can get going pretty fast. Alysia and I, being the competitive athletes that we are, had much discussion over the fairness of different types of beach cruisers racing. We are ridiculous.

Race morning came...with rain.Grrrr. Alysia and I left a little earlier than everyone else since we knew it would take us longer to get there and sure enough our housemates came zooming by not long after. We were really slow on these things.

I went and picked my packet up first, and got asked by one of the volunteers "Are you related to Marty Gaal?" which became a running joke all weekend. Mr. Big Deal, that guy. Anyways, I'm not sure if it's because Alysia and I were goofing around or what, but we were both total spazzes pre-race. I left 2 things in my transition bag, which was wrapped in a plastic bag and set by the fence (which was not close to my bike) that I had to go to 2 different times during T1, and Alysia was her usual spacey self getting her own stuff set up. Then we waited in line to get on a trolley and it was just about ready to pull away from the curb when I realized I had left my timing chip in my bag - back in transition. I screamed this to Alysia (who was sitting right next to me) and we both jumped off the bus.

Also, I forgot to mention that we decided to wear costumes for the race. Alysia's shirt says "I'm sexy and I know it"



Here is a picture of my transition.



I could be paranoid, but I'm pretty sure the people next to me were annoyed and rolled their eyes at me while I was setting up. I don't know why they didn't put all the beach cruisers together on one rack.

We did end up making it to the swim start. It was still raining on and off and was a little chilly, but the water was not wetsuit legal much to my chagrin. Although it felt like it should've been when I got in to warmup! But I had a secret weapon -- I had swum TWICE the week before which was a 100% increase to the prior weeks. Uhhhhh. Can you tell I've moved on from triathlon at this point in the season?

We were surprisingly not the last wave - we were wave 8 of 11 and went off with the relays. My swim went as I would've expected, nothing dazzling, but I was able to get out not too far behind Alysia so she didn't have to wait for me in transition. Even with my two trips to my transition bag. She had her own issues, putting on her helmet and then realizing she had forgotten her "I'm sexy and I know it" t-shirt, which wouldn't fit over her helmet.

We ran out of transition and onto our bikes and my handlebars immediately dropped very low as I started off. Then we had to get off of our bikes (along with everyone else) on the metal grading of the one bridge you go over. As I was descending the bridge, I hit a bump which caused my bars to go even lower and my basket was knocked loose. Somehow I managed to catch it but had to yell to Alysia so we could stop and try and fix my handle bars. We man handled the suckers and got them to go back up. Off on our cruisers again only to hit another bump (that first road after the bridge is the worst) and this time the basket flew way in the air and to the side of the road. We stopped again and shoved all the stuff out of the way and just left it there. I did grab my phone and wedged it inside my trisuit. Super comfortable. So we had traveled approximately 1/2 mile and taken around 5min. This was going to be a looooong ride.

It was at this point our friend Zane, who was also doing the beach cruiser division, caught up to us. But if asked about his race, he will likely say, "yeah, I caught Bri and Alysia on the bike" leaving the rest of it out ;)

After that, the bike was fine, albeit very slow. We chatted and complained, cheered and whined our way through the course. Everyone and their mother/brother/grandmother etc, and even many beach cruisers passed us. We truly did suck on those things.

Back in T2, I racked my bike and literally stood there while Alysia fiddled with bandages and chafing issues. A lot of people were already done and milling around transition at this point. I just stood there in my ridiculous costume feeling pretty silly. Then she was ready and she yelled, "OK! Sub 20!!" which really got me going and we completely blew our pacing and started off like complete idiots. In our grass skirts. Our first mile was 6:04. Oopsy. Alysia fell back a bit after that but held strong. Unfortunately she didn't meet her goal of sub 20 (I just snuck under) but we found out from one of our friends who garmins everything that the run was a bit long. That made us feel a bit better! Although after riding those heavy cruisers and using muscles in ways we never have before for that long I'm not sure what we were expecting.

We actually had the fastest and second fastest run splits out of all the girls!

Here we are on the podium. There were more than 2 in our division, but since it was the very last group to be awarded, not many stayed around. But our friends did, and they cheered loud for us.



Sexy and we know it.