Rest of 2014
Westchester Triathlon: Good swim, crashed on the bike, made sure the bike was functioning somewhat, finished the bike course, ran most of the 10K before the endorphins wore off and shuffled the last mile and finished in 3:09. A rather painful finish!
As soon as crossed the finish line I was immediately dragged into the medical tent. (First time for everything. Hopefully the last time.) That's what happens when one of your Team in Training coaches is charge of the medical tent. Still won my age group. Then again the other person in my age group, got pulled after the bike leg because she way over the cut off time.
Treasure Island Triathlon, New Jersey: Rented a house Jersey Shore with a bunch of my Team in Training buddies. Party time with a sprint triathlon thrown for good measure. Day before race I could barely lift my arm while swimming. Shoulder pain from the crash two weeks earlier. Thanks to the magic hands of our in-house PT, I was good to go. Survived the swim, kicked butt on a 4 loop closed bike course (no cars!), and held on for dear life during the run, and won my age group by a couple of minutes. Could have won the aquabike division if I opted for that instead. Coulda, shoulda, woulda.
June 7: America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride, Lake Tahoe, CA. Spent all spring putting in lots of miles on the bike in order to do the 100 miles. Not much swim and running during that time. But I had a great ride! 6:35 ride time
June 14: Sleepy Hollow Sprint Triathlon: A week later I do the triathlon with very little swim and run training. I was slower than the year before, but not a problem, still won my age group. Beat some of the same women as last year.
June 27: Islandman Triathlon, Avalon, NJ: This was kind of a homecoming for me. Our family would spend a week there at the beach. I had not been down there since the first anniversary of my dad's sudden passing in Stone Harbor which is next town over. The race was supposed to be 1/3 mile ocean swim, 12 mile bike and 5K run. However when the ocean looked like this:
The swim got replaced by a .8 mile run. Oh joy! Just what I needed was an extra run to start off the race. However I managed to chase down all the women in my age group on the bike, and somehow held them all off on the second run. Still haven't done a triathlon with an ocean swim, but won age group for the first time ever in a duathlon. Generally I avoid duathlons because I have to run twice.
August 15, Timberman Sprint, Guilford NH: I had not done this race in 10 years. Always loved this race. Very competitive. Nice swim, 14 mile hilly bike course, and a short 5K run. It definitely plays to my strengths. I had slight mishap on the bike. I dropped my chain, tried to pedal it back on, lost my balance and toppled over. Only thing injured was my pride as I was in the midst of trying pass a group of riders, who then proceeded to pass me as I lay on the pavement. "Stuff" happens. Won my age group, but was shocked how I won it. 2nd place was 20 minutes behind me. Twenty minutes is an eternity in a sprint.
September 13, Toughman Aquabike. USAT National Aquabike Championship, Croton, NY
This was my A race. I had looked at the results from last year's race in Ohio, and felt I could beat the winning time in my age group which was little over 4 hours. But there's always the questions that linger. How many in the age group? Will more East Coast people come? How do the courses compare? I knew this course was going to be hilly which for me is good. I didn't feel I did as much hill training as I should have, but bike mileage was solid. I felt good about my swimming. I spent a lot of time doing open water swims over the summer. The swim was not easy. The Hudson River can be rather gnarly when it wants to be. Fortunately the currents weren't too bad. I loved the bike course due to it being totally closed to cars. Not an easy course though. A big climb up an 8% grade early on. Since it's two loops, got to climb that sucker twice. However coming down that same hill was rather scary. I hit my time goal of under 4:00 with a time of 3:56. Yes it was good enough for the win. National Champion! Even got a National Champion tri-top. I don't think I'll wear it in any races. Don't want to have the proverbial bulls-eye on my back, especially if I choose to go to this year's Aquabike National Championships.
September 27, Westchester Triathlon, Rye, NY: I stayed upright on the bike, and shocked myself on the run by doing it in just over an hour. I still can't figure out how I struggle to run sub 12:00 miles in training, but go into a triathlon and knock out sub 10:00 miles. I guess it's a combination of adrenaline, the competitive fire within and perhaps I need a bike ride as a warm up. Maybe I should do all my runs as a brick. I did break 3:00 hours which was one of my goals.
A year later I'm looking a lot happier as I cross the finish line. Staying upright on the bike helps a lot. And yes, with it came another age group win.
So the first two years of my comeback have resulted in eight 1st place age group wins, and one 2nd place. I guess getting old isn't such a bad thing.
2016? I'm looking to expand my horizons beyond the northeast. Time to see if this big fish in the little pond can go swim/bike/run with the big fish in the big lakes. First order of business is to revisit the scene of the crime. The crime being my pathetic exit from triathlon with my sad performance at St. Anthony's Triathlon in 2009. That's a whole other post, which I promise won't come in another six months.