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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Got the Nerve: Calmer nerves the second time

Suiting up for 64 degree water!
As I re-read last year's post, there was a lot I had forgotten about this Mountain Gretna, PA race. I remembered two things: the awesome Marine color guard presentation of the flag at the beginning, and my infamous forgetting my bike helmet incident. I had forgotten about my pre-race jitters and sleepless night. This year for my first race of the season, everything magically fell into place.

Friday night began with a surprise 75th birthday appearance for my Dad. I still managed to change a faulty bike tube on my bike (first time I managed to do it without assistance), pack my gear in record time, and get to bed before 11. With the race being 10 minutes from Barb's house and starting at 8:15am, I was able to get a good night's sleep. We had a new triathlon recruit this year as Barb's husband David decided to try the Tri! 
Barb's husband David's first triathlon!

This year I expected the water to be COLD, and it was at 64 degrees. I flipped over once on my back early on to catch my breath but otherwise managed to swim freestyle the whole race and sight the buoys perfectly. At 13:01 (311) I was 45 seconds slower than last year but it's possible the course was slightly different as we exited the water in a different place.

I now place my helmet on my bike so there is no chance of forgetting it. The hills on this bike course no longer intimidate me and so I climbed each one, passing some riders along the way and enjoying the scenic farms along the way. It wasn't hard to beat my bike time from last year, which I did by 5:26 coming in at 1:05:53, 14.6mph. (341)

I wasn't sure if I could beat my run time from last year. My trial BRIC workout from last week yielded a 10:06 pace. I had decided in T2 to grab my Garmin Forerunner watch to keep my pace and perhaps it paid off, as I came in with a 9:58 pace at 30:55, shaving 21 seconds from last year.

Mike finished 1:34:12, close to his 1:31:03 time from last year. David survived, thankful for the kayaks in the swim and meeting his objective to come in under 2 hours. My real objective was to beat my 2:00:12 time, which I did, coming in at 1:54:47 (334/445) vs 2:00:12. Comparing my time to others I can feel good at beating the 29 year ogld by 2 seconds but plenty of women in their 50s and 60s are still beating my ass and at 5/7 in my age group, I still have a lot of work to do!

A new bike for Dad!
But, we're never too old to keep pushing our fitness levels. After our race, we went shopping for my Dad's 75th birthday gift - a new bicycle! His brain still remembered how to balance on the bike and upon arriving home, he promptly took it for a spin around the neighborhood. A new bike always brings smiles:-). Perhaps he's a future Tri relay partner!

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