A quick report from the beach, where five of my clients did the Beach2Battleship half-iron race and another, Marne, ran the anchor leg of a mixed relay (3rd place). What a great race, and a beautiful day to enjoy it. The current swept us to a quick swim; the bike was flattish; the run was scenic.
My own race was mediocre. I started fine on the bike but soon realized I had little to give. My average wattage was laughably low; I couldn’t hit the numbers I made in training. I don’t know if I am getting sick or slightly misfit on my bike, but it wasn’t happening. Instead, I settled in to enjoy the day and play the role of sweeper.
By the time I hit T2, two of my clients had passed me and another was changing next to me, so I wound up running with them. I presumed Derek was out on the run, but it turned out he was just behind us: having gotten hypothermic in the ocean, he took a long T1 to warm up. So I thought I was the last of our group out there, and I decided to help everyone in. What a fun way to approach the run! It’s much less self-sacrificial than it sounds; I loved every minute of it, because I felt wonderful throughout and still do now. (Morning update: both knees are very tender; I should have listened to my bike fitter, who said, after raising my saddle to a hypothetical new spot, “Lower your saddle and move it to its intended position slowly.” That’s the price of my laziness and stubbornness, and probably explains my trouble producing power and staying aero on the very flat course.)
I started with Julee, who eventually won her age group by passing two women in the last mile. We were sporting matching outfits and hairdos, and caused quite a stir as we ran through downtown Wilmington (“Go, girls!”). We saw Dave on his way to an eleventh-place finish in 4:40-something. When we caught Robyn, Julee went on and I ran alongside Robyn, but she was battling her stomach and didn’t want to hear me chatter. Then we caught up to Katy, sent Robyn on, and Katy and I had an absolute blast: we chatted, walked as she wanted to, and enjoyed interacting with the fabulous aide station workers. When I noticed there was grass in my socks, I stopped to shake them out. When Katy’s stomach felt gassy, we walked until she let a belch loose. We frequently commented on the pretty scenery and how exciting it is to finish a race of this distance. It was revelatory! I’ve never walked in a race before, and now I see its appeal—it was so fun. When we ran, we ran a conversational, happy pace. My goal for the race was to learn something, and I did: I gained perspective on the journey.