Anyway, it was a perfect day, starting at 6am. Cereal and maple oatmeal with a mashed up banana was for breakfast as I packed up my glorious Seven borrowed bike, gear and met Maggie to carpool. I was lucky enough to have a supportive partner in crime to share the tri experience with! We drove up to Brunswick in record time (no traffic at 7am!) and set up our racing stuff in the Transition Area.
After the opening meeting, the first wave of swimmers started. Seeing as how I am deathly afraid of swimming in the ocean, all my triathlons occur in swimming pools. Maybe someday I’ll get to a point where I can open water swim and bike with clip in pedals…So 37 minutes later, it was Wave 4's turn to jump in the water! Two people swim per lane and a nice man named Eric split the lane with me. The siren went off and off we went. Five hundred and twenty five yards later, I leapt out of the pool and ran to the Transition area to get ready to for the bike portion.
The weather couldn't have been better for the race. As I ran from the pool to the bike, the sun was out and no wind froze my skin. It was pleasantly cool as I threw on my shirt, helmet, sunglasses and shoes. I decided not to take the time to put on sunscreen, justifying that I would only be racing for another hour and a half tops. My reward for that decision was a beautiful tri shorts line on my upper thighs.
The bike ride was 11 miles through rolling hills and the relative countryside of Brunswick. I started out and finished strong despite the fact that my thighs were screaming at me the whole time. I had the same experience at the Tri for the Y last year after sitting too long. This time I moved around and sat very little before the race. Perhaps my thighs just enjoy yelling at me as I push them to their max capacity after rocking my swim in the pool...Along the bike route, I heard spring peepers and passed numerous people (but I’m pretty sure most of them passed me on the run…) I also raced by the Brunswick farmers market and vowed to visit there someday. I’m pretty sure I said the same thing around this time last year too. The Portland outdoor farmer’s market has finally opened again too!
Coming back into the Transition Area, you have to get off your bike and run it into the proper bike slot area. If you've never tried running after biking for multiple miles, let me tell you: it’s difficult. You try your best not to look like your legs feel like jelly and fall over. But what a thrill!
I replaced my bike on the bar and replaced my helmet and sunglasses for my favorite red Columbia hat, took one last drink of electrolyte-charged water and ran off for the last leg of my race. I felt good but my legs were burning still. Push through, I said to myself over and over. Suck it up. Leave it all on the course. You're almost finished. You can rest then.
The run was partially through the woods behind the Bowdoin College athletics center, which was really pleasant to run through. Trees, leaves on the ground, roots to watch out for. Nature. Right on my comfort level. As I finished, spectators cheered me on. I wished I had someone I loved cheering for me but I realized, they were all there to support everyone. That's the great thing about these events. Whether you know someone or not, if they're doing a great job and putting themselves out there, you cheer for them.
Due to the timing chip attached firmly to my ankle the entire race, I was able to get my results within a few minutes of catching my breath and downing some chocolate Muscle Milk. Five minutes faster than last year!!!!!!! Two minutes faster on the bike portion and three minutes faster on the run. Same time on the swim, go figure. I was elated and incredibly proud of myself.
Maggie rocked her race too and we cheered for awhile while we recovered and munched on post race snacks: peanut butter crackers, chocolate chip granola bars and orange slices! When we felt like we could move again, we showered the chlorine stench off ourselves and went to find lunch at a place in downtown Brunswick called Wild Oats. They have incredible looking cupcakes, an insane array of cookies, quiche, sandwiches, salads, soups and lots more. It's tucked back in Tontine "mall" across the main street when you first arrive in downtown Brunswick. We ordered Turkey BLT with avocado, spinach/ginger/pineapple smoothie, a chocolate chip cookie and a giant sun-shaped shortbread cookie. Everything was fantastic and I will have to visit again the next time I hit the Bowdoin art and Arctic museums.
After eating, we headed back to Portland where I promptly face-planted, took an hour long nap and woke up to meet friends to run the evening 5k. It was one I ran last year as well and it just so happened to fall on the same day as the triathlon. When in Rome....It was rainy but a great temperature. As the race started and I traveled the first mile, it started sprinkling and the air smelled intoxicating. The entire experience was very memorable! My finish time was not a personal record but for a post-tri race, it was a pretty great time!
On to the next...