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Granite Man

08/16/2009

This morning, as I was packing my bag to head back to NY I thought, “Wow, the Granite Man is over!”  All the preparation and anxiety and talking about it and now it is just done.  Well, I guess I didn’t “just” do it, it definitely didn’t fly by quickly or anything like that.

The Swim: Last year I didn’t wear goggles and did breast stroke for most of the swim.  Towards the end I did a little crawl and ended up way crooked and almost losing my swim cap.  This year, I wore goggles and mostly did crawl, pretty much did crawl and my time was longer!  only be like 35 seconds or something, but still.  My Mom and I think the measuring was different.  It did seem shorter last year.  Anyway, as we were standing waiting for our minute to expire and the whistle to be blown, I asked the women around me, “Is anyone else thinking, ‘Why the hell do we do this to ourselves?’ They all said, ‘Yes!’ and a couple raised their hands.  Ahh, bonding.  Then they all took off way ahead of me.  Oh well.  I knew swimming wouldn’t be my strongest part, so I let it go.  I did feel for a few brief moments as people passed me from other waves, this kind of sucks, but I let it go.  I needed to just swim it out and that I did.

The Bike: My legs were tired, right off the bat.  I worked out too hard on Thursday.  It was hot and I was mildly worried I wouldn’t get in to the bike.  There were cars stopping and getting in my way on the main road you’re on for the first 7ish  miles.  I pressed on.  The bike was as pretty as I remember and I soon got in to my groove.  I had a little trouble feeling like I was putting enough power in to the bike when I wasn’t on a downhill or reaching the top of an uphill.  Yes, I’ll just say it, I didn’t like the flats.  The bike went by quickly though, which it did last year too.  I stretched out my legs at the end hoping for an easy transition.  Wish big.

The Run: The hill was steeper than I remember.  Oh boy is it steep.  I ran, pushing myself to get up it.  Then I walked.  Everyone around me was doing it.  I really had to push myself to pick up running again.  The hill was still going, I was friggin’ hot and my legs were tired.  I ran into a guy I had passed on the bike, twice, and who I had told, the second time I pass him that, “We’re just going to keep passing each other.”  Then he passed me again and I didn’t see him on the bike after that.  “I told you we’d keep passing each other.” I said as I approached him.  He laughed, and we chatted for a bit.  He took off up a hill and I said, “I’ll see you on the downhill.”  Which I did, it was his first and we were now in the hardest part of the run, the hot open area.  Sure, it is all flat so you can gain some energy back, but damn is it hot when there isn’t a breeze and the sun is beating down in all it’s hot glory.  I pushed on.  I stopped to drink some water and pour it over my head and then strapped myself in for the finish.  Oh, yes, there is another huge hill to climb.  I ran it he whole time.  Thank God.  Thanks all to the old man who told me I was looking great as I passed him.  No, not in a sick old man way, in a fellow athlete way.  That made me want to keep running, I didn’ want to let him down.  As I neared the finish I started to kick in overdrive, but I heard my friend Lauren’s story of her friend giving it all away too soon in a recent raise, “Blowing her load to soon” as the friend had so aptly put it.  So I didn’t push as hard as I wanted.  I wish I had now.  I finished strong though and was so darn happy.  I saw the 2:02 on the clock and though, oh I beat a minute off my last Granite Man.  Later, when I looked up the time I saw that I actually was 30 seconds slower, I wish I’d blown that load.

All in all, it was a good race and I’m happy.  I’m also happy to keep training for the upcoming Pumpkin Man.  And, looking back now that I’ve had a year of very focused training to get in Tri shape, and a year or social training because I knew I was still in Tri shape, next year my focus can be on beating my time.  And that means better swimming and better biking I think.

See you next year Wolfeboro!

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