12 July 2011

Running into Friends

Another weekend, another triathlon. This one was at the same course as the race I did a month ago, and each of my times (swim, first transition, bike, second transition, and run) were nearly identical, for a total difference of 34 seconds (this time was slower...d'oh!). So I guess at least I'm consistent.

In lieu of pictures from yesterday (I have none), I dug into the Green House archives and found these, taken before the Green House existed (even before we hatched our crazy buy-demo-design-rebuild plan). These pictures are from the New Orleans Half Ironman in 2009, when I had three very enthusiastic fans taking pictures the whole way. Here's one now:

(Before the race, wearing my Batman-like wetsuit. Very nervous. Long day ahead!)

Anyway, my time at this weekend's (short) race wasn't the important part. What made Sunday so special was running into someone from my (very tiny) college, who was doing her second triathlon. Amanda's first was actually my last race a couple of weeks ago, but we didn't spot each other that time. This weekend, she was wearing a Sweet Briar t-shirt, and it's such a small community of alumnae that I was pretty much obligated to approach her and say hi -- even though I didn't recognize her (we overlapped by a year and have attended a couple of alum events in Austin, so shame on me for not remembering). It was fun to catch up with her, and hopefully we'll have more fun times soon. She was a swimmer in college, and although she lives a good distance north of me, maybe we can swim together sometime.

(The swim in a half Ironman is supposed to be 1.2 miles long.
Rumor had it the course in New Orleans was actually 1.4 miles.)

(See the green caps? Those guys started three or four
minutes before us pink-cappers. Yeah, we're fast.)

(Swimming may look pretty and graceful, but the breathing part is more
like what I'd imagine an asthmatic hippo looks and sounds like.)

(Transition times count in triathlons, so as soon as I got out
of the water, I rushed to take my wetsuit off and get to my bike.)

This weekend was the third triathlon (out of only four I've done this season) that has involved a blast from the past. A few weeks ago, as I was packing up my equipment after the windiest (and therefore most torturous) race I've ever done, I ran into the sister of my good friend Terry (from Boulder, who I haven't seen in several years because her Army service has taken her to places like Iraq, South Korea, and Hawaii). I knew Virginia was living in the area, but I didn't know she did triathlons, so it was a total surprise to reconnect at the race.

(I don't remember being all smiley. Good for me. I sure wasn't smiling
when I was still on the bike three hours -- and 56 miles -- later.)

(I actually got a little teary as I started the run. Nearly four hours after the start,
the thought of running a half-marathon on bike-weary legs was just too much.)

And then there was the race where I met up with a former co-worker, who wasn't racing but was there with his adorable little girls to support his wife, who was doing her third triathlon after becoming enamored with the sport last fall.

(At least my body position was looking pretty good
a few miles into the run...'cause my face sure wasn't.)

And thinking about that race last fall reminds me that I actually gained a brand new friend at that same race, and while her schedule is pretty tight, we've enjoyed riding, running, and going to classes at the gym together.

(My legs loosened up a few miles in...but at the end -- more than six hours
after starting -- I wasn't feeling nearly as good as this picture would suggest.)

(So glad to be done...so glad to be done...
so glad to be done...where do I sign up for another?)

As much as I'd love to go back to New Orleans for the half again, for now I'm just focusing on improving my fitness for my last race of the season and the start of the fall/winter running season (which is really just training for next year's triathlon season).

Oh, and in case you're wondering, swimming in Lake Pontchartrain was lovely. Hands-down among the nicest water I've ever swum in. No kidding. (And I looked up the past participle of "swim," and it really is "swum.")

1 comment:

  1. Feeling sad thinking about not being able to cheer! I have started jogging again for real here though... Will keep you posted if I ever race again...