Tuesday, October 6, 2009

VERBOSE race report

If we were playing Zork, this is what you would read if you typed in "maximum verbosity" in the command line.

Had trouble sleeping Saturday night. Was expecting big rains overnight (like during the day Saturday), and i think i heard every little noise in the house. and the neighbor's houses.
woke up with the alarm, took nice shower, and started to eat. just a bagel with some peanut butter. methodically loaded the car, tried to stay quiet....

i've never seen or done a multistage race before, so i didn't (still don't) know what to pack for transition, etc. I wasn't sure of the weather, so i packed for the worst case scenario. i used a big rubbermaid tub to haul my stuff, and put dry clothes in my backpack.

i left the house around 730, after getting well wishes and good luck smooches from my favorite pit crew(!). the morning was dreary, misty, and unpredictable in terms of weather.

the ride to Newport was beautiful. I am so lucky to live in this part of the country at this time of year. Parked fine. No signs outside the school directing us into the nearest door, so i wandered around to the front, wound my way through the halls, and arrived at the check in station in the cafeteria. turns out the closest, most convenient way to get in was about 30 yards from the truck. need better signs in the parking lot.

it now became 'official'. i have a number.
just as importantly, i have my ticket for the post race bbq chicken feast. i am not sure how many times i walked back and forth to the transition area, but maybe that is why i was so fatigued on the mtn bike portion......ha.

Messages back and forth with T confirmed that she was on her way, and we figured that she would get there sometime while i was out on the road run. Quick little pre race meeting in the T-zone, and we crossed the road to line up for the start. Much milling around, newspaper interviewed a father-son team, chatted a bit with a biker who i had met on a training ride a few weeks ago...and BANG! we were off and running.

i stayed toward the back of the pack, but i don't think that i realized just HOW FAR BACK i was hanging. i paced with other runners, then let some go. was running behind a woman for about a mile, but her perfume or shampoo or something was giving me a headache. so, of course, because i am a ROOKIE....i let her go rather than pass her.
dumb. my pace slowed to something very comfortable, and there i stayed. as I was approaching the T-Zone, i could see T and B in the distance. very cool. i love that feeling. yay, team!
got to the transition after about 40 minutes of running. ok pace, but could have done it quicker. ANYWAY....i chatted with T/B while i changed into biking shoes, squeezed some clif shot gel into my mouth, chugged some water, and jogged off to get on the bike.
As i mounted the bike, i noticed a straaaaange feeling in my hands. Cold rubber. WHAT????!!! I FORGOT MY GLOVES!!!! I recalled that i had asked T to remind me of my glasses before i went out onto the road, so i'll just grab them at the next T-zone. Two riders were coming fast as we crossed the practice field, so i waved them by. easier to pass here than on the ski-jump stairs. i wouldn't see anyone for the next 20 minutes. and when i DID....it was that 12 year old kid from the father/son team. i could see him catching up....must.not.let.him.pass.me. oh, what am i THINKING. yes, kid, go on by. why not. then suddenly, after he had only been by me for about 5 feet...CRASH! he went down in a heap. bike to the left, body to the right. I asked him if he was ok as I stepped around him, and i trundled on my way. i must have looked like a big oaf out there. i was riding with skinny tires on, which were NOT a good compliment to the snot-slick roots and rocks that are strewn about the woods here in VT/NH, not to mention the leaves that had fallen from the heavy rains sustained on saturday. boy-wonder passed me again on a long uphill, and i never saw him again. ffwd to near the end of the leg, and someone had changed the directional logs. seems as though a sweeper came through, took a shortcut, and didn't see anyone out on the course. decided that all were done.....HA! not ME!!! but it all worked out, and I rode the correct trails for the leg. turns out, T had overheard a conversation amoung some timekeepers that all riders were done. she stepped forward (ALWAYS my Heroine!) and told them that I was still out there. I emerged from the woods realizing that i was DEAD LAST.

quick stop for more water, goo, and hello/goodbye's, and off i ran through transition. a dude on a bike at the end said, "are you heading out on the road?" "yes", i replied. "on THAT???", he queried. "yep. its all I have!" "i'll stay with you, then", came his reply, and off we went.

no gloves.
no glasses.
no energy.
little desire.
no confidence.

and so we rode. i chomped down some clif gel blocks, water, and tried to keep my calves and back stretched out. after about 3 miles, my escort asked how i was doing. he commented that he noticed that my feet "looked pretty chewed up". my feet were actually fine. the biking seemed to have little to no impact on my blisters. yay! i asked if he had a phone, because if he did, i was going to call T and have her pick me up. he didn't.

on we rode. near mile 6 the course heads left up a cliff. T had driven by already, and had screamed words of kind encouragement at me as she drove by. i could tell by the look her eyes that she was concerned....she parked at the firestation, and as i turned to go up the hill, i told her that i didn't think i was going to make it up. it is .75 miles long, and very steep, with a nice steep kick at the top. it starts out very simple, though, until you go about 50 yards and round a corner. the top MOCKED ME with every pedal stroke. i could hear the course LAUGHING AT ME. but then, with about 200 yards to the top, i could hear T yelling to me. it was WONDERFUL.

when i passed her, i said that i was going to drop out after i made it back to the school, and that i wasn't going to do the trail run. uneventful ride back. i rode as hard as i could, which wasn't very fast, but i made it. with about half a mile to go, i stood up on the pedals to gain some speed and stretch, but my left quad yelled "SIT DOWN!" as it started to seize up. not a good sign, so i just sat down and plodded on, keeping my pace as best i could.

when i crossed the chip mat, i told the time keeper that i was done. i racked my bike, and layed down on the ground. i cried. i couldn't look at T or B. she was full of pride and encouraging words, and all i could do was dismiss them and stare off into the distance.

shame on me. but i had resigned myself to the fact that I QUIT. I am a Quitter.

"Hello. My name is Gene, and I am a QUITTER."

1 comment:

  1. You were way to hard on yourself. It did something that the majority of the people never do. And now you have a story to tell about it too.