Just when I thought our 2011 tri season was in the books, I was proven wrong.
My husband, who is NOT a fly by the seat of your pants kinnda guy, decided on Wednesday to race a tri…on SATURDAY.
2 days notice!!
Nothing like last-minute to get the juices flowing.
As y’all recall, he was unable to race in Santa Rosa, the week prior, because of a wicked migraine the night before that race. The Mighty Magnolia Sprint, about an hour away from us in Hattiesburg, was going to be his “make-up” event.
This proved to be such a treat for me because I’m always out there on the course. I never get to relax, watch, and just cheer for everyone else. I quickly realized, if there is a personal connection to the racer , there is no relaxing involved.
I missed the start since I had to get our son to school for an all day band function. So after promising BoyGenius I would return, in a couple of hours, I took off for Hattiesburg knowing I’d miss the swim which also happens to be his best event. I arrived as the racers were out on the bike course and the entire subdivision was closed off, which left me no place to park. I got to run about a mile to the transition area….
Sidenote: running shoes WOULD have been ideal here, but as a spectator I chose a nice pair of mules to match my fancy shorts and black shirt. I was swearing like a sailor as I had to sprint barefoot in my street clothes…. carrying my shoes and purse…. wishing the entire time for nothing more than a pair of Asics, jogbra, Nike running shorts, and a tank top. It was not to be, not this time!
No worries though, it was a good warm up for the rest of my morning 😉 .
I found a great spot watching the cyclist come to the dismount line and made myself useful by cheering everyone out onto the run course.
I also came to the conclusion that my dismount is HORRENDOUSLY EMBARRASSING. I knew it needed some work, but this made it all that much more apparent!!
The swim was a time trial start and since my husband signed up within hours of registration closing, he was one of the last swimmers to start. While he is very fast in the water, his race actually began about 30 minutes after the clock was started.
So I waited….and waited….watching the clock, waiting some more, and getting a little nervous because he perceives the bike as his weakness in this whole multisport business. Finally I saw him. Phew, I could breathe.
Running time on the clock was 1:24 or so at that point. By my rough calculations, it appeared all was going fairly well and he was making pretty good time on this course.
I was able to run over to his transition area and follow him as he headed out to the run. I gave him a good shout-out so he knew I was there and watched as he headed over the hills.
Better him than me….eeks!
It was hot, it was sunny, and it was hilly. I was very grateful for my cold, windy race the previous week.
I kept my eye on the clock, figuring he would be coming into the finish in 25 minutes or less. I was pretty damn close….25 minutes and change.
He finished right in the middle of the pack at around 1:30. He came away satisfied with his effort realizing that life, work, and various other obligations have stood in the way of his training these past few months.
As usual his swim was one of the fastest of the day. He came in right at 9 minutes for the 1/3 mile swim. That time was without a wetsuit and included a long run up the hill to the timing mat. I’m really disappointed to have missed that portion of his day. It’s always so much fun to watch him in the water.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to watch one of these I encourage you to so. It’s such an enjoyable experience and every racer appreciates those few extra words of encouragement! These events are always in dire need of volunteers so any help you can lend is always appreciated. It’s an added bonus if you’re an experienced triathlete and know the rules and system as it makes the race directors job that much easier!
So next season…skip a race and spectate!
And so now, I REALLY do think this concludes the year.
No promises though…
Run Happy, My Friends!