75F / 24C
Triathlon - Sprint
Total Time = 1h 49m 22s
Overall Rank = 1993/3597
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 297/443
We got up dark and early at about 4:00 a.m. Ate two packages of oatmeal with some cherries and raisins thrown in. Got all my race gear together and checked out of the hotel. Waved at the prostitutes getting off work and drove to Genessee Park. I was feeling pretty good about everything; not overly nervous. I was thrilled to have my friend Julie and her daughter and neice (Chelsea and Becca) joining me in my Danskin adventure.
Arrived at Genessee and found a parking spot nearby. SCORE! No shuttle bus! Went to the rack area and checked on Penelope. Penelope is my bike. Okay, she's not MY bike, she's Angie's bike, but I love her. I love her a LOT. She is very a pretty (purply-blue and silver) Specialized triathlon bike. She is fast and she loves me and I love her and I want to marry her and have her little bike babies. Asked how her night was, she said it was fine. Laid out my transition stuff and went and talked to Roy and some of the other men milling around outside the transition area. One man was proudly bragging up his mom who is a 7 year cancer survivor. That was just the coolest thing.
Pretty soon the sun started to come up over the lake. It was so beautiful and peaceful out there. The water looked like glass. Talked with some of my fellow crazy people in the transition area and settled some fears about the bike course for a few newbies.
The one mistake I made was not warming up in the lake. I don't know why I didn't. I did last year and it really helped.
Slid into my new wetsuit and headed out to the lake. Hit the porta potty one more time. Chatted up Roy and did some stretching. Music was playing. Women were milling around. I was in the third wave set to go off at 7:03. Nerves were there, but not too bad. I knew I could do it. I wasn't sure I could do it with class or panache, but I knew I could do it. The National Anthem played and my heart swelled. Before I knew it, the first wave of elites was in the water! Man they are amazing to watch! There goes the second wave...soon it's my turn!
The water was very very calm. Somehow I found myself up in the front of the pack before we entered the water, so I tried to get back towards the back outside, which is where I like to start. Since we start off a boat ramp, you go in and within just a few yards you're over your head. I've been swimming every week for almost two years, have done open water swims (although not enough), and thought I was ready. Sadly, panic set in right away and I found myself doing the "Noodle Stroke" with a wonderful Swim Angel named Deborah for the first 100 or so yards. Dammit! I was so disappointed in myself! Finally I said to myself, "Tory, you survived Whipplefest 2003. You lost over 100 pounds. You survived your parents visit. You can DO this!" That's what it took! I finally caught my mojo and started to crawl. She swam with me for awhile and let me go. I was feeling good, keeping clear of other women, but close enough to use them to guide me. I got off course a little bit before I rounded the first bouy, but it wasn't too bad.
Halfway between the first and second bouy a large water weed got tangled on my arm. It freaked me out just a bit...didn't scare me, but was enough to make me have to stop to remove it. Since I am a stick and do NOT float easily, it messed up my mojo! Damn weed! I had a hard time getting horizontal in the water again. Another swim angel swam up to me and offered me her noodle. I used it just long enough to get horizontal...I will need to work on that (I probably didn't need it, just used it as a crutch), and then I was off. I decided to take the scenic route, going off course a few times. Thank goodness for the kind kayakers who wondered aloud why I was trying to make the course so much longer than I needed to!
The final leg was awesome. I was swimming and siting well. I knew I could do it, I just had to find my confidence!
What would you do differently?:
Next time I will warm up in the lake to get the freakies out ahead of time. I also have set a goal to work on my technical swim and really build up some alternate strokes. I'm a great "crawler" (for me) but my breast and side suck the big wongarino. I need some alternative strokes for that first 200 yards are so. You know what, though! I took almost 20 minutes off my time from last year due to the practice I put in this year. While my time isn't anything to crow about, and last year's course WAS longer, I am still proud of my swim. Besides, I knew I wasn't going to win any medals in the swim portion. I did the swim "with" Angie and Larissa and Marina, all wonderful women who are living with and beating the crap out of cancer. They were why I couldn't quit and can't be sad that I didn't turn in a stellar performance! They are my motivation on this segment of the race.
Okay so I stopped and chatted a bit in the transition! The lady next to me was a first timer and was concerned about what to wear on the bike. She feared she'd be too cold. I could tell she was just a little freaked out, so I talked to her and joked around a bit. My feet got stuck in my wetsuit and then I had a bear of a time getting the sand from between my toes! Finally got out there! The start of the bike was nice and close to my rack area and I got out and Penelope took over. I love Penelope.
What would you do differently?:
Visit less, move faster. I might cut off and re-hem the bottom of my wetsuit since it sticks. Water to rinse feet rather than towel to remove dirt and debris.
The bike this year was a DREAM compared to last year! Last year Blue and I hammered at it. I had trained a lot more last year, but was riding a cheap Mt. bike and the difference was astounding. There were times when I felt like I wasn't doing any work and Penelope was doing all of it. I passed people throughout the course, being passed only a few times. Now I know my time isn't astounding or anything, but for me it was a really good time. The only challenge was that P threw her chain two times! That slowed me some, but fortunately it was towards the end of the course and by then I was so happy that I was heading into the final leg that it didn't really bother me. It did impact my time, but oh well!
What would you do differently?:
Shift better! Train more. Other than that, I actually felt pretty good about the bike. I enjoyed it much more this year and Penelope is why. I love Penelope. I even kissed her after the bike section. Yeah, I'm a geek. Shaddup.
I could have jetted out of this transition since I don't wear bike shoes, but I stopped to chat with the same lady again.
What would you do differently?:
Maybe I wouldn't chat. Okay, who am I fooling? I would have chatted.
Yeah, 606 Baby! The run is my favorite part! After chatting it up in the transition area and kissing Penelope goodbye I headed out on the run. I heard my name and turned to see Roy waving madly at me and yelling, "You're almost done! This is the last part! I love you!" That was the best sendoff ever!
Surprisingly I had no wiggle wobble leg syndrome at all. I started out at a nice easy pace and just kept on going! The lake was beautiful. The sun glinted a million sparkles off its surface! One of the things I love about the run is that it gives you time to talk to other triathletes. I chatted with ladies as I ran. The support on the run segment is phenomenal too. I think that's where you really need lots of cheers and waves and high fives! As I ran I thanked everyone I saw. I took personal pleasure in owning every single cheer and every sign; hey, so they spelled my name wrong. It could happen! Doesn't G-R-A-N-D-M-A spell Tory? Sure it does! I know I'll never be the fastest so my goal on the run is to have fun and encourage the other women. I called out encouragement as I ran, and others did the same for it. It was just a really neat give and take experience.
As we rounded the corner right before The Hill the cheers got louder. I knew it was coming so I picked up the pace a bit and whoa...I didn't remember it being THAT big! Holy cow! I exclaimed at the size of it and a few women near me chuckled and agreed. Then I said, "Well, it is what it is!" The lady to my right said, "You're right! It is what it is!"
"Let's do it! Buns of steel Ladies! Buns Of Steel! Hills build buns of steel!" I yelled out. "We love hills! We eat hills for LUNCH! Hills ROCK!" Hey, it's going to hurt, it's going to be a drag, but it doesn't have to be completely devoid of fun, right? As we headed up some guys were unloading bongo drums. I called out "Get those drums out, Men! We need some beats to get us up this hill!" They laughed and one started playing.
Finally the hill was over and that beautiful sign that read "Mile 3" greeted us all sunny and yellow. "Only .10 mile to go and then it's coffee and bagels for EVERYONE!" I called out. (Yeah, I'm chatty on the run.) We ran through the park, throngs of people on either side cheering us on, and before you know it there it was! The finish line! And on the other side of the finish line...STARBUCKS! FREE STARBUCKS! Oh, but I'm getting ahead of myself. I looked up and saw the clock and wow! It said 1:52!!! I was going to beat 2 hours! Okay, yeah...for some people that's not very impressive, but it sure is for me! Wahoo! I put the pedal to the medal and heard my name called...woo! That's me! A nice lady smiled and me and called out "Congratulations!!!" and said "I'll give you blue to match your tri suit!" She put the medal around my neck and there I was, a third time triathlete. Wow. Such a great feeling. I scanned the crowd for Roy and heard my name "Tory! Tory! Tory!" I looked around to find the source of the voice and there was a lady jumping up and down waving her hands! "Tory! Over here! Weight Watchers! Over here!" I jogged over and she yelled "Puddy Rat! From Weight Watchers!" Well lo and behold it was one of the wonderful women from the WeightWatchers.com message board! I hugged her and she introduced me to another wonderful woman, Bonnie! How NEAT to meet these people after such a wonderful experience.
What would you do differently?:
Nothing! I love the run and felt it went really well!
Okay, don't tell anyone, but I don't really warm down. I don't really stretch, just don't seem to need to. All I was interested in at that point was kissing my wonderful husband and getting some coffee and a bagel! I was HUNGRY! I made it through the chute and grabbed a water. Roy met me at the end and handed me another water. I chugged water and stopped to get my picture taken. Never pass up a photo op is my mantra...isn't it everyone's?
What limited your ability to perform faster:
I'm a slow swimmer and need to get my butt in the bike more, but overall I'm not unhappy with my performance. It will only get better...or it won't! I'm not there to win anything. I'm just there to challenge myself and overcome my fears. I'm there for me and for the women I love who have had their lives touched by cancer. I am there for every single woman who says "I'm scared, but I think I'll try this Danskin thing" and I'm there for my husband who treats me like a queen. I'm there for my sisters and my mother who, blessedly, have not been touched by cancer yet. I'm there for Cora and Debbie who lost their lives to cancer, and I'm there for Larissa and Angie and Marina who are fighting it.
I love the Danskin. It is such a moving experience to see so many women of all ages, all shapes, all sizes out there just challenging themselves to do something extraordinary on a Sunday morning. To be a part of this is to be blessed.
Okay this sounds totally corny, but that's what they called themselves! I convinced my friend, Julianne, to join me in the Danskin this year! She entered with her daughter, Chelsea, and her niece, Becca. Since I entered in age group and they entered in mixed, we didn't get to do the first two segments together. My swim wave left at 7:03 and theirs left at 9:15, so we were separated by a few hours! However, since I finished before them, I decided to wait to cheer them on. I located where they racked their bikes and waited for them. When they came in, we all took off on the run segment together. Julie has bad knees from many years of pounding the pavement as a runner, so they elected to walk the last segment.
We had a wonderful time walking and talking and laughing together. The day was GORGEOUS! Course support was still out in force. We had a lot of fun finishing up together and crossing the finish line as a team!
That night Julie called me "We're plotting for next year!" She's recruiting more "team" members for next year's Danskin! This experience is truly life changing in so many ways. I would encourage ANY woman...EVERY woman to try it. Next year will be even better...even more fun...even more motivating. Join me in Team Tory!
Back to Msteechur.com | Back to Race Reports