"You Go Girl" signs along the finish line.
I am simultaneously riding the high of today's race and plummeting into the post-race blues.
The whole Danskin scene is just so electric and inspiring, it's sort of hard to leave it and come home.
And today I became a real triathlete (instead of the pretend one I felt like last year). Here's the race as it happened:
We started off the day with two concerns: We woke up at 5 am to thunder, lightening, and a downpour of rain. Also, Skyler had been sick with tummy troubles the day before (yes, again) and she was not acting her usual bubbly self.
As we got to the race site, it was still drizzling but showing hopeful signs of clearing.
The name of the lake where we swam is Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg which is Native American for: "You fish on your side, I'll fish on my side, and no one fishes in the middle." It is also known as "Lake Webster."
My weary little cheerleader:
Silly Mommy, I thought this experience would totally enlighten her to the spirit of girl power and make her step back and appreciate all the strong women swirling around her. Instead she cried because her tummy hurt and asked to go to the playground.
But first, one shot with the poster she made for me.
When I left my mom and Skyler to line up for the swim, Skyler was not in a good place (crying). I was worried that she would be miserable and that she was really sick, and feeling bad that my mom was going to have to deal with a less-than-enthusiastic cheering partner. But once I was in the water waiting for my heat's send off, I looked down the beach and saw them frolicking in the water, so I took off feeling confident that they were fine.
Off I went into the water, and this time I pushed way up into the front of my heat and started as fast as I could to get away from all the bodies. I guess my strategy worked becuase when I got out of the water, my time seemed really off and I thought my watch was broken. Turns out my watch was right, and I had dropped several minutes from last year's time already.
Then to the bike. This year, I got to be the one that said "ON YOUR LEFT" to a whole bunch of women. Somehow, it was all just coming together for me.
Even the run just seemed to fly on by me and before I knew it I was coming around the final turn. Spectators are shoulder-to-shoulder for the last 1/4 mile, cowbells ringing, lots of kids shouting "go mommy"!
I didn't see my mom and Skyler again until after I crossed the finish line. Skyler had a great time on the playground and my mom convinced her to climb into the stroller to make it to the finish line just in time. Here I am after getting my medal and spotting my mom in the crowd.
Speaking of time... I dropped more time than I even dared to dream for: 14 minutes from last year.
Huge thanks to my mom for wrangling a tired and cranky Skyler and for being so supportive all weekend. By the way, it turns out Skyler was not actually sick. After the race, she perked right up when I asked her if she wanted to go swimming. Note to self: Next year, this will be a kid-free weekend.
Check out this sea of bikes!
And the line to get out of the park after the race.
That's a lot of strong women, all cheerful and supportive and totally impressive.
Okay, so I'm addicted. Must do more races.
p.s. Cate! It was so nice to see you at the race! Thanks for the cheers of support. You in next year?