June 2, 2012

The Race That Wasn’t

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 pm by Lisa

First triathlon of the season done – the Women’s Tri in Herzliya. It’s my third year, and was my very first tri. Unfortunately there’s never any improvement but I think that I just have to stop expecting any kind of significant result because it’s just too much fun to do competitively.

With over 50 people from Etgarim participating, and 2 people from my office doing it for the first time, I wasn’t really focused on racing per se, and more on just watching out for the green shirts to shout encouragment for Etgarim, as well as looking for Einat and Cara on their runs. And after some thought, it’s just too difficult to really take every turn as fast as you can, or try to pass people in front of you. I mean, it’s possible, but in the first case, you have lots of first-time participants weaving in and out trying to ride their bikes up a big hill and it’s a little dangerous to try to pass. And at the end of the day, who cares. I could blow past them, but this is a race that feels more like a party and tribute to getting women to participate in sports so I don’t see the need here in Herzliya. And while there are plenty of people I could try and overtake on the run, especially who are in my age group, but whatever. We’re so back of the pack anyway – there’s no need to make someone feel bad that someone had more oomph left in their legs. So it’s nice to just bike past with some words of encouragement, or pass with a smile and “good job” – while I could have tried to shave a few minutes off my time, this wasn’t the race for it.


Part of the Etgarim contigent (and what one of my new shirts look like!)

Of course, I might be singing a different tune if I didn’t get a cold the day before the race, which made sleep near impossible. I just didn’t really feel like I could breathe well which was a shame since the sea was amazingly calm – I guess I was due for these conditions for a change, but why did it have to be this time?!? All in all, though, I think I did well on the swim, even though I reverted to the breast stroke 2-3 times (and I was going slow enough that one of the lifeguards felt the need to swim with me from even before the first turn.)  I do think that the swim course was short because believe it or not, it actually wasn’t that difficult. I guess the fact that it was so shallow and that we were able to walk quite a distance before having to swim helps. I did leave a half litre of snot in the sea, but I consider that fish food and not to worry, I’m still generating plenty now (isn’t that a nice image :-)). 

Running up the beach was an effort but I tried to be as fast as possible. The transition area was moved from last year and while that section of getting to the bike was much shorter, I was very disoriented and found it hard to find my bike. (In fact, when I came in from  the bike section, I wasted at least a minute or two looking for my stuff. I actually had to put my bike against a tree and run around trying to find everything. And then run back to re-rack my bike. Very entertaining stuff for the people hanging out in the area. Duh!)

I did have visions of falling off my bike – it’s funny how different a hybrid/city/mountain bike is to a road bike. I’ve been riding to and from work just about every day since February and feel like I’m much stronger on the bike. However, the road bike has such a different feel – and I was as usual, worried about the bike cleats. Not sure how to overcome that (maybe riding more with them would help…). Anyway, it was fun on the bike and there were lots of Etgarim people on tandems so I did a lot of shouting and encouraging and avoiding the 10 years olds who were in the start group after me.

Once I finally made it back to the transition area, I found my sneakers and put my hat on for the run, and I was out of there. The first 2 kilometers were tough and again I took my time to encourage some Etgarim people already on the run course. I finally started feeling good (on the downhill!), and saw Einat and Cara as they were starting their own runs.

Made it to the finish line, got my rose and medal and hung around waiting for them to come in. All in all, I had a great time – got 2 shirts (snagged one from Etgarim as well) – both of them very nice!


Cara, Me & Einat at the finish line

*** Just reread the above and while it sounds like I’m making excuses, I don’t feel like that. It really was just a fun day and a chance to celebrate so many people out doing their thing, taking care of themselves. Also, I feel that mentally, I just can’t be someone who is really encouraging and friendly on the course and still compete and give 100%. I just have to be in my own world, focus on only me and this just isn’t the race to do that. I know some people can do both but I’m too new a racer to accomplish that. Anyway, the Tel Aviv triathlon is coming up in 2 weeks – I’m waiting for the last minute to see if the jellyfish have made it up to our beaches by that time. If they have, I’m not going near the water – apparently this is going to be one of the worst years ever so I might be stuck in the pool for a few weeks.

Managed a nap just now, which is a very good thing since I’m off with Sivia tonight to see the Guteborg Ballet from Sweden, and tomorrow morning I’ve got an AM training session lined up. Hmm, a little tired thinking of it… I’ll probably fall asleep again at the Ballet, but that’s par for the course with me!