Ordinarily I prefer to greet the Summer Solstice with pizza and a dirty vodka martini. Maybe light a few candles. This year, however promised to be a little different. A friend of mine missed registering for a sprint tri she wanted to do in New Hampshire and happened upon one closer to home. On Friday night. The Summer Solstice Sprint. Did I want to do it, she asked on Monday. Not really, I said. Maybe, I thought. NO, my more rational scaredy cat brain shouted. OK, my credit-card wielding hand decided. And before I knew it, I was signed up. Thanks a lot, Amy. Damn peer pressure!
I had no intention of doing any races involving running this summer (or ever?). Last time I ran was 2 months ago and I still feel the pain! Well, just a little, but still. But then I thought, why not? I always say that anybody in reasonably good shape can do a Sprint. I’m in reasonably good shape. Sure, this race wouldn’t be pretty, but it wouldn’t kill me either. And really it’s just the run that would totally suck. Oh, and swimming, biking, running a lot harder than I usually do, but whatever. So what’s a day spent recovering from muscular pain?! That’s what NSAIDs are for. Such was my thinking BEFORE the event…
Oh, and here’s what I did the week going into the race. I figured I’d treat the race as just another workout.
- Monday: biked ~25 miles
- Tuesday: Interval Challenge class before work, 3700 yds @ masters swim practice at lunch, Total Body Conditioning class after work (fun day!)
- Wednesday: 1.25 hr hot yoga class (I was trashed from Tuesday!)
- Thursday: biked ~38 miles, ~1 mile OW swim
- Friday: RACE DAY!
- 30 mile bike ride scheduled
The Race: it was pretty fun to race in the evening for a change (except for dealing with Friday afternoon traffic).
I met Amy and Annette and set up in transition. Went for a warm-up swim and waited for the race to start. Other than a slight start delay, the race went off pretty well. We were told to self-seed, faster swimmers first, for the 1/4 mile swim. We’d be going off 2×2 with about 5 seconds in between. All the men went first, then the women. Interesting way to start, but made sense, I guess, given the size and orientation of the course. I was still swimming through lots of men, but at least there wasn’t a huge clump of them in my way! I tried not to swim over too many… or at least not too roughly. Run up to transition was just that: UP. ugh. Then a 10-mile ride on pretty good roads. Not too much traffic and only one area with bad pavement. There were a couple VERY sharp right turns, though, that demanded caution. Finish it off with a 5k run – or shuffle, if you’re me.
And done. I (surprisingly) placed 2nd in my age group. My friends started and finished together – one of them slowed down on the bike portion to help a newbie with shifting. How nice is that?! AND they stuck it out to the bitter end with me to see me get my medal. Thanks!
One downside: no veggie burgers left by the time we wandered over to the food tent. Oh well.
It was a perfect evening. Temperature was just right. Gorgeous full moon. Small manageable number of participants: about 145.
The 30-mile bike ride on Saturday, barely more than 12 hours from finishing the Solstice Tri, was a bit tough though…
Will I do it again next year? I DO like my pizza and martini ritual, but maybe there’s room for both!