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!IMG_0002

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!