I recruited my dad to drive in from Cleveland and shuttle my carless self to the race, a 45 minute drive from my DC apt. He arrived late Friday night so I could attend the mandatory Saturday pro mtg/hair appt with my Hungarian hairdresser, Teunde, who works in Columbia, MD.
Dad got a taste of DC nightlife by sleeping on the living room futon with the cage's front window open. On Saturday morning, he recounted the sirens and helicopter flying overhead that kept him awake for a portion of the night. My roommate, Angie, who produces/writes for the ABC news affiliate, happened to work the evening shift and informed us that 2 police officers were shot 5 blocks from the apt. Saturday night, Dad awoke to the normal bars letting out brouhaha. Angie and I call these "sounds of the neighborhood". shrill screams... barking from the crazed back alley dog we named Cujo... sirens from the fire station located a 1/2 block from our place... all are sounds of the neighborhood. And yes, we typically say the phrase in unison.
This was my first pro race and it felt strange to be AMONG people who are pictured in the triathlon media. While racing, I wasn't focused and thought to myself as I was passed, "oh that's ..." Margie Shapiro, Amanda Lovato, Chrissie Wellington and Uli Bromme--the women who went by me after the swim. This is the WRONG attitude to have when racing!!! I think back to when I raced age group last year, or really 1 month ago, and I definitely raced for the win (or BLOOD, haha, often times blood--my legs are a bruised-up mess). I'm glad I got this star-gazing episode out of my system because IT IS TIME TO GET SERIOUS!
Swim (non-wetsuit) – I swam 20:20 and finished a minute back of the first 3 women-- a definite improvement in swim performance over last yr. Compared with the women's 18-24 AG wave, the start was crowded and fast as the men and women began together. I lost touch with the group in front of me a few minutes in and swam on my own for most of it. I need to turn up the intensity t0 stay in the draft!
Bike… I biked 1:17 (20th fastest of all women). My time looks like something happened, butttt it didn't.
Run - I exited T2 trailing Chrissie and bridged up to her a mile or so into the run. We came through the second mile together and I wanted to tell her how cool it was that I was running beside her. This mindset is NOT conducive for racing well. She dropped me... bla. I trucked along through the middle miles and got my shit together once I exited the neighborhood a mile from the finish. I heard a woman right behind me (Jacqui Gordon--another pro Paulo coaches). I didn’t want to be passed and moved the rest of the way to the finish. I need to run like that THE WHOLE TIME.
Dad did not take any stills of me racing, but captured a couple paparazzo shots. I'm shown post-finish with Jacqui and second place finisher Andrew Yoder (who has eaten, showered and napped in the time between his finish and mine).
On the way back to DC, Dad and I stopped at Trader Joe’s to grab a few items. He (who was paying) jumped in line pretty soon after we arrived--PRESSURE: ON. I felt like I was on one of those grocery store shopping spree shows, frantically looking for almond butter (and grabbing as much as my arms could carry).
Anyway, it was nice to have him in town to watch me race. Superfriends Ryan and Caroline also woke up early to cheer me on. :) Thanks guys!