So, as most of you already know, I spent the last weekend in Key West to participate in the first-ever Key West Triathlon. Amy, Katie, and I entered the Olympic relay as Team Run This Amazing Day, and we totally dominated…the other two teams in the division. (Beth dominated considerably more people to come in second in her age group in her first-ever tri!)
If you’ve read Amy, Katie, or Beth’s blog already, you know most of the story. After some mighty-fine finagling, Beth scored a gorgeous bike for me to race on.
After Katie’s rock-star-like swim, in which she tamed the murky waters and seaweed of the Gulf of Mexico, I took off on my bike. I started about two minutes after our competition. They were apparently all friends, because they seemed determined to stick together. At first I was nervous, because they both had really nice bikes with aerobars. I was afraid I’d underestimated them, and that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with my projected 1:40 time for 25 miles. But as the women walked their bikes down to the mount line, I noticed that they didn’t seem that comfortable walking them. And that one of them had a water bottle tucked into her jersey.
Then I saw Katie coming, and I readied myself to begin the chase. Katie came up and handed off the timing chip–she was nice enough to put it on my ankle, because I was stupidly holding the bike and had taken my own, fresh hands out of commission. Thanks, Katie! Anyway, I ran down from the parking-garage transition area and mounted up and took off.
I frantically tried to start my Garmin as I took off and realized I was still in run mode. Oh well. My first mile was about 3:31, but then I dipped down below 3 for the next 2 or 3. I had no idea I was riding a false-flat downhill. So young, so naive.
Anyway, 25 miles ranks up there as one of the longest rides I’ve ever done. I think I’ve only ridden longer than that 2 or 3 other times. In other words, it was hard. The unfamiliar saddle started to chafe my poor little bottom, and the wind was just non-stop and in my face the entire time. At one point I made a U-turn, relieved to be finally out of the headwind only to find that the headwind was worse going the opposite way. That’s only possible in the Keys, people. And on the Mount Vernon trail.
Anyway, I passed the competition at the first turnaround point. After that the course got a little confusing. There was a secret loop that we Olympic-distancers had to complete. It was pretty out of the way and quiet, and no one would ever know if you, say, didn’t actually do it. But I did it and headed back up to the turn-around point again, excited to see how much time I had put on the other relay riders. But the next time I saw them, there was only one. I figured she had just dropped the less-experienced cyclist. But then, a mile or so later, I saw the woman with the water bottle stopped on the side of the road, facing my way. There’s absolutely no way I lapped her. I can only assume that she was waiting for her friend, after presumably, leaving off a good 6 miles from her ride. Because about 10 minutes after I got to the transition, they came in together.
So, yes, I’m accusing the one of the three teams that participated in a race that was giving away prizes for first, second, and third place of cheating. We decided not to say anything, because I couldn’t figure out how to say, “I know we won by 15 minutes, but that lady who has never done a race before (we checked) cheated” without sounding like a sore winner. It was a bit infuriating to hear the six women argue that they had tied for second place, but again, there’s nothing we could say. I’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt, say that the woman who cheated had been talked into doing something she wasn’t prepared for by her more athletic friends and that once they saw I was so far ahead of them, they knew it really didn’t matter. Surely they wouldn’t have taken first and second in that manner, right? But at the same time, 25 miles was hard on me! I wasn’t properly trained, and I even tweaked my good hamstring! If you’re going to sign up for a race, then f-ing do the race, Team Drink and Tri!
Anyway, rant over. We finished.
And then we drank some margaritas that nearly killed me. Ok, I drank one margarita. Mine tried to save me from myself by spontaneously breaking, but the guys at the restaurant brought me another, so I finished a lot of that one, and then regaled everyone with tales about exactly how sore my crotch was (very).
With that mental picture, I’ll sign off now. Oh, wait, for the record, it only took me 1:20:57 to do 25 miles. Luckily Katie told Amy to expect me sooner than my projected 1:40.