Thanks to Gail Osgood for these hilarious and amazing shots. She does amazing portrait photography also.
Gail Osgood, Photographic Artist
P.O. Box 6211
Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107
Saturday, July 25, 2009
244 swimmers. Water temp 60 degrees (according to the NOAA buoy). Air temp 64. Tide dead low at race start.
It all seemed to go so fast. Literally.
With all the extra people it seemed more chaotic, but the Y people did a pretty good job handling the logistics. As it was low tide there was no current to pull or push us. Thus we all knew the times would be slower.
Mike, awesome kayaker, had it all figured out though. I did not need to worry. He talked about "cheating" this buoy, cutting this line and all other kinds of marine talk I didn't understand. I told him "I'll just follow you". But it was crazy right from the start! Not at all like last year
First of all there was no warning for the start. Just all of a sudden a horn to go! Luckily I had my goggles on. Not even 5 seconds into the race a woman next to me reached over and pushed my head under! Unbelieveable. Then after I gave her a shove back I found myself arm and arm, nice and cozy with another woman. It took me about 10 strokes to realize who was next to me.... (the amazing Cheryl)... and I just took it down a notch. Definitely no sense in burning myself out this early.
The whole rest of the race, right up to the finish I was neck and neck with various swimmers and kayaks. No breathing room. A few times kayaks tried to cut me off, and in one instance did. I had to yell "Excuse me" to one kayaker who didn't understand this was a swimming race.
It finally cleared out a bit at the end for me, probably because I laid on a bit of my good old sprinting mojo. Honestly I was pooped though. About 300 yards from the beach I got a massive leg cramp, just like last year, but heck I was too close to care. I could taste that murky low tide scum drifting up from the bottom. Oh yummy East End Beach.
I stood up a bit too early and tried to run and then realizing it was too shallow to swim but yet too deep to really run. I dove back down and tried to swim. However, I still managed to edge out unknown 2 women with my last minute sprint.
In the end I finished:
31st OA / 244
5th woman OA -- stinks but 30-39 is a stacked AG
This is 2 minutes slower than last year but I moved up in the rankings so I am pleased, especially given the increase in the field by more than 100 swimmers.
Congrats to all my Lighthouse Masters Teammates who also completed the swim, some for the first time!
Working out with them is what makes this all so fun.
Special congrats to Kathy (1st AG), Jim (1st AG), Deb (3rd AG) and Roxy (1st AG).
More pictures to follow. Thanks to Mike for these great photos from his iPhone.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
That's me. #185.
Could be up to 240 swimmers this year.
Last minute nerves are getting everyone. Will there be enough bathrooms on the island? Can you use a GPS (no)? Does anyone know a kayaker? How cold will the water be? How much crazier will the start be with 240 vs. 150?
Don't know why, but I'm just not nervous yet.
Could it be that this is year 2? Or perhaps because I did a lot more long swims this summer in preparation? Or is it that I'm resting on my laurels from the SCY Champs? Or that this kind of race is so unpredictable and dependent on conditions that there is no sense in getting nervous?
Well whatever, I feel good and ready for this race. I got in 5 swims of more than 2 miles straight in the ocean and about four 2 mile swims in the lake. My shoulder has been aching a bit out of the water, but in the water has felt okay. That will be something I'll have to attend to after the race. My strategy is to ride the glide -- something I have mastered in the lake this summer. Once I get warmed up (say after a mile) I can really cruise and expend less energy by riding my glide, kicking in short tight spurts and extending. It's quite cool when it comes together. Being able to do it in the ocean depends on how smooth the water is.
1 day countdown is on!
Keeping my fingers crossed for no fog and smooth conditions.
Hey - also want to wish good luck to Ange and Mary who are competing in their first IronMan at Lake Placid on Sunday. Race hard guys!!
Also thanks to Mike my awesome kayaker who I know will plot a good course for me.
See you on the beach!
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Beautiful Norway Lake
Mark and I before the race
Me in my speedy and trusty wetsuit gearing up for the swim
Emerging from the swim and leading the pack! (only time in the whole race- ha ha!)
Leaving for the run and very happy I am...
Making the big (and only) break and giving the last 25 yards a big kick...
Mary, me and Angela after the race ... thanks for all your support guys. Maybe someday I'll be as fast as you.
Dara and I after the race
Monday, July 13, 2009
Fun fun fun! My first triathlon was great. I finished running, even with enough energy to have a kick at the end. I just wanted to make it all the way through and I did.
The race... 2/3 mile swim, 11.8 mile bike and 3 mile run. The long swim was the selling point.
The day was gorgeous. Really perfect. Low humidity. Mid 70's. Sunny. Water temp just 68. Couldn't ask for any more. Small race field (only 125 people). I stayed overnight with Ange which made race morning very stress free. Thanks Ange!! She helped me figure out what I needed, gave and lent me things I did not have (race belt, gu, water bottle, helmet) and even offered to lend me her bike. Seeing as I had only ridden my bike 3 times I thought it best to stick with my tried but true good ol' bike.
I was seeded in the second wave (out of three). This was fun because although the waves were sent off 3 minutes apart I was able to pass everyone in my wave and all but 2 or 3 in the wave ahead of me. Clearly this was not a tough field of swimmers... many were doing sidestroke and breastroke... however it was a 'feel good' way to start my first triathlon for sure. Mark made me laugh in the middle because he stopped swimming to yell "Go Alina!".
I had a good transition and hopped on the bike and passed Ange, Mary and our 9 cheering children. Very cool. (Big thank you to Mary for bringing my kids up to the race with her!). The bike was a beautiful course of rolling hills. I spent most of the bike saying hi to people passing me and enjoying the scenery. I think people thought I was wierd for saying "hi" but who cares. I was having FUN. And although I am as slow as can be on the bike, no women passed me until about 4 miles in. Yeah!
On the run I left feeling great... I have a funny picture I will post soon. I continued to get passed but figured all I had to do was keep moving. The first 1.5. was all uphill. Ugh. Keep the feet going I kept thinking. The second half was a breeze, all down hill. The only person I passed during the bike or run was in the last 25 yards of the run. I like to save a little mojo for the finish so even if my time is slow, I still look good at the finish.
Total time: 1:37.19
Swim: 13:26 (1/110 overall)
Bike: 51:25 (66/110 overall)
Run: 32:27 (84/110 overall)
This race is a definite for next year. It was well organized, the right size, and so fun!
Pictures to follow....
Sunday, July 5, 2009
View of Old Orchard Beach from Pine Point
Wonderful swim this morning albeit very very cold. Thanks to John from the Riverton group for letting me know about this swim, which I have wanted to do for a long time after first reading about it on Nitsirk's blog last year. About 12 of us set off from Pine Point at 8am this morning to swim to the Pier in OOB. It looked very very far away at the start. I wasn't sure I could swim for that long in water that cold.... my guess is it was about 56 degrees judging by various buoys in the area. But hey, I figured, at least the sun is out. As you can see from the picture above, the Pier at OOB isn't even clearly visible (it is all the way at the left hand side of the picture)
However the major battle for this swim wasn't the distance (3 miles), it was the temperature! Half way through I wasn't able to control my right pinkie finger and fully extend it anymore. My feet, face and hands were numb. But I couldn't get out and walk I kept telling myself. Besides, as I was swimming along the shore, I could get out anytime if I really needed to. I kept pushing along. Thinking about widening my stroke kept my mind busy. I have to say I am really glad I finished the swim. I think it took about an hour and 15 minutes. At the very least I feel ready now for P2P (Peaks to Portland) even if this summer weather keeps the ocean cold.
Only 5 days til my first triathlon!....more on that later.