17 May 2009

columbia oly tri.

Columbia Olympic Triathlon
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Centennial Lake - Ellicott City, Maryland, USA
1.5k Swim - 41k Bike - 10k Run

the short version:
time: 29:25
pace: 2.03/100M
place in AG: 28/71

t1 and bike (timing mat issue?)
time: 1:43:29
pace: 14.78 (* off because it includes T1)
place in AG: 41/71

time: 2:17
place in AG: 51/71

time: 54:08
pace: 8:43 pace
place in AG: 23/71

time: 3:09:10
place in AG: 33/71
place among women: 233/512
place overall: 984/1569

Friday Evening

I left work around 4:30, eager to get to packet pickup and meet Chrissie Wellington. I spent most of last week (1)telling people that I was meeting Chrissie Wellington, and (2) explaining who Chrissie Wellington is (two time Kona winner, god among women). Pick up was at the Columbia Sheraton. I got my race packet with my chip (new system, nice chip), bike number, run number, helmet sticker, and shirt (ugly ugly). My buddy Deb was there slapping wristbands on people and telling them that it was their ticket into and out of transition.

And because it was on sale and fit well and, was, well cute, I bought a new tri top. Hehe.

And then - time to meet the pros! I thought they would speak and we would ask questions, but it was really informal. Chrissie and the other pros were just hanging around... we were like giddy schoolgirls... erm, giddy trigeeks. She was SO NICE. I asked her about her flat at Kona and she said that she wasn't the type of person to throw her bike in a ditch, that the nice thing about Ironman is that you have the time to catch up (erm, SHE has the time to catch up... I'd probably be a ditch thrower!). She said she didn't have a favorite out of s/b/r. She was just so gracious and down to earth and friendly and TAN. I looked like a glowing albino next to her. She signed a poster, the race map, and my water bottle. Yes, Chrissie, I WILL reach for the stars! total girl crush. love her.
Two time Kona winner, above right. MOP athlete, above left.

Deb, Chrissie, Me, Deb.

then it was time to go home and get to bed early !

I spent Saturday morning cleaning - nervous energy - and just relaxing around the house. I took a nap and then got ready to meet some
BTers for dinner at Pasta Blitz. It was great to meet everyone and put a face to all the names !

First, though, I found my spot --- end spot -- sa-weet!! and racked my bike (trashbags to keep it dry from the forecasted storms):

transition on Saturday evening:

Then I laid everything out and packed (cats not included):

and made a list of stuff not to forget:

and went to sleep after watching Monster-in-Law, which I found highly underrated! [J disagrees, although as someone who has never seen it his opinion doesn't really counts].

Sunday - RACE DAY

Up at 4:30 to eat my usual breakfast [oatmeal, peanut butter, honey, almonds] and get all my stuff together. Roused James [who got home from work at midnight] and we were on our way. So much easier on race morning when the bike is already racked.

Got to transition at around 6:00 and set up:

and then got marked [1304 on my hands and arms, 27 on my calf]:

and then waited for my wave -- wave 8, at 7:47 a.m. while waiting, we saw Chrissie come out of the water --- smiling, of course:took some pictures while waiting for my wave:

me and J ^^me and Deb ^^

James got breakfast ... he found the only unhealthy food for sale, natch [it's a small chocolate cake, not a muffin -- let's call a spade a spade!]:

and then - finally - it was game time.

SWIM - .9 mi

The swim is wetsuit legal, which is good news -- that's some brrchilly water. still, it really wasn't that bad, and although getting in was a bit of a shock, once I treaded water for a bit I felt okay. we were in the water for about three minutes, and then the air horn sounded, and we were off.

The course is a triangle - out to the first buoy, left around it to the second buoy, left around that, and then to the exit. I felt pretty good during the swim. I got kicked a few times but not in the face and nothing bad. I am horrible at drafting --- if I get close enough to draft, I find feet in my face and that, well, grosses me out. Sighting was good -- I was on course the whole time and never found myself needing to over correct.

Got out of the water at just under 30:00 - a solid swim.

running up to T1 ^^

I struggled a bit to get out of my wetsuit, but once that was off, I got on my [pre rolled] socks, bike shoes, helmet, and gloves, and headed out for my ride. It was misting -- wet but (1) not storming, and (2) not pouring. I'd take it. In true Columbia fashion, you have to run your bike up a [muddy] hill to get out of T1 and get out on the bike course.

BIKE - 25.5 Mi
Although this was my first Columbia, I've ridden this course a few times. And no, it's no
Savageman but it's a tough course:

The ride started out pretty well. I started taking swigs of Infinit -- I made a 90 minute bottle [3 scoops] and sips of water. And I got passed. A lot. I will be hearing "ON YOUR LEFT!" in my dreams. I am just not a great [ahem decent] cyclist and I know I need to work on it... by riding more. What I HAVE gotten better is downhills ! I stopped breaking and just started flying. Hey, if I fall... that's what helmets are for, right? Plus, I need to bring up my average speed of 11 mph on the hills with those 25+ mph on the downhills. My favorite part of the course is the circle around Tridelphia -- it's the most rolling-y part of the course and just beautiful.

at some point during my bike, Chrissie finished:

she's so cool.

Least favorite part of the ride? The [well intentioned, I know] lady who was cheering for everyone, then looked at me struggling up and hill and yells, "ARE YOU OKAY??" Umm, yeah, fine, just kind of slow. BACK OFF.

Finally back onto Rt. 108 and ready to get off my bike. Re-entered the park, and unclipped. I almost bit it trying to get off the bike, but I managed to stay upright. barely. [below: I'm the girl behind the two guys in blue]

Ran my bike down the hill, re racked her, and put on my running shoes and hat. Grabbed my race belt and ran out. can't feel my feet. is that normal?

RUN - 6.2 Mi
My legs were Jell-o at the start of the run.

So everyone talks about the hills of Columbia, but I hadn't heard a whole lot about the hell that was the run course. HILLS - they're what's for breakfast! [brunch, maybe though, at that point]. the first .25 of the run is pretty flat, and then you make kind of u-turn and start running up a hill. And then it's flat for a bit. And then you run up another hill. then downhill for a bit. then uphill. REPEAT. whoa nellie was that tough! I did pass some people [the advantage of being an okay runner and a crappy cyclist].

Mile 4 was a welcome sight and mile 5 was beautiful. At one point I was walking up a hill [so tired] when a woman in my AG, grabbed my elbow and said, "c'mon, last big hill, I promise. push it!" and I finished that hill strong. erm, okay, I finished it running.

We came back into the park and I could see where we'd finish. I knew it was only about 1/3 of a mile but it seemed so far away ! I tried to pick it up and finish strong.

There is nothing more beautiful than a finish line.classic watch shot^^

Got my medal, mylar blanket, and some food (pasta salad and bagel w cream cheese - YUM), and then went back to see Deb finish. I was COLD. and hungry. [and kind of cranky, but really, why the eff are you in the food line if you didn't race?? p.s. the jeans are a dead givaway].

wearing the ugly shirt ^^

And as I'm walking [dragging] out of transition with all of my crap + bike, Chrissie passes me and says WELL DONE. I stammered, thanks, you too !

the happy finisher ^^ [watch time says 1:09 - still waiting for official results]


  1. Congratulations Trish!!!! You are my hero!

    Big hugs and kisses!!!!

  2. You, seriously, rock. Count yourself as a God among women. We (heart) you.

  3. Great report - love Chrissie

  4. Sounds like a tough course. Great job out there.

  5. nice job trish, sounds like you gave it your all!

  6. Congratulations!!! Great job on what sounds like a tough course! Awesome RR :)

  7. Great job Trish :)

    You are so lucky, I want to meet Chrissie too. Great race report as usual ;)

  8. Amazing race m'dear and i have to admit that i lauged OUT LOUD at that "ARE YOU OKAY"? comment!!!

  9. You are the coolest! Bigger kisses than Joan gave! Tee hee! C

  10. excellent race and recap. I would be giddy over Chrissie too.

  11. Hooray for Trishie! I want to be just like you when I dare to test my limits in a triathlon. And WTF to that bike elevation chart! More power to you girl, you rocked it!

    p.s. I girl crush Chrissie too. Even more so because she congratulated you in the end. What a cool chic!

  12. Love the report!! I think you had a GREAT race, seriously the run splits are amazing!! =)

    The bike route is insane!! OMG that looks so hard!!

    Love the girl crush and albino references. I laughed a lot reading your race report!

  13. Lots of neat pictures. I had the chance to see Bree Wee at St Anthonys and lucky enough to have her follow my blog. She too is as sweet as can be. Must be contagious with pro women. If Bree can pick up her run time, Chrissie is going to have her hands full at Kona (maybe).

    Congratulations on a good race.

  14. This was a really awesome post with tons of great pictures and detail! Love it!

    Congrats on the strong outing.

  15. Great job, T! You continue to impress and make me proud-such dedication! xo

  16. Awesome job Trish, and very cool meeting Christie, she rocks.

  17. Way to go! Congrats and a job well done! So jealous you met Christie.

  18. Great job. Love all the pictures. And you met Chrissie Wellington?!? OH.My.Gosh that is sooooo cool

  19. Awesome race report and recount! I'm so jealous about your time with Chrissie Wellington!! She is incredible! I'd love to meet her!

    Great job on your race out there...I can't wait to get out and get a race in! One week!

    Great pictures--well done!

  20. What a fun race report & experience meeting Chrissie! How cool!! Nice job, ignore the silly fan on the bike course.

  21. Way to go Tricia- good race, good report! Very cool that you got to meet Chrissie.

  22. Great RR! Good times, and awesome about Chrissie!

  23. Columbia is a challenging course to say the least. You did a great job!!! This was my first time in a couple of years not doing the race. And I can't say I missed it. LOL

  24. "Least favorite part of the ride? The [well intentioned, I know] lady who was cheering for everyone, then looked at me struggling up and hill and yells, "ARE YOU OKAY??" Umm, yeah, fine, just kind of slow. BACK OFF."

    i just laughed way too loud at 4.37am! brilliant race report, really enjoyed it!