Thursday, September 4, 2008

1620: The Pilgrims -------- 2008: Ethan Brown (!!!)

I survived Plymouth!
Well my experience at Plymouth was much better than the one at Cranberry, but it was not without incident. Overall, the race went well, I won by 8 minutes - 2nd place was Cait Snow, reigning Ironman Lake Placid Champ. She was shortly followed by her husband, Tim, who normally finishes ahead of her, but he got a little lost on both the run and bike courses - Can't say I blame him...

As usual, when the gun went off I hammered the swim. We started swimming next to a giant levy, but once we got out past it into unguarded waters it became very choppy. I was expecting that and it didn't phase me. I exited the water with about a 1:45 lead and hammered the quarter mile run to t1. There was an iron-distance race going on at the same time as ours - so all those people were already out doing loops on the bike course. This was nice because I always had someone to follow and felt confident that I would not veer off course. Anyway, the bike course was extremely rolling. I could not get into a rhythm no matter how hard I tried. I had my SRM on my TT bike, and I was not pleased with the numbers. My cadence was never consistent and I had to sit up and shift a ton. If I do this race next year I think it makes a lot more sense to do it on a road bike with clip-on aerobars. After finishing the loop I came back into t2 with a several minute lead.

I took the run out hard and headed out of downtown Plymouth towards the high school. I began to settle in after about 3/4 of a mile. Right after the first aid station the Plymouth high school drumline was all set up. They started playing some inspiring precussion as I went by, and I have to say it did motivate me! That was really cool. The run course was just as hilly as the bike, and it was really taking a toll on my legs. Also, I was apparently ahead of the van that was putting out the directional signs for the run, so it was pretty sketchy at a few places. Coming back into downtown there were no markers whatsoever. A cop yelled at me to continue down the road I was on and then take a left - those were my instructions. However, what he should've said was veer right and then take a left, so I found that out through trial and error as I ran down the wrong street. Luckily I don't think I lost more than a minute, and when you have an 8 minute lead that's not really a big deal. So I'm running in downtown Plymouth through extremely busy streets (not shut down to traffic), I'm wearing a unitard, there's tourists everywhere giving me strange looks, and I'm not sure where I'm going. I was getting very nervous, but then finally I saw some bright orange cones and my day was saved. I made it to the finish line and was just relieved it was all over. I hate having to think while racing, especially about the course, but I guess sometimes it's necessary. My legs were cramping up bad towards the end - the hills killed me.

So it wasn't 100% smooth, but nevertheless at least I got to the finish line this week :)
Post-race Ice Cream Sundae from the Friendlys! So good!

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