Sunday, June 8, 2008

Perspective (aka Danskin Race Report)

As you know, I love the Danskin, for what it represents, for the women who do it, for the bike and swim angels and the rest of the volunteers who support it. It is just a feel-good race all around.

This week I've been pretty bummed, hobbling around, debating whether or not I should do the race. I maybe briefly considered not doing it, but I think I knew deep down in my heart I would do it come hell or high water....just to be there, in the mix...swimming with the ladies who 10 weeks ago never put their face under water, or biking with those who just tuned up their 20-year old bicycle and couldn't even tell you what a clipless pedal might be, or running with the gals whose previous level of physical exertion was climbing the stairs in their house. There's just something about being there amongst it all.

Plus, it was the first real triathlon that I did and it got me hooked on what has now turned into 5 tri seasons of fitness, fun and frivolity. How could I not do this race?

I began auspiciously when I received my race number, 1313. Twice the bad luck, I thought? But the Jewish Dynamic Duo of KP and E both chimed in stating that it is actually good luck because they cancel each other out. Phew. Disaster #1 averted.

Race morning, I'm awakened at 5:15am...the time I had originally planned on leaving! I had forgotten to turn my alarm on!! (I had turned it off Thursday since it was the last day of school. YAY!) SHIT! Had to forgo my usual morning ritual and just throw my clothes on and GO. I made excellent time, used my super secret entrance to the park, ended up finding E in the shuttle line and we were off to transition on time. Disaster #2 averted.

On my way, I checked my phone and had received this message from Scott that set the tone for the race:
"I remember standing and watching you while Shawn Colvin sang the national anthem at your first danskin. I was nervous and anxious, saying a silent little prayer that you would finish safely. You've come a long, long way since then. I recall how good you looked "getting off the bus" at the pre-race expo that year, but you look even better and stronger now. Still, it's my prerogative to worry about you, especially knowing you'll be racing on an injured foot. I know it won't stop you from kicking tail and holding your own against the very best in your sport. Even on one good wheel, those other chicks better watch out. None of your development as a triathlete has happened by accident. You've worked your ass off for it. I hope you take a minute during this year's anthem (in between trips to the porta-potty) to reflect on your progress and smile with pride. Have a great day. Go get 'em."

Hell ya! Let's go have some fun and do this thing! I was so relaxed and just planned on having a good time participating (since I knew my run was going to completely suck), I didn't even wear a watch. That's right. watch. No garmin. Flying without instruments!! How 'bout that??

The swim was THANKFULLY uneventful...something I desperately needed after CapTex. There were some super fast swimmers in my heat and I settled in behind them...using their blue caps to guide me around the buoys and through the sea of the two waves we passed through. The swim did seem kind of long and after chatting with some others, it appeared that everyone's swim times were a couple minutes off.

I had a great time on the bike, flying around with my fancy race wheels and trying to avoid crashing into wayward cyclists. Apparently, I just missed the big wreck on the short, steep hill that follows the 90-degree right turn...thank goodness I was through before that thing went down...yikes!!! Jack paced me in his truck for awhile as he was roving the course, waiting to rescue a damsel in distress.

And then came the run....I have just one word for it....ouch. As I was hobbling along, just trying to string together 3.1 miles to finish this crazy thing and being all "woe is me", I came gimping up behind a lady in a pink shirt that read: "You think this is hard? Try Chemo." Ok..I think I will shut up now. Hello! How's that for some perspective. Damn right sister!!

I was great to see all the volunteers out there yelling and cheering for everyone! Maggie in the water -- always the perfect angel, Glenda on the run--sporting her finisher's medal already, :) and ALL the Rogue coaches on the big hill at the end. Couldn't have done it without y'all today! THANK YOU!!!!

I crossed the finish line in a simple sprinting for me today...and was glad to have put it all together and finished properly. Shimmied over to the medic tent and slammed my foot into a big bag of ice....AAAAAHHHHHHH.....much better.

I had NO idea of my splits, my finishing time...nothing. It was the weirdest feeling. And Timberline doesn't post at the race site, so you have to wait until it comes online before you can see actual results. Unless you are on the podium, of course, which I knew I wouldn't be...

But during a fabulous post-race lunch with E, I checked from my phone and the results were in! What what?!?!?!?!?!!?

4th Place in my age group!!!!!! YAY!!!

Then I looked at the 3rd place time and nearly flew out of the restaurant in a rage....I missed third place by 33 seconds. 33 SECONDS!! Are you serious? Poor E, she had to talk me off the ledge. Surely, I could've found 33 seconds somewhere..say maybe...not walking through the mid-way water stop? picked it up just a tiny bit in the swim? One harder gear on the bike for maybe a minute? GGGGRRRRRRRRR!!! Anyone seeing a trend here...anyone...anyone?!?!?!?

After I calmed down and looked at my splits, recalled the reasons I like this race, I was much better. Given my current injury status, I was actually quite pleased for a fourth place finish.

Here are my final stats:
Swim: 18:05
T1: 2:19 (remember I'm running barefoot and gimpy for like 200 yards!)
Bike: 37:26 (19.2mph)
T2: 1:07
Run: 27:59 (9:01/M) ...gimpy...

Total: 1:26:58
AG Place: 4th (out of 445)
Overall: 27th (out of 2592)

I'll take it!


Iron Princess Maggie said...

way to go Dionn!! once again, you ROCK!!!

Erin said...

i think we are both getting pretty good at talking each other down from the ledge. ;)

thanks for being there for me today. i needed you!!! next stop... kicking ass at couples!

Shorey said...

Yeah, lest you forget that 9:01 "gimpy" pace was your race pace a couple of years ago...find the joy in THAT!!! Outstanding! Now, let's just hope you didn't injure yourself even more...

KP said...

But did you get attacked by any Decker Lake Black Seals?

Way to kick ass, as usual, D!

shubbe said...

Geez. With a gimpy run way under what you're capable of doing, you placed 27th overall in a HUGE event! I'd say that's pretty damn fantastic. Congratulations!