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Wednesday
Aug052009

Greenwich Tri -Coming Full Circle (almost)

Bax, Kristin and me post race

Six years ago I decided to enter my first Triathlon - the Greenwich Tri. In the few months leading up to the race I started training and gathering the necessary gear for the race. At the time, I was swimming and coaching with a masters team in midtown Manhattan (where I lived).
I was in good swimming shape and had been competing in a number of open water swims, so was not worried about that portion of the race. I didn't own a wetsuit - but didn't think I needed one.
I borrowed my little brothers old Cannondale that he used to use for kids tris back when he was 12 (he was now 19). It had clip in pedals, but his bike shoes were a bit big for me and I kept falling over trying to un-clip. I decided to put the regular pedals back on and bought some cages to put on the pedals. He also had clip on aero bars! Training consisted of perhaps 1-2 loops around central park maybe 4 or 5 times before the event.
This was the year I first started running (or trying to run) - I remember hoping on the treadmill for the first time and not being able to do a mile without walking. When I was running, it was usually no faster than 6 mph. I worked on the run - this was the hardest part for me, and before the event could manage to run around central park at about 6-6.5 mph pace. Of course, then I would feel like keeling over.
Feeling somewhat prepared, I lined up at the race start in my speedo and off we went. My swim was strong, and I think I was first out of the water in my wave. Since I wasn't wearing a wetsuit, my first transition was pretty quick, but I think I fumbled trying to get my sneakers in the cages. I was on Sound Beach Ave when the first women flew past me on the bike. I remember going up the hill on Valley Rd thinking to myself what have I gotten myself into?! There was a guy riding -no joke- a beach cruiser that I was trying to keep up with. I do remember making it up Palmer Hill without walking, but there were people walking their bikes around me -most making faster progress than me! I finally headed back into T2, since I didn't have to change shoes it was a pretty quick transition. Off on the run I could barely get up the grassy hill-I plodded along till about the 2 mile mark then had to walk a good portion through the sand and over the bridges. I was able to pick the pace up a little for the sand finish and it took everything I had to cross the line. I managed somehow to get third in my AG?! I don't think there was much competition. My time was 1:32, over 20 minutes slower than overall winner and two time Kona AG record holder Donna Kay-Ness.
Fast forward to Greenwich Tri 2009: A few things have changed in the past 6 years. My swim is about the same speed, but I now wear a wetsuit! I have my own tri bike with clip in shoes, an 808 front and a back disk wheel rented from TargeTraining and sporting a brand new aero helmet. My training is also a lot different from 6 years ago. I swim a lot less -perhaps 8-12,000 yards per week. I bike A LOT more-averaging over 100 miles a week often in Eneas' classes that tend to be sufferfests. These have helped me make HUGE improvements in my bike strength and speed. I run a lot more -averaging between 18-30 miles per week, my speed and endurance has improved, but I still have a ways to go.
I get to the race early on Sunday morning hoping to get a good spot on the rack. Unfortunately there is another bike racked in the premier end spot and it turns out to be Donna. We say hi, make small talk and try not to get eaten to death by mosquitoes. A few minutes later I see Dom and ask him about my tire pressure "ugh your disk tire is flat" he says. I respond with "I tried to pump it yesterday but the valve wouldn't fit." He says "You need an adapter." I say "Oh-oh." Luckily another elite gal is running a disk -she has this coveted adapter and lets me use it. Thank you Sarah! After a short run, Dom and I warm up on the bike. I finally spot Kristin: "Where have you been -I was worried you slept in!" Kristin, looking like a ghost explained she got food poisoning the night before. Then saw Allie and her brand new P3-we're twins! I quickly ran down to the water and hoped in managing to get in a few hundred yards warm up in before the gun went off.
One thing about going off in the elite wave in this race is that you also swim with the 29 and under men. So, it was a bit aggressive at the start. Luckily by the first buoy people started to spread out and I was able to grab the toes of one of the lead guys. I then noticed Dom swimming right next to me. We ended up coming into the swim finish together and Dom ran past into T1.
By the time my wetsuit was off Dom was gone. I ended up riding out with two other guys just as the rain started. I tried staying with these two, then looked down at my speed-oops 25 mph on a flat? I told myself -settle down and let them go. As I pass my husband working the traffic intersection on the Post Rd. I yell "Hi sweetie" and he responds with "Your doing great!" The rest of the ride felt pretty good and I actually passed a guy going up Palmer Hill! He then proceeded to re-pass me on the downhill. I come into T2 with a confused looking race director with a microphone asking me "What number are you?" "Number 8, Megan Kelly" I respond as I hustle into my sneakers and head out onto the course.
I felt good for about 2 minutes, I hit the grassy hill, try not to get attacked by a flock of geese and my legs feel like lead. The 270 mile charity bike ride the weekend before was taking it's toll and I could not get my legs to turn over. About halfway through the run Donna blasts by me like I'm standing still! I think to myself -hm, she runs just like LaBanca -her hands are down! I keep going thinking to myself where is the next girl? Kristin is a speed demon on the run and Allie's no slouch either! I can see the finish, just before the sand start and look back -I see another girl in the distance. I can't get passed at the finish! I muster everything I've got and sprint (while hoping not to trip over the sand, rocks) to the finish.
The first person to congratulate me is Donna and then we head over to say congrats to Dom who won the overall. I grab some water and cheer on the other finishers. Kristin comes in just behind me-actually looking better than she did before the race! Allie, shortly behind her. As the rain comes down I see lots of TTers having great finishes with smiles on their faces!
My time was 1:14.00, almost 20 min faster than my first race and less than 2 minutes behind Donna. 2nd place never felt so good :)

Reader Comments (1)

Very cool story...!

August 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterrickTT

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