Of all of the races I've done, the NYC Triathlon is by far my favorite. The transition is 30 blocks from our apt, so the commute is easy on race morning, it's a race around the big city, the people watching is always good and the crowds are great! Doug and I did the race on Sunday for the 5th year in a row and while the course was the same, the race report is always different. This year I fell down a set of stairs (while out for run) about a month ago and got a small fracture in my forearm and strained my IT band. So, I hadn't swam or been on a bike in a month and had only gotten a handful of runs in before the race...a month long "taper" I call it. So, considering that, things went pretty well...
The day started at 3:45am as it does every year. This year our friend Flora did it with us, so she stayed over the night before so that we could all go to the race together. When we got on the elevator to leave, it was full of smelly drunk people that were still partying and heading out for more fun. Drunk people are so not funny when you're not one of them. They kept whispering back and forth, of course super loudly, "I wonder where these guys are going hiking." Yeah, I often go hiking in spandex shorts at 3:45 in the morning. Moron.
Anyhoo, we got to transition, set up camp and made the 1 mile walk up the river to the swim start (it's a point to point 1 mile swim, so that means hoofing it a mile to the start). Now, the Hudson River gets a pretty bad rap...dead bodies, garbage, muck, etc...but they assured everyone that the water is perfectly safe and there are no dead bodies unless they died in the swim. The nice thing about this race is that the river is known for being quite fast and sure to give everyone a swim PR with the fast current, so I never stress too much about this part. Once our wave (Flora and I luckily were in the same wave), we jumped in and took off down the river. Everything went swimmingly (hardee, har) and I had no major surprises until about the halfway point when my goggles fogged up. Only one side fogged, so I decided not to worry about it and only look out of one eye. Big mistake...next thing I know, I'm literally laying on top of some woman backstroking down the river...seriously, we were boobs to boobs, goggles to goggles...so awkward. She was in a white cap, which was two waves ahead of us and she was a total straggler. Not sure how she faired, but I wriggled myself off my "raft", apologized and went on my merry way to the swim exit.
After finishing the swim, the way the transitions are set up, it's a 1/2 mile run to your bike. On asphalt. My feet are still sensitive from it. So much for all that time we supposedly gained on the fast swim.
Oh well, onto the bike...my fav. The bike was 25 miles, 12.5 out and you guessed it, 12.5 back with rolling hills and a few good risers. I paced myself pretty well so that I would have something left for the run. I knew with my lack of training in the last month, I wouldn't be able to go all out on the bike without seriously paying for it on the run (which happened anyway). So, I took in the scenery, watched the elites fly by, watched some super jacked 57 year old chica fly by (surely she's retired and just trains all day) and enjoyed the ride. I usually start getting excited for the run near the end of the ride, but it was so hot out and I knew that the run was going to be really tough. When I got into transition to rack my bike I didn't seem to be in the normal hurry I'm in...probably a sign of things to come.
The run was a 6.2 mile jaunt from transition to Central Park and then around the Park to the east side finish. It is a really pretty run because you're in CP most of the time, but it is also really hilly because you're in CP most of the time (the hilly north end). I felt really good for the first couple of miles until I started hitting the big hills at the top of the park. My mind was all over the place...."just walk for a bit, who cares", "in 2 hours you won't remember how crappy you felt", "seriously, why does everyone else look so good?", "oh man, I really have to pee." Up and down the hills, around the park to the east side I went. Right around mile 4.5, I REALLY had to pee. TMI TIME...(IF YOU GET GROSSED OUT EASILY, JUMP TO THE NEXT PARAGRAPH)...finally my bladder officially gave up and I couldn't hold it anymore. I guess at that point, I figured no one would be able to tell the difference between sweat, Hudson River scum and pee running down my leg, so I didn't bother to stop at a porta john. I was planning on showering afterwards, so might as well save the two minutes right?:) Ewww...I get grossed out writing that...amazing what goes on in the heat of competition. After that I got a little bit of extra energy and pushed fairly hard to the finish. I guess I gave it all I had because once I crossed the line, I teetered over and was caught by a very ready medical person. They covered me in ice cold towels and then sent me on my way after a few. I guess I had managed to stop my watch once I cross the line, before I teetered, and I realized I was only 3 min slower than my PR from last year...woohoo! I didn't even check my watch throughout the run because I felt so crappy, but later when I looked at results, I realized that I held a 7:40 pace, which was quicker than last year...ughhh. No wonder I almost had a heart attack...my poor body wasn't ready for that after a long break.
As predicted, two hours later I was tired, but forgetful of the pain on the run. I'm happy to report, Doug and Flora did great! Doug was his usual steady eddy and didn't look phased when I saw him at the end. Flora completed her first ever Olympic distance and seemed to have a great time. She even said she's going to do it next year!! The heat took a major toll on all of us though, so Doug and I went home, took a 3 hour nap, grabbed dinner and then went back to bed at 9pm! Another NYC Tri in the books!