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One More Time

Posted Jan 23 2009 6:02pm


FirstWomanBike_EFA
First Woman on the Bike, heading back to the Bike Finish Line. Click here for more EFA pictures.


Yes, yes I know, it's been EFA this EFA that...I know. Please humor me just one last time. So Sunday morning I met up with my friend Charlie for the ride to Ocean Beach, the bike aid stations. I was originally scheduled to volunteer on the run course but I heard that the bike really needed more volunteers so I switched. I got a call Saturday afternoon from the bike coordinator, ironically while I was on my bike, instructing me when and where to meet. Okay the bike coordinator, I've never met him, but he wasn't very good. No show Sunday morning. The parking lot we were supposed to meet at doesn't exist and he didn't respond to voicemail messages. After walking from the Cliffhouse to the beach and back a few times I resigned to join Charlie and his Tri-club at the Legion of Honor Museum. Imagine an aid station outside an art museum with genuine Rodan sculptures on the lawn over looking the bay, quite nice. However, they had enough people and I felt like I was wasting my time there. On the way over I saw my friend Jen, aid station captain for Seal rock with only a handful of volunteers, so I walked down and volunteered there.

It turned out to be a super cushy job with an excellent view of the race. I was on a street intersection guarding a barricade, my job was to make sure that cars didn't try to move past the barricade to get on the street. Now about this street, imagine a nice long sloping uphill about an 1/8 of a mile long. Athletes coming out of the Legion of Honor park grounds turn right on this street and up the hill on their way to the Cliff House, Ocean Beach and the Pacific Coast. They do a loop in Golden Gate Park before returning, going downhill this time back to the Legion of Honor. Not many cars wanted to run the barricade so really I ended up just watching the race and cheering friends. Some folks from the neighborhood showed up, had a great conversation with an old lady which eventually ended when she came to the aid of a downed racer. Ugghhh road rash is never pretty, he must have been pretty exhausted and lost control on the downhill. This is a mild downhill by the way, think bunny slope. He must have been really tired. The weather went from beautiful to cold and foggy. A heavy fog bank rolled in right before the race and caused some chop for the swim but cool conditions on the bike and run.

Other things I saw:
• 1st and 2nd woman on the bike duking it out right in front of me on the hill.
• People messing up their chains and gears going up the hill (ka-chunk, chunk).
• One racer really messing up his chain, took him 10 minutes to fix and only with unofficial help.
• Female racer cursing the hill:) Any hill that slows your progress is a pain - I can relate.
• 2nd man on the bike on the way back, pulled over by the officials right in front of my barricade. It was for a penalty and he had to serve it on the spot...sweet. He didn't argue much so either he knew he was guilty or didn't want to piss off the officials: "take your feet off the pedals and firmly plant them on the ground while I tell you what you did wrong".
• Cameraman almost falling off the motorcycle as he tried to get back on. Driver drove away without him. Falling would have been bad, what with all those high powered cameras dangling on his neck.
• Fallen male racer at the bottom of the hill, whew those are gonna hurt more tomorrow.
• Dave and girlfriend riding together on the way back...touching.
• Seeing Jason A. in his "prisoner" get up.
• A ton of people smiling and enjoying their race.

Got done early and I met back up with Charlie who even hooked me up with a volunteer shirt, they're nice this year cause it actually fits. Made it to the finish line just in time to see some of my friends finish. Called Serena who was just making her way down, wasn't hungry but I was grateful for the coffee she brought. Met up with a bunch of my club mates, those who raced and those who volunteered and spectated just as I did. Met up with other folks that I knew, Serena's club mates for one my old YMCA Presidio club mates is another. Caught up with an old training partner of mine, Annie; she had a great year last year but didn't take time off and was burnt by March. I warned her, I so warned her. Jumped into Triathlon last year and progressed very rapidly but didn't want to rest. She was also pulling 7 day workout days. Live and learn, we've all made our own mistakes. Hopefully she can get some rest and recover part of her season. Strong swimmer, strong cylist, great on the run - I would love to see her recovered and kicking butt again.

I stayed for the awards ceremony. I rarely do this. I didn't even show up for the award ceremony for my first and only Ironman. I stayed for the award ceremony for my first 100-miler only cause it was the only way to get my finisher's award. However I was with friends I was hanging out with who were staying and I really wanted to meet Kathy Winkler. I promised Ellen at EQ Swimwear that I would try harder to meet her, I was supposed to do that at Wildflower. By the time we left most of the athletes had already gone home. Serena bagged her ride to walk back with me, which was sweet because I enjoy her company and she bought another coffee. Oh yeah, I lost my wallet prior to arriving to the finish line. Didn't even know it was missing, the bulge in my shorts was my camera not the wallet...du-oh. The good Samaritan who picked it up called me and we scheduled an time in the evening to pick it up. Actually I had to no choice but to walk back, didn't even have enough for bus fare. The afternoon was beautiful. The fog that rolled in right before the race finally lifted.

Made the decision to go to church, which was a good thing because I got to see folks I haven't seen in awhile - a couple of people who moved away and were back for a visit. With the help of my good friend Lori I also made it to the guy's place who had my wallet. I didn't even have money for a cab. Ah what would I do without my friends. Then it was off to Pizza Orgasmica for some home brew and really good pizza. The club had a party scheduled but I was not really in a partying mood. It was time for less "ra, ra, ra" and race talk and more "chill" time.

Then it was home. Eschewed a home movie for some active relaxation activities; writing, reading, cleaning, you know...constructive chill time. Calves/Achilles are better, going for a recovery run although I do feel worn-out...no worries, just an easy run. I'll be ready for track tomorrow.
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