I have been racing a lot. I felt it at this last race. It's called the Maine State Triathlon and it takes place in Bethel, ME. I love this race. It's a small town race but it draws some great triathletes each year. It's close to my home and a bunch of family members usually show up to cheer us on. My husband raced the B2B on Saturday. That's the Beach2Beacon 10K road race. This is an 11 yr old race in Maine. It's Maine's largest road race drawing about 5000 runners including some of the world's fastest. It was created and is now organized by Joanie Benoit Samuelson. I skipped it this year. It was a bit hard to watch the finish but I know I made the right decision. Mark kicked butt. He had a PR of 39:33. I'm so psyched for him. We hurried home after the race (1+ hrs away), I did my pre -race workout, changed adn headed back to Portland after dropping the kids with my in-laws. It was the night of my 20 th HS reunion! Never a dull moment. I wasn't too revved up for this event. However, we were having dinner before with my best friends and that was the whole reason I went. It was so nice. My friend Chris (Hi Chris! :o) ) lives in Chicago now so I never get to see her. Even though our visit was short, it made the whole double trip to Portland worth it. I just wish I had hrs more to sit at dinner with the girls. Sunday am came so fast. We headed to Bethel and I tried to get into race mode. I was nervous. I had another shot at racing "fast girl" from last week. Last year at this race we got 1st and 2 nd. What would happen this year? We surveyed the transition areas. T2 had a Long grassy hill with mud at the bottom! We had to dismount and then head down this hill! Oh man, did I need this again? Another fall at T2? I am getting tired of this. It was my goal to make it down this hill without Falling!!! I was determined. We rode over the the swim start. There were two Transition areas again. I racked my bike next to a big bike with a kickstand and a tin of water for rinsing feet! Man that person took up a LOT of room! Finally it was time to start. I was scanning the crowd for my in-laws who had our kids. They are there each year with some of Mark's sisters cheering us on in the water. There was no sign of them but....MY MOM!!! Oh my gosh. My Mom and Dad showed up!!! They absolutely rock I have to say. They have travelled around this country since I was 8 yrs old to see me race. Here it is, 30 yrs later, and they're still doing it! They had asked a lot of questions the day before but I never thought. It's 1.5 hrs from their house and for a sprint tri! They would see me for all of 5 minutes! I just hope that I can be the kind of parents they are as my kids grown. They are just always there for me. It made my day. I waved like crazy and my Dad peered out of his hiding place and smiled. Very cool. Ok, the men's wave was first. There were only 3 waves. Small race. Three minutes apart. Clearly not enough. We watched the back of the pack swim just a short distance before we took off from the beach. First, I got trampled at the beach! I am not sure who it was but some seriously aggressive women were in that pack! Look out. Time for Ange to pour on the speed and get Away from that mess!! I kicked like mad and took off and got into clear water. Phew. close one. I was confident that I could at least draft off 'fast girl' since I stayed with her in the water at the Portland race. I got to the first buoy and was doing fine when whack!! Some guy doing breaststroke kicked me in the face. I was mad. My goggles flew off. I had to fix them and that was that. She was gone. Shoot. I just motored on and hoped I wasn't too far behind. The rest of the swim was spent dodging the men's wave. They were all over me. I got trampled a lot. Oh well. That's part of it I guess. Here's the funny part. My husband likes to talk while he races. He just doesn't ever seem too tired to say a few words. I was swimming along and suddenly realized I was next to him! I could just tell it was him. Sure enough, he saw me, stopped and started mouthing words!!! I had to laugh. Of course I didn't even slow down but I did flash a smile while I breathed. We laughed about that later for sure. Ok, out of the water. Where was she?? I hurried to T1. What a disaster. I did a bad bad job this time. My bike got stuck on kickstand bike!! Not good. I had to lift the rack up to get mine out from under it. Then I headed the wrong way! I was flustered. Ugh. I started biking and that's when I felt the past few races. My glutes were aching. My legs were flat. I started to doubt myself. I started to make excuses. I thought about my hard 70 mi ride + 6 mi run from 3 days before. Blah blah blah. Not good thoughts. I am not sure where my attitude changed but it did. I got back in the game. I felt decent and pushed hard. I kept imagining I could see her ahead and was gaining. Ok, T2. Here's that grassy, muddy hill. Focus Ange Focus! I can get down this hill. I think I can I think I can. Woooahh!!! Nope! She stays on her feet! No fall to laugh at this time! Ha...time to get those sneakers. I hit my rack and started this process. I was in there alone. I hear this calm and quiet "HI!" I turned my head to see my 3 little boys standing there about 10 ft from me smiling. What a riot! I managed to flash them a smile and wave and off I went. Alright, this run is like no other on the Maine "circuit." It's great. It's TOUGH! But it is oh so fun. My sister in-law, an x- Olympicnordic skier, always head out on these trails to help us. You see, the run is a trail run through some XC ski trails. It's so cool. We headed out into a field and I kid you not, we had to run through knee deep water that was about 20 ft long. It was a riot. Leslie yelled to me as I came upon it and made a face, "Go ANGE!! Just GO! EVERYONE has to do it!!!" Ok I yelled back and in I went. After that it was all about mud, roots, rocks and hills. Up and over adn down and around and look out for that mud hole!!! 3 miles of it. It's a challenging course for sure. I felt strong and ran hard. It was the best leg of the day for sure. Coming back across the field and into the knee deep water I could see my Mom, Dad, 3 boys, Father and Mother in-law, sister in law, her fiance, their 3 kids and 2 friends standing up on a hill yelling for me. Can't beat that!!! I pushed so hard. It was not my day to beat her. Perhaps someday I will. But she is making me faster and keeping things interesting. I was 2 nd woman. I was 7 th overall. 1st in my age group. 3rd fastest swim--men and women My time was 1:23 which was 4 minutes faster than this race last year. Can't beat that! I was about 1:30 behind the winner. Not too bad. It was a fun day. Mark did great too after a hard 10k the day before. The kids had fun playing with their cousins while they watched Mom and Dad...again! My parents enjoyed the event and told me they were proud. My Dad won't stop talking about the different images he's gaining from this. They do enjoy watching us race. It makes me happy. It was a fun family day. Now, it's time to taper. I need it now. I have been mentally "on" for a while. I hope I can regroup this week and get excited next week. 10 days 'til the big one. Timberman 70.3 here I come.