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Crooked Creek Race Report

Posted Sep 22 2009 4:35pm
I was looking forward to last Saturday for a long time as this was if you will, "my true come-back race". While I talk about it all the time and you're probably are sick of hearing about it.... I broke my pelvis earlier this year snowboarding before the Duathlon World Championship Qualifiers. Not only did I have multiple fractures, I had to get emergency surgery to piece it back together. This was me 6 months ago in Salt Lake City.....
BUT things have changed and I'm all better! Saturday was my first Olympic Distance triathlon for the year. I arrived right on time about an hour and half before the start. My mom came with and served as not only the best race sherpa ever but also my own-awesome-professional photographer! (that is after all what she does for a living) She even french-braided my pigtails for me! Wow was I spoiled :) Just like my old Junior Olympic Track Days....

Beautiful Pennsylvania Race Morning
But back to the race.... I was concerned about the water temps with fall around the corner and with temps below the 50s last week. No worries as I learned it was a balmy 62. Not too bad! I calmly set-up in transition and went for a nice warm-up jog. The legs were feeling good and I was feeling optimistic. My wetsuit was donned and I jumped in the water for a few minute of easy swimming to adjust the water. The athletes re-gathered on the beach and we were off!

My swimming felt strong. As I looked down at my watch at the halfway part, I was pleased with what I saw: 12 minutes (right on pace). I felt strong and consistent throughout and exited the water still on pace at slightly over 24 minutes.The bike was a slightly different story. With the drive to the race site, I was a little surprised as to how rough the roads were. Lots of hills PLUS rough roads EQUALS bad combination. Regardless, I mounted my pink hotness and was off to tackle hill number 1 right outside of transition. The craters and pot-holes did not assist my cause. That was just the beginning. I had no idea what I was in for. It was hill....

after hill......

after hill.......

After 3 I lost count.....

It got to the point where I saw participants walking their bikes up the hills. Are you kidding me?
I know it's JUST Pennsylvania but these were the "get your ass out of the saddle or you're biting the pavement" type of hills. It was hard to take in nutrition as every ascent and descent were so technical. Somehow I squeezed in a gel at the hour mark. With my past medical history, I'm still not the type to take bends and descents too quickly. My legs were hurting. It was never-ending torture. A few guys passed me here and there but no ladies. At the turn around I knew I was the first female. I was just hoping to hold on to it.At last, I made it back to the park site and looked down at my watch. I knew my bike split was ugly but I pressed on. In the picture below I am headed into my 6.2 mile run with a smile on my face for some reason? I have no recollection of the smiling part. Must have been the brain fog from the mountainous torture? Who knows... I think I remember my mom yelling, "Was it nasty?" I must have been laughing in response.
The run was a similar reflection of the bike. The entire first 3 miles were pretty much uphill. What goes up must come down thankfully! I was hurting the first half of the race but opened it up as I headed to the flatter-downhill section of the race. I brought it home with a strong kick and finished first overall in the Olympic distance for the ladies. Despite my horrible bike and s0-so running time, I pr-ed for this distance :) It does feel good to be back! Thanx mom for the sweet pics and everyone (especially my hubby and sista) for your love, prayers, cheers, patience and encouragement along the way!

http://www.armstronghfh.org/events.html
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