Author Archive for MC

SIZZLE SUMMER START

What a hot start to June!!! With only a few weeks in May left since my last update, we had an increase in weather temperature to where it’s now consistently between 65-85 degrees. Gina’s triathlon race was coming up June 3rd, so we spent Memorial Day weekend getting in some good final training and with the unpredictability of the weather forecasting showers, made it a somewhat stay-cation. I did get started on 2 new books – Triggers by Marshall Goldsmith (behavioral psychology) and Wet Wall Tattoos by Richard Maschal (about the art of fresco painting specifically the one here at St. Peter’s).
Gina’s birthday was last week, but she held off on the celebrating until after her race. I got a request that week also from Kristina at Rita’s about racing in the King Tiger 5K  which was the day before her race. I figured why not since Ice Guy had a great time last year, plus the race organizer- Chris Elkins at Run For Your Life – advertised it on the race brochure. Thought it would also help Gina get her mind off the race and provide some levity to the weekend.
It was a sweaty week as a saturated humidity made every morning workout drenched. Overcast and afternoon rain showers each day because of it too. Gina was a little concerned about the weekend but by Friday after a final evening thunderstorm, the weather made for a clearer but hotter forecast. I was just concerned about getting in Ice Guy mode safely.

Woke up Saturday feeling good, great warm weather already close to 70. Made our way up to University to the race site to meet Kristina and her Dad at Rita’s at East Arbor. The store and race site are right there in the shopping center and Rita’s gives every racer a free small ice. You never realize how heavy and hot that Ice Guy is until you put everything on. I had to make sure I didn’t wear a shirt this time and need to look into some green dri-fit clothing to better streamline this dude. Regardless, Ice Guy got his bib number on and made his way to the start. I got some warm up routine in with a big F3 Nation contingent who apparently had a 4 man team aptly named Beat Ice Guy. It wasn’t until I got to the start that I realized how many other runners had a bulls-eye target on me. It was hilarious. “Going down Ice Guy!” “Gonna break 20?” “You ain’t beating me this year!” Too funny. I was seriously going to be thrilled if I broke 21 to be honest, and I saw that fellow Big Kahuna, Curly, was on the line. I didn’t reveal myself, but know he does around 21 and I can just hang with him. I hope. 3 deep breaths. Let’s ice.

I was very cautious the first half mile as you have to make sure you don’t trip over anyone. There were plenty of kids around and don’t want any accidents. Before the first mile I could see only out of my left side – and barely. I later realized the shoulder strap on that side became loose and unfastened causing the top to droop to that side. I  had to occasionally prop it up just to see. I did tag a fellow runner in a green shirt who kindly provided pacing for me. He said we were on 20 minute pace! I was burning up already and didn’t even see any mile markers. I didn’t care. I just tried to stay on this guys tail. But by the final mile, all uphill, I was starting to melt. Quick. I tried to manage everything and it didn’t help that I almost lost my balance a few times on the street neighborhood speed bumps. Just as I was about to crest the hill, Curly got by me and winds up beating me by 3 seconds. I couldn’t believe the clock said 21:10!! I immediately crossed the line and went hands on knees for a bit. Wow!! That was something – been a while since Ice Guy raced. But always fun.
Gassed but slowly regaining my breath, I got some water from Gina and then went over to Curly. I revealed my identity and he immediately said he didn’t feel so bad now knowing who was Ice Guy. I had a few guys high five me and I managed to be a bunch of the F3 group who were after me. Greaa group of guys and everyone was having fun. I hung around the finish line and spread some Rita’s happiness for the next hour, while Gina took photos and helped me hydrate. It was so much fun but in damage assessment I had serious soreness on my left leg/knee and sure felt more all over that afternoon. I did manage to come in 19th overall and 2nd in my age group! A pleasure being a part of the Rita’s family with the Fishers (side note: Kristina ran the NoDa 5K that evening and placed 2nd in her age group). That Horchata Misto afterwards for sure refueled me!

We made our way to complete our errands before making sure Gina had all her items ready for the race on Sunday. We did get to relax for some of the afternoon before heading to Mass. She was still showing signs of nervousness, but I knew what she was capable of and was more than prepared. For HER, seeing her nervous, to ME that was actually a good sign cause she usually does very well in that state. It was a quiet evening and early bedtime after a smoothie dinner.

Woke up sore and now felt DOMS in my other leg but heck, today I was a Sherpa! Took care of some things around house and loosened up a bit as Gina did her final prep and pack. Weather was clear and it was going to be warm, sunny, with no clouds on this day. We got her bike in the car and made the quick drive to the race playing Evanescence. Had plenty of time to park, get her timing chip, body marked, and set up her transition area. Smooth. She was ready. It was great to see the crowd of some 300 women take on such a challenge. Many of them first timers, but on the whole, just a fun grass root endeavor of these ladies becoming triathletes. The sun was now shining down and as 8:00 approached I gave her a final big hug and kissed and told her what she always tells me: “Come back in one piece!”  Since they line up inside the Y pool, I will not see her until she gets out. There were 2 other ladies I knew racing who are members of the YWCA: Barbara and Linda. Barb is experienced but Linda was a first timer and also had a hybrid bike like Gina. I now had a good 30-45 minutes to wait before they came out but since transition area and everything is all in one parking lot, just maneuvered and cheered on each racer as they exited the pool.

Barbara came out first as she was in faster wave. I only got a good photo of her in transition but she was fine in her whole race. Linda came out around 8:50 and mentioned that Gina was right behind her. Sure enough here comes Gina and she said she was fine as she jogged to her bike. It can get a little rattled in there but she took her time and safely made her way out onto the bike. She had a smile on her face and enjoyed her swim time. Now she was off for the 8 mile ride and with 2 loops I would see her each time. A prayer for safe riding on those roads. Within 19 minutes she came by and was moving nicely. I had a clear view as there weren’t many spectators on the sidewalks and got great photos, while updating her sisters on her race. And plenty of cheers. C’mon now just get this last loop in. Linda came by and was out on the run, and I knew Gina was right behind. Yes, like clockwork, her comes Gina in her bright red TeamMC shirt and yes! she finished the bike safely. She later said traffic was bad on the roads (there was an accident earlier in the race) and she played it right coming in just at 40 minutes. She made her way into T2 and came out on the run ready. It was hot now but I got to give her a kiss as she ran downhill under the shady streets for the 1 mile out and 1 mile back run course. Once again unimpeded from taking great photos and cheering up close. Linda came up the hill and gave her a high-five, welcoming her to becoming a triathlete. And then, there she was – coming up the hill in a great time – Gina in a bright big wattage smile, making the final turn to the finish. I cheered as much and as loud as I could.

 

WOW! So happy for her. She finished over 2 minutes faster than her last one 3 years ago and placed 10th out of 21st in her age group! An amazing effort!(side note: there was some weird issues on her time which originally went from 1:15 to 1:19) Heck, now was celebration time! A big sweaty hug, kiss, and the traditional pour of water over the head! So happy for her. And all of them who raced today. So inspiring knowing the time commitment each one has put into this day. We enjoyed the atmosphere for a little while, but Gina was hungry – yo, I mean she had been waiting for her splurge and that time was now. I drove back home as she hydrated and we talked about the race details. I just prayed a bit and thanked the many blessings that were bestowed on us and those around us this entire weekend. Amen. We got home, she took a quick shower and we had a great breakfast at the Charlotte Cafe at Park Road (in photo, the MM blueberry pancakes are mine). We then returned home and cleaned up a bit before crashing on the bed at 2:30 for a deep 90 minute nap. No I’m serious, like total deep, MChine shut down sleep. Both of us. And Holmes.

But the party didn’t end there. C’mon. We then ate an early dinner at Cantina 1511 with a few glasses of sangria of course. Topped it off with some cream cheese chocolate birthday cake and Fine Marsala wine (which was sweet enough to sip quickly and slap MC in the head quick). Ah, so good. We were done by 9:30 as it was Sunday and that means Monday was next. But hey, we both will be home from work early and plan to repeat the party at least another day! And rightfully so – she deserves a little break here as her effort and drive have been so inspiring, with which she now has instilled as habitual in her routine. A true sizzling start to summer.