Thursday, February 7, 2013

One Last Tri: Rec Deeds for Special Needs

The tri season ended with my only true sprint triathlon of the season on October.  A small and very well put together race outside of Baltimore.  Proceeds benefited Recreation Deeds for Special Needs, a non-profit Friends and Family organization established to provide camp scholarships, adaptive equipment, training and volunteer support to people with disabilities.

Rec Deeds was the day after the grueling Osprey Triathlon.  Luckily Osprey hadn't taken too much out of me and I felt pretty fresh going into this race.  The small venue and great volunteers/staff made this race one to put in the books again.


Adam and I got some prime parking about 100 yards from transition - but really there's not a bad parking spot in the park.  We quickly picked up our packets and got our bib numbers.  We didn't have to deal with any helmet or bike numbers so setup didn't take too long.  Bike racking was first come first served.  We both got pretty good racking spots near the end of rows considering we weren't super early.  After setting up transition we got into our wetsuits and headed to the Chesapeake Bay for a warm up swim.  Not so fast, that water was freezing!  There was no way I was going to swim and then get out for 15 minutes until I started the race.  I opted for some knee deep wading and tried to stay warm.

THE SWIM - 400yd - 9:03

The men started the race 4 minutes before the women.  As I stood on the beach watching and cheering I could see the men mostly running through the water.  A few would take a couple stokes but then quickly revert back to the water run.  Then one guy stands up and yells, "shit it's cold!"  Yes, that was Adam, I knew it and then and he admitted to it later.  Great thanks for the warning, but it can't really be that bad.

Soon enough it was the ladies turn to enter the water.  The gun fired and we were off.  I ran into the water, attempted to dolphin dive a couple times and completely lost my breath.  The water was ridiculously cold!  My original swim plan was to go all out for 400yds - new swim plan was to take it easy and breathe.  My goggles soon fogged up and I couldn't see where I was going.  I followed the mass in front of me and prayed they stayed on course.  Soon enough we made a turn, followed by another and I saw the beach straight ahead.  I couldn't have been more relieved.

T1 - 1:24

I exited the water as I began removing my wetsuit.  Once at my bike I pulled the wetsuit off, slid on arm warmers, helmet and bike shoes and took off.  Little did I know I passed most of the women in transition.

THE BIKE - 12 miles - 33:22

I started out slow on the bike.  I was trying to pull up my arm warmers to keep me warm for the 12 mile ride.  Once the arm warmers were up and in place I started to drop the hammer.  My legs were freezing and what felt like dropping the hammer really wasn't all that fast.  I caught a couple women early on in the bike and  chicked more dudes than I could count.  I saw Adam once going the other direction - that was exciting, but I knew at that point there would be no catching him.  The bike course was mostly flat with some rollers through a neighborhood.  I continued to push through the bike, passing as many people as I could.  I passed the 1st place female as we headed into transition.  

T2 - 0:44

I knew I needed to get out of T2 before the other girl if I wanted to stand a chance.  I'd rather her chase me than the other way around.  We eyed each other down as we both ran toward the exit of transition.

THE RUN - 5k - 23:46

Well she was a speed demon - passed me about 1/4 mile into the run and completely dropped me by mile 1.  I knew at that point I just needed to run my own race.  I saw her on a couple of the small out and backs and she wasn't too far ahead, but I wasn't making up any ground either.  The cool weather seemed perfect for the run once the feeling returned to my toes.  The run was a simple out and back.  I saw Adam with less than a 1/2 mile to go running toward me.  I could finally feel my toes and I think I was running slightly downhill.  I felt great!  He pushed me in to the small but festive finish line.  

OVERALL FINISH TIME - 1:08:20 - 2nd Overall Female


We quickly put on warm clothes and then packed up our transition areas as others finished.  This race brought our a lot of newbies and it was great to see their excitement as they came across the finish line.  We had some snacks and cheered everyone on before the awards started.  At a race this small you can figure it out but on the course but it was still exciting.  We both got plaques for 2nd Place Overall (Male and Female).

Since the race was short and we had a hotel nearby from the night before we were able to head back and shower before going out to walk around Baltimore for the afternoon.  It was one for the first afternoons that we were able to just hang out and not have to worry about being anywhere or doing anything at a certain time.  We checked out the inner harbor, watched the Ravens from an outdoor bar on the water, and had some delicious gelato before heading back to DC.
Adam getting his plaque - the only pic I have from the race.


I would/will go back to this race if it fits into my schedule.  It was well organized and proceeds went to a good cause.  The water and weather conditions were not ideal for any PRs but I think with some smarted decisions and preparation I could improve my times in all 3 disciplines of this race.  Here's to hoping it fits into the 2013 schedule!