I had a fun weekend, jet setting across Asia, for a weekend in Singapore. There was a half Ironman there this past weekend, and since now I am starting to look and train a bit more like a real athlete it was time to get in a training race, and shake things up a bit.
Singapore was modern, clean, fun, and not nearly as hot as I had expected. There were thunderstorms each afternoon leading into race day, and carried on through race morning. Luckily enough although the race started off grey and wet, it got clearer and sunnier as the day went.
I was excited to take my new team TBB race suit for an outing. I had an ok swim start, but ok isn’t good enough these days and I ended up swimming completely solo, just behind the front group of men and women.It was a lonely swim, just my new Blue Seventy Speed suit, and some jellyfish to keep me company. Yes, the jellyfish. Part way into the second lap I got a pretty nasty ocean kiss from a jelly fish, right across my cheek and lips. I had never been stung before so wasn’t sure if I was very allergic or not. So I figured I would wait and see, and if my eyes started swelling shut I would know. I powered through the first transition, a couple of people in sight, still able to breathe and see, so I figured it was game on, jellyfish or not. I later found out that pretty much most of the field had some run ins with the stingers, just some got it worse than others. I wonder if Blue Seventy could make me a balaclava for the next jelly fish swim.
The bike was a flat out and back loop, three times. I just put my head down and worked the pedals, trying to dodge others as the course got a bit busier each lap. A flat bike is not really easier than a hilly one. It is so constant, there is no break to coast, or change cadence, and it can be tougher to stay focused. But somehow the 90 km flew by and as I got off the bike I realized I had caught Andrea Hewit who had been riding in the lead with Jodi Swallow most of the race. That was a nice surprise.
The surprise continued when I managed to get into my shoes, and out of transition still within sight of Hewit. And shortly thereafter passed her, running into second place. I felt pretty good, at first anyway. As the 21 km run dragged on however I weakened a bit in the legs, and in the head, and a buffer I had built over third place was gone by the third and final lap. Hewit re-payed my earlier pass and I finished third.
I have never really travelled with a team, or been at a race as part of a group. It was a new way to see things, and pretty interesting to see how people I have been training and hanging out with for weeks turn it on on race day. There was Jocelyn, who is the best team mascot we could ask for. Nobody is friendlier, or willing to dye their hair pink for a race, and nobody looked tougher on the run, other than the Mini Terminator LC. Our new pink race kits were pretty easy to spot, except when LC flew by on the run, it was just a pink blur. Lucie defended our swim lane honor by out-swimming a World Cup swimmer who was a bit too cocky, and then she smiled her way through a tired race. Another smiley face belonged to Cam, who was on sightseeing run duty, on orders to take it easy on his feet that day. The jellyfish must have conspired to really make it tough for our top guns Rebekah and Renaldo, who had a rough go that day. Manny was a machine, although he probably doesn’t remember half the race, I have never seen anyone look like a cadaver while still running, his face was the most bizarre colour of grey-white I have ever seen. He gets the toughing it out award.
Now I am back in Subic, for a few more weeks before the next race adventure in China. The group here is much smaller now, since many are off to go race around the world. I will be cheering for them in two weeks, when there are 3 races and I think 9 people racing. Wow, I hope I have enough energy for cheering and training.