Flagrant Violation of Rule #42 in Cohasset

If you haven’t heard me yammer on about the Velominati’s list of 91 Cycling Rules, well, where the hell have you been… training at altitude with Manny Huerta, perhaps? Seriously, consider yourself lucky; I’ve become barely bearable since a fellow blogger introduced me to The Rules. I enforce Rule #37 with gusto on group rides (sunglass arms go over helmet straps). When a fellow cyclist confessed he might buy a handlebar mirror after becoming a hit-and-run victim, he got my “speedy recovery” wishes as well as a copy of Rule #66 (mirrors are for wusses). I am diligently working to come into compliance with #s 83 (be self-sufficient) and 87 (be on time. Gasp. A mighty tall order for a chick whose father’s license plate is Mass tag # L-A-T-E. I swear it’s genetic.)

There are two notable exceptions to my Rule glee: I ignore all Rules that show disdain for my main man, and by “main man” I mean Lance Armstrong. (Rules 4, 27, and 51 all show thinly veiled Velominati vitriol; ergo, I refuse to provide links. Seek them out if you must but I will not assist.) And then there’s Rule #42, which was clearly made to be broken:

Rule #42: A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim 
and/or followed by a run. If it’s preceded with a swim 
and/or followed by a run, it is not called a bike race, 
it is called duathlon or a triathlon. Neither of which 
is a bike race. Also keep in mind that one should only 
swim in order to prevent drowning, and should only run 
if being chased. And even then, one should only run 
fast enough to prevent capture.

On Sunday, June 24th at the Cohasset Sprint Tri I was under no threat of either drowning or capture. My apologies to the Velominati: I had a fantastic time in flagrant violation of Rule #42.

It has been brought to my attention that some of you have been saying, “if you’ve seen one photo of CJ’s bike racked in transition, you’ve seen ‘em all”. So. Not. True. First, he has a name–please use it. Second, Viper’s body language is highly nuanced and is as scrutiny-worthy as John Chambers’ facial expressions on earnings day. Here he is, showing serious swagger in Cohasset’s F 40-44 rack. That’s a stock to buy, I’d say.

Now, I love all races, but Cohasset falls into the super-special category since it attracts a crazy-competitive crowd and by that I mean the Cohasset Tri is this kind of popular:

OK, wicked bad metaphor, as no one in their right mind over the age of 16 would rush the One Direction van. I trust you get my point though. Cohasset = popular.

Put it this way: to race Cohasset in June you’ve gotta be lightening fast the December prior and I don’t mean in the pool or on the roads I mean on-line; Cohasset 2012’s on-line registration sold out in 40 freaking minutes, making it the fastest sprint tri sell-out in North America for two years in a row. How’s that for fantastically fun? Here’s what the scene looks like:

nothing better than a full transition area

not my wave but still…how fun is this?

What was my favorite part of this race?

I could say it was the swim…

Give this goofy, earplug-wearing girl hermit crabs under her feet and chop on the surface and she feels right at home. Pool and lake tris will suffice, but ocean swims just totally rock. My suspicion that I did well in the water was confirmed when I saw the super-speedy Becky Padera hit the timing mat as I approached it.

And you would expect me to say the bike…

My heart jumped jumped right into my mouth as I exited T1 and a spectator told me I was sixth out of my wave to hit the “mount” line. Since my wave had two age groups in it, both mine and the 45-49ers, I knew we were in for a mighty good day.  While Viper got his groove I started counting how many calves sharpie-d “40 something” we passed

Bike + ocean = heaven    Together, Viper and I had the best “mere mortal” female bike split of the day and by that I mean our 21.9 mph ranked us the fastest of all female age groupers. (When I reported this result to Husam at ATA, he was pleased and as we talked he rounded my performance up to an even 22 mph. No rounding, I said; we will earn our 22 the hard way 😉 If you count the four F-ELITEs and their steeds, Viper and I still had the third best bike split of all 322 chicks. Beat two elites, yes we did. (The ones we beat rode 21.4 and 21.5). Top riders were 24-year-old Brianna Blanchard, (22.8 mph) and 36-year-old Catherine Sterling (23.5 mph). You know what that means…Viper has his hubs set on 24 mph.

Or I could break from tradition, surprise you all and say the run was the very best split.

While bike + ocean = heaven, run + ocean = torture. Relief is so close but yet so far. Truth be told, I had a great run…as far as runs go. But others fared better, especially Becky, the best runner in our AG that day. She ran 7:06 pace to my 7:49 pace, which means she passed me with about a half mile to go. We congratulated each other for such a good race as she blazed by.

Best part of the run? The finish line!

Or maybe I could say the best part was getting to meet a three-time Olympian and getting to shake his hand and tell him it was fun to watch him swim in Wave 1, which is precisely what I am doing in this photo:

That’d be me chatting up Gary Hall, who won ten Olympic medals (5 gold, 3 silver, 2 bronze) in his three Games (1996, 2000, 2004). I hope I didn’t look as star-struck and googly-eyed as a One Direction fan.

Or I could say the best bit was standing on the podium next to Becky Padera, who in the event it isn’t clear I happen to think is absolutely great…(I had never met Tracy, #1, before this day, but Becky and I have raced several times and she is not just super-fast but super-nice).

Given the crazy competitive field at Cohasset, I had zero expectations of being on this, the F 40-44 podium. But there I am! 🙂 Kinda wicked fun.

Or I could say the best part was improving every split year-over-year:

2012 2011
Swim 9:02 (2:03) 9:24 (2:08)
T1 1:13 2:19
Bike (avg mph) 32:56 (21.9) 35:33 (20.25)
T2 :59 1:18
Run (mile pace) 25:00 (7:49) 25:14 (7:53)
TOTAL 1:09:06.5 1:13:46

But the very best part was when all was said and done and I was back in the F 40-44 rack, collecting Skerritt (per usual, he lost his race-day bite and transformed from Viper back into Skerritt at some point during the awards ceremony. I guess it’s part of his cool-down or something.) A fellow F 40-44-er saw my medal and with wide eyes and a big smile congratulated me and said I must be super-fast. I thanked her and told her I had a blast, asked her how her race was.

“Well, I am not fast and I certainly did not win a medal!” she told me.

“I didn’t ask if you won,” I said. “I asked if you had fun!”

She went on to say she had a fantastic time and that she loves doing this, has done it every year. She said the best part for her was when we rode through the center of town, and she saw a chunky, lazy guy eating a burger and smoking a cigarette on a patio. “I thought, I am so glad I’m doing this and not that!” she said.

I thought that was absolutely fantastic and really, that’s what it’s all about: wanting something better for yourself and going out there and making it happen.

And with that, my 2012 season is half-way done, with five races down and five to go. Hard to believe!

As usual, thanks for stopping by.  Perplex your coworkers by talking in kilometers (Rule #24), have a Rochefort (Rule #47) and don’t diss Lance (CJ Rule #1). Break all rules that are meant to be broken…and approach life like a pre-teen girl approaches the One Direction van. See ya’ll at the race!

[PS: Yes, this blog is a wee bit overdue. In the weeks after I raced Cohasset, I crashed my bike, said goodbye to my coach and directed my very first race. I’ve been a little preoccupied, to say the least…so cut me some slack! Better late than never, I say! 🙂 ]

About garmin_girl

I'm a 40-something single mother of three--two great human girls and one four-legged Dalmatian banshee--who is hellbent on swimming, biking and running straight through my midlife crisis. Care to tag along? Crazy loves company! ;)
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4 Responses to Flagrant Violation of Rule #42 in Cohasset

  1. Andy McPhee says:

    As always, a wonderfully entertaining and enlightening post. You ROCK!!!

  2. Pingback: Ludlow Pool Sprint 2013: Rusty, Foggy, Naked | CJ Runs Like a Girl

  3. Pingback: Cohasset 2013: Not (Yet) Palace Malice | CJ Runs Like a Girl

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