Monday, July 27, 2009
Best of Asheville Survey and A Race Report
First - it's time for Mountain Xpress's yearly Best of Asheville survey. And this year for (I think) the first time, they've included a Best Local Farm category. So you know where I'm headed with this - if you take the survey and are inclined to write down Spotted Dog Farm for the Best Local Farm I'd definitely appreciate it. (I'm not really looking to win - some of the big veggie farms have quite the following - but showing up on the survey would be nice.) And while you're at it - our good friends Take the Cake from the City Market (you know - Cupcakes A Go-Go - the incredibly delicious and beautiful cupcakes and other pastries from the tent right beside the Coffee Caravan) were my choice for Best Bakery - and could by yours as well. Click here for the survey link.
In other, totally unrelated, news, I did my second ever triathlon last weekend - the Asheville Triathlon at Rec Park on Azalea Road. It was a rather short Sprint - a 400m pool swim, 11 mile bike and 5K. It was super fun, although it started at 7 and I'm kind of OCD about not being rushed before races (or horse shows, or whatever), so I insisted that Clark and I get there at 5:30 to set up and get ready. And Clark wasn't even racing. He was just being the uber-sherpa and camera man. He's a really, really good sport.
So the swim, being a pool swim, should have been super easy, and actually was, but in fact had me more stressed out than the open water swim at Biltmore Lake. I was feeling kind of pressured to actually perform good flip turns and look like someone who had been getting up at ungodly hours and swimming in a pool for the past few months. But then somehow when it came down to it the flip turns didn't really seem like the thing to do - because we were having to flip and turn under the lane lines and there were a lot of people in the pool at once, and I was pretty sure I would pass out from lack of oxygen - so I just did these incredibly slow and clumsy open turns while sucking in air like a bellows, and it actually all turned out fine. Believe it or not, I was pretty decently placed (17/129) after the swim. So take that, flip turns. I always knew you were overrated.
The bike was fun, nothing particularly exciting (although I had been a little worried that I was going to freeze since it was 55 degrees at the start and we were jumping onto our bikes wet.) But actually I was fine - not cold at all. I guess adrenaline and exertion can get you past a lot of discomforts.
The run was about the flattest run imaginable in Asheville - it just went down Azalea Road for a mile and a half, and then turned around and came back. So I started the run, and felt neither great nor terrible, and my mental discussion went something like this: "Self, you could run yourself into the ground here, or you could decide that you don't really want to hurt that much on a Sunday morning and take it back a notch." And my self replied "take it back a notch." So that 's kind of what I did. I ran 30 seconds slower than at Biltmore Lake (after a much shorter, easier swim and bike.) And the me of my 20s would find that very hard to swallow, but the me of my 30s has mellowed considerably, and is considering slacking off now and then to be one of the perks of learning a new sport.
And it turns out the me of my 30s also can't remember how old I am. I was running back at about mile 2 1/2 and saw a woman ahead of me with a 30 on her calf, and thought, well I should at least really try to catch her, that's a place in my age group. So I did, and was feeling pretty good about that, and then it didn't even occur to me until after I had finished and was eating a burrito from Moe's (at 8:30 am!) from the catering table while waiting for the awards, that she wasn't in my age group at all. I'm 35-39. And not by a narrow margin either. I guess one shouldn't really count on a lot of brain function at the end of a race.
So overall the results were great - second in my rather large (26 women) age group. And I was going to downplay it by saying, well, it's a pretty easy race so it has a lot of beginners. But then it hit me - I *am* a beginner, at this whole triathlon thing anyway, so instead I'll just be happy with the results. Here's a super dorky picture of me holding my award (turns out putting yoga pants under your dress isn't such a great look), but my favorite part of the pic is that in the bottom left corner you can barely see Clark in his black jacket grinning at me as I get my award. Up at 5:30 and happy with my results - he's a keeper.