The Sunapee Triathlon was a great day. I loved seeing all the tribikes on bike racks as I drove north to Newbury. It felt like race season was back on!
I arrived at Sunapee State Park way too early. I was worried about missing a shuttle but it ended up being walkable from the parking area to the transition. I didn’t have to use a shuttle at all since I was so early. I walked around the beach and decided to stretch and get ready early in transition. And I’m glad I did because as I was sitting next to my bike a high school friend, Kristin said hi. I couldn’t believe it. It seriously has been 30 years since we saw each other. Even with a mask I recognized her immediately. I loved hearing about what she has been doing since high school. She has done a bunch of ½ Ironman distance triathlons and was as excited as me to race.
Our conversation was cut short as the time to leave transition arrived. I walked down to the beach and put on my wetsuit and waited for the swim lineup.
There was time for a practice swim and that water was cold. It felt better after sitting in it and then time to go.
Athletes entered the water every five seconds.
The first 500 yards I felt so slow. I sighted okay and seemed to warm up after about 15 minutes. After the first turn buoy the water was choppy and I was extra cautious about breathing in with my mouth wide open – I’ve done that before and inhaled water – bad!
Finally I could see the exit and still felt slow. I need to work on my open water swimming technique for next year.
On to the bike!
I feel like I pushed it the entire time. The uphills were tough and the downhill were scary fast. It was the first race for my Cervelo and it didn’t let me down.
It was cold, in the 40s for sure, but I wore my NorthFace windbreaker that has saved me on hikes in the 4,000 footers and one cold trail race at Jay Peak.
I initially thought I’d have to wear tights over my tri shorts for the bike, but I opted out, and no extra hat under my helmet; and these were good choices because I felt pretty good. With the temperature in the 40s on the bike, the one casualty ended up being my feet. Once I was off the bike I realized that my feet were frozen. When I put my shoes on in transition I knew something didn’t feel quite right.
I started running and it felt like there were rocks in my shoes.
I knew that feeling too well from other triathlons so it just took time for my feet to warm up and then they were fine.
I felt good on the run. I had a good stride then I looked at my watch and I was running 10 minute miles -booo!
But then at times I looked down and I was running 8:45 minute miles. It was a mix of hills and feeling good. I just looked my times on Strava and the last mile was 8:35 – hells ya!
I miss racing so much despite hating the day before a race when I am nervous and race morning that seems to last longer than the race itself. Looking ahead I think 2021 is going to make up for the bust 2020 was for racing.
I haven’t raced an Olympic Distance Triathlon in years and this distance is so fun! 1.5km swim, 36km bike, 5.1 mile run. Just under three hours. Yes!
While I love going long, short is a great challenge to push it the entire time. Well, I didn’t push it on the swim but it was a good lesson that I really need work on swim speed. When you go long, swim training is more about being efficient since it’s a long day. On shorter distances you really need speed on all three.
Now it’s time to focus on finishing 21 peaks in 7 weeks. I’ve mapped it all out and made plans for every weekend. The Finish the 4,000 footers in my 49th year plan will be the next post.
Since I signed up for Ironman Coeur d’Alene that takes place in June 2021, the White Mountain Triathlon, which I deferred to 2021 is on the same weekend. I decided to sign up for an alternate race and use my credits from the White Mountain Triathlon – so I’m racing The Sunapee olympic distance triathlon on Saturday.
When I signed up for Sunapee I knew that I would have to swim consistently for the weeks leading up to the race; and I have been. I feel like my swim fitness is enough now for Saturday. Swim fitness seems to come back pretty quickly unlike running and biking.
This will be my first race of 2020 and I’m pretty psyched for it. With all the precautions I know it will be unlike any triathlon before but I don’t care. I’ll do what they say and get this race done. It will be race #1 for my new Cervelo tribike!
While I’ve been trying to swim, bike and run as much as I can I’m also making a push to finish all the 4,000 footers in one year. I have eight weeks to finish 21 more peaks.
Some of the harder ones are left: Carters, Wildcat, Kinsman. Isolation. I will have my work cut out for me getting these done. But since I have completed no goals for 2020 this one just may be in reach.
On Sunday Peter, Pete and I hike Waumbek. It was a perfect fall day to hike it. WInnie and Goldie hiked too. This was Goldie’s 2nd 4,000 footer and Winnie’s 8th, plus it’s the second time Winnie has hiked Waumbek. There were no other dogs on the trail. I later read a race report that so many people were on the trails the day before, for the Flags on all the Peaks on 9/11, which was why maybe there were so few people on Sunday.
The trail is in great shape however no water at the water source. As we climbed it got colder and colder with a wind. I was sweating bullets, as per usual yet so cold, too. While Waumbek is touted as an “easy” hike, the climb is constant; just no rocks or granite slabs to contend with.
Pete told us about the blow down just past Waumbek’s peak so we had views of the entire Presidential Range. Waumbek itself has no views but we hiked a few feet past the cairn to sit down and gaze at the amazing views of the entire Presidential range. While the air was cold, the sun was warm so we took a break before heading back down. It was a good day to be above 4,000 feet.
It’s amazing how motivating signing up for an Ironman can be. It’s been a while since I took the dogs for the loop hike/run at Winant but since they must get back into hiking shape to help me finish the 48 4,000 peaks by Nov. 13, they need to hike/run with me as much as possible.
May 1989 was the last time I hiked this mountain. I remember it was a solo backpacking trip and I did the big loop including Desolation Trail. Wow that was a long time ago. However, I remember seeing a group of men camping with a fire going. The trail was really wet and my feet were soaked. I saw their hanging socks over the fire. They invited me to join and I declined.
This time Carrigain was a day hike with two of Peter’s friends: Pete and Eric. The first two miles are so nice – just a walk in the woods. Then the climb began to the ridge. Once we got to Signal Ridge there were amazing views. Then at the summit, spectacular 360 degree views. It was a perfect day to be in the White Mountains and the dogs did great. On the way down Winnie had two incidents with dogs but both turned out okay (Winnie was not at fault this time.)
It was Goldie’s first 4,000 and she was pretty tired on the ride home, sleeping sitting up.
Now it’s time to plan next weekend’s hike – most likely the Kinsmans.
This past week was filled with fun activities: running, hiking and e-biking at Gunstock.
Peter and I hiked Tecumseh and even ran a part of it. Even though it was under 5 miles, those stairs to the top are tough!
It was a fun hike. I needed it for my grid and it was Peter’s 14th 4,000 footer.
On Wednesday I e-biked with Becky and Sara. Sara is in charge of the Outdoor Center at Gunstock and an avid mountain biker. E-bikes are so fun and power boosting up hills is exhilarating. The trails around Gunstock are pretty fun and extensive – they go on and on forever. This weekend I hope to get on my mountain bike and explore.
This week we celebrated National Dog Day. Thanks to Peter for taking care of my dogs during the day. Despite being allergic to them he loves Winnie and Goldie. [love]