Wednesday, November 5, 2008

schiff-scout pantathlon

This weekend saw us sailing into the sunset on the bay, for perhaps one of the last times this year: we wrapped up well in light foulies, got Aisling ready and cast of fthe mooring into 10 knots of westerlies: fail winds for htis time of year.. We sailed in silence to Mashomack Point, to better observe the seals that like to haul themselves onshore at high tide, but as we got within eye-shot, I soon realised the "seals" had become rocks.. oh boy.. Time to reconsider the Lasik surgery.. Undeterred we tacked back and forth in the lee of North Haven before returning to the harbor, putting Aisling in her "pyjamas" and heading back to shore.. We packed hastily for the next day, a return to one of our favourite races on the East-End: the Schiff-Scout duathlon: a 2/11/2 miler off-road race at the boy scout camp in Wading River, just west of Riverhead. We had not been here since Shari sold Bikehampton several years ago, and both Dennis and I had mixed feelings about returning. Brian, the race director, is one of the most fun, generous directors in the business, and his smiles upon seeing us quickly made us welcome. We also immediately reconected with some of our old cycling mates, warmed up briefly and lined up for the casual start. 45 degrees, windy, felt like 30. I dropped in behind Joe A., Bob C., and Chris R., all the while promising myself to NOT run with these jackrabbits, and instead, run my own race: The gun went off, the adreneline rushed and I found myself on Joe's heels, a mile into the race, chest heaving, heart racing, exertion headache settling into my thick skull. I glanced down at my watch ( NO HRM here, I was too scared to see the numbers!) and noted the one-mile time.. 6.31 I was in trouble, there was NO WAY I could keep this going, and finish the race well without blowing up so I had to back it off and kiss the heels of the boys goodbye.. I settled into my own race, suffering through the ups and downs of the new course and getting ready for the bike: the transition went well, I was glad to chill a little and lose hte hypoxia as I got into my bikeshoes adn helmet, then settled further into the race as I enjoyed the whoop-do-do's of the bike course: the wooded twisting singletrack was wonderful: Fall (Autumn) at its most glorious, I was regretting not having raced here for so long! Dennis blew past me on the 2nd bike leg, looking strong, though unable to talk to me! I knew he was pushing it! I tried to keep him in my line of sight as I picked up the pace for the final 2 miles, then raced into the transition area, not quite looking forward to the second run! Suprise, surprise, the legs didn't object too heavily, in fact, I felt comfy with a 7:00 pace and quickly caught Dennis before the first 1/2 mile was by. He hung close by, and we dodged the trees for the last mile, scrabbling up the steep gradients for a strong finish: I was the first female in, and made 15th overall in 1:25-ish, Dennis was only one minute down in 1:26: HE is getting stronger as he races and trains with more brains, short hard efforts, plenty of recovery.. and I think that these great ales that we have enjoyed recently must also be assisting. Despite the pounding headache, and the sudden need to eat everything in sight, I feel stonger form the last couple of weekends of racing, and I am sure we are both feeling the remnants of our trip, in our legs, our lungs, our spirit!. We both resolve to return in 2009, and more frequently.. Is is definitely not the same since S+M are no longer in participation, but it is a short burst of huge effort with some of our most favourite people in our sports world. The aftermath of the race was also fun, when Brian announced the winner of the 50-59 age group, rider #47: pictures to follow tomorrow.. Even my friend Susan, loony triathlete and adamant NON-mountain biker, might be tempted to try it out if she knew who was hanging out in the wings at these little races..

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