Ah, Philly, the city of Brotherly Love.....I've done this race now 4 times and each time have grown to love it more. I wouldn't say I had a breakthrough race (as I'm learning that may take years in the pro ranks), but I did have fun on the bike and run, a far cry from last year's near puking episode at the finish line.
Philly is a great race for many reasons. It usually falls on my Birthday weekend, and one might ask, what better way to spend your birthday than with pre race anxiety, no alcohol and an 8pm bedtime!!! Anyways, Philly is only about a 20min drive north of my parents' place in DE and it's always a good weekend to celebrate, race, and flood my parents' house with 2x 80lb dogs, a 10yo high energy pre teen, and bags of gear, clothes, bikes, pumps, wheels etc. BOOM "we are here!!!!" honk honk honk!! My parents are troopers for putting up with the chaos for the weekend.
Mom after doing her workout!
I was fortunate to swim at my old summer club Saturday, The Graylyn Crest Gators, and my old Coach Stan welcomed my sister and I with open arms. Always great to see him, the old stomping ground and catch up on local news. So many fond memories in that place from sun up to sun down all summer long. I can still smell the hot dogs on the bar-b-q and feel the wrinkle in my skin from an all day affair at the pool. Love that place!
Race morning was the usual + 2 (Harley and Gunner) cramming in to the Xterra with Anthony and My Dad on the "early crew", my Mom, Lanie and Liz to follow later. Transition was flooded with superstars (Alicia Kaye, McLarty, Matt Reed, Potts, Dye). A bit overwhelmed I got on the first bus and headed to Swim Start. Swim was rough for me again. Just feeling out of breath and not able to get a rhythm....still need to sort this out. Swam solo until the last turn and exited with Liz (new friend and PSU alum).
Liz and I biked together most of the ride (legally), getting caught up in a few age group men on the second lap but avoiding major disaster. The bike course is windy, curvy, up and down and I must admit, although I've done it a few times, I still done have the guts to really go for it like on a road bike. (wimp).
On to the run I felt like I was flying but really only managing 6:30ish pace. Just didn't manage to make a real dent in the field that was really stellar. I was happy with the effort but knew there was more work to do, strength to build. In the end 9th Pro and a 2min PR on that course.
Oh, and I almost forgot.....Julie accompanied the cheering squad (see below) and has been quite the traveler this summer. Fashioned on an old race belt below and often seen on the sidelines (literally hanging out of the netting that corals the bike in/out or run in / out, this jet setting American Girl may be spotted at YOUR next race. Disclaimer....try not to burst out laughing like I did seeing this doll hanging from the rigging "cheering". (My sisters can't get enough of where we can place Julie on the course).
Many thanks to Anthony, for dealing with me race week (not always the most pleasant) (ball of nerves), My parents and sisters for their support. Lanie for her cheering/ and Julie the American Girl Doll. Not least is Tim Snow, for dealing with my aches and ailments, scheduling changes and panic emails ( I didn't run at all barely between eagleman and Philly)(more on that later).
Qt2systems/ Coach Tim
Bon Secours In Motion PT/ Julie Blandin
FTE Masters Swimming/ Steve Hennessy