Friday, June 18, 2010

Eagleman and The Big 33

Last blog entry I was reintroduced to my bike. This entry perhaps should be a reintroduction to the blog itself since it's been so long.

It's been so long that I managed to age another year! (Picture courtesy of the Big 33 Football Classic -- held each summer matching up the top high school football players from PA and OH). Thanks all for the birthday wishes on FB.

It was a good year--lots of good times, a solid marathon (with room for improvement), lots of great spectathleting escapades, and lots of great coaching experiences. Today, I had this crazy idea while Beth and I were out on our run to do a 3300 on the track for the 33rd birthday. It was a fun idea....for about two laps. But, I finished it--mile 1 in 5:28, mile 2 in 5:43 (11:11 overall) and the last 100 in 22 sec. I'll have to see if I can do this each year and maybe then find a 5k to run on the 50th birthday. Did I just mention a 50th birthday as though it was around the corner?

Anyway, last week I had this entry written out in my head about Batting Average on Balls in Play (BABIP) and how it related to life (especially for me in the week leading up to Eagleman), but I'll save its application for another day. On to the Eagleman spectathlete report!

We'll start out with a gameday pre-race photo of what my co-workers have termed "Team Shutt" or "Team Beth" preparing for the day ahead. Beth with her game face on and me with my standard obnoxious yellow. Mental note for me, don't have the hat turned backwards all day if I'm going to be out in the sun for 7 hours. It leads to a definitive raccoon look and peeling skin on the nose and forehead.

(Photo courtesy of Laura's dad)

At the starting line, Beth's wave had just gone off (see her blog or FB for photos). Here's two of Pittsburgh's finest--Matt and Chad. Looking forward to hanging out with them later this summer.

So once Beth's wave (also with Jen H, Jen H, Jocelyn, Amie, ...) and the Men's 30-34 wave (Matt, Chad, Jeremy, Ben, Lucas, ...) went off, I wandered over to the swim exit with Ben's parents and in-laws. While waiting, I saw this really cute dog that has the color change right down the middle of his head.

I was telling the parents how Beth would probably come out in the 10-20 range since she was in with both the 30-34 and 35-39 and there's always ringers exiting the water way up there like the legend Jen Harrison and later we find out there was a girl by the name of Hillary Phelps (yeah that Phelps).

Next thing you know, out comes Beth from the water (good thing I didn't spend too much time playing with the doggie or else I would have missed her). I didn't tell her what position she was in because I had her in the 5th-ish range and figured (heck, assumed) I probably missed a few navy caps. Turns out she just had a heck of a swim setting the tone for a great day!

(Photo courtesy Laura's dad)

So, Beth leaves for the Bike and I wait around to see the men come out of the water and leave on their bikes. Okay, I've got 2 hours to kill. I catch up with Lindsey Jerdonek and then go out for an hour run. BOY was it humid. I can't imagine how rough of a bike and run it was going to be for the competitors. But, off they went.

This is Beth around 2 miles into the run. I would stick around this point and wait for all of them to come back past with two miles to go.

While waiting for Beth to come back past, the (what has turned in to be) standard snapshot of 6-time Kona champ waving to me. I'll have to see if I can get a picture of her again at a future race this season (this is foreshadowing--read on)

So Beth goes past me with two miles to go and I tell her she's in a solid 3rd place, but needs to finish strong. Once she passes, I cut back over to the finish (since I had laid out the optimal cheering locations and route) and position myself to snap a shot of her coming in to the finish. This picture below was not from me, it was from Ben's father-in-law because I had put down the camera and put on my coaching/cheering hat.

From what I saw around 2 miles to go, I'm expecting Beth to still have that comfortable cushion and giving her the standard "Way to go, Beth! Almost there! Finish strong! Great race!" and the like. However, just as I'm getting ready to lift the camera in preparation for the picture, I notice not too far behind Beth a person from her age group that I recognized from earlier in the run. This girl was charging hard with arms-a-pumping.

Uh-oh. Performing a quick parametric equation analysis in my head, if the two of them would continue at their current paces, it could make for a very dicey event at the finish line. The last thing you would want for Beth was to lose a place (and perhaps a chance at a Kona slot) by being outkicked in the last 400m.

So, what to do? I can't be obnoxious and just say, "RUN BETH, SHE'S CATCHING YOU!" That's just not polite and I didn't want to annoy the people around me. So, how do I phrase to Beth that she needs to kick it in with a PC touch? It came out something like this:


That's probably paraphrased, but it was something along those lines. And, the tone of my voice got the message across. Beth kicked it in (per picture above) and beat out that girl by a good 15 seconds. Whew!

Next, I see Ben and Jen coming in together. That was neat to see them each pulling the other in at the end on a very nasty weather day. SO HUMID and HOT!

Great job to Ben on finishing his first 70.3. He's now recovering in Italy (lucky). I think this former D1 football player is getting into this whole triathlon thing. We found the perfect shirt for him at the expo. Looking forward to bigger and better things for him!

And, as I'm sure anyone who reads this blog would know by now, Beth earned a Kona qualifier slot! We're off to the Big Island in October! And, it's great to see all the friends from all over the country that we have met due to this whole triathlon thing. In this picture you have North Carolina/Canada, Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Philly represented. What a great group of gals that I'm lucky to have have latched on to through Beth.

So that's it from here, more updates on the World Cup, the woeful Pirates, BABIP, and other training endeavors in the near future.

1 comment:

Beth said...

Wow, are you really 33?? OLD!!!!! :) Hehehehe...HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

PS Natacsha waves at you like Michellie waves at Ben. :)