On the road….again!

After a good 2 weeks at home after CDA, I was back on the road. Luckily for me this extended trip was a driving tour of the north east. Not that I particularly enjoy driving over flying…I just enjoy the luxury of being able to overpack 🙂 Thus, the car ended up with 3 bikes, 8 wheels and a trainer in it…..before any of the luggage was packed. Hello, roof rack! This road trip definitely made me think about upgrading our car sometime soon! One of my friends just bought a used Chevy Colorado that is great for road trips so I might have to ask her where she got her new vehicle from.

Road trips are always a lot of fun. In fact, my best friend has actually invited me on a road trip around Iceland with her next year. She has always wanted to go to Iceland to see the Northern Lights so I might just have to take her up on her very generous offer. From what she has told me so far driving in iceland is the best way to see all the sights as you can enjoy your trip at your own pace from the comfort of a rental car. Have you ever been to Iceland? Be sure to let me know your thoughts if you have as I would love to hear all about your time there!

Anyway, as for my most recent road trip, the first stop on my tour was HOME! My parent’s house has actually turned into a solid training destination for me. A pool about a quarter mile down the road, good riding and running roads, and a mother who is so happy to see me I get dinner made for me every night?!! I need nothing more!! Thanks Mom and Dad! But, this was only a brief stop, and after a couple days I headed on my way to the Big Apple.

NYC and I have a love-hate relationship. I typically love being in the city for about 2-3 days. Then I start to feel quite claustrophobic and my inner country girl begins to shine through. Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time in the city when I’m there but I don’t think I could live there all of the time. This is a shame really, as I came across some great apartments for rent when we were helping my sister to find a place to live before she moved to the Big Apple, but my heart has always belonged in the country. My sister has been living in NY (now Hoboken) for quite some time and it was always on the list to come up for a race at some point. With a small opening in the schedule and a pro-race available for the NYC triathlon, it seemed like a good time to make the effort.

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Logistically, racing in NY is just never going to be simple. Planes (okay not really), trains (yep), and automobiles (taxis) are just all part of the fun to get yourself to the start line. But I should say that the pre-race experience as a pro was second to none. The Lifetime Fitness team really made an effort to make the professionals feel welcome, and, like they are a professional. That’s a nice touch.

Race morning was another early start. I am eager to return to a race where I can start after 6am! The swim for this one is a downriver swim (yay!)…….in the Hudson River (eek!). More than a handful of people warned me about potential diseases and debris I could find in the river. Thanks, guys. Still no sign of a third nipple yet.

The race offers a dive start from the barge for the pros. I’ve been practicing this and was eager to try my skillz. Ed was able to capture the moment in video for me! I think if I get a little more aggressive (ie don’t wait until everyone else goes in to dive) and keep my feet together, I’ll be in good shape next time. I’m 5th in from the left in this video:

The bike course is deceivingly hilly (who knew the West Side Highway has substantial hills?) and the run course through Central Park is, of course, also hilly. My powertap decided not to work when I hopped on my bike, so I bike as hard as I could for the 25 miles before heading out onto the run. Mostly running solo, I finally caught sight of a woman up ahead and was able to make the pass before the finish line where Ed and my family were cheering. I had zero expectations for what I could do in a short course situation 2 weeks after an IM, so I was happy enough with 9th place and certainly pleased to have had the opportunity to get in a hard 2 hour effort while crossing the “race in NYC” item off my bucket list.

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Post-race brought some touristy things (can you believe I had never visited the Museum of Modern Art before?!), a really really good Italian dinner in Jersey, and some rest before packing up and getting back into the car and heading up to Great Sacandaga Lake. Ed’s family has a “camp” up here and were kind enough to offer us a bed in the sleeping loft so we can take a few days of R&R on our way up to Lake Placid. Turns out, this area has great riding roads and, obviously, a great opportunity for some OWS practice right down the front yard.

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But, in keeping with the theme of things, after a few days it is time to pack up (again!) and head out – onwards to Lake Placid! TeamHPB has 7 athletes racing – 4 first time IMers! I couldn’t miss this 🙂 I’ve already decided I will need about 8 phone batteries to be able to keep the team posted on everyone’s progress on Sunday. Looking forward to catching up with some other good friends who are there racing, it will be a fun final stop on the tour before heading back to VA on Monday.

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