Timberman’s Turnaround (Taylor’s Thoughts)

   Well amidst all the rain, Saturday was a beautiful day for a race. The sun was shining, the people were smiling, and the music was rocking. It was an ideal race morning.
   I have to say coming into Timberman I knew it was time for a change. June is always an awkward time for me. Track is coming to a close and the triathlon season is just ramping up. I have to admit I always have mixed emotions coming into tri season. Part of me is in a state of what I like to call “track-withdrawal” and the other part of me just can’t wait to race again.
   This June was no exception. I went through my “track-withdrawal” and started working 40 hours a week. It was crazy adjusting from a typical school week to now a typical work week, not to mention training.
   By the time Timberman rolled around I was ready to turn the season around. I raced a couple times in June but I knew that I needed to seriously step up the training.
   Saturday morning as aforementioned was race day ideals. My friends were racing, the sun was shining and of course there was the pre-race adrenaline.
   At exactly 8:31 the gun went off and the race was on. I somehow ended up in the middle of two different packs during the swim, one to my left and one to my right (maybe it was because I forgot deodorant). But the water felt refreshing and Timberman is one of my favorite swim courses.
Running out of the water I knew I had to pull off a fast bike. The beginning of the bike course was flat and downhill… and then the second half felt like a roller coaster of ups and downs – what a blast! Coming into T2 my thoughts were on the junior course record. I knew I would be close but I wasn’t sure how close.
   The first mile of the run is great. After coming off the bike the legs are numb and (either good or bad) I have no idea what pace I’m at. Yet I was determined to get that course record and pacing was the only way that was going to happen. I’m not very good at being patient so maintaining a pace in the run is near impossible. The only way that record was going to happen was if I ran against myself, not anyone else. I kept my eyes up and started to pick up the pace. Let me just say thank goodness for friends and water stops because without either I would be in a world of hurt. One of my favorite things in a tri is running and seeing friends and giving a high five as we pass or a quick cheer. I love it!
   The final stretch to the finish is always a lovely pain – the uphill followed by a downhill sprint into the home stretch is a fantastic way to end, and seeing the clock was even better.
   I was pretty sure I beat the junior record but I had no idea about the course record until the awards ceremony (which Jerry presents fantastically as we all know).
   Timberman overall was a great turn around race for me both mentally and physically.