Second Triathlon: Hopkins Vineyard at Lake Waramaug

Second Triathlon: Hopkins Vineyard at Lake Waramaug

It was 4am and my iPhone went off. I hit snooze… but 15 minutes later I already had oatmeal cooking and the cats staring at me trying to figure out what I was doing up so early. My triathlon bag was already packed, but I did a quick mental check list anyway to make sure I hadn’t forgotten the important pieces. It would have stunk to get all the way to the triathlon in Connecticut and forget something like my bike! I was good to go though. I promised my friends that I would meet them down on the street so we could just load my bike and go. 4:59:30am I was ready and waiting. The race started at 8am so with such an early start we were guaranteed to make it there on time, right?…
The time came for my friends to come get me and I got a text that said one of the group just now woke up. They were going to be late coming to get me. I wasn’t worried at all. It’s all just a fun adventure anyway. They don’t live that far from me and they were about 15 minutes late coming to get me and another friend had forgotten a piece of his equipment so after I was all loaded in the car, we had to turn around and get it. Finally on our way we went the wrong direction and ended up on the GW bridge going into New Jersey instead of heading up to Connecticut where the race was. We were going to simply take an exit to turn around when there was a ton of traffic that would have kept us at a stand still for hours. I still wasn’t worried. We took a calculated risk and rode the very scenic route to get to Hopkins Vineyard at lake Waramaug.

We made it. I really wasn’t worried…. at all! I knew we would and even if we didn’t I might have been a little disappointed but some things in this world we can’t control. I knew it still would have be a great day. This place is absolutely beautiful!

We weren’t even late. We leisurely set up our bikes at the transition area. This is where we methodically set up our bikes with all the gear we will need as we go from swim to bike and bike to run. I went over in my mind over and over how the transition would go. Instead of just finishing this one, I actually wanted to race it. Even though I wasn’t “racing” the first triathlon at Smith Point, I did have goals. Not only did I want to finish that very first triathlon, I wanted to finish within the top half and finish in under 1 hour 30 minutes. That first triathlon at Smith Point I finished 6th in my age group, 191 overall (which meant the top 43%) and I finished in 1:14. I felt so good because I hit my goals. I got hooked to doing triathlons because it wasn’t necessarily a race against other people, but toward what I can personally accomplish. Other people around are just a bonus. This time for my second triathlon I created goals. I wanted to see if I could get all my times faster but really its not as simple as comparing numbers from race to race, so I let that goal go. My real goal was to get in the top 5 of my age group. That was it! I wanted to see how close I could get to the podium. I knew I couldn’t win (…Yet!), but I thought I had a chance to fight it out awfully close…

I did very well and this was a hard course. The swim was definitely longer than 500 meters. In fact, all my friends were convinced it was closer to a mile. I was rocking on the bike until I hit this huge hill that I wasn’t really ready for (Time for me to work on those hills). The run began by running up a mountain. It was all up hill! It was a very mean start to a run after 10 miles on a bike. But the view from the top was spectacular. I sprinted to the end to try to beat the girl in front of me. By that time my legs were cooked and didn’t want to work anymore. What a great feeling to leave it all on the course.

I finished 4th in my age group, 97th over all!  I’m getting better. Thus the crazy eyed jump. I am very proud of my effort and extremely excited that I did it!

I crossed the finish line to all my friends cheering me on. They are all pretty good so they had been there a while. And this was a vineyard after all and what would a vineyard be without a little wine tasting. It’s typical for a triathlon to have food and beverages for the racers after an event. I’m not quite sure how typical it is for them to have booze after an athletic event. A friend did tell me that in Canada they give you beer during! This one had 4 types of wine to try.Out of my group of friends, 3 of them actually placed in their age group. How inspiring! After trying all the different types of wine we cheered loud and long for our buddies. Or maybe that was just me. After the ceremony we went to one of the guys house on a lake where we actually frolicked in the water. When do adults simply frolic anymore? Especially since we spend so much time doing laps, to jump off a diving board and splash around was a fun change.I got home in the early evening and felt like a week had passed since I had been home. I was feeling so great. I had fun on the journey, I had fun at the event, I had fun at the lake, I had fun coming home… the day was just perfect!

Then I passed out exhausted and smiling.