Saturday, September 19, 2009


Preparations for SavageMan are rolling here at Deep Creek Lake State Park -- the inflatable buoys are in place in the lake, there are signs directing and encouraging athletes (a sign on the first stiff hill, just half a mile into the course, says "Let's Get This Party Started!!") All through the campground here, where we've lived since I left the Appalachian Trail, there are campers with cool road and tri bikes on their cars or locked to their picnic tables. I just met Julie, first real-life meeting with this email friend who put the SavageMan bug into my ear 4 years ago.

Four years! The first year, which was an unsupported "trial run" (the "0th Annual SavageMan Triathlon"), I didn't participate because it was too close to IronMan Florida for me to recover fully and continue to train. The next year, the inaugural running, we either left too early or got back too late with whatever work-camping commitment we had; I forget. Last year, the second year, I was registered but then tore my Achilles tendon and was out, although I did do the swim. It was my first-ever DNF in 20+ years of races. (I guess I just had my second DNF in June, by not continuing the Appalachian Trail.)

This year, I'm IN!!! I've stayed uninjured, I've fought off the inevitable taper-week cold with tons of vitamin C, I've stayed calm and collected this last week, and I'm IN!!!

The weather is going to be perfect. Low 54*F (about 57* by the time I get out of the water and onto the bike), high 68*, partly sunny/cloudy, only 10% chance of rain (that's as good as zero.) Not too cold, not too hot, wind from SE at 7mph..... couldn't ASK for better.

I am breaking my "no training the last week" rule and going for a short brick: Bike ride up the first hilly road, where that cute sign is, (Toothpick Road, Garrett County is notorious for its weird road names), do a loop for another short steep hill, then come back and run one loop around the campground. They say don't do anything new the day before a race but I always break the rules. I've never done this before but I need to loosen up.

Then it's on to packet pickup and bike check-in, mandatory athlete safety meeting ("This is a highly technical and dangerous course....") and then relax for the rest of the day.

I don't even have my transition bags packed and you know what, I'm not spazzing. I'll just throw some stuff in some bags and be ready. No obsessive sorting and resorting. I've done enough half and full Ironman races that I know the drill and have a list here.

This was going to be a short post. I guess I'm more excited than I thought!

Pray for me, if you're a praying person. And if you're not, then send good vibes. I want one of those bricks :-)


TxTriSkatemom said...

yay, Ellie! you'll do great! you know the course, it's in your backyard, and you've done all the training you need to. Can't wait to hear how it works out, and yes, I'll be praying for you and pulling for you!

Anonymous said...

My heart's pounding just reading this post - from my comfy chair three thousand miles away.

You know your body, you know its needs. Most of those rules are set for the young athlete whose bodies have different requirements. A short breeze the day before to keep the muscles fed and joints loose seems wise.

bunnygirl said...

You'll do great. Good luck tomorrow!

Evelyn said...

Praying for you, Ellie. Give it your best. That's all you can ask of yourself.

ShirleyPerly said...

Hope your race went well. Look forward to hearing the deets!