I was so excited to race! (nothing new there). The Galena Triathlon officially kicks off the Triathlon season for us in this area. Nevermind it is still super cold out – I love this race! It is super hilly – OK hilly for us living in the Chicagoland area….It is so challenging in May and one of the reasons I have it on my “to do” list every spring.

I think I have done this race 7-8x and every year I say “that is a pain in the ass” but I always come back. Back in the day I used to race Memphis in May – which is a super race, but it is SO far now, so it is just easier to go 2 hours away instead. And, one of my sorority sisters from college has a 2nd home out in Galena, and she so kindly lets me use it every year – so it works out beautifully.

The only catch this year was that I got sick. Oops. Gosh, I don’t get sick as much anymore now that my kids are little bit older – but NOW the issue is that I have been training in rain, sleet and 40s and then last weekend I was up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday (5am) and out running in that and then took the kids to soccer games far away and sat in the winds, sleet, rain for hours – and even in my down jacket and hats and gloves…I knew it was trouble. So a combination of hard training and sitting in the rain and cold for hours drug me too down and I could not recover…so what I thought was allergies on Tuesday AM was instead a cold. BOO! We had too many commitments last weekend.

Not much I could do – so I just rested – took care of myself and didn’t say a word. If you don’t talk about it – it isn’t real, right? AND besides one other race which will remain nameless (KONA) I have never been sick for a race. Anyway, I emailed Karen, Stacie and Emily (my traveling partners) and told them it was best I drove solo b/c my headache and overall crabbiness and sore throat was too much to try to talk with. So, on Friday afternoon, we all caravanned out to the farthest part of northwestern IL.

We had a great dinner with 10 of us – friends and athletes excited to race and I was so miserable….just one of those colds I had to close my eyes all the time, ya know? I did NOT have a fever though – (or else I could/would not race with a fever). I was not the best of company (sorry!).

After we checked in, ate dinner and got back to the house – it was 8:30pm and I went to bed. Hoping I would wake up feeling better. As I laid there at night I had to get myself ready to race knowing it would be a feat.

Ok, so here is the deal with Galena. It is a late start due to always cold temps…and 2 transition areas that are nearly 18 miles apart. Yep. I don’t mind that, I am used to it – but what I FORGOT is that the RD puts all the men first (for the most part) and she has 24 waves that start at 9am. Now that I am 40, my wave was broken up into 2 waves and we were last. I know this may come across as rude – so excuse me – BUT that is not safe. I have never started a race in the last wave. There is no Elite wave at Galena (another issue) but there should be. And, with all the hills and double yellow lines, I am scared shitless out there – and another issue this year? POURING rain for the last 5-6 waves.

I started the swim and swam well – but could tell I was off a little – I felt good – body felt good, I was just that cold –type tired is all. I swam alone – got out 1st and got onto my bike and off I went. Not sure how many people I passed, but it was kinda fun, I had something to focus on. The ironic part is that I had barely any voice and I could not scream, “on your left!” so that was a bit challenging. Eeks!

I biked as hard as I could and biked faster than last year, which is nice considering. Loved my new GRAMMO ride! And, then I had a great T2 and was off on the run. I actually like this run. It is VERY HILLY – like oh my gosh hilly – and it is not really my thing, but it was raining and cooler out – so I was all over that now that I was on the run! I felt good and was passing people the entire run…it was 4.3 miles of ups and downs and I felt great, legs felt great, I had some coughing blah issues, but I was plugged in – focused and was LIGHT…I felt much better than last year ( it was hotter last year though). I was just saying to myself, “you feel awesome Jenny, you feel great..” All that mind over matter stuff to finish strong!

It’s HOT PINK!

Finished and had to get warm and some dry clothes on stat! After that, we waited for the others to come in and then waited for awards while chatting with everyone and catching up (best part!). I ended up 1st AG (which I knew before I finished), 1st Master (giggle) and 4th OA. I was a little disappointed in that but not feeling 100% and not racing anyone in my wave, it was fine! The good news to remember is how well I did not feeling the best – that is encouraging.

And, as I drove home and got home on Saturday night – I was smacked in the face with super worse symptoms! I lost my voice – yep – damn pity….and I am coughing all day today and feel worse! So, I am resting of course. But, sure does show you HOW much the mind is in charge on race day. If I was not mentally prepared for that race, I would have let my cold get the better of me – instead, I turned the body off and let the mind do the work and while it was not easy, it did the job! And, that is my win for the day.

Congrats to everyone who raced! Really…a great group we had out there: Karen, Emily, Paul, Cheryl, Katie, Mike, Cheryl, Stacie, Tammi, Mandi…..and that is just the group I went down with – great chatting and catching up with everyone! Time to get this party started for 2011! I have a run race up next – as long as I get better of course and then BRING ON EAGLEMAN.

I sometimes forget to say thanks to some …first of all thanks to JEROME and my neighbors who helped me with the twins when I was gone. Priceless. And, to Dave (my forever mentor) and Siri for their great support! And Andre at Kiwami for the awesome pink new Kiwami suit and Mark at Runner’s High N Tri for all he has given me and Peter/Lewis for their awesome support and HOT PINK BIKE painted for me!!!!!

Pics to follow when they are up!

Galena Triathlon Race Report !! 1st AG, 1st Master

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