Monday, October 19, 2009

American Zofingen 2009

Our very own Mimi Boyle returned to the Catskills last week to defend her 2008 American Zofingen Title. Here's how things went in her own words....

Well after all the pain, suffering, twitching muscles, cramps sneaking up at inopportune times, laying in bed and actually reciting “woe is me” a few times each morning, and small, but powerful nightmares of the 4th time around the run course which I experienced after American Zofingen ’08, I found myself online 4 days before the race forking over my hard earned money to give this diabolical race one more try.

Let’s compare last year’s preparation to this year’s:

April – Spent a week in Tucson riding, running, swimming, applying chapstick 24/7 to combat the arid desert conditions,
May – back to back weekends of racing beginning with the Disney Half Ironman rolling into the American Triple T (ouch…that hurt like a banchy!)
June – one month of back to back weekends of racing wasn’t enough, so I jumped into Eagleman, and then 4 days later was on a plane to Durango, Co for a week-long endurance cycling event called Ride The Rockies. Yep…it was every bit as difficult as the name insinuates.
July – Ironman Lake Placid
August – twiddled my thumbs and watched my butt get big from eating ice cream, cheeseburgers and drinking lots-o-wine.
September – knew AmZof was approaching so I managed to cycle 5 times, run about 50 miles that month and cut back on the pigging out.
AmZof 2008 – I was nowhere near prepared for the bike course. My training for LP was intense, and I didn’t have the mind to get on the bike and train for this. My run was ok, but on weak legs from a grueling bike ride, it hurt.

April – Signed up for Disney Half Ironman…tried to train, but kind of failed due to laziness and distractions.
May – Disney Half Ironman…run was a disaster due to stomach issues
June – Rev3 Half Ironman…,bike was great, again, stomach issues on the run so a less than stellar performance
Sprint Tri in New Paltz…had fun and won.
Remainder of June/July – gave up on a the idea of racing IM Canada. Spent many hours at the beach, out to dinner, sleeping. Morphed into a “normal” person…what was I thinking??? Maintained my running and did “some” cycling.
August – woke up and realized Toughman Half IM was on the horizon. Started riding with a purpose and running with a bit more urgency.
September – Toughman Half IM…my running legs were nowhere near ready, but I hung on and finished relatively strong.

Fast Forward to last weekend when I was driving to this year’s installment of terror…the 2009 AmZof – LONG COURSE.
This race is so epic words can’t do it justice. You simply have to live it to realize that this is without question, the most difficult one-day duathlon on earth.

Before long, the gun went off and roughly 70 certifiably insane athletes were off to embark on a very very very very long day.

Temps were holding in the upper 40’s for the first run, but would warm up to about 55 by day’s end. Perfect Amzof weather!

I ran the first 5 mile loop a bit conservatively with my main competition (Tamela – 2nd place finisher 2008) right on my heels. We came into transition neck and neck at about 41 minutes. I thought “hmmm…that was faster than I wanted to go, and my hamstrings were tight. Not a good sign when you know what lies ahead.

Trying to get out of transition was rough. I was out, then had to run back to get my food. Pre-race organization has never been my thing!

Onto the bike course and up the first deadly climb. I figured Tamela had about a minute on me out of transition. Time to catch the carrot!
On the climb up to Minnewaska I had her in my sights and pounced. I remained in the lead for the remainder of the bike, and actually, for the rest of the day.

The wind was fierce on the last lap of the bike…I knew it would forcefully suck a ton of energy out of me, so I had one move…EAT, get tucked, spin. I took in a ton of calories on that last loop and rolled into T2 with a few minutes on Tamela.

I’m not gonna lie…I did NOT train enough for the 15mile run that I faced. BUT…if you’re a competitor and you’re winning the best and most challenging damn duathlon on this planet, you suck it up and start running like you stole something! That’s what I did. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t fast, it wasn’t even running at certain points – it was walking, but I got it done and crossed the finish line 11 minutes faster than last year.

And at the finish line…OH YEAH BABY…a first place finishers Stein which quickly got filled with beer! Add a cup of soup and piece of cornbread to that and you’ve got a real nice time!

As always – I need to thank John McGovern, the race’s director and founder, for enabling me and the other crazies to test their physical, mental, spiritual limits on October 11th. It is hands-down, THE BEST RACE EVER!

Peace out…Mimi