Monday, July 20, 2009

Good, Bad, and the very Ugly

Vineman weekend was a 48 hour whirlwind. Mike and I thought it genius to leave at 7:30 Friday night to avoid LA traffic. Within 20 minutes of our departure, sure enough, we were in stopped LA traffic. 35 miles and 2.5 hours later we knew it was going to be an epic night of driving. At 4:00am, just 40 miles shy of our destination we had to pull the plug and hit up a rather shady motel in the San Fran area. Sketchy as the motel may have been…sleep was a priority. The alarm rang at 10:00am the next morning and I was not a happy camper. Luckily, I brought my bike trainer along and set it up right in our room. Cleaning service knocked on our door telling us we had to leave. Mike kept saying, “10 more minutes, 10 more minutes.” My brick run was wind sprints up and down the parking lot. I actually loved it because I felt like a die hard athlete doing anything to ensure proper race prep.

I was a little nervous that our night time driving adventure may mess with my eating/sleeping patterns. I have my stomach and eating down to a science and I knew it would be hard to replicate a perfect pre-race routine. I had my first bite of food at 1:00pm. Not Good! I managed the best I could and thankfully got myself to sleep at a decent 8:30pm bedtime. The good thing about me is that no matter the race I love sleep so much that I taught myself to forget the nerves and sleep like a baby.

Race Day

SWIM

It was chilly in the morning but I made a promise to myself to actually do a proper swim warm-up. I reluctantly walked down to the swim start and dove in. It was cold. I don’t care what anyone says, the water temp wasn’t warm enough for this girl. Before the start, all the pros had to make their way out of the water and stand for about 2 minutes shivering until we were allowed back in. This whole process made me freezing. Even through the whole swim, I was a goose bumped girl. The good thing about the swim was I, for the 1st time as a pro, swam with a pack. I thought I had an amazing swim because I was breathing well, arms weren’t tired and sighting was left to those leading the group. Bad news was the swim was, as usual, slow and my transition was a complete train wreck. The faster I try to go in my transitions the worse they get. I am the example of what exactly not to do in T1. ugh!

Time - 34:13 (including T1)

BIKE

I was freezing. I mean I was actually shivering with teeth chattering praying for sunlight (we were riding through shaded areas) and hoping that with a little effort I could warm up. I was really struggling to get warm. I attempted to grab a bar and realized my hands were so cold they couldn’t open and close properly so ended up losing ½ of bar #1. When you are cold, the muscles just don’t go. I made an honest attempt. It wasn’t until about 2 hours into the race I actually warmed up a bit and the legs started to feel a little life in them. I rode with a few girls throughout the whole bike. I was upset I couldn’t shake them. At about 40 miles, I was able to create a slight separation and the legs started feeling great just a little too late. The good news is the numbness I was feeling before the race wasn’t there. Ian Murray, Triathletix coach and certified bike mechanic/fitter, worked with me before the race and made a few minor changes with cleat and seat height position. I was positioned better on the bike which definitely helped with the leg issues I was having. I have to say that I am quite bummed I am not biking to my capability. Every race seems that I’m either feeling flat or cold or praying for the bike to be done. I need to figure things out ASAP before Louisville!

Time – 2:32:52

T2 – You guessed it. Another train wreck. Took a 1-minute bathroom break. Stomach wasn’t upset just had to go. Probably from the driving and yesterdays late start. Frustrating. Slowest transitions. I can only get better, right? Practice makes perfect. I’m a transition nightmare.

RUN

Finally, onto the good stuff. I came out of transition in 15th and worked my magic up to 8th place. The first 2 miles are always tough but decided to hold a hard pace even though I was breathing like a 50-year smoker. At mile 3, I fell into my rhythm. I was at home out there. Beautiful run course. Hills, nothing crazy but definitely not flat. I had girls to chase after which always helps for a fast time. I was focused and energized. I love the little climbs because I work on hills hard so it helps in making time on girls. I feel better going up than coming down. Mile 11 was when I started feeling the fatigue and I missed mile 11’s aid station. I wanted water but only heard Gatorade and coke but wasn’t going to slow. That was a tough miss…I had to dry mouth it for another mile. At mile 12, I realized there was 1 more girl to catch. I dug deep and went for it. I knew that when I passed I had to pass hard and hold to the finish. I passed and never looked back though the last 200 meters were painful! I PRed on the run. Mike planted the seed the night before because he told me there was absolutely no way I was going to run sub-1:26. I hate when people say I can’t do something.

Time – 1:23:32 (so happy!)

OVERALL - 8th place Pro woman. TIME - 4:33:39

Awesome race. Always am learning out there. I am thrilled with my running and just super excited that my hard work is paying off in at least one area. All in all, good day and I am eager to throw down 4 solid weeks of training before Ironman Louisville.

Big thanks to Ceepo Bikes, Vega, and Ian Murray!

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