Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Wildflower Olympic Distance

Lake San Antonio, CA

May 4-6, 2007

I had a great day on sunday watching our team members from Monterey Bay Multisport have a great showing. My younger sister, Erin completed the course in 3:36 and that is with having a flat on the bike and riding it in with three miles to go!

We had many other team members who had great races and congrats to all of them!

Wildflower Triathlon

25th Anniversary of Wildflower Triathlon Festival
May 4-6, 2007
Lake San Antonio, CA

The 25th Anniversary of Wildflower Triathlon festivals brought a lofty goal to mind; to win the long course race. I had won overall female as an amatuer back in 2000 but since turning pro in 2001 I had yet to win this coveted race.

Our race started at 8:05am only 5 minutes after the pro men. I started to the outside left just behind Linda and Becky. The gun went off and I think I stayed with them for maybe 25 meters but that was okay as there was clear water in front of me and no one to get tangled up with. I made it to the first buoy and shortly after found myself leading the second pack. I felt strong and actually swam in a straight line! Once we made the turn around I think it was Miranda who passed me and took the lead for a while. I tucked in behind her and let her do some of the work while I settled in. I was vigilant in making sure that I did my own sighting as it was a good idea because she ended up vering to the right towards the start banner while I kept to the left and made it a straight shot directly to the finish ramp. We exited about the same time (in 4th place) though and as I struggled just a bit to get my wetsuit off, I was able to run though T1 and mount my bike and head out onto the 56 mile hilly bike course. It was too terribly hot, probably mid 70's throughout the day but the wind on the other hand was hellacious!! A nasty head wind all the way out on Interlake Road. I stayed in my aerobars for much of the race as it was so comfortable! I passed Linda at about mile 6 and then another few miles I was able to catch and pass Mirinda. I felt extrememly strong and even though the wind was crazy I was relaxed and able to push a big gear comfortably. I must attribute my bike to Jim Felt and Felt Racing (www.feltracing.com). If it hadn't been for him and the bike I wouldn't have finished the bike course in second, just 6:30 down from Becky!

My T2 was a bit slower than I would have liked, but I did take some extra time to put on socks and make sure there were on straight and not crinkled. I felt good heading out onto the run with everyone cheering for me. I had a decent pace for the first few miles. Mirinda quickly passed me though within the first mile which now placed me in third. I didn't know where anyone else was on the bike or in relation to where I was. I just kept running. I saw one of the male pros in front of me and keyed off him. I tried to stay with him but on one of the hills at mile 4 he slowly pulled away and I couldn't keep up. The wind on the run was also strong and in some spots almost felt like it was pushing you backwards. Just prior to reaching mile 9 I heard someone behind me...Kate Major. She passed me and kept on going. I tried to stay with her, but there was nothing in my legs to propel me up the hills. I stayed as strong as I could rounding the turn around just before mile 10. I think it was then that I tried to really push the last up hill in hopes of trying to catch Kate and to also hold off Erin Ford who was behind me. In the end I was unable to reach Kate who placed third only 26 seconds ahead of me. AAAHHHHHAH. It was a great race!

My overall time of 4:43 was a 12 minute PR for me. I must say that I was extremely happy and couldn't contain my emotions as I cried when I saw Jay, Sharon and my family and friends waiting for me at the finish line.

I had the second fastest bike split and I can attribute that to my new Felt DA TT bike! It made the cycling almost effortless...I said "almost!"

In addition, Wildflower also served as the USAT Long Course National Championships and I was the runner up!

Sea Otter Classic

April 12-15, 2007

Once again the Sea Otter Classic returned to Laguna Seca. Not only do I volunteer every year at the VIP tent I also race the Road Race and Circuit Race (which is the only time a cyclist has the opportunity to ride on the race track!).

I finally was achieved my cat. 3 upgrade, so these two races would be my first in this new category. I was a bit nervous, but knew that riding with this new group would be beneficial to my overall training.

The circuit race was held on friday in the afternoon. It was too windy and there seemed to be a large group of women with whom to ride. The race is 50 minutes long and I think we were able to get in about 7 loops. The pack mostly stayed together for the entire race. I made a few small attacks to see what would happen but otherwise stayed as close to the front as possible. On our final lap one girl broke away on the first gradual climb. I tried to go with her, but didn't quite have it. A small group of us however got together and managed to work together down the cork screw and up and around the final climb. I saw the girl in front on the flat section just before making the final right right hand turn; I decided to go for her as she seemed to be slowing just a bit. I rode up on her right and kept hammering for a sprint finish with my taking my first cat. 3 win! It was a difficult race but worth it!

Saturday saw dark clouds, heavy rain and gusty winds. Lauren, Erin and I wondered if we would even race. We went to the officials who were hiding under the bridge to keep from getting soaked. They said they weren't sure but to suit up just in case!

I was surprised when I got down to the start and we actually had quite a large field. The road race was 5 loops in the former Ft. Ord with an up hill finish. The weather conditions make it extremely hard to see especially when descending. The rain would pelt you so hard that it actually hurt your eyes and face. By the second loop or so there was a small break away of about 9 women, myself included. It was hard to work together because of the conditions but we did try our best despite one women yelling at us to get organized and work together. Eventually Patty yelled at her and that was the end of everyone yelling! The course was quite difficult and I think it wore people down.

After the 5th loop we made our way back down a nice long descent to a sharp right hand turn and the final climb of the race. With just about 200m to go, one of the girls jumps. I go right after her and kept pushing until she cracked and I got to the line about a wheel in front of her! It was definitely close and very hard.

I was glad to win both races and I look forward to more bike racing in the future.