Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Wildflower Long Course-The Race
I got down to transition just after 7am and quickly set up. I figured that there was no need for a run warm up as I just ran up the hill to my campsite and my heart rate was most likely through the roof!!
Once I was set up I checked the time, 7:20am; I had some time to take a few deep breaths and try to relax from the chaotic morning. I took my time putting on my wetsuit and walked to the water to get a nice warm up swim. It was short, but it gives me time to make sure my goggles are set and to get a feel for the water. I lined up on the start mat behind the front row. I really wasn't too concerned about not starting on the front line, I figured this was just a hard training day! The gun went off and we were in the water I quickly found an open space to the left and held my line (to the best of my weaving swimming ability) and noticed that the usual V-formation was forming. I aim for the first buoy all the while making sure I was aligning myself with the women who were now on my right side. We made the first right around the first buoy and I managed to swim around a few girls and make my way to the inside, closest to the buoys. I felt very strong and swimming felt effortless (well, at least to some degree...I guess I was relaxed)! There was a girl just ahead of me and I set my sights on her and passed her. Then I saw another girl and went for her and passed her too! Wow, passing girls on the swim...that's new for me! Once we rounded the two furthest buoy's I set my sights on yet another woman. I eventually got to her feet and let her pull me into the boat ramp finish.
I exited just behind her in a time of 26:54. Running up the boat ramp into T1, my legs and breathing were on fire! Is it just me or did that hurt??? In the past I've left my cycling shoes on the ground and just put them on in transition and then run to the bike out mount line. I do this at this race only because there in a slight incline from the mount line and I've seen girls not able to get going on their bike. This year however, I left my shoes clipped into the pedals. Not to boast or brag, but for me I had a fast T1!! I attribute that to clipping my shoes to my pedal! As I rode through the finish chute and onto the bike course, I heard people cheering and yelling for me which only encouraged me to ride faster. I had the 5th fastest swim time, but was 4th going out onto the bike (I didn't know that until this morning actually)! I felt strong and confident as I continued to ride out of the park and through the rolling hills.
dad, mom & erin post race
Friday's weather kept us cool and wet as it rained most of the day. Luckily it stopped during the night (camping in the rain isn't exactly what I wanted to experience, especially the night before the race). Saturday's weather was beautiful sun and a little cool. There didn't seem to be any wind on the bike; tail or head wind. Only the wind that I created as I rode along the country roads did I feel. It wasn't until around mile 19 or so did a woman pass me. Then somewhere in mile 22-25 did a few other women pass me. I was okay with it as they had probably put in the necessary training to be competing at this race. I kept going steadily along every once and a while glancing at my mph average. To me it looked good, around 20.8 mph or so. For where I was at with my fitness, that was fine with me...as long as it was above 20.0 mph! Ok, so looking at results, my mph says 19.97 mph...ooohhh, slow! At least for me. Ok, note to self, time to implement operation "Speed."
the kids & christina wanted their hair dyed!
I got to Nasty Grade and just kept plugging away; it's not that it's that steep or that hard, but that it comes at around mile 41. There was an age group guy just ahead of me and I keyed off of him to get me over the top. Thank goodness for the long decent as I really had to "go." What a relief it was and just in time for the last couple of miles. Just past B-Rock store on the gradual up hill, who comes flying by me like I'm standing still??? Tyler S. What a phenomenal cyclist she is. As she rides by she yells, "I was wondering when I was going to catch you." My sentiments exactly! She rides and runs herself into 4th place!! Congrats Tyler. I on the other hand can see a women up ahead and so key off of her. Not sure who it is until I catch her going down Lynch and into T2...it's Pip T. My bike time of 2:48:14 is about 6 minutes slower than my best time. But again, that's fine with me. We enter T2 together and she gets out of transition 1 second ahead of me.
It takes me close to 2 miles before I'm able to pass her. I felt pretty comfortable on the run and continued to make strides. However, by mile 4 or 5 the up hills started to get to me and I knew that it would begin to be a struggle. The flats and down hills were okay, but of course there hadn't been any hill training, so this was to be expected. I did, in the back of my mind, think I might be able to pull something out. Needless to say, I was just happy to have run entire 13.1 miles. I caught up to John D. who was nice enough to give me some encouragement to keep going and that I did. Just prior to mile 9 my friend Greg S. caught me...I was trying to hold him off as long as I could. I think this year I was able to make it a bit further before he caught me...good on ya' mate!
mom 2nd place
Ah, running down to the pit at mile 10 and then back up again...can you say ouch! There was really nothing left in the tank as I saw 2 girls running toward the turn around as I began the ascent. I gave it everything I had to keep my pace, but I knew that it would be a struggle when I felt my hands tingling and my vision getting a little blury. Around mile 11 Gina K. ran by me and I was unable to match her turn over. Ok, I've just moved from 7th place to 8th...I'm not going to let another woman pass me...I was only passed by 1 girl and that's it!! I got to the top of Lynch and it was all down hill from there. I ran as fast as my legs could go straight to the finish line! Wheww, that was the longest run I had run all year long!! No kidding.
Overall, I had a pretty good race and am happy with my 8th place result. My next race will be Alcatraz in June!