Birthday and Chain of Lakes Triathlon!
Lots to blog about so i will try to be concise. Ha. Not likely.
My birthday was great, despite a bit of rain that day I had a nice swim workout in the morning, went to work and then was lucky enough that my mom gave me her massage time with our super duper massage therapist. Our family all goes to see the same person and since she is so good and so hard to get into we often just book any massage we can get! I had tried to get one on April 30th but she was booked. Then early last week my mom said "do you want my Christine at 2pm on Thursday?" YOU BETCHA! Who can say no to a CHRISTINE? ( Her name obviously is Christine!) It was a great respite in a long week and i was ready for dinner out with the family. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful family that really truly LOVES to get together. Yes we have our own dysfunction I know, but all in all we really really love each other and like to laugh at each other and ourselves. Rich knows this and has had great bonding with my sister in law ( cupcake maker) Aimee, bc she knows how unique...um...weird..um...crazy...the Mairs Clan can be. My dad has 5 brothers and sisters and you get all of my aunts and uncles together, plus the cousins...and you have a huge party. Our wedding is going to be quite a fun time. I think i may need to rest for a week before and after to keep up with my east coast cousins that plan to descend on st paul this fall. Ok off on a tangent, sorry.
Here are some fun pics from my Bday dinner:
Aimee, Me, my sister Elizabeth
Rosemary ( Rich's mom), Mom, Rich, Me, Lee, Dad, Aimee, Brian Williams..Oh i mean Rob.
Best salad! HUGE Fire Roasted Shrimp, Mango, Goat cheese, strawberries, Sun dried tomato...almonds...Yum!
And next week Rich is taking me to sushi ( yea! ) and Billy Joel/Elton John in concert. Rich is learning.
I am a pro at getting him presents that can be shared. Who do you think uses the bike box i got him for HIS birthday? hee hee. So this time he got something we both could use! a fun night out. I love Billy Joel. Elton John, well I am not convinced. Sorry If I offended anyone. And I am so excited bc my brother and sister in law and my nephews got me a ROGER FEDERER beanie baby. I mean that MAY have to be the best present EVER!
Oh and I did my first Tri of the season saturday in Alexandria, MN about 140 miles NorthWest of the cities.
Now when i signed up it seemed like a good idea. I wanted to do a tri, not just a du, before my first ever half IM in june. With timing and Jen's silly advice that i cant race every weekend like i used to when bike racing I didnt have much choice since i really wanted to do the Gear West Du in a few weeks. This left no options for races before Lliberty in june unless I raced the weekend beforehand. And that was a no. I know it isnt silly advice, but try telling a winter bound athlete that is excited to not sign up for every race she can possibly dream of when she is snowbound and it is 20 below. Dreams. Alas this race "appeared to be nearby" and was short and would allow me to practice at least some transistions, even if it was a pool swim. And then about 2 weeks ago I realized that registration opened at 7am and It was a good 2 1/2 hour drive up there. Crap.
Now most of you know me as a morning person. I like mornings. I am most productive in the am. But when your alarm is set for 4am and you roll over mid hibernation at 3:55AM the only thing to say is "NOOOOO."
Rich once again gets the gold star Sherpa style for coming along and allowing me to pretend to sleep more in the car at least until the lights came on. ( sun came up) He got a good 70 mile ride in while i was playing around so I think he was just happy to hit the trails and not ride in the cities. I also got him a pulled pork sandwich from the nice youth Alexandria swim team that was selling lunch and of course the caribou cooler on the way out of town. And I drove home. So we are all even now!
Race report : ok finally.
Swim: 600 yard pool swim. Interesting thing about this is that it is self seeded and they assign you a lane. We had no warmup so...the first 100 was great, then I kinda lost wind for about 200 yards and then settled into a good pace. I led the lane, 2 people drafted off me the entire way and at one point the gal kinda tapped me at 500 yards. I was like "huh," should i let her go? I just sped up. After that i felt kinda bad. I asked her and she said she was not trying to pass me. She was over 6 feet and was swimming in my draft so at times when i pushed off the wall after a flip she was so close that she would touch me. Whatever. not gonna worry bout it. Ran out of the pool and out the gym doors across the mat to the bike area. ( note, it was kinda cool bc there were so many waves that the wave after yours would be sitting right in the bleechers near the lane and as each person finished their 600 everyone would CHEER! when you got out. pretty neat. thanks!)
T1: Ok so, I have never really practiced T's. So this year one big thing i want to learn to do is not take 2+ minutes in the T zones. But when you exit the pool ( that was 82 degrees, but felt really nice!) to this outside temp of 36..
How can you not be a bit ??? about hopping on your bike to ride your butt off for 13 mi. I mean i had my fast bike, my fast wheel and i didnt intend to coast. Brr. Granted this temp was closer to 7am, but by 9am it hadnt all the sudden become 70 degrees.
I ran out to the bikes and threw on a top and ..yes knee warmers. I know i know. Time. But the thing that held me up the most was i couldnt get my aero helmet buckled. Gotta work on that. I was out of there and didnt get a chance to practice with my shoes in the clips bc literally the in and out space was about 10 feet. My rack position was right near the in and out so i was good. No issues other than getting gloves on my hands and i was off. 2.02. ugh.
Bike: My temp was fine. I was happy to have the knee warmers on my legs, and for those of you who know me, the chicken legs were happy bc they were cold and wet in my unitard suit. Bike was good. Kinda hilly kinda windy on the back stretch but 13miles. I wanted to keep it above 20 mph and I think i did a good job of that other than into a bit of a headwind and uphill at about mile 8-12. Passed all the women from the 1st swim wave and had to do a fair amount of ON YOUR LEFT's. I tried to say good job to them as i passed bc I feel kinda dorky flying by them with a disk wheel when some are riding upright MTB's. I felt good spinning in and actually DID get the feet out of the shoes and was ready to do the back leg over the seat cross dismount and then all the sudden i was in the 2 foot mount/dismount area and so i didnt have time and just hopped off. Progress though!
T2: bike racked. run shoes on. Oh yes threw off my shirt. time time time I know. Grabbed my race belt and off i went. Better. 42 seconds. Still too long.
Run: OMG my first thought was "my quads feel like ice picks." shuffle shuffle shuffle. My race unitard dealie was still wet and my quads were obviously still riding the first 1/2 mile. I kept shuffling along and finally around 3/4mile i felt like i could finally stride a bit, got my breath and got my mojo going. I got into a pace that seemed to be just fine. I think i could have maybe gone a bit faster the last 2 miles but I just kept passing people and then all the sudden it was the flags to run to the finish. The ladies I passed had some really good enouragement for me and i tried to reply with a smile and a "you too!" I mean there was some serious Girl Power going on out there and it was so neat!
I made sure to talk to some of them after they finished and congratulate them as well.
Finish: since we were in waves I came in alone and knew that I did the best I could! I have a tendancy to feel that way, then get my print out of times or see that I missed a place by 10 seconds ( the time i had that extra cup of tea in the Transition area) and so this time I promised myself I would NOT do that. I promised Rich i would not spend the car ride home saying "IF IF IF." Yes I think i could have swum a bit faster and yes I think i could have run a bit faster...but I didnt. And I had fun. I was glad i got up at 3:fricking 55am and I was glad I got out and raced.
Rich arrived back from his ride and despite missing his "go JULIA!" cheers and the photo ops it was nice that he got in a great ride himself. At that point my quads were starting to get tight so I quickly went to the bathroom and we went to cool down on the trails for another 10 miles or so.
Here are some random pics from the day:
yes Marco, this is why I need LIME GREEN Recovery Sox!
Me accepting my 40-49 yo 1st place award. I was 2nd OA female to Jen L, who is from Alexandria! How cool is that? She had her high school coaches there cheering for her:)
Me and my Sherpa, who ended up riding 70 miles instead of sherpa-ing but that was fine with me:) who needs a sherpa for a sprint tri? not me. Ride at 4am, yes. Cowbell for a 600/13/3, no that is ok. really.
I realized I didnt get a race pic yesterday so this is staged today after our 70 mile ride. Road bikes. Weird. I almost went into the aero bars and realized i didnt have any on my Bianchi. good call. Thanks to coach Jen and all the Verve Racing sponsors, June who keeps me caffeinated on a controlled basis. Wade who with ART keeps me healthy, and Excel cycle thru your generosity keeps my bike healthy and my nutrition ( other than Infinit) costs down.