Monday, August 30, 2010

Maple Grove Dare to Tri Olympic Race Report

What a weekend! Saturday was my first try at the olympic distance ( or as close as we may get to that distance!) and Sunday was my hubby's birthday! What a fun weekend! In usual form i will say i am going to keep the race report short, but that never seems to happen but i keep trying:)
Sometimes all the fun stuff is before and after the race but in this case there were a few "ruh-roh's" thrown in during the race, plus since this was uncharted territory for me / pacing / nutrition I need to talk a tiny bit about that.

Pre-race: The nerves were sorta there but i kept saying This is good BOUS practice. In some ways that doesnt help bc then i just bank those nerves and figure that Rich will never travel with me again when i am a loose cannon in a month in Orange County. So i figure I am like a fault system. Best to let off a few little quakes along the way so that there isnt a big 8.o Richter Scale blast come BOUS in October. And thinking of where that race is ( SoCal) I am not sure i like what i just wrote.

When i found out that CY was racing and a few other women that i have great respect for I knew that i had to stick to my plan of racing my race and not being concerned with what anyone else did out there. I did not read the pre-race predictions and i didnt really think too much about anything than my own plan and what time I had to get up ( 4am) etc..I did have a tiny bit of anxiety about the wind. I knew it was going to be windy but my research showed 8-12mph up until 10 am ( race started at 7:30am) so i thought i was ok. I would ride the 808 front and the rear disc. I just had to not be fearful and I knew i could do it.

Saturday: got up at 4am, we were fed and out the door by 4:45 and on our way. Rich was a saint and got up with me, parked and went to T in the dark ( with mosquitos nipping at our ankles) and waited for me to get all set up. He went back to his car to get his bike ( so he could bike the course and watch on the road) and i knew that i had my wheels and there was no turning back. But before the sun even rose it was windy. Hmm....ok well suck it up lightweight. I got ready to powerdown and to hold on tight.

Swim: We went off at 7:30 am. I have to say that i was quite impressed with the staffing and volunteers on the course. For a first year race they really did a great job. Things were well marked and in the water ( more on this soon) the canoes and kayaks were plenty.
Remember that wind? From the SOUTH. 5-4-3-2-1 we are off in a small elite wave so i didnt get hammered. We headed East for about .25 miles and then turned left in a counter clockwise loop INTO some rough water. Wow. We had a good .4 miles or so ( this could be off) into this face slapping water that I knew may be in my favor. The water temp was 74 so we were all in wetsuits and actually i was happy about that now, since it would have really been a struggle without one. I wont lie, it was hard. But i drew from my race in Galveston Bay in April where we had a 1.2 mile swim with swells worse than this so i just kept battling. I contemplated ducking under the swells/water to see if i could get out of the way but actually it was such a steady wind that there was not really a chance to do this. NOR would that have been smart obviously. I came in around the last turn buoy to SUN MASSIVE SUN in my eyes and thought.
Ok this will be fun. but i found the buoys and otehr than not being able to see the swim exit arches and swimming a bit to the inside i was pretty good. MY time was 24:xx and i was 2nd woman out ( Cy was WAY ahead with some dudes) Kortney came out right behind me and came into T1 right behind me.

Bike: I left my shoes in the bike even tho there was a little climb out of the park, it worked fine.
Other than the liner in my right shoe got bunched up ( wet feet?) and so i was coming up this hill with half a shoe liner sticking out and had to decide..stop or go? Go. pulled that bad boy out shoved it in my race top and off i went. One hard carbon sole with no liner. IT was fine, despite being a bit rough on my toes.

Not 5 minutes in did Kort pass me ...with a good pace and with a smile on her face. We wished each other luck and i tried to keep her in my sights. The first part was headwind city. We both struggled, me a bit more:) The course ran mostly East West but there were some shorter 2-3 miles that went North South so we were guaranteed some more headwind and short spurts of tailwind. At corners you had to use caution with the wind and drinking or Geling had to be calculated pretty precisely and done with speed since you were never quite sure if a gust of wind would come. I was super surprised that nobody had caught me and i started dreaming about coming off the bike 3rd. BAD JULIA. stay here. You are barely 13 miles in and Yup, here comes Jan! She was riding 303's and i was thinking "Hmm. maybe i should have ridden those."
But honestly I made up good time on her on the Cross wind stretches and on the hills ( of which there were few, darn it, I like hills) and lost her on the headwind sections. So i was really happy with the wheels despite some "whoa" moments. I did lose sight of Jan as we merged with the short course athletes about 5 miles from the finish. This is also where i saw Kort, standing by the side of the road looking like she had a mechanical or something. I slowed and asked if she was ok and she waved me on.

Later i learned she had an errant wind gust blow her as she was putting her bottle back into the cage and the bottle got loose and went into her spokes. Ugh. I was sick thinking about it, and had to get my head back in the game since i dont think that anyone wants to gain from someone else's misfortune. I knew I had to get myself back to the bike and keep chasing the gal in front or me and also knew that there were a few SPEEDY runners in hot pursuit.

The cutest thing of all on the bike course was the cheerleaders! Yes. We had cheerleaders from Osseo High! ( real cheers, like when they would see you 100 yards out they would get all set and as you passed they would do a cheer!) How great is that. All dressed in their outfits and pom poms and all. Thanks girls:)

Run: I got into T2 and got my shoes on belt on and gels and off i went. I Was nearly out and realized i had no visor. Dang. My Gear West Visor. I have no tri clothes from GW so i want to wear the visor and i left it. I kept on. I said it was hot but not that hot and i would be ok for 45 minutes! GO julia dont pause, go. I was so nervous i would forget my gel(s) i left the visor.

Lap 1 started up a hill. That is fine, bring me hills, especially late in the game. But i just ran. I was not sure how hard to run and i was not sure how fast i was running. I had nobody to chase other than random people so that is what i did. I also told myself to TAKE IT EASY on the 1st mile, I had worked on running HARD the 1st mile off the bike but in this case i just figured ( maybe i was wrong) that i wanted to build and settle in just in case i was being chased down. I always figure steady and on target and within my means is better than some herculian effort in miles 1-3 and then dying a slow march into the finish. There were water stops and all that but i really was not sure what the mile markers were. So when i did one loop ( we didnt go back into the park, we had to go around the park as the sprint was finishing) i knew i was close to 5k and then decided it was time to pick it up and keep moving forward. I never once looked back ( well until the last 100 yards) and i finally saw the gal in front of me. I have been here before. Where i just cant quite close the gap. The fans and cheering were great, the water stops had Blizzard cups which i found to be amusing ( and annoying, i mean really? will you serve me one at the finish? :) ha.

When i passed one guy heading into the last 1.5 miles he said "3rd to Jan" and that gave me hope that maybe i could catch her. There were some punchy hills ahead and i just got up those as quickly as i could and she was coming back to me. But seriously I just kept it in check and when we had climbed the last of the punchy hills she was there. We turned into the park on this 180- degree turn onto a bike path and we had about 300 yards to go. I got this sinking feeling as "what do I do?" I knew i could pass her but I didnt know if i could sprint that far ( actually I thought i could i think i just didnt want to) and she turned around and saw me and said "Good job" as soon as she saw me I took off like a bat out of you know what. I did not see her in my periphery as i went thru the chute and i didnt see her finish. I guess i felt sorta bad, but then again why? I was pleased with myself, It wasnt like i did anything unsportsmanlike and I had run a solid 10k or 6.6 miles or whatever the distance was. I guess I just think that if that happened to me i would feel sorta bad if i got passed at the end like that.

Here's how it went down: Here we go...

I also felt like i was gonna puke.

For the next 4 hours.

We hung around, my tennis friend Brenda was my private Maple Grove Ambassador, and we talked tennis and life and i gave her her first Gel. Oh what a reward for cheering for me:)
She was on fire, took me back to Transition, helped me with my things, took more pictures, got stung by a bee( she is allergic) and would not go get her EPI pen! I felt like a pro with my own Personal Assistant.

Oh and look how CALM the water is now. Um thanks wind!:)

She took more pics in T, even this one where Kort is about to go nurse ( um she had a baby like 10 weeks ago, WOW!) and i am nearly topless ( and pale) Im not sure what Diane was doing, but it was good to see her again after the Lakefront days race and she will be going to Bous with me in October.

Here are some podium pics, its too bad # 3 wasnt there but oh well. We got neat little dishes that say Maple Grove 2010. CY got $500 and i got a priceless podium pic with a great gal who i have a ton of respect for. Seriously.
But just to be clear I need to post this one:

Hee hee.

And this one was someone asking for my number from the crowd and i had to say " I am married!" Ok that is totally not what happened I have no idea who i was talking to:) But not Rich since he always says i dont look at his camera, but i wasnt sure where he was!

What a great event in its first year. I sure hope to be back again in 2011, sorta depends on that big elephant in the room that goes MOO. Oh that is an IM cow i guess.

That night we went to a neat outdoor fish place. We had to stand in line for an hour STAND. in hindsight it wasnt a good idea. But when we got our meals it was SO Worth the wait. Sunday was Rich's bday but sunday was also my 5yo nephew's bday so we were sharing the party ( and the cupcakes) with him so i wanted some special bday time with Rich saturday night. Plus I was hungry finally and we enjoyed an Ahi tuna burger, mussels and some seafood curry. Oh and a few Surly's. yum!

Ok this is getting too long but heck its all so interesting:)
Sunday we rode and I Was a SLUG. I felt bad for Rich he was so patientbut my legs actually hurt. I felt ok energy wise but my calves and quads ached. So we took it slow, it was still super windy but we had a nice ride anyways. We opened presents, lounged by the pool, got too much sun ( for me, even with sunscreen) and went to Edina for a party at my brother and sister in law's. ( yes the cupcake queen!!) she outdid herself with burgers, salmon, corn, fruit salad and cupcakes. So what to have what to have?

Yup both. Salmon and a burger. I rolled out of there and had to save my cupcake for later on.

Congrats to all that raced this weekend ( KONA BOUND JENL!!!), thanks to all that raced with me for being so fast that you make me go fast, and happy birthday to my honey!!! I love you:)


Melissa said...

Congrats on a great first Olympic.. !!

Beth said...

Awesome race Julia!!! Congrats - you nailed that one good. ;) You'll be ready for BOUS for sure!

cheryl said...

awesome job tall leggy girl!!!! now got eat another cupcake ;-)

Damie said...

I think the real victory is the dude asking for your number. hee hee!!!! nothing like that to make you feel hot! Congrats on a great race:)

Pedergraham said...

Love the last pic with you and CY. You Minnesota girls sure seem to have a lot of Tri fun and camaraderie.

BriGaal said...

I like this line:
I knew i could pass her but I didnt know if i could sprint that far ( actually I thought i could i think i just didnt want to) - I have this thought go through my head in almost every race...'but it's going to huuuuurrt!'

Great job!

Kim said...

That is so fun!! Loved reading it.. also wondered what the post "explanation" was about, but seriously, I know those people all too well too and it is just too bad. I write what I feel and I write with PASSION and sometimes people aren't going to like it, that's fine, then have your own blog where you write what YOU want.. ya know!! I LOVE your blogs and I think they are spot on.. you're a classy lady Juila! Congrats to you!!

Rebecca DeWire said...

Congrats on an awesome race. And I love all the pics. Great race report!

Dr. TriRunner said...

Hahah... this is so funny. I SWORE I saw you at my restaurant last week, and then here I am reading this and you say you were at a seafood place... LONG line, and I thought - I KNEW IT! But then I realized you have to be talking about a different seafood place because tuna is one fish we *don't* have on our menu. You have a twin!! Haha glad I didn't say something to her... she'd have thought I was crazy!

Congratulations on your first olympic, and on such an awesome finish! I heard lots of great things about Maple Grove and DAMNIT why oh why was this the summer for injuries?!?! Ughhh... next year. Again... congrats!!

p.s. you and the hubby SHOULD come to my restaurant before we close for the season!!

Charisa said...

Congrats!! And whoever put a mean comment on your blog, I don't understand this type of thing at all. Love that pic of you and CY on the podium :)