Monday, June 28, 2010

Waconia Race Report

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Sunday was the Waconia Triathlon. I have a history with Waconia in that when i was playing alot of tennis, this race was the ONE race i did every summer. It was a good distance, not an all out sprint but not a full Oly distance.

1/2 mile swim, 20 mile bike, 4 mile run. Doable on minimal training. Even tho it is far from flat and the water is usually choppy.

I didnt have any expectations for this race, it was close to home, it was short by the HIM standard and since i had had unremarkable runs since Kansas i was in limbo about how i felt this would go. I did do a TT mid week that felt good so i hoped that IF my legs were good and strong for a ride that would carry me up and over cemetary hill and the rollers of this short but challenging 4 miler.

We had really bad storms saturday night, enough that Rich came up to get me to say we had to go to the basement since the sirens were going off. I wandered down and was then wide awake at 11:30 pm. There was so much flooding in our area that at one point i said to Rich, "Maybe it will be a swim-run! no bike, if the roads are closed!" And funny thing was i was all over that idea:) Oh well, I did fall back asleep and woke up pretty well rested at about 4:45.
Made my way to the race site ( about 30-40 min drive) and parked and racked and did all that stuff. It seemed so small compared to the M dot races. I liked it:)

Warming up I also thought how short the swim seemed. Really ? We only have to go to that buoy, the one that looks about 100 yards away? It was my first Elite wave swim so i was nervous about guys swimming over me. I can handle the knuckle fest with women but guys slugging me is another story. I laughed at that thought tho and recalled swimming thru the 55+ guys at Kansas and getting nailed by them so i figured I hopefully would be ok.

Warmup came and went and I even got into the 70 degree water to warmup. A first. 70 felt AWESOME compared to the 77.999999 ( ha, joke 81?) water we had at Kansas. I was ready to rock and roll, but my plan to line up 2-3 row was a bit screwed since we had a beach start and all the Elites were lined up on the beach in a horizontal line that must have stretched 50 long. Ok so not much place to go other than back a bit and find some water. I wished Suzie good luck, we both were in our goofy goggles so it was hard to tell it was her, but we we both had lumps in our throats before the start..and off we went.
I got knocked a few times but it actually spread out pretty well and i think i had a pretty clean swim. A bit of drafting, and since there was cloud cover it was ok to see and i think i made it in as 5th women ( someone yelled that) and into T 1.
I was racked near Brooke, who won this race last year, so when she came in right behind me I knew i had a good start to my race. Jan also came in RIGHT behind me. Getting the wetsuit off was fine, I was a bit dizzy when i was rummaging around so i had this weird fear i had left my helmet in T1, so funny i made sure to pat my head before i got out of T1 to be sure i had it on.

You go up Cemetary hill to get out on the bike. I knew i was 4-5 back from the leader and as soon as i got up the hill Brooke passed me. Then Jan passed me. And I had this "Ahhh so here we go again..." At that point i said to myself "Get top 10 elite Julia, its your first elite race, dont freak out." But as we rode ( and granted I think we had the best day EVER on this course wind-wise, I mean it is not an easy course, rollers and alot of open farm land) Brooke and Jan were coming back to me. And all the sudden i felt like i was riding their race....And since it was a shorter ride I "sat in" legally for a few then thought by mile 10 I was going for it. For about a mile I hung out at a legal and controlled distance from Brooke, who was ahead of Jan. Jan passed Brooke. Then about a mile later up a hill, I passed Broroke too. And from there on out I had Jan in my sights, often close enough that i thought i could pass her, but also controlled enough knowing it was 7-8 miles in that i wanted to be able to put the gas on at mile 12-15 to finish strong. I was pretty sure there were some "get out of the saddle" hills towards mile 18 as well.

And so I rode...Rich rode out from home ( got in a hundo!!) and took these videos...

I came into T2 in 3rd and left in 4th. oops. I had a few wardrobe malfunctions, and Brooke came in right after me and left before me. Oops. again. I could NOT get my shoe liner to stay put and i nearly fell over trying to get the shoe on. Finally after what felt like too long i said "to heck with it," go. And it sorta worked itself out ( both shoes actually) but miles 1-2 I had my liner at my midsole and I just decided to ignore it. It was rubbing but whatever. Then I realized the right one was bunched up too. Guess that is what i get for wearing these trainers ( sockless) when i go to the track ( um, 1x) and for sprint races. ( lets see, last sprint was a year ago.)

The run was hard as i expected. Mile 1 is slow you go up up up up turn right and keep going up. They call it Cemetary Hill, bc there is actually a cemetary at the top. I was close to Brooke and we ran close with her taking a good 20 foot lead on one of the downhill straight aways after mile1. I just sat there, getting my pace going and figured that if she was going to run away from me that was going to be a dang good run on her part. Go girl! At the turn around point we were together, she was a bit ahead of me, and on one of the uphills i passed her. And I never looked back. The crowd was really nice cheering thru downtown Waconia and i tried to gage where she was by the cheering. So when i went by people and they cheered I prayed and prayed that there wouldnt be a 5 second delay but more like a 30 second delay before they cheered again. I did NOT look back bc i knew that i just needed to run my run. And after i passed her i just gave it all i had. Even tho the last 3/4 mile is down hill there are some sneaky little rollers in there, even in the last 1/4 mile and i just again did NOT look back. I remembered how sick i felt at Kansas and knew this was a gimme if i didnt slow down.

Jerry McNeil had some really nice things to say, and that was pretty nice to hear. Thanks Jerry!
I do know that when i started the run he commented on the efficiency of my stride, and said " SHE WILL NOT SLOW DOWN." gulp. Ok, got to live up to that one:)!

I was really really proud of all the athletes that raced today. Suzie who is an up and coming start was hot on my heels as was Brooke obviously. But in an out and back race I just have to LOOK the OTHER WAY when you see people closing in, its just too much of a gut wrencher to try to worry about who may catch you! It was a hot day, with about 90% humidity from all the rain we have had and everyone that crossed that line did a phenomenal job.

Ok I would be lying if I didnt tell Rich that when i picked up my race number friday that I was a bit "FREAKED" at getting #3. But I also thought, a flighting thought that left me soon after, "What if I could get 3rd?" And ya know, I did! Jerry also told me that I got to go to the BOUS in Mission Viejo, Ca in October. When he said " ARe you going to Hawaii?" I laughed out loud, and then thought, wow he thinks maybe i could go to Hawaii? I just know that I have read on Beth's blog about the BOUS and I am honored that I can go. I dont know alot about it, but I guess this year they are doing a team format, so that 3 people from a state can go and represent themselves and their state as a team. What a team we would have:
1st place: A gal that just graduated from the U of MN and was a swimmer ( no joke, and a runner and a biker! her 2nd Tri EVER!)
2nd place: THE Jan Gunther. If you arent from around here you may not know Jan, but heck if she is even in my zip code i am proud. Founder of Gear West ( now she owns the ski side) multiple time finisher and winner of the Birkie ( Xc ski, like a gazillion miles in cold and wind and all that while i am sweating on my trainer, Ahh. I need to move...tangent) and winner of the 2009 IM MOO 50-54AG. I could go on and on. She is a total stud. Oh and she is 51 years young.
3rdplace: ME:) hee hee. Highly decorated tennis player who loves to work hard, tries to stay out of trouble, has a coach that makes dreams come true, or as i told JH last night "make dreams come true that i never even knew I had,"...

I am not sure how the Tri season will play out, that is a blog in and of itself. But I think i have to go to this BOUS? Anyone? Thoughts? My goal would be to have a fun time with the ladies and gents from MN, to meet some people, to see Marit, maybe go see my friends in La Jolla, and oh, NOT finish dead last:) That is sad to say, but that was my thought when Jerry told me I could go, since its not AG it's ANYONE!!! OMG, wow!!!

Thanks Gear West, as always for being so generous with your sponsorship of the races. And to the city of Waconia, Mayer ( Mayer Lutheran, they used to beat up on us in Basketball!! LOL), and all the volunteers!!!! and to my supporters, Rich, family and friends.

PS I took a 2x caffeinated Powergel on the bike. Vroom vrrom. training secret 101.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Gretta's First Time Trial

Last night Rich, Gretta and I went to our first TT of the summer. Weird.
Weird bc that used to be my total MO. I went to ALL The TT's, all the time. I loved them and they were all pretty much my A races. Enter in coach, and non stop TT's did not work into a schedule where i had to be running and swimming as well.
Plus the fact that MN had some really bad floading this spring so one of the TT's, the short flat fast one ( well fast if you can hammer on a flat windy road, um...well...not my strength!) was cancelled bc the road was in such disrepair. But...Tuesday Night TT, or TNTT, was going strong!

Below is the course: Which is cut off but its about 11++ miles of rollers in Horse country.

So we got there earlyish to warm up and to just beat traffic. The drive itself is a bugger at rush hour so after sitting in the car that long you kinda want a nap or you need to move. Normally I warmup ( as all serious bikers do) on my trainer. I emailed Jen earlier in the day..." JEN. I am a spazz. What should i do for a warm up?" and preceeded to write out an intricate warm up with attn to pedal stroke, cadence, HR, etc..all stuff i used to do. Her reply And if i had the sound effects it would be better:

"GEESH! Julia! ( Ha, I can see her rolling her eyes) 20-25 minutes on the course on your disc with 4 x 1 min TT efforts, 1 min off."

Ya know what? I was so much better warmed up this way bc i got to ride the rollers and it was so hot that the breeze helped cool me off. On the trainer you sweat like a pig. So Yeah I conquered a fear. Funny that my fear was not warming up on the trainer. Yup. I am becoming a less obsessed athlete. Good for me.

But seriously I used to get my undies in a bundle about these races! Tonight I was just going to do what i could, it was 90 out and humid, And i was in the mood to BRING IT ON, LOVE THE HEAT!!! So after we lined up, I was 8th in line and Rich was 7th, starting at 30 sec intervals I was sweating like you would not believe. Just stopped in the sun at 7:00pm it was so hot. I was going to do my best to chase down my honey and not lose him in my sights. ( How shallow am i that i want to beat my cancer survivor husband in his first race back??!!)

Rich took off and i started my watch ( Usually start it 3o sec out since in the standing /fixed start my hands are holding the bars..and i rolled up to the start hoping that i could clip in easily and the dude holding my bike would not drop me:) And 5-4-3-2-1 "you are off." As I always have i yell back THANK YOU! And start to roll up the hill chasing Rich. Yes we start up a gradual and long hill. ***It didnt used to be this way. We used to start at the other end and turn around at the bottom and finish where the current turn around is. This was a mental bummer since now when i roll into the turn around ( you see a lake) I still am conidtioned to think I AM DONE!!! OOPS. NOT.

So I was cruising so well. I was not blowing up on the hills and was confident on the downside to really push over the hills. There seemed to be a slight tail wind but i was not concerned i would face a wall of wind on the back. Soon dude #1 ( #9) passed me. Hart. Good rider. And at some point, right before the turn around I got passed by the Silver Fox. Note these guys are all in their late 50's, and really good riders. I mean super cool that they are so dang fast!
Anyways after the turn around i did start to feel a bit of wind and....A bit of fatigue. Each hill starts to feel like a mountain and by the time i was at Medina Road I was fully thinking that i wanted to rest at the top of each hill instead of cranking that gearing down and getting up speed on the descent. I did my best, but the time i make up going up hills is hardly matched by the fact that i just dont descend too fast. Even with my disc and with really pushing the hardest gear i can gravity is gravity. During the race i sure didnt think much other than how hard my breathing was, how hard this was, and WHEN WILL I BE DONE?? Oh and please I dont want a woman to catch me:) I knew Suzie was behind me 2 minutes, and i knew she has the ability to catch me, but i just wanted to finish alone. I have been caught on the final downhill stretch bc i am geared out and well...I just cant get going any faster as you go down that gradual hill but there is still about 400 yards of flat till you cross. So hello, unless you have a tail wind you just suck it up and ride like H-E- double hockey sticks.

As I finished i debated the pros and cons of gaining like 10 lbs to descend faster. Ok actually 5lbs, but realized that is still 5more lbs to bring up the hill with me running OR riding! So after 90 seconds of this thought, ok, maybe 45 seconds i decided to just love myself as i am :)

Anyways...Suzie did roll in right behind me with a fantastic time ( something like 24 mph average!) but thankfully saved my ego:) I finished with a 22.81 mph and 28:56 time and since my goal was to be under 30 I did it! I also was super proud that despite my NOT catching my super survivor hubby ( i think he was 28:12?) My Heart rates show i did all i could. 166bpm Avg and 174 max. That's Zone 4-5 baby, and that IS my max.

We hung around, cooled down with Suzie, and hopped in the car to drive home to swim in our pool! 9pm and we are in the backyard pool thankful that summer seemed to be here, if even for a day.

Congrats to the racers, and especially to my super hubby. Take that Cancer!

Gretta will have some more TT's we hope, hopefully another 12 miler before she has to do a 50 mile TT at the end of July! Happy 1st week of summer everyone!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Weekend in Review

Greetings. Sorry no TB news for y'all tho he does seem to liberally "Friend" people on Facebook so give that a try.

Fathers day weekend was alot of fun. The only real "cool," news is that I brushed off the road bike Liquigas is her name, unique i know, and rode her up and down alot of hills this weekend. In theory this was THE training ride for the Triple. I have fallen out of love with my road bike and the seat ( Fizik Arione) in favor of Gretta and her ISM saddle. But anyways...we planned for alot of hills and drove down to Prescott, Wisc to get those. One group did a longer loop and hit 114 miles while Kyle and I ( with the approval of our loving coaches) did 80 miles of out and back. The interesting thing is that even tho the bigger group did 35 more miles, we both climbed virtually the same amount. Kyle's Garmin read 5000 feet and I think Rich's Garmin read 6000 feet. I am not a fan of out and back, and especially when that is 40 out and 40 back into a 15 mph headwind with hills. And I mean REAL hills, the kind that you look up and you cannot see where it ends and you turn the corner and you still have more upupup.

In comparing it to Lemmon it was obviously shorter, but the grade at times was much steeper. I fueled as I will at the Triple ( tho i plan to eat some real food at the stops) and despite getting rained on ( yeah nice forecast error AGAIN for us on saturday) the temps were great. I did not, mind you, pack and work on my wardrobe change for descents from real moutains. Lets just say I really hope we have a dry day in CO come mid july. Time will tell.

So we got that one done, my legs felt it! I did the recovery bath and then went down to visit my mother in law who just had her knee replaced. Grabbed some groceries and then headed back home to get ready for a BBQ at kyle's. I made Venison burgers.! Whoa! Besides Rich saying he felt bad for Bambi, not sure why since he doesnt feel bad for Bessie the Cow, but they were tasty and hit the spot after a long day riding. I was lucky, no T run!

Come sunday the first few steps on my run were hard. My quads were not loving it and i was back to running my recovery speed from a week ago post Kansas. Oh well, lets hope some speed comes back for the weekend. Racing a sorta sprint race...800 swim/20 mile bike ( hilly!) / 4 mile run with the 1st mile up cemetary hill. A doozey of a hill!

We played host for fathers day with both families represented and lots of pool time for the little boys. My dad, Rich, my brother Rob and Rich's son Andy all got some cupcake love and homemade pizza. Sorry no pics, too busy:)

Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Something to smile about...

I am blessed to be well and injury free. And when this came in the mail today sent by my fabulous friend Leslie who won 40-44, I smiled. I smiled bc I know that I will get another chance to be present at an awards, and I smiled bc I know that the sun will come out sometime and we will have summer, even if for a few short weeks.

And I smiled bc I have choices, and choices are good. And I have a family that loves me, friends that think i am an ok person, and a coach that talks me down when i think i should be running FAST again 7 days after a really hard hot race.

Had a great chance to ride with Team Vera Bradley Foundation last night. They are in town for the Nature Valley Grand Prix series. In years past Kristin Armstrong has come out to play, Team Ouch's Floyd Landis was here, and I am sure some other fasties will show up. There is a local composite team and I know they will do great. Those women cyclists are BAD A$$. Seriously. I used to feel all Bad A$$ on my road bike too, last night i just kept trying to go Aero till i realized i couldnt!

I jumped in the pool last night after the ride . It was 66. It felt good. And if summer isnt going to come to me. I am going to come to summer.

Oh and sorry i guess he has a girlfriend.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Where's Summer?

The Title pretty much sums up my past week. After enjoying the heat and humidity of Kansas I slowly got myself back home to 60 and cold. Ok not cold, but wet and damp and well..not really what i like. Sure the heat in Kansas was intense, but I like that, and i quickly adapt. I dont like wearing sweatshirts and being chilly 15 minutes after i finish a run. I want to be warm, not chilled.

The week prior to Kansas the lake was 74. This week it was 69. Those without wetsuits were chilled. I wore two caps and my head and face were cold for the first 30 minutes. Ok enough whine time. Just always feel like we have so little summer that i want it, and i want it now!
Ok Verooka Salt, into the chocolate river you go.

Time for a list I think:
-Terrenzo Bozzone is awesome. I saw him at Texas 70.3 and I think he has replaced Andy Potts for my Pro Crush. Rich is ok with this. I asked him.

-I am not totally recovered yet. I feel pretty good swimming and biking but my run still feels kinda SLOW. The body feels ok but I have no speed. or so it feels.
This stuff has helped. Ultragen. Love it!

-We celebrated my Dad's 83rd this week. Awesome time with bootlegs, grouper on the grill ( say that 100x) and grilled sweet potatoes. Yum. Oh yes cupcakes too.
He doesnt always wear the Jester's cap. Just on the 4th of July:)

-Speaking of...Last night we were doing movie night and i managed to dump a hot cup of tea (see its cold outside) on my lap and throw a cupcake onto the rug. What a waste of a CC. I freaked out and got a mild burn on my leg and cried bc I lost a good cupcake.

- I actually didnt cry bc of that, but just bc I was tired. and needed to go to bed!

-What is next? Some local stuff, plans for the Triple Bypass ( ok now i am getting a bit afraid of this, why did i sign up?) but hope that climbing Lemmon has me semi prepared.

-Still totally up in the air about which 70.3 i will do next but it feels like i want to do one more. I thought two would be good for summer but i have an itch and i love the training for this distance. So maybe Branson? Maybe Augusta? Maybe LCNatz with Ben and Renee. Wish i could do Steelhead but I have a bike race that weekend. Oh well. So many things to pack into our non-summer.

-Bought a TRX, it hasnt arrived yet. I did TRX friday and I am sore, but good sore. My shoulder is ok if i am smart about it.

-Watching the Clearwater coverage now. Still doesnt really appeal to me. Maybe I Am missing something but oh well.

-Good job to all racing this weekend. And a shout out to those that arent. Hope you are healing up and feeling better. You know who you are:) You will be back:)

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Kansas 70.3 Race day

So we went to bed and tossed and turned a bit and woke up at 3:30. I did my usual "NOOOO groan," but that is just bc I know its TIME and while 99% of me is READY TO GO and ready to get this thing done, 1% of me wants to crawl back under the covers. Of course i dont really mean that but all the sudden that game day "pit" in my stomach is....there for a legitimate reason, its GAME DAY!

I do my best to choke down some breakfast, the usual oatmeal, banana and tea. I decide to add a peanut butter and honey sandwich too. Good thing i did, bc I was so fueled that i could hardly take my pre swim gel. It's always hard to eat BF race day and at 3:30 am it wasnt any easier.

Usually race morning i pop out of bed and check my tires. I inflate them the night before and then if there were to be any valve issues ( ie a slow leak) I *hope* that i will know. Oh yea I dont have my bike. so much for that control issue. We get loaded in the car and off we go at 4:10 am. I forget my HR strap and almost think about going totally naked, but we have enough time and we are about 1/4 mile from the house so Renee pulls back i go flying in the door and up the stairs and get it and out the door back to the car. Phew. When we get to the park there is a long line of cars but not too bad, and we head into the designated athlete parking lot. We walk to a bus and we are driven to the start. Now all fine and dandy but at 4:30 am your rental car ( what kind was it?) looks very different when you are trying to find it at 1pm in which lot was that and how far did that bus take us?

So we are dropped at T2 ( i called this Upstairs T) and we set up our stuff for the run portion. As soon as we walked into T1 the guy said "WETSUITS ARE LEGAL." Water was 77.5 degrees. Good thing i brought it. I thought NO WAY would that water be legal. I sure think that was a fudge but more on that later. So I get set up, luckily remembered another pair of shoes to walk Downstairs in, and had to really think about this....I nearly wore my visor down to T1, and would have been so sorry had i not had that during the run. I also nearly forgot to lay out my gels. But off we went down the hill to T1.

In T1 I found Gretta all ready. I put some more air in the disk wheel, left the front 303, bc it was fine and then kinda hung around. I kinda tried to talk to a few gals who were racked by me but they werent super friendly ( IMO, they had their own little cliques) and so I just kept to myself and tried to breathe and not get anxious. We were in an early wave so i just got out of T1 and walked to the coral where there were tons of family and non athletes hanging around as well. Another gal and i zipped each other up, and we waited. And we waited. and we waited. For what seemed like forever, but actually only about 15 minutes bc the medical staff was not there yet. The poor pro's were out there warming up and without wetsuits many finally came back to stand since they were treading water. I guess someone who was medical showed up, bc all the sudden the gun was off and the men were swimming. Wave 1 is off. Wave 2 as women pros, wave 3 was challenged athletes, wave 4 Pink caps and wave 5 red caps then us, 40-44 women GREEN CAPS! Woohoo. But i was getting HOT. And trust me I am not usually hot even in a wetsuit.

The Swim: course was simple. Swim counter clockwise out 800 Y, turn left, swim 200, swim back in 800 or so. I dont know for sure, but whatever makes 1.2 miles. When our wave was ushered into the water ( water start) I was towards the front and i saw a woman swim out with no wetsuit on and she was attacking the water. I thought " hmm, looks like Cheryl or Ange or Jen." I knew she was a swimmer! So I thought, GO with her if you can! Plus it was easy to see her since she had bare arms. The Gun goes off and I hit the gas and off i go. I really had less trouble this race compared to Texas 70.3 at getting some open water. I had no gals clawing on me at all and the start was really quite tame. I could see REAL Swimmer gal just ahead of me, and she had a gap of about 5 feet, not alot but i was not getting any draft. I just said STAY with her as long as you can. I did have a few seconds of "OMG I AM HOT and i cannot breathe" But i just refocused my breathing, did NOT think about it again, but it was hot. I was hot.

And with the sun behind us it was super easy to sight and so i moved into the line of the buoys and also kept RS gal near me. I just hung on and actually she came back to me. At one point i had a draft from another gal in our wave but she wasdoing some weird zig zag stuff so i ditched that popsicle stand and headed back to chasing RS gal. I swear the turn around came SO fast. I wish i had looked at my watcht to see but it sure felt like under 15 minutes. I was still right on RS gals feet, but we also had started to swim into and thru the red ( 45-49 W) and the Pink ( MEn 60+ HUGE WAVE had to have been 150people) caps. So this was where i know it got slower. Turning for the 200 across before heading back i got clobbered a few times by Big Armed men who, no offense, just have a more lurching stroke. The kind that just hurl their arms over their head and power thru. Ouch. I luckily was able to keep the punches to my torso or below and am pretty good at wiggling thru tight spaces and not connecting with anyone but the water. I did swim into the buoy though, and that was sorta funny.

As we headed back into shore the sun was right there. Sighting was hard. I could not see the buoy until i was nearly on top of it, but i just kept soldiering on. As much as i knew it wasnt good to sight off of a person RS gal was right to my right so i knew i was ok. And all the sudden i could see the line of buoys on my left and all i needed to do was keep dodging pink caps and big arms. The last 500 was uneventful. I could start to hear the crowd and I actually think i passed RS gal, or we got out pretty close. Since she had no wetsuit she scurried out of the matted area a bit faster but we ran to our bikes together and laughed at the traffic we had to get thru in the water. I said "nice swim," so i didnt get to properly thank her for keeping me up there!

Wetsuit off, stuff it in a bag so you can have it brought back up to T1, stuff all your crap in there and off i went on the bike.

Bike: ( or a Cross race at mile 40!) I decided not to put my shoes in the pedals since the start is suddenly an uphill and a false flat. I just decided i knew i could do it but you never know who is going to run into you while you are strapping your shoes. So i got out of T1 and stopped to the right to get on the bike, and some lady in my AG( who i saw come out of the swim pretty close to me) comes right up behind me and says " ON YOUR LEFT." I am thinking..."um ok but there is like 20 feet to my left, you could move over like 6 inches." Anyways it may have just felt like she was in my space, but then she proceeded to win the race out of the park. Great, you win the first 5miles surging up and down the park hills. I really just let it go, bc I knew i could not worry about the first 5 miles, I needed to get my head together, get some fluids going and when i turned out to the main road outside the park where the real bike race was to start I went down that first hill by the damn and never saw her again....( well, that isnt true but you will see what i am talking about in a minute)

I had few goals on the bike. Really simply I needed to take some chances. I needed to push and to really work hard, harder than i have ever in a 56 mile race. You see i can push hard in the shorter stuff but the head games of pushing hard for 56 miles is still a challenge for me. I can race a shorter TT, 11miles, and suffer like a dog. HR thru the roof ( well not really, my Max Hr on the bike is like 174, so I am not one of those 200 bpm people) but this is the first 70.3 that i have felt like i was really really working the entire time. I kept thinking about lighting a match under my seat and that helped alot, I thought about all the people who were cheering for me at home and i could feel them and their suspense wondering when i would come back thru that timing mat.

As for the ride, it was hard. It wasnt unbearable. I didnt think "OMG you have to be kidding me!" and that isnt bc the course wasnt challenging, but i just knew i had to take each incline as it came and micromanage it. Some of them I spun up in the small ring, others i stood up and powered up. I am not sure if i should have powered up more of them than i did, but my goal was to really get some speed on the downside( when there was a down, some were just up, and then more up!) but I got some 38-39mph's on that and was able to really get some good speed on the downhills and the false flat returns. The miles seemed to be ticking along and i saw Chrissie go by me and she was hurting. She was NOT all smiley like in the run. So just know she hurts too!

A few women started passing me around mile 25-30, and some were super fit looking 25-29 yo's. Leslie went by me on a climb and i barely could see her after that. I knew she would rock the bike turns out she was 33rd out of the water and 1st on the bike Whoa, pretty amazing rider. On the way out we had had to slow down bc of an oil spill, sadly, I am not kidding. Not BPs fault, cut them some slack. But on the way back we had to dismount and actually roll or carry our bikes thru the road for at least 15-20 feet. I erred on further since i had no interest in anything that could cause a flat. All the sudden the woman who won the warm up was there. CRAP.
I got back on ( my left calf did NOT like that getting off the bike) and again never saw her again. for good. Phew.
The rest of the bike was uneventful. There was some wind, I cant tell you how much, but i guess i just decided not to worry with it since we all had it.

Flew back into the park and was trying to be conservative coming in the 4 miles or so into the park and *thought* i was going to be below 2:45 by my computer, but darn it i guess i was off a few minutes. Oh well. That made me bummed bc i SO wanted to get closer to 2:40 for the ride, but...I did get a huge cheer for my flying dismount and got that bike racked and was off to the run.

Run: Or how to not start off to fast. I dont run with a pace monitor, just my HR monitor. I am thinking next race i may not use it, but it does help me on the bike to push harder. But for the run i just used my watch to monitor my splits roughly.
It was hot and i have to say I was starting to feel a bit of some GI stuff going down.
Mile 1 7.02 (crap, too fast)
Mile 2 14. ( slow down you are going too fast) but you know how your legs just start moving and its hard to slow them down. And i knew when i got to a hill i was going to slow down for sure. I did keep my HR in check so just went with it.
It was time to take a gel but I had this odd tummy feeling so i had grabbed some powerbar gummy things and had one of those, and just decided i had to keep on with the water and the ice. I had 3 gels on the bike and 2 bottles of infinit so i was ok. I know i have issues with forcing down too much liquid on the bike so i was going to just find out if that was enough or not.
Mile 3 22, ok up the hill from the downstairs T1, you go run around this parking lot area that is right on the water and it was really pretty. and it looked cold. and nice. ahh, wish icould get in that hot water now. :) oh yea it wasnt that refreshing. Just keep running.
I did fine going up that hill and then from there it was along the campground road where there were tons of people cheering and tons of people just really trying to help you out.
Thank you!

I dont really recall all the splits after that, but i just would pass a mile marker and do some math, always trying to say to myself "GREAT you are below an 8 min pace," not necessarily bc i thought i was going to be at an 8 min pace but the math is that much easier than figuring a 7:30-7:45 pace.
Around mile 5 I had this " come on! " moment, not in a cheering tone but in a John McEnroe tone " You CANNOT be serious?!" ( ok if you dont get that, your loss) but i got my period. Yup. Mother nature was kind to hold off till the run, and not present herself earlier, but from mile 5 to the finish i was not a happy camper. I wont go into all the details but I will just say that day 1 for me isnt usually a good day. Race or not. I did my best to focus on controlling my tummy, and yes I mean my GI, and took in a gel, washed in some water, and spit it out. This was going to be a long 2nd half of the run.
Mile 6 44 minutes. I do remember that. And i just was putting one foot in front of the other, and trying to just run. I seriously had my head down and really saw noone, I was so focused on just getting thru this. I could see Leslie ( in 1st ) in the out and back course so at first i was cherring for her then on the 2nd half she was cheering for me and all i could do was give a thumbs up. By mile 8 I dont know if i even did that.
Mile 8 the 2nd place woman went by me. Dang it. I had her in my sight and at the start of the last loop thru the camp site ( no more hills, woohoo!) I could see her, and actually passed her at the water stop. I was thinking i may need something, but i was not going near a gel, and my abdominal cramps were not going away. I took some gatorade, one sip and all the sudden i spit that out too, too acidic. That was close, It was bad. I am glad i didnt swallow any of it.

Alas lady in yellow came roaring past me again and i could see her till about mile 12. I really have never thought about walking but i did think about it mile 9-13, I thought about it bc i knew that if i stopped to walk all would seize up, and actually the entire time i thought about walking I would suddenly see mile 10 and think, you can do this. you can do this. you can do this. At mile 11 I was so happy, i thought "You have less than 16 minutes to go" I had looked at my watch and knew it was 11:50. I could be done by noon.!!! OMG just keep running.
Mile 12. YES. Keep going, lift your feet, lift your knees, more ice chips down your top, ice on your head, GO!!!

Mile 13 was the longest mile i have ever run. ( or at least today it is!) and i kept saying "around the next corner." and finally I got to turn into the finishing chute and run down that yellow brick road. ( which was only about 10 feet of yellow) I dont even remember it but the Oz characters were there and i was so out of it, I didnt smile, i actually started hyperventilating, and then when i saw Leslie's parents about 1 minute later and saw Leslie's Vemma cap from behind, I started crying. I just sobbed for about 30 seconds. And then I stood there dazed and confused.

Leslie and her parents got me into the ice bath ( ok seriously I think i would have needed to get ice bags all over me if this pool werent there, next to the med tent, so good placement) and i just sat there with my knees hugged into my body, Leslie made me extend my legs and some guy gave me a bottle to start pouring ice water onto my head. I seriously think this made me ok. I finally got out, still out of it, and went to get more water, and wandered. It was so hot. I forgot I had to meet Renee. I wanted to get my sunscreen from my bag, and a shirt to cover my arms and neck but i couldnt get into T2 until 1pm and it was 12:20. I just went up to some lady who was watching and said " do you have any sunsrcreen??" another guy was there and he wanted some too, so he took a tiny dab, and i said " I can put that on you..." and he said he only wanted some for one spot. I was like "dumb," (melanoma police i know) and when she gave me the tube i totally covered my neck and arms and shoulders. Said "thanks" and moved on. But that stuff scares me, I do NOT like being fried like that. As much as i love the heat, having had one "little mole removed " that was melanoma makes me just remember how I had no clue how quickly my life could change. Tangent, sorry.

So i wandered back. I also knew that i had to check on my womanly status ( ok whatever, if you are offended by this, dont read it!) and was again glad i had put the blue /white outfit away in favor of the navy/tourquoise outfit. I did a check with a few ladies and i was fine, phew. And whatever, people throw up all the time, what is a little blood to people.

Got that taken care of but still felt totally crampy and crappy. Got some gatorade from the BLUE food group, ( funny i cannot drink the citrus one on the course, but the BLUE one i can) and started drinking that right away and that helped. They had given me a red ticket for the bbq but i have no idea where it was, and there was no way i could eat that anyways. I had some Ultragen in my bag so when i could get into T2 i would get that.

Ok this is getting way too long but the real epic-ness of this was that I finally found Renne, and we were like "oh good a bus will take us back to our car, right?" oh yea, we have bikes! oops.
We got our bikes and our T1 bags, and headed back out of the park on foot to WALK ourselves 2 miles to our car. In the sun, on the pavement. Renee's computer said it was 105. Likely coming from the pavement, but who cares. The only time i lost my cool ( ha!) was then, a car or truck would drive by and i would say "COME ON, give us a ride!" of course there were other athletes walking, and when Uli Bromme walked by in her cool Jelly Belly outfit I figured if the pros are walking I can walk. My left peroneals ( outside of your shin) started to seize up tho and at that point i told Renne, too bad I am riding. So i put my feet ( in my running shoes) on top of my bike shoes that were clipped in and off i went. Until i got to the hill. where i could not pedal bc I was not in my shoes and nor did my legs want to go uphill! ha but i got a good uphill flying dismount and my fears of falling over didnt happen.

I was able to find our car at the lot ( that again looked quite different than it did at 4:30 am) and RR and i got our bikes in and both said we were going to pass out. Our idea to get McDonalds shakes was brilliant, till we realized we had no money.

I had no idea how i had done. Results were posted in a really confusing way so i texted jen and she told me i was 3rd OA. I had hoped for top 5 and i got it!

Final thoughts:
When i signed up for this race in October of 2009 I cant even tell you why i signed up so early. I just did. And when i made my goals for this season that i wrote down and posted, one of those was " 5hours at Lonestar or Kansas, but Lonestar ( Tx 70.3) is early, so 5 hrs at KS 70.3"

I did not make that goal. I am sorta sad about that, ( blame it on the oil slick, ha!) but I also know that i am getting closer and that it was a hard course. I took about 3-4 minutes off my HIM PR and for that i am proud. I have a few "Coulda woulda shoulda" but that really isnt being self deprecating, it is more things i think i could continue to work on. Like train in the heat more ( and not do long runs on Lake superior where its 50 degrees! ha!) And continue to work on the bike power.

There is on regret i do have, and lets hope i get a chance to remedy that. I left to drive home instead of going to the awards. It was my first podium and i really should have stayed to get a photo op with Leslie and the yellow girl. But I think for how i felt ( crappy, still out of it) and the drive i had again I will surely take an extra day to celebrate and stay for awards if i win one again.
Monday was still a bit rough getting real food down, but as of monday night my hydration seems to be back and i am looking forward to some birthday cupcakes with my dad tommorrow!!!

Thanks so much to Leslie C, Renee, Mary B, and especially Leslie's parents ( Barb and Dick) for housing us and being so gracious. Sorry we kept leaving the garage door open:) oops. I hope to come back next year!

AMEN. Sorry so long.

Monday, June 07, 2010

KANSAS 70.3 Pre-Race

Kansas 70.3

You know when you are gone all weekend ( plus a day or so on either side) it's hard to jump into a race report that is 5 hours of the 4-5 days you were gone. So I start with the pre-race report. And hope to not forget the race itself.

Left St Paul late thursday with an aching heart. I was thrilled to be heading out on my own adventure but felt so sad to be leaving my family and many cousins, aunts and uncles that had gathered to say goodbye to Uncle Geordie. Thanks all of you for your nice comments. It means alot to me. Still i was missing the dinner and social time that is so special to connect and remember. Rich went and he said he had just a wonderful time with the family, so I feel really happy about that. At the same time I knew i had a job to do and I was going to light those matches for Geordie, for Angus, and for my Aunt Topsy who had been admitted to the hospital as well with some complications. Time to drive and time to not feel lonely! I was going to see some neat peeps in Kansas and meet some other people I was certain!

Got to DesMoines and stayed there ( I am not too good at driving more than 4-5 hours solo, just get tired, and nutso) so had a nice stay and did some damage to the Hotel AM buffet. I did Rich proud, he loves those things! As JH told me, "eat some real food, not bird food!" Ha, so I think i cleaned out the eggs and oatmeal and waffles get the point. Arrived in Lawrence mid day Friday and went right to the Expo etc. to check in. It was HOT. I usually am not a fan of AC, but i sure had it on. But i figured it was acclimation to be walking around in that. I waited for Renee to get there ( she flew in to KC and rented a car) and met her around 2pm at the race site and we got checked in around 3pm. IT was SO HOT, waiting in line etc...but they nicely brought all the athletes water. Luckily I had already seen Leslie as she was there earlier too as VOLUNTEER of the RACE, heck, that woman doesnt sit still. She had stuffed packets, was going to work the dinner that night, and then ended up at race checkin. She did earn her race entry and i think she should have gotten an entry for Branson too! I am surprised it didnt take anything out of her racing...Or am I?:) No not really. I may need to go back on the VEMMA and VERVE!

So we then headed to Leslie's parents who live about 10 minutes from the race site. They were the most cordial and giving people. And their house, super cool. And our bikes could come into this super cool new house. SCORE :)

We finally met up with Leslie, had some dinner and then decided to get ready for the saturday pre-race jitters and mandatory brick. Slept in, sorta, and had breakfast and rode around the 'hood a bit having the usual " disc or no disc" discussion. Well I did, Renee just had deep rims.
Renee almost hit a deer when i went back early. Phew. We packed up and went into the race site ( without bikes this time) to take a swim. That is when we were told the water was 77.9999 degrees. Ok and we cant swim. WHAT? WHY? we were never sure but oh well. Sorry coach no swim. ( didnt matter, hee hee, still swam great) so we mulled around. and drove part of the course ( up down up down winding roads) and went back to eat lunch. We still had to take our bikes back to check in, and you see this race is FANTASTIC if you like to walk but next year i am bringing my Segway or my rollerblades. I have shin splints from the added 5 miles i walked each day. Two T's plus parking about 1 mile from the race site and no shade= tired, grumpy and "MAN its so much easier to run." Ha, that isnt true but it does wear on you.

So we had an hour or so of "legs up" after lunch where Renee and my stomach took turns talking to each other. I guess this is common when you room with Renee. ( ha Mary) And then headed back to race site to get bikes down to the water and T1. That is where we got to see Chrissie! What a gal, she was so nice, we asked her " If it isnt a problem and you arent busy, can we have our picture with you?" She thanked us for asking and then about 20 people came out of the woodwork to ask. Oops " SORRY " we said and ran off! I was sooo sweaty i didnt want to get too close to her, but heck she was ready to have a Chrissie Sandwich for all she cared.
And her socks are cool arent they?!
So the long trudge up the hill to T1 and then another trudge to the car.
As we headed back towards the car we heard the race director announce:
" The water is 81 degrees, there will be NO WETSUITS. We will add a wave at the end for those that feel uncertain or unable to swim without a wetsuit but your results will not count, blahblahblah..." At that point it was nearly 5pm and it was 96 degrees, humidity was 80%. ( or so we were told) But that was neither here nor there...we had to get home...
We had to eat dinner bc we were getting up at 3:30am!

Next post: RACE DAY! or HOW THE WATER DROPPED to 77.9 in a mere 10 hours.