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:)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Think twice if you see tennis as a wimpy sport. Fashionable too!

My tennis teammate sent this to me asking why we didnt get to wear those clothes when we played in college. um. Abs? Lacking sorely?:) Enjoy!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Perch Lake Open Water Swim Report

I did a 1 mile OW swim race saturday in Hudson, Wisconsin. I talked to JH about the race and she said, RACE it like an OLY Tri. Well, I have never done an OLY race! More on that later...but I am doing my first Oly Tri next weekend. Woohoo! Wish me luck.

Anyways we headed to Perch lake, in Hudson Wisconsin... around 6:45 am saturday. KJ picked me up and was nice enough to pack my bike as well so i could ride home from the swim. When we got there it was super foggy from the super high humidity. But the lake was super calm and you could see the buoys easily and unlike the last OW race our caps were bright yellow! KJ and her daughter were swimming together, it was Elizabeth's first OW race. She is 13 and a super duper swimmer!

I had only one issue of stress:) self induced of course. Wetsuit or no wetsuit? The water temp was fine, it was 74 so if it was a Tri, we would all be wearing wetsuits. I hemmed and hawed the day prior bc it was not a USMS race ( where wetsuits would be illegal) and i intended to NOT wear a wetsuit. When JH told me "LET ME BE CLEAR...if wetsuits are legal, you HAVE TO WEAR A WETSUIT to be up in the top of the group." of course my pea brain was thinking i didnt want to wear one and be the only one wearing one, and be in the top of the group bc i was cheating. Ok, not cheating. But swimmers are not wetsuit wearers. Without calling people REAL swimmers versus TRI swimmers, I just wanted to swim hard and hopefully place well.

Ok enough background on that. I was going to wear my speedsuit. Then i see two women, my age putting on wetsuits. Game on. I am wearing my wetsuit. Ha! my friend KJ said ( JH you would like her) "Julia, you are racing? Wear the wetsuit. You are gonna be pissed if you dont and somebody in a wetsuit beats you." So I wore the wetsuit. And yes I did have a bit of energy left to swim.

The 2 milers went off first. We waited for what seemed forever for them to clear the far buoy. And then we were off. I swam really really hard to get out in front. I did. I had a few people next to me, but I had clear water and didnt get pounded. I heard a few people got pounded back there. Ouch. I saw that there was one cap in front of me, but there was a big gap. And he ( I think it was a he) was swimming far left of the buoy( we were swimming clockwise) so i got so tight to the first buoys i nearly clipped them with my arm. All the sudden i see someone coming up on my left side. She ( she didnt have a wetsuit on!) was MOVING. I hopped on her feet and off we went past the leader. We got to the far side of the lake and started to head back towards the shore and i was in front all the sudden. I am not sure how she fell off but she did. I was sighting on the big orange buoy but the more i swam the more i realized ONCE AGAIN I was sighting off something ( the buoy) on shore. I was totally confused as to why they had put a buoy, on shore, or at least on the rocks. I didnt realize this until i was about 3/4 of the way there and then thought it was there as a "dont go over here" buoy bc in order to swim to the left of this i would need to get on shore. So i then thought "OK just added, as usual, an extra 200 or more to my mile swim" and totally cut back towards the other buoys that lined up towards shore. The poor kid who was behind me ( i could tell she was heading towards that land buoy as well) cut over with me and all the sudden she was on me and passing me. I could see from my peripheral vision that there were about 5-7 yellow caps who had NOT swum to the land buoy and i was able to keep my lead on them, but dang it. It was really confusing.

So once i found another line with the swimsuit gal we just both hauled it in. She got me by about 20 seconds and i could not keep up with her once she passed me. Plus she wasnt wearing a wetsuit so i just kinda figured she should win. The time i heard when i got out was 22 something. I have no idea if that is fast or short or what, but as Rich said. IT is what it is. There were alot of people wearing wetsuits so i didnt feel like a cheater after all, but heck, I am not sure why i wanted to make it harder on myself.

I did learn that the Land buoy had blown or drifted off course, and they had to drag it back out to the middle of the lake where it had started. So i didnt feel as bad about "cheating" or cutting a buoy bc likely we swam to where it should have been, and i am glad i didnt swim to the shore and stand there saying "huh?" I was really happy with the swim, I swam hard and i was pretty gassed when we finished. We grabbed some food and then Rich and I rode home from Hudson, Wisconsin. ( it sounds more glamorous than it is) and for the first hour i was sorta in lalaland.
I didnt feel great, and i had no energy. I got a 2nd wind when we got into Minnesota but i think i just swam that hard that my body was sorta fried. We got in just in time to eat some more, rest up for a few, and head to a family friend's wedding..

Sorry no photos from the race or the ride home, but we did snap these at the wedding:

A beautiful outdoor ceremony on the St. Croix( yes about 10 minutes from where we were all morning!) and great company. We sat with my old ( former) tennis coach, and a few Latin teachers from SPA. Too funny. We also sat with the minister and her husband that did the ceremony. She also married us last November so we really enjoyed the comraderie and the memories of our special day last year.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Weekend Cabin Time!

This past weekend we had some cabin time! Usually cabin time means driving past Duluth and up to Two Harbors, a good 3-4 hour haul, and since summer is construction season it sometimes means longer car drives. Blah. When you only have a weekend i hate spending a full day ( 4 + 4 hours) in the car.

So, we rode our bikes!
We didnt ride THAT far, but we did ride parallel to 35 and stopped at our good friend Scott and Jill's lake house in Pine City. What a perfect distance on a perfect day. It was roads getting out of the city and then pretty much trails ( paved) all the way. We had a HOT sticky day just as I like it saturday and with a 7am departure from south of st paul where we all live, we made it in 4 hours. Awesome ride, awesome pace. I had marching orders to not bury myself. Since i am not doing anymore LONG races ( ie 70.3's) my training is less on duration and more on intensity. I did not have orders tho to NOT BURY my riding partners. hehehe. Whenever i got to the front Rich and Scott had to tell me to back off. That is too funny. I think i just wanted to get the sprint points into the little towns. But heck, there were all these yield and slow signs that we had to stop for and those men can ramp it up to 20-21-22mph in 2 pedal strokes wheras i am dropped and coming along at get the idea. WAIT..!!!!
I kinda was hammering on the front bc:
1) I felt good
2) I didnt want them coasting down my back on any incline
3) why not? And seriously who am i kidding, those guys are faster than i am so i was having fun in my lala land at the front.

When we arrived 78 miles later, around 11am, we were greeted with this view:

I hustled inside the cabin to get my stuff and make a nice recovery drink of mocha ultragen, while the others cuddled up to some hot java. *Wait? How did she get her stuff up there?
Scott was nice enough to take our overnight bags at the FarmDog TT last week so we had all our stuff waiting for us when we arrived. Including my bag of wet sweaty shoes and heart rate monitor. Gross. I got that out to dry pronto!

As you can see it was hot out, we lounged, Jill made us a nice lunch and we just hung out. Rode around on teh pontoon boat, swam ( no just paddled, got wet, didnt SWIM) and before you knew it we had 4pm on the clock. Whoa, where did the day go? Well it's 5pm someplace so we broke open a few Tommy knockers ( the beer we had at the end of the Triple Bypass, Yup that is Scott, from the Triple) and relived that day. Jill was patient as we sat there trying to come up with what 2011 would bring in the realm of Epicness.

Meanwhile Tessa, the lovely elderly Lab, had had enough of the bee's and went inside. Plus it was hot out, so inside was nice.

As far as plans for 2011, ideas tossed around are:
Death Ride ( but logistically a nightmare from MN)
Triple Bypass again ( perhaps, but not likely)
Horribly Hilly 100 ( location location location = good)
OR doing something the guys come up with on their own, like when they kept going last year and rode 240 miles to Finland MN in one day. Um, count me OUT.

Of course I am all for the one day, get it done, someone else plans and does the sag and makes me rest stop sandwiches ( the food on teh triple was so good, or maybe i was just starving.)
So who knows. And I plan to sign up for IM MOO, so that is my epicness for 2011. Yup. I think i did decide. OF course i have to volunteer in the med tent for 4 hours sunday so that may change my mind. But if they need a PT in the med tent, well...I think it may be too late for you if i am diagnosing some weakness or imbalance on race day. "Yup, you need to work on that left glute and try this IM thing again in 8 weeks."

The rest of the cabin weekend was more hanging out, a great dinner, and eyelids heavy at 9pm. I think i made it to 10.

6am dawned. ( seriously, do those guys sleep?) and i huffed and puffed refusing to get out of bed till 7:30 am when they left to go ride. I had a 10 mile run on the docket and knew i had to get going. A storm had blown thru and heck it was 58 and COLD out with a STIFF WEST WIND. I was quite glad to be running and not biking in that and set out on a course Scott had suggested. I stuffed a Roctane ( Pinneapple) in my bra and my directions. OFf I went on a fartlek run. The Fartlek went well, aided by farm dogs that were pretty happy to bark and run after me as i envisioned a season ending leg wound from their sharp teeth. Yuk. At one point i even stopped to walk bc I just was afraid what they could do.
The Roctane was awesome. Hmm...may have to change my allegiance, since Powerbar didnt want me on their team, maybe its time to go GU!

Got in ( legs intact) when the boys did and went for a swim, since i knew that i would only get colder, as the wind was picking up and the temps were not climbing out of the 60's as rain set in. Brr...but the water felt ok and my fartlek swim just became a short swim dock to swim dock effort for about 20 minutes. Good enough.

Scott brought us home that night, how nice is that, our own personal taxi:) What a nice weekend!

I promised a few Ruby pics, she has been neglected on the blog bc its race season but here goes:

She helped me pick veggies at my parents. She is able to paw under the fence to get the cherry tomatoes and then helps herself. The Raspberries are a bit scarier with all the bee's.
What a doll.
Have a great week everyone I hope your summer bounty is as full as mine has been this past week and weekend.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

RiverFront Days Sprint RR

Ok after last weeks blahblahblah on 50 miles at Firehouse i will try to keep this short :)
Friday night i emailed JH, telling her I was not excited to race. I was feeling tired, and had a long week and just not really excited to race. Maybe last weekend was such a great weekend i was kinda in a funk about having to get up and do it all over again. Much to my surprise she said " No biggie, do what you want, it isnt a big race."

Um. ok. That was all i needed. It was like i just wanted it to be ok to not race. And then I decided I would race. Smile on. Pressure off. It was a short race for goodness sakes, why not just go and see how I did. The problem is that I have a hard time not EXPECTING alot from myself. So after "talking" to JH ( i didnt, but i could hear her voice in my head...hahaha) I knew i would regret not going. Even tho it was a great night friday night, cool, sunny, and my sister was riding her bike with her friends, and I was home prepping my stuff. Oh well. It was worth it. Forecast was great, HOT even. and i like HOT!

Saturday dawns, I am up and out the door early and ready to go. I rack in the elite rack and there arent many people there at all. I know nobody. Hmm..So i sit, talk to Jerry a bit, hang out, and decide to warm up. Do all that and then wander to the swamp, I mean LAKE, and get in to warm up. Thank goodness it was 80 and wetsuits were not legal. First off, the lake was so green. I did a warm up lap ( it was 1/4 mile, cough. Ok I am learning what distances i like and what i dont, this is a dislike) and was stopped in my stroke about 3 x by massive clumps of greenery. Serious weeds. Ok then lets just say in this case i was glad to get out. But 1/4 mile swim was just painful. Literally I took the worst beating i have ever taken in the elite field this year. The line was straight. One Buoy. I lined up in the front. I was where i should have been ( no the REALLY FAST people, both men and women, were not there) but how in the world can a guy ( and yes i know it was a guy, bc i know where the other top 2 women were) hit me repeatedly in the left head and shoulder for the entire first 150 yards without realizing or stopping? I guess i could have dropped back. I was sandwiched in there, but i was determined to keep pushing. And at one point i did sit up ( hahaha, sit up on those weeds) and say "would you CUT IT OUT!!!" wow, that worked. The turn at 200+ yards was clear and i had a clear swim back into shore. Heck. I did think of people telling stories of IM, ouch.

Out of the water, and it was raining. It had begun to rain about 7:50 and it was now a steady stream of rain. Onto the bike and i took a lesson from CY and tried my best to GET OUT OF SIGHT as fast as i could. At that point i knew i had a slight lead on #2 and #3, but in a 1/4 mile swim it wasnt enough. It was now pouring and my thought was that hopefully the conditions would favor me. I thought about riding in crap and winter and low visibility and at each corner i could see nobody. I thought maybe i had a good lead. Suddenly out of nowhere i got passed about mile 7-8 of a 13.5 mile ride. Nobody else passed me tho so i knew i was in a race for 1st. I got back into T2 and she had racked her bike in my place. Ok. not sure what that was all about. But i hoofed it out of there, wet shoes and all.

The Run is sorta rolling on park trails. Good thing is that you cant see anyone bc its winding, bad thing is you cant see anyone. It was still raining pretty good, but doable. I had my new Kiwami 008 openback on and my new Saucony Kinvaras and i was as dry as i could have been. Love both those products. I ran as hard as i could, there was one guy i heard behind me and then he was gone. La dee dah, running hard, running hard, wishing i had a target. Finally about 1/2 mile from the finish ( it was a 3.3 mile run) I saw her up ahead. She had someone running with her looking back and he saw me. This gave me motivation to ran harder. She got me by 30 seconds and i took 2nd OA, and broke the masters record.


I was pretty happy but at the same time disappointed. You can agree or disagree with me on this, but i go to races assuming i am going to win. I dont mean that to be cocky or arrogant. I just know that when i used to play tennis, that is what i had to do. I would do what i knew, take care of business and make prudent choices along the way TRUSTING my game and in this case TRUSTING my fitness and my coach and I would do well and IF i was lucky, too, I may win. So it is a catch 22. I didnt win. But at the same time had i gone into this race with my friday night attitude of "I dont want to race," well that isnt so good either and i would have been REALLY disappointed in myself. I am not disappointed in my effort.

I am not disppointed in my performance. I am just disappointed bc i think i had a chance to win a race. And ya know I learned some stuff. Cant go wrong on that. Having re-written this blog as of monday i also learned some stuff about what i can and cant control. Thanks for the input, kari!

I hung around for awards, got a nice plaque, got my ALL TO WET stuff into the car and headed home to my honey who was waiting! HE got totally soaked riding in the AM too, so we compared notes and called it a fun, wet day!

Just a few more races to come, lots still to be learned. But i will tell you I am looking forward to some more races with a longer swim and a longer run:) I know i can gut out the bike as well, but those 1/4 swims. Well, they are for the birds!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Firehouse 50 Time Trial Race Report

Ok so writing a race report on a TT isnt usually really too exciting. Usually it goes like this:
20 min out, take a Gel. Ideally a 1x caffeinated one.
Get to start line, line up, get held. START.
GO AS FAST AS YOU CAN FOR 8-11 MILES ( depending on the race)
End of Report.

This race report is SO different. You cant do that on a 50+ mile TT, bc you would fall apart, duh.
I didnt really have a huge plan for this race, other than thinking i was super happy it wasnt 56 miles. I figured that I had a few things going for me:
1) I had some good climbing in me from the Triple Bypass. This helped with the first 5miles that snakes gradually uphill to the Continental Divide ( yes there is a sign, but sadly I didnt stop to take a photo).
2) I had a new front 808 with ceramic bearings.
3) I had a great TT wed night, but i also did a REALLY REALLY hard 4 mile T run that left me with some GI issues all night and into thursday. So my legs were not rested, ** I had an orange light in my head on that one ** but trusted JH that things would be fine.
4) I know the course, and i know what areas are technical and what stretches you can really just RIDE and not worry about corners and cars.

So we got up later on friday, got into the condo and went to get our packets. Same old stuff. Drove the rollers around Lake Owen and even tho every year i tell Rich " I get carsick in there, its too rolling and curvey I dont want to go"I am always SO happy when i go bc heck those things GO ON FOREVER. So we were able to get a few landmarks, as every year we say, "oh the turn onto 63 is right around this blind corner." Nope. There are about 12 miles of blind corners, two way traffic, and no yellow lines. And trees, and rough road, and yup, you could be a hood ornament if you arent careful.

Early dinner, early to bed, and we were up by 5.

This year nobody had a super early start time. Usually Rich is in a 4 man TT but this year they had some drop outs and it was the Madden Bros doing a 2 man TT ( start time 9:02). Rich was 8:38 and I was 8:27:30 so we didnt need to be there for a 7am start. That was nice but nervewracking too since I hate not being there, you got stuff to do, wheels rub, porta potties are busy, you know, its just good to be there. Plus its about a 10 min ride to the start where they give you your chip. Even tho its chip timed you HAVE TO START at your assigned time.
We rolled in around 7 am, I wished the Gear West Guys good luck, as they had a rockstar team of Kevin, David, Curt and Devon. It was a humid day, sorta misty but little wind. I figured they would blow their own course record out of the ballpark. Sadly when i was starting i saw Kevin rolling in backwards so knew something was up. Bummer.

So anyways back to my race. I sported my new LS skinsuit and a camelback in a Cback Baselayer. Now normally this would be fine. But i was super hot. I was hot warming up. It wast the only thing that i would change for next year. I will not wear a LS skinsuit. Especially with a baselayer, and since the SS was LS i couldnt fit the hose out the arm the way i usually do in a Short Sleeve so i was totally awkard and unable to get fluids PRN on the bike. This was VERY frustrating. Anyways....the race.

Pre-race non caffeinated Vanilla gel, done.

Rolled to the start and got my chip, said my good lucks to Rich, and said " If you pass me i will be happy for you, but i am going to be pissed." I think the lady next to me was like "O. K."
He laughed. I laughed, but of course i was serious :)

Off I went with another guy and I took a deep breath and knew that i had 50 miles of a tough race ahead of me.

Miles 1-5 climbing, at which point you sometime put it into the small ring. It is a mix of false flats and out of the saddle, but when i went past the continental divide sign and it said something like 1550 feet ( or maybe it was more, but not alot) I said to myself " Seriously?"
As the last Continental Divide sign i saw was at Loveland Pass, 1ok elevation. I was super relieved, I got up the divide in a controlled manner.

Miles 5-10 are flat and a few gradual declines and some time spent around a lake. Since we started later, there was more traffic. BOAT traffic. Saturday traffic. I dont remember this much traffic ever and i had a few times where i had to decide, do i take the left around a SLOW car hauling a boat or do i slow. I slowed. The roads are just too narrow and I just know that being a hood ornament is not the answer to anything. Some of it was that other riders ( and yes i tried to let it be known, but didnt waste my energy) that riding in the middle of a road, when the road is open is NOT GOOD. There were time trialists that were riding side by side, and i am fine with that, but when you hear on your left, that means you move right so I can pass. You dont just sit there and wave. So imagine this with a few cars pulling boats. Potentially unsafe.
I know I am not alone in this and you just do the right thing, In my opinion, and that is remember that you do this for fun. Not for the ambulance ride.

Miles 10-15 ?? Gosh i dont know. I think more winding and rolling around lakes and forest not the fastets part but not like what is to come. 1x Caffeinated Apple Powergel, down the hatch.

Miles 15-25 HIWAY M. Oh yea baby. NOW you take a turn onto M and you are suddenly hit with a nice uphill that you come at from a standstill. You get over that and you just have to re-group and know that if the winds are favorable ( ie no headwind) this is where you need to make some time. Last year there was a head wind, it was very hard. This year we really had no wind. good and bad. Sometimes the push you get is worth riding into it for a bit.
So off I went, and suddenly I passed a dude, and he wanted nada to do with it. It got a bit comical, then it got annoying, then i just settled in and was like "Ok, whatever" It got my mind off the pain, and I just decided to accept him in stead of try to drop him. I did, tho, drop him on the descents. Anyone that knows me, and my body type, know that I dont often drop people descending. LOL.. then he would come storming back at me on the uphills. And i was like "Crap." At one point he would pass me, and tuck in right in front of me, and i would be drafting if i hadnt dropped back or pulled ahead again. I had no interest in dropping back, we are not in a Tri, and tho this is NOT a draft legal race I wasnt going to sit on his wheel just bc there was not USAT official there. Hence we seriously jogged back and forth for 10 miles.
And at one point he was in the middle of hiway M, this is not a backroad, and the MPH is 55. Dude what a dumb-A$$ thing to do. I yelled once, CAR BACK, and he didnt move. Ok, nice riding with you. He got many honks, but what am i gonna do about it? He just caused cars to cross the double yellow line.

Mile 25, CABLE!! the half way point. My time 1:09:45. OK! Now we are cookin! I wanted to come in 1:10:00 so i had hopes of coming close to 2:20 for a finishing time. I knew what was to come was not fast, the ROLLERS of Lake Owen drive. Lots of turns, lots of rough road, and serious rollers, so fast that last year I nearly got bounced off my seat as i went down one of them and back up. You can really get up to speed if you know how to ride this stretch but at the same time all the sudden you are geared out and feel like you are standing still after just hitting 30 mph. It's a deceptive stretch.

Miles 25-40 As i said above, rollers! Turns, no yellow lines, at this poiint the 2 person TT's are catching us and I am catching more and more Indiv TT'ers who started in front of me. The shadows on this section are also tough, but since we had mist and fog it wasnt an issue today.
I did catch a dude who then latched onto me and my Hiway M friend ( gag, he was still with me) and he decided to be the enforcer. " GET OFF HER WHEEL. GET OFF HIS WHEEL." OMG it was annoying. I told the guy ( who now i kinda was feeling sorry for, and wanted him to do well since we had caught this guy who was all team kit'ed out and looking like he was pissed that we were 10 min behind him and caught him) that i had ridden honestly the entire time. He said " hey no worries." And I didnt even give the enforcer man eye contact. I think the one time he yelled at me was when cty M dude was in the middle of the road ( and this, again is a road with no middle line and tons of blind corners with locals steaming thru at 40 mph) and i was passing him on the left and i realized i did NOT want to be passing on a blind corner on the left so i slipped thru the middle, subsequently passing behind his wheel for about 1 second, and said I was passing on his Right. Not something i want to do but his position gave me no choice.

Anyways....I finally dropped them both on a longer down hill section that had some jumps at the end and i never saw them again. Perhaps this correlates with when i took my 2x caffeinated Latte Powergel. And soon enough, that " around the next bend and up the next hill," came and i was at the finishing leg down Hi 63 into Grandview. YES!!!

I decided to not look at my watch on this stretch. I didnt want to know where i was timewise bc I knew i would ride this last 8 miles as hard as i could, but also knew that the first 2 miles was uphill. So i couldnt really BURY myself too early, but i could get the speed up and just keep on pushing it. Again over hill and dale, but my speed was looking good, anywhere from 22-24-32mph and i just kept turning those pedals over. Pushing pushing pushing. By now i was quite thirsty as my water bottle was dry, my Cback was not giving me infinit and iwas fed up with tryting to twist my left arm the right way to get the spout. I just hoped i would be ok. The sun had started to poke out the entire race i went thru the talk in my head :" Unzip the LS skinsuit, no you arent aero now. " I still zipped and unzipped it bc I was so hot.

I then saw mile 45 on the side of the road. COME ON! I knew that i couldnt yet see the flashing light of the police cars in the distance so i was not yet in the true sprint home, but i knew i was close. I started thinking of the 5 mile runs i do and how i could cover that so FAST on my bike and all the sudden i came to the top of a hill and i saw the incline over a bridge, the city limits sign to Grandview, Wi in the distance adn the squad car marking the TURN LEFT into the finishing chute. And then i looked at my computer clock.


Ok sister, hammer it, i had NO idea how long it would take me to get there since i had no idea the distance and i sure didnt want to sit and watch the clock. I just rode as HARD AS I COULD.
Left turn into the finish street and into the finish area, and...poof. done.

2:17:50! I had done it, I broke 2:20! My time last year was 2:25:47 with an average of 20.6 and this year I had busted that one with an average of 21.8mph. I couldnt have been happier!
I rolled around to cool down for a bit and then went to find Rich who rolled in right on schedule. He did 2:17:06 and was so thrilled. He beat me:) hahaha, no i was laughing at that but really I think he rode to his potential, and again shows me that I have nothing to complain about with minor aches adn pains when he came back from sitting in a hospital bed at Mayo this april, with half his GI removed. Gosh, isnt medicine and the human will to "LIVE" amazing!
Here's to living life and huge congrats to Rich!!!
Here I am looking quite pleased with myself:) Ha!

I soon found out i placed 2nd OA! I was amazed. I was thrilled I was just again, totally amazed.
Tracie, a friend and a super FAST biker bested me by 35 seconds. I Did spend sometime thinking about how i could have gotten 35 seconds, I mean over 50 miles that isnt alot. But when i heard her say she dropped her chain and i think that i slowed for traffic, you know, it all works out. and likely the gal taht was behind me, had some issue, too. It just helps to remember that in my head i can come up with 1000 reasons why i didnt do "X or Y" or i was shy of that time by a certain amount, but heck, why not focus on what I did, not what i nearly did.

I was sad i didnt get to get on the podium with Tracie and the #3 gal, I think it was Maggie Fournier, I Dont know her but i know she is a very good triathlete. Since this race is HEAVILY IN FAVOR of the Road race, ( more on that later) I guess they just dont go 3 deep in the TT. Shame. But i made Tracie take our own photo:)

I hoped that she would stick around for the Best of Both and we could duke it out for 35 seconds on sunday's 15k but she has had some running injuries and some health challenges this summer so she was heading back home for some R and R. Congrats Tracie! Super proud to be in your company at time trial!!

So, that brings us to this:

I could say that i would write a race report about the 15K sunday. But yawn. Literally.
So here are the clif notes:
1) I didnt win the best of both. Boo.
2) They use the times from the Road race and the TT indiscriminately and a gal who was in the 2nd pack of women ( think her time was 2:13?) ran and beat me in the 15k by a min or so so she won the BOB. I know they dont really care if you do it all by yourself, but the only reason i was sad was i have one trophy from last year and SO wanted another so i could give them to my nephews. ONE BIG trophy and two little boys who havent gotten to the sharing part of life isnt a good plan.
3) IT was hard. I was deciding if it was my legs or the tank that didnt feel 100% and it was both.
I ran well, still, i had negative splits and i loved running on gravel and rolling hills. But it was not easy. I finished about a minute slower than last year ( blah,) but it was hotter and i think the tank was half full after saturday. They also had water stops with dixie cups that had about 2 TBS of water in them. I was like " MAN, can i have that pitcher?"I think they need more water!
4) super pleased with the weekend, and now i rest.
Got a sprint on saturday and that means I will get back to the race plan that i started this post with. GO ALL OUT!

Thanks for reading!