Well well, that course doesnt get any easier. But somehow I still want to go back:)
No photo's yet, and wish i had had my camera when Chrissie walked right by me at the gate at the KC airport ( flying Frontier, of course, bikes fly free!) but at that point i was pretty done with this sport for the day and wanted to go home. So i didnt chase her like a groupie, but sorta wish i had!
Pre race: Hung with Renee, we had a blast as always, laughing and feeling like we had forgotten how to SBR and feeling like we had walked FOR-EVER the days before bc of the parking at the park and the split transitions. Upstairs T2 and downstairs T1. The only stress was the forecast looked grim. Like "80% chance of storms, could be strong, winds to 30 mph, blahblahblah" set to hit at what time? oh what about 6-7 am? super. Nice. Ideal. I had some weird dreams friday night after dining with Leslie and Jeff, where our dinner talk went from : "yah, i heard this many people died in lakes last year..." to " Ya, at one race in KC they had to do a stand down on the race bc the water was covering the roads and people were literally being blown off the roads.." to "gosh i wonder if they would turn this into a half marathon? No way then i am doing a training run..." We all the sudden all laughed and said "WHAT ARE WE TALKING ABOUT!!!?"
So that night i dreamed they turned it into a Du, and the weird thing was that the only people in transition were me, renee, leslie and...Uli Bromme. Who was totally kicking our butts as she was practicing her transitions. ( Last year Uli was there and i was impressed that as we walked our bikes back to the car, she had to, also)
Race day: Radar looked spotty but it hadnt rained and so when we woke up at 3:30, yes, and were out the door at 4:15 it was still cloudy but my radar skills showed me we would get the swim in but after that it looked iffy. Fine. Rain and pour on me on the bike, our spring here has been " bad " ( that is being nice) so bring it on. I can handle it.
Swim: hit the water with what the announcer called " the old ladies" nice one, good pr dude, and it was rough. the rough where you look around and say "where is that boat?" well there was no boat just a constant wind that gave a nice chop, reminiscent of the chop at Texas 70.3 in 2010. Thank goodness i didnt freak, just worked it but nobody was getting a PR on this swim today. Somehow the water wasnt too hot, it was about 74 they said ( i think) but since the sun wasnt out it wasnt too bad. I was warm but not overheated. I caught the pink capped men from the 50+ and otehr than a few near punches and a few near breast stroke kicks into my face i got thru them unscathed. Got out 2nd in my Ag and felt pretty good about that swim.
T1: long run to my bike, no strippers so had to get those legs off but made double sure to get my EFS gel flask since this was my maiden voyage with liquid shot and not powergels.
Bike: Up the hill out of T1 my legs were not happy. I was cold my calves felt tight and i knew i was in for some positive self talk to remind myself that THEY WOULD COME out to play, but for now the legs wanted nada to do with riding. So i started my nutrition 5 min in, a bit earlier than i had planned but figured it couldnt hurt. I got passed just exiting the park by a woman with 48 on her calf and i never saw her again. She ended up winning and heck at mile 4 when she went by I had nothing to give to even try to keep her in sight. I was ok with that, I kept thinking about Jen saying " listen to your body, race your race."
Overall the bike went well for me. I felt really strong after mile 10, the legs did come back to me, and other than having to come out of aero a few times descending ( there was alot of wind, more than 2010) I think i rode stronger than last year. My time is about a minute slower, but that is ok, not a big deal. I felt stronger as the ride went on and i took the hills just as i wanted to, not hammering them but spinning up with good cadence and steady tempo efforts. I didnt get passed by anymore women in my AG and Leslie ( 40-44) didnt pass me till we were entering the park, that was a secret goal of mine, to not let her pass me! Even tho she started 2 min later than me and had a slower swim i know how strong a rider she is!
T2: pretty solid. Got my shoes out of the meticulously packed bag ( since it WAS GOING TO RAIN?, nope, lucky us) we all packed shoes in plastic. Socks on, new EFS gel flask full and ready and off i went.
Run: mile 1 felt hard, into a wind and sorta uphill grade, but my thoughts were " SLOW DOWN" do not overcook the first part of this run. I think i did a pretty good job of that, and since i was running naked just had my watch going. I was helped my many many cheers from people i knew and some that i didnt, but it was nice to hear that support. I had a BAD side stitch from the get go and realized i took a big drink as I left my bike in T2 and think that was a bad idea. So i decided that nothing was going in me until that let up. Finally around mile 3 it subsided. Now the issue is that i finished my bike flask around 2:20, and i came in at 2:46.
Mile 3 of the run was 23 min later. So was that too long to wait for nutrition? Well i didnt much think i had a choice. And by about mile 5 my legs were starting to really feel more and more like cement. I sipped on my EFS and i even started taking Perform on the course. By mile 8 I REALLY felt like i had NOTHING in my legs. Like i could barely turn them over. At this point i really wanted to walk a bit and i was feeling the urge to get negative, so i just kept saying "RACE DAY MAGIC, you make it happen....keep going." I knew i was slowing down and it was evident when at mile 12 i got passed by a gal in my AG ( from MN!) and i had nothing to give to staying with her. The entire run felt hard. I know that the runs are hard, but i never really felt i had that steady state in me even. Perhaps this is where i am with my run fitness now, that is ok, bc I didnt run much this winter and i sure havent had any long hard runs after rides like that! But as we all know its hard to get passed in the last miles and not be able to "go along."
So as i was reading Elf's blog last night ( wonderful! So cool!) I laughed out loud at the "at mile 10 hurt yourself." well that one rang true for me, but it may have come even more evident in the last 800 yards when another 45-49 gal passed me. And this time i thought " no. go with her." and i tried. And i didnt feel so hot but i kept trying. Eventually we turned the corner to head into the finish chute and she sorta cut me off, i dont think it was intentional, or maybe it was, but either way when i saw that yellow brick road and the timing mats about, well lets say it was ABOUT as close as the baseline to the net post, i had this instant instinct to " RUN DOWN THAT DROP SHOT." and off i went. She was behind me but i got to that mat first, and then proceeded to go thru the finish and then look up to Chrissie putting a medal on me.
I am glad i didnt fall over on her:)
And then the real fun began. I cried. I cramped. I shared a baby pool with super runner Kerrie, and then i got really cold and cramped some more, and then found renee and paid her to go get my wetsuit from downstairs bc i couldnt walk. And finally after a bit of salt ( potato chips) and a bottle of perform, and a coke i was walking a bit better. My feet cramped...the intrinsics of my feet and my toes, and it was the most painful "sport cramp" I have ever had. Yup, there is a first for everything.
And so it goes, 45 sec from 3rd, 1 sec ahead of 4th, and heck, who said 45-49 yo wm were any weaker than the 40-44 women:)?
Thanks to my awesome friends and family for all the messages, and FB comments. It means alot to me that you all care enough to track me race day! and of course to my coach who always says things to make me feel better and keep things in perspective. I have another day to eat crap and drink wine ( I am told) but after spending the day in the KC airport where the TSA literally went ballistic on me for leaving my bike box while i went to pee ( Yes he said "YOU MUST BRING THAT BOX WITH YOU INTO THE LADIES ROOM..." to which i said "it wont fit in the stall....whatever") ok i didnt say that, but the TSA needs to go catch some real bad people, not me...anyways...I had alot of time to eat airport food and i am sorta done with it....
Sorry for that tangent. next year i am driving again. I hate flying with my bike, WAY too much stress....
And now that i have used up all your blog time, thanks for reading and keep praying for summer here in MN. Sub 60 when i wake up makes my unheated pool a bit chilly for masters!