Monday, June 27, 2011

Waconia Race Report and IM training....

What a fun weekend. Really I am learning to embrace sunday races, even though i far prefer to race saturday to "get it done," I realize the pluses of a sunday race to get organized and actually gain some fire from the adrenalin that builds on a saturday.

So Waconia is one race i have always done. Even when i was playing tennis I tried to do this race bc its a lovely venue, the course suits me ( rolling hills on both bike and run) and the town of Waconia and its volunteers put on a safe and well done race! Last year i totally surprised myself coming in 3rd and taking a slot to BOUS. I had been indecisive about what my season would look like in 2011 after having done 2  70'3s buy Mid June, and was sorta feeling like i was just going to fill in gaps and then maybe do AG natx. So when i had a chance to go to BOUS it totally gave me a fun and special summer of 2011.

This year I knew i would not be "able" to go to BOUS, even tho it would have been super fun to do it again especially in Alabama! ( I think its ALA, and not Arkansas? oops not sure) but i have other plans that weekend in the form of a little Ironman! So my thoughts on Waconia this year and my honest goals were to ignore the hype of the enormously competitive womens Elite start list and to go as hard as i could on legs and a body that i was not sure was recovered from the throw down that Kansas gave me 2 weeks ago. I had done some training last week, but nothing that made me think i was "ready." So when i said i wanted top 10. I meant it.

Rich got himself signed up as well, and that made it even more fun to go and have him there to share in the fun race day. Kudo's to him. The weather ( yes i need to comment on this every post, sorry) has been so poor that his normal riding at 5 am with his group has been rained out or very wet for the past 2 weeks. I dont think he has ridden consistently at all this entire spring or summer, so he has realized that a little swim and run may be good "Wet Road" alternatives. Anyways we drove out to Waconia early and I assured him that "you are just racing yourself, oh and me on the bike, so go have fun!" haha, nothing like a little family wager to keep that bike power up right?

So without more blahblahblah ( but really that is the fun stuff, and the stuff i remember)

 1/2 mile Swim: Elites and teams started in a wave format. I was a bit concerned bc you never know what guy is going to use you as a punching bag. But i had clear water to the 1st turn buoy and even to the 2nd buoy when we turned back to shore. But it was there that somehow i got the "zig zag" elite male ( and I do know who he is) in my path. I finally had to sit up and yell as loud as i could "DUDE! HOLD YOUR LINE!" and he evened out. But gee whiz it was like every time i would re-align my path he would change his. It was like he was determined to swim INTO me. I exited the water a bit slower than i had hoped but still fine.
Nothing like seeing yourself at attention in a wetsuit:)

T1: FAST ...yes I am getting the hang of this.

20mile Bike: I had a bit of an issue at the start bc I seem to be prone to catching air on my front 404's. I was taking some faster corners to get out of town and i had to really work to keep the front wheel down. It scared me and made me think about riding a 303 for Madison, but i realized once i got on the open road i was fine, it was just the corners with some wind that picked me up. I rode hard. I caught up to the super phenom junior girls that raced elite and can swim like fish. And then i caught up to Becky the eventual winner of the race. I was SO NERVOUS bc i passed her clean but the moto was right there and they slowed down and hung out after i passed. I KNEW i made a clean pass but heck what do i know, you just never know. So i thought about that the entire race. And hoped i would not get a penalty ( i didnt and later asked them and they said that they were watching the girl i passed) Phew. Suzie came FLYING by me around mile 17...and off she went. Suzie is a super biker and i was just waiting for her to leave me in the dust!
I passed Heidi coming towards the finish up a hill, which was maybe annoying but we were going up a hill and i had to. We came into T2 together ( Heidi ended up third) and she BOLTED into T2 i think i would have torn a limb running that fast!
T2: Fast again. But i couldnt feel my feet ( a combo of cooler water and some rain on the bike, yes for the love of pete, can i do a race once when the sun is out?) so i had a harder time getting my feet in my shoes.
4mile run: Starts out level and then around 1/4 mile you start a gradual climb up Cemetary hill. Its not too steep but you know you are going up up up and then it turns and you go up some more. The rest of this run is rolling out and back. Nothing like seeing who is coming at you after you turn around. Gulp.
Suzie was in front, then Heidi, the Me, then Becky. that is all i knew. Becky passed me around 1/2 mile and i could tell she was gaining on 1 and 2. Around Mile 1.5 I  heard cheers for " Go womEN" So i knew there was a stealth shadow on my heels. Michelle passed me then and i stayed right with her ( behind her!) til mile 2. At the turn around I remembered that i only had 2 miles to go and i needed to try to keep this pace or even up it. I did just that. I started seeing Suzie get a little bit closer, and it wasnt so much that i was chasing Suzie it was that I knew there were at least 3-4 girls tailing me that potentially had faster runs than me. I passed suzie up a slight hill and then started getting my game face on to prepare for yet another "SPRINT" into the chute like 2 weeks ago. I kinda didnt want to do that. I Was sore sore a week from that. And didnt want to get that sore again. And Suzie is 28, I really thought i was a goner if she decided to run a fast 800 on me! Luckily i had about 10 seconds on her, and was able to keep that till the finish. 4th Elite. I will take it. Followed very closely by Suzie and my good friend Jenny.
I think this is close to the finish bc i look like i stole something.

Photos are from Nick Morales at TriJuice thanks Nick for coming out!

Rich did awesome as well. He really had fun and is realizing what he needs to work on if he wants to get faster. But in his words " all the guys in my AG ( 55-59) are these skinny I used to do marathon guys" So i think he feels ok about that since he is a "mesomorphic I dont like to run more than 4 miles" and "i wont turn down that cookie guy." Love it. What a great team we make, balance is key right?

I got a neat mug that we used last night to drink some beer and since it had been dry for about 4 hours we hoped to sit out by the pool to grill. But apparently we cant go for more than 4 hours without rain so we grilled and came into have our dinner. Sigh.

On other fun notes ( and tardy notes since i am guilty of posting infrequently you get a hodge podge of stuff...) Last week MSP hosted the NVGP cycling. That is Nature Valley Grand Prix and we headed to uptown to watch the Crashfest  
 The Crit didnt disappoint but we were not at the right corner, and at least 20 of the front women went down on a turn into the bell lap. Pretty unfortunate bc they neutralized the race. Crit racing isnt for everyone. I am lucky i did it and only crashed once...lotsa blood and ambulances at that corner.

Here is my Hillary Biscay costume and my sister in Uptown watching fast women on fast bikes. She tells me my glasses look like the kind my dad wears, but his are black and he is 85 yo:) Maybe i need a bigger face!

So what is next? This is a post for another day, but i see the first signs of true IM training on my TP. I see 100 miles and a T run ( and not just 20 minutes) and i see 2 hour runs and i see stuff i need to not look at today. Because today is today and i can deal with that stuff the day prior for planning and the day of for the actual workout. I told Coach last night that i am trying very hard to enjoy the success i have had thus far and let go of my expectation that i need to "Crush, Destroy, Win" Every wko. Bc I suspect that when it comes to IM training some of the wkos you just DO. You dont judge you dont look at splits and you dont get excited to log it into TP to see how much you won the workout by. Granted this is new to me, but i suspect i am on track here. So I am enjoying some speed now, and will begrudingly realize i need to not go run a 2 hour run expecting to run 8 min miles:)

Super excited for this and cant wait to share it with you and also, of course, hear your advice on IM! My goals? someone asked me that after Waconia. I have no idea. I think i want to get thru the training, then let the day unfold.

Happy monday to y'all. We had some sun but its about time for some rain ( yes I am serious) so had better go get the clothes from outside!


Libby said...

yea!! we were both 4th this weekend lol...
congrats on another great race. and by the way.... definitely don't beat the workouts in IM training. I'm the same way and I definitely had to unlearn those habits with dirk. now its more about not letting the workout beat me :P

Kim said...

way to go julia!!! (p.s. why arent more races on saturday?!)

Molly said...

Yay for IM training! I eagerly anticipate this kind of stuff in my TP before long...

EZnJ said...

Great race Julia!! You looked very focused and strong each time I saw you. I've seen my first 100 miler workout too...plenty of time for reflection and self-talk. Speaking of zig-zag on the garmin data showed that I was swimming a slalom course before the first turn. Let the IM focus begin!!

cheryl said...

LMAO at Crush. Destroy. Win. every workout. You are an animal.

have fun with that IM stuff. be careful. somedays its ok be a pussy cat instead of a grizzly bear.

Steve said...

Congrats on your race and good family time. :) Our weather hasn't been as bad as yours. but we planned on grilling, then we planned on hanging inside, cuz of the rain, now we can probably grill if we want to. I think I am just going to go to bed. :) LOL j/k. :)

Good luck this year Julia. U R def more of a trooper than me. :) I like ya though. :) even though you are better than me at most things.... well probably besides tennis. :) j/k. xoxo :))

Jennifer Harrison said...

YOUR race pics are so intense, I love them!!!!
Yes, we shift gears for IM training.... YAY! Tis the season! Congrats to RICH TOO!

ADC said...

Hey great race Julia. Congrats.

Beth said...

Way to go Julia!! Congrats on another great race. IM training here you come! ;)

Rural Girl said...

I have a sneaking suspicion you will have some IM goals! :)

You don't seem like someone who let's it just happen!!

Congratulations on another exciting race performance.

Heidi Austin said...

congrats on your race! IM training sucks... race day makes it all worth it though... and getting through the long days is an adventure in itself! good luck girly :)

Steve Stenzel said...

"Maybe I need a bigger face." Ha!

Nice work at Waconia! I can't swim a straight OW line, so I feel for that elite you were swimming with. ;)

Dr. TriRunner said...

congrats julia!! and for some reason i missed that you had signed up for IMWI, so I'm excited to follow along with your training!

Damie said...

Hey girlie- I have been so bad about keeping up with everyone lately. Nice job on the race- especially after the half IM, it is hard to have that step for the short stuff, and you were probably still recovering honestly, so 4th elite is fantastic I think. This seems to be a good year for you...BTW- we have 71 days left. :)