My overwelming thought during this race was " I am bored. " NOW that may seem arrogant and silly, and mocking the distance that i actually do like. But having not done this distance since last May ( 2012) at St Croix, USVI and on the doorstep of my hamstring injury that prevented me from racing until Ironman Wisconsin and more pertinently, on the doorstep of Rich's death.....I felt a bit OUT OF IT......
I wanted to wait for pictures to do this RR, but heck, who knows when and if those will appear. They maybe as elusive as the USAT officicals i saw eating hotdogs in the post race area, and well, i saw one on her bike in the run. But why is the race USAT if there are no officials visisible on the bike course. Just wondering.
So my taper week was hard. I dont usually have an issue with taper, the more the better. Rest is good. Food is good. I dont often feel Like I NEED TO DO MORE. It is what it is. But this time it felt alot worse. The weather had a HUGE part of that, and the anticcipation of a cold swim and a cold bike,etc had me anxious. Not to mention that i swam OW on WED and my Legs post swim had such bad shivering that i actually spasmed in my Quad and it was very present even friday. The weather here has been awful. I mean 50 and rain, no sun for over a week, and just dreary. So its been bad. Chicago feels my pain, the rest of you just ignore me.
So saturday came and I packed up to get out there by 5:45, The race had an OLY distance too and I was amazed how i felt on the ride espec, thinking " WHAT am i doing this distance for???" Anyways on to the race.
Swim: I got sucker punched in the nose by a dude that had to have had the worst shoulder ROM ever. He wasnt even able to reach, i literally sat up in thewater as his poor tight shoulders went on to beat up a few more faces. I have never been hit so squarely in the nose. It hurt and i saw stars. All i could think was that despite it causing me a bit of " shock " and slower to start that if it was bleeding that the cold water would be good for it. Moving on i got behind another dude that was playing zig zag swim. So my effort to find feet was futile, as the fast elite swimmers all went ahead and i was in the middle in front of the" not as fast as me " elite wave. When a few guys from a wave behind us came thru i did jump on them. they were fast and fluid and swimming straight. Horray. REally people, learn how to sight and learn how to not punch people. Time was 33:xx not great but not terrible considering all the water temp anxiiety. I think it was about 62. Fine.
T1; Fine, still need to work on the wetsuit removal. Its just hard, and i seem to have a hard time in tall grass too. Oh well. Lots of stairs up but i was out and on my way. I Also made the decision to put on a jersey, and i dropped all the fuel out of the back pockets when i put it on. More time getting that out of the grass. La dee dah.
Bike: Now as " warm" as the swim was, recall the shiver affect in water that was about 4 deg colder earlier in the week. LUCKY for me the sun was out but it was still chilly and well, my legs arent too sturdy so they were cold. I felt like my legs hips everything HURT the first 10 miles. I kept swearing at Jen " Be patient, be patient, be patient...why am i doing this distance again?" I stuck to my fuel plan, a new one, that i am not totally sold on yet ( more on that someday) but i did it bc its the plan and you have to think that up front on the bike you may not feel great. Of course i didnt remember this bc it hadbeen a year since i did this distance.
I had to really put out of my head that i was not doing well. I was getting passed right and left, but i stuck to my watts assignment and my fuel plan and kept saying " be patient, be patient." Not sure but i suppose that helped. Around mile 25 my legs started to feel better. I got a bit less focused on how bored i was, and started to think that i was doing the bike just fine. I often have this angst about not being a stronger biker. But it is what it is, and the fact that i was at the high end of my watt range was good. I was doing fine. I was doing my fuel right but i had a tummy ache. Sorta not what i wanted. But i did get stronger as the bike went on and luckily we had a tail wind, so that may have helped the last 10 miles. 2:43 ( oh and a nice little detour thru a neighborhood took some time but it also was a nice respite for the legs!) this area is hilly, rollers, nothing is flat but it wasnt like DairyLand Dare hilly by any means.
T2; Fine. Said stomach issue put me into the porta potty briefly but all was ok, but still another 30-45 sec ineed to figure out. IT was colder so i didnt finish all the bottles i had, i also am not as easy to pee on my bike as some of you, so I sometimes just figure its not hot i am not dehydrated it will all work out. and it did.
I figured i had about 500-600 Kcals in gel/bar/blocks on the bike ( 100 before the swim) and then I dont know the Kcals in the Perform but two 20 oz bottles, and honestly I couldnt have taken more.
Run: I had no clue on the course, etc other than paths. IT was very rolling LONG LONG gradual downhills and some more steep uphills and since it was out and back you knew wha twould greet you the last 3 miles. Ouch. I kept to my plan of starting out around 7:20's but i also knew that once i hit mile 3 and the rollers started that i wasnt even going to LOOk at my watch. Why look at the Garmin? I knew how i could run and i knew that it would just distract me. So i looked at it when i finished, that is it. I nailed the HR and i know that i couldnt have run any harder ( well now, I do think i could have run harder to start but i was feeling bored again from mile 1-6 so i just ran) i did what i did at The half mary in March once i hit mile 7 i started to focus game face on and i just ran.
I geled on schedule, cant stand HEED and just was thanful for the cooler temps and not needing more than water. I had a 2nd gel i choked down around mile 9 and that WAS IT. Full on GI YUK. I could barely drink anything when i finished. At mile 9 i just really started to hit it home. The pace may not have changed and again it was uphill alot but i was passing back some of the kids ( young) that passed me on the bike. Tough thing is that some of the more competitive women arent starting Elite. Not sure why. But you are in a sprint with them when you see the results. ITs hard to race when you dont race head to head. But such is their choice.
I finished in 1:36, course was short but that is ok, Everyone had a short course:)
total time was 4:56 xx and i got 5th OA and 1st Ag. Yay me.
Tom raced too and beat me by a few minutes, but i think he heard the pitter patter of my feet coming after him Had i had a few more miles!
And the Body report:) I am usually thrilled to death to do a race and not have a body part to report to my PT that next day. ie " this hurt after mile X" or " I think i reinjured...xx" But man my calves are beat up. I cant even walk. Honestly I have never had calf issues EVER, and this spring i have already had one bout with mostly soleus issues, do tight i honestly cant walk, i look like a wooden solder. I am keeeping faith that its the cold water and the cooler temps. The shoes i wear are what i have worn for a few years but i am open to change. Saucony Cortana. I may be shopping for new shoes. Its a bit depressing to feel 100% recovered energy wise in 24 hours but be afraid to get out of bed and go downstairs. The only thing that hurt when running was my Braid digging into the side of my head from my visor. Next time i am wearing a hat:)
I will post pics if they ever are available. Congrats to everyone that raced this weekend. I am pretty sure next year is KANSAS or bust. Love that race and as much as its nice to be at home the mental game at home is sometimes harder for me.