Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Age Group Nationals-Milwaukee, Wisconsin!

Last weekend I competed in what was my true A race of the season. After the stress of last season, and the added stress of training for an IM while Rich was so sick, I knew I had two choices:
1) YES do another IM! kill time! dont think. just do, avoid your feelings by training till you are too tired to think. (All kidding aside its sorta true)
2) Chill out. Pick local races, stay close to home, dont set goals that are over the top, just do the work and the results will follow. If not, that is ok you didnt spend 6 hours on a bike. And no saddle sores.

So Natz was my A race:) And i can tell you 100 times i have said " I am SO GLAD I am not training for an IM this summer" and maybe 4 x I have said " oh what a nice rainy day in the 60's to be riding to Prescott, wish I was IM training." haha. Things happen for a reason.

I was pretty excited to do this race. I like the OLY distance and I had been rained out of the only true OLY i had this summer. I was only nervous about running a 10k versus a 5k but Jen said " oh no worries" so in trusting her i said "OK no worries." 

I drove to the race on thursday and it was a long drive solo. I took my time and met up with many Ohio-ans most importantly my lovely pal Sarah. She had rented a house about 3 miles north of the race site and it was AMAZING! Perfect. Any race, short or long, is made better by having your own kitchen. We can all eat when and what we like. Whole paycheck Foods was about 1 mile away. 
Even if its $$ it beats eating out. I have a pretty set deal for what works for me pre race so as boring as it is I kept my plan and as usual it didnt fail me. 

Friday dawned and we got in our tune up ride and runs, skipped the swim bc i just didnt need to be in the water with 1000 other nervous rubber coated people. I had walked the swim, driven the bike course and the run was as flat as can be. Lets just rack our bikes ( and check it 100x) and get out of there. 
Sarah had switched to the sprint so she was 100% mine for saturday. Actually it was a joke and sorry if we annoyed you but we had a little wager as to who could throw up on Facebook the most during the other's race, I think it was a draw, but i tell you it sure was fun having her out there cheering. And she took some great pics. 

Race day dawned, my routine was put in place starting with food then muscle activation exercises (wait till you are older you will get this) and headed to the race. I was totally excited to be at a race with IM energy but about 1/5th of the race time. Sorta feel like i cheated getting done so fast. 

Race: Swim time! I had over 170 people in my wave. that is BIG for women 45-49. We were 7th and it was an ok time to start, i was lucky not too late. I mourned the loss of 40-44, they started 2nd wave!
I hung out with Ann who is lovely and in my AG, she is from MN too and I have always loved racing with her. It felt like an IM so i was happy to have a friend nearby. I lined up perfect and true to form my 200 yd pace is about my 1500 pace so i had to fight thru a sandwich but once i got to the bridge i was good. Found a few feet but then just kept my own line and felt really good. never tired, never had a hard time sighting. Came out 23:xx which was awesome. Maybe it was short but i was happy with it.

T1 time ! I had really worked to get my T's in order, which meant practicing taking my wetsuit on and off. Long legged folks dont get the luxury of the timing chip under the leg bc our suits come mid calf. So no matter how much glide you put on, that is an obstacle. My Right arm got stuck again. No watch not sure why, but that was a pain too. But in comparing to others i seemed low/faster so no complaints. Gretta and i rolled out. 

Bike time! I was super excited to bike this. I had been biking strong and it was a great course for me. Much to my delight it wasnt as flat as they said, it had some nice gradual longer " inclines" ( I wont call a freeway a hill) and i loved it. I have been nailing my nutrition and today, being sorta warm and not wet and freezing allowed me to really dial the gels and fluids in. When we turned around we had completed more than half the course and as I headed back into town I was sorta sad i was almost done. 
The course WAS crowded but maybe bc i had a 7th wave behind mostly older athletes ( well and the 40-44 M and W) i was pretty ok passing people and moving right along. The Motos were out and from what i heard they were actively penalizing. You know my thoughts on drafting or blocking. Its hard to avoid but i can be done if you slow down or speed up. Bike time 1:07:xx

T2 time! I had that one down fast! In and out burger and off i went, gel in hand.

Run time! I dont race with a Garmin so i just figured it was going to go like this...mile 1, dont think get your legs, if you feel great then move it bc you didnt bike fast enough. Mile 2, keep on moving but start to think about how much you can up the gears. Mile 3, ok now you are starting to get to the critical time in the race where you gotta go if you are going to go.  a TIMEX man passed me and i did my best to stay with him. He was moving and i just stayed on his heels and then he got about 10 feet ahead of me and that was fine. I stuck to him, started passing more people and at mile 4, we turned back. Aha there was some wind, now it heated up but there was no wind. I put my head down, couldnt really see who i was passing bc alot of the ink is off the legs and i just kept moving. I swear i didnt see anyone in my AG, I must have passed someone around mile 5 but i dont remember it. Mile 5 came and it was all cylinders firing. The one thing i remember was that i kept thinking through the entire run " THIS IS SO AWESOME. I AM NOT INJURED AND I AM RUNNING FAST!" That kept going thru my head. I only had my fitness holding me back and having not run a 10k in  ???? I was darn happy with how this was going. 
As i hit the carpet I didnt look back i just kept kicking it in. I just wanted to know if i had to put it into 
"drop shot" chasing mode or not, and I didnt. 
Final run 43:xx just over 7's.

Final placement, 6th AG, top 100 OA women.

In hindsight i laughed bc i did what my plan was :
Swim as hard as you can
Bike like you stole it
Run like you are being chased.
Funny is that rich's friend called me friday to wish me good luck, his advice was the same but his swim advice was " dont sink." good one Kyle.

Here are some random photos: In no real order. 
Lovely Helen from MN My tennis buddy and a great triathlete! 

woohoo i am speeding on the freeway! 

Finishing shot

Sarah and I goofing around post race at whole foods 

Sprint day, my day to help Sarah! Molly and Melissa both from Boulder, CO

MAGGS!!! i finally met MAGGS! 

Me and Maggs hanging 

And need i say more. This  cracked" us up more times than i can tell you. 

So overall? Totally a great time. Lots of good racing and While i wished i had done the sprint as well my body knows better. I am the first to say I dont want to get greedy. When things are working its easy to want more. And I have met my goals 110% this summer. Not time to reflect on the entire season but I am hoping to race a few more times. Going to do a memorial ride for Rich and hopefully get in some good fall runs and rides. Next year? well its looking like Ironman. But still jury out on which one.
thanks for reading and for all your cheers and love. XOXO


Jennifer Harrison said...

BEST race for you in the last few years - you hit a huge home run here!
Hope you are still celebrating!!!!

cheryl said...

Great job Julia!

Beth said...

Yay Julia!!!!! Awesome racing - congrats!! :) Everyone who did the race seemed to really like it. See you back in WI again soon! :)

Maggs said...

What a great race you had! I'm so glad I got to meet you. Hopefully we can race more together in the future! I had such a great chat with you on Sunday!

I can't believe you posted the crack :-)

Molly said...

Congrats Julia!! You were so strong out there. Great to see you!

Steve said...

Glad you had a good weekend Julia. I assume you did good in your race??

I may or may not have read the whole race report part. ;)

Have a good one. I know real life is way more exciting than race weekend get-a-ways. ;)

Have a good one. :)

The Miller Family said...

Glad you had a great race and good company!!! Looks like you ladies had a blast. Miss you!!!!

Tom said...

Awesome race Julia!! You rock! Thanks again for all of your help this season and for introducing me to your coach's techniques. She is going to help me out next season I just know.

You can relax now and enjoy some time off. See you at MG!

drummer_man said...

Great job and inspirational blog! Can you explain muscle activation exercises / benefits for those of us approaching a certain age?

EZnJ said...

Well, I'm a week late, but great race and report!! Awesome job with a 6th in AG!! I've heard really good things about the course. Hopefully, JnI will see you out and about this fall.