Friday, June 16, 2017

Liberty Olympic Race Report

 Saturday June 10 was the Liberty OLY. I have done this race umpteen times. I have raced the half iron distance in rain, hail, sleet, and high 40 deg temps. Not fun. I Remember running 13.1 miles on calves that were so cold, that my legs were literally trashed for 2 weeks after. Not fun.

HOWLING? Liberty 2014

So when saturday's forecast was for heat ( which we had last year) plus high winds, you sorta go: Ok whatever. Adapt. Make it a training day. Whatever you need to do to get to the finish. My marching orders were to keep this race under control. I am not sandbagging when i tell you my running has been very slight the last few months. Its been all about keeping my body, my back especially happy. I came into this race with two runs of 50 minutes as my long runs. So to say i had low expectations is an understatement. The plan wasn't to kill it ( very challenging for me to say that) but to keep my lower back at a < 3/10 pain level.

After what i posted last week, I am shy to comment that this race went well. You know sometimes all your fears are 75% in your head, and sometimes your fears are just that. False Events Appearing Real. I love that. Rich used to tell me that all the time. Don't be scared. Fear is just a waste of energy. So onward.

Swim: I have no idea my time( not a garmin swimmer) , but it was slow. I had to often look up and do breast stroke bc even with bilateral breathing the water was coming every which way. I just plugged along till i got to the turn buoy. The Oly race had already been delayed as the Half started first and at least one gal was pulled bc she was hyperventilating. A canoe capsized. It wasn't a pleasant day on the lake but we had wetsuits on ( even thought it was 76 deg so it was toasty) and the likelihood of this race ever being non wetsuit is nil. I don't think in the history of this race this has ever happened. Never say never but I like non wetsuit
( Any wetsuit hurts my back) but i was happy to have it on today. Coming back i drifted ( The wind was a head cross and a tail cross) so likely I did a few extra meters. LOL. I wondered why there were people swimming at me. Oops.  Well I was in the first wave so yup, my bad, it was oncoming waves.

T 1: Uneventful. In and out in a minute.

Bike: As many have said, it was an effort in not spiking watts into the wind, and then staying upright. I had changed out my front wheel from an 808 to a 303 ( anyone want to buy a front 808, I am serious) and that was huge. No way i would have had as comfortable of a ride on a front deeper dish. I also didn't ride a disc. No need to give mother nature any other reason to toss me around. I had fun out there, kept it controlled and didn't override into the headwind. Coming back it was sweet to be riding 34-36mph, pushing minimal watts. Lets just not kill those legs now for the hot run to come.

Not sure where this was, back into the park? credit to Sebottka photos 
T2: Gingerly hopping off that bike, into T2 and nothing crazy happened. Remembered my Gel and my Belt:) off i went. Tippy toeing trying to get my body upright.

Run: I didn't look at my Garmin. I almost didn't wear it, but i wanted to see where I was ( post race) and see what my body felt like RPE v what i actually ran. I was just ticking along, took my gel around mile 2, didn't want it but heck who wants a gel? Drank water at each stop, etc...It was lonely out there actually i didn't see anyone till i started to see the guys coming back at me. I had no idea who was ahead or behind me. Then i saw Andi fly by ( 1st place) and shortly i saw Katie ahead walking. Run-roh. Decision time.

My decision wasn't really a decision, it was me saying " check on her make sure she is ok, and then keep running." and i did just that. I told her to keep on, that " you got this girl." and i just kept moving. Luckily in the heat I don't do so bad. I also kept ahead on the bike and well, lets just say its not like I was cool as a cucumber but my pace didn't slow too much over 6.3 miles. ( maybe i ran loopy i dunno)

I did miss water stop bc they had oncoming traffic and i regretted that. The sun was hot and i hoped that the half runners, and even the 10k runners were smart about pacing, and their hydration. It was a day to walk water stops, use your flask if you have one, and just get it done.

Finish: Its a gorgeous finish on a gravel road, tree lined and a great greeting from our own Jerry McNeil. I was super thrilled to be done and happy to get 2nd OA. I knew there were a lot of fast cats behind me though so I was mostly happy that i stuck to my plan and most happy that my LBP was nil. To say that thrills me. Almost don't want to put that into the universe but I am.

Congrats to all that raced and thank you to FinalStretch and Mark Bongers for always putting on great races. Ongoing thanks to Kevin and Gear West Bike and Tri for helping me with bikes, and life in general. And of course thanks to all my PT's who i can't name bc there are too many of them.And to my coach Marilyn Chycota for holding onto the back of my shirt when i run:)

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