Monday, May 18, 2009

Gear West Du Race Report..and Butt Names!

6k-30k-4k format.

Sunday started out cool. I was up early...I dont usually like sunday races. I am usually a ball or energy and excitement + + nerves the day before and to have a saturday with nothing but a tune up and lots of time to kill often = my nerves just escalating. I handled it pretty well and since it was once again windy and actually COLD saturday I was happy to wait it out.
Still saturday night when Rich called from the north woods I was all "I wish i were there, I wish I werent here. I wish i was chopping wood and clearing trails and cleaning up after all the boys ( My dad, my brother, my 2 nephews) plus a work force of 40+ at the work weekend at the cabins..wait a minute. Did I really want to be up there and missing this race? NO. But heck when you are ready to go and you are waiting..can anyone say "pre-competition anxiety?"

And why does she have a tennis court on this blog entry? As we racked our bikes next to the Orono High tennis courts it did give me a sense of calm. On our first calm day ( wind wise) I was taken back to the times when i would enter those courts and in the bright cold sunshine, work myself into a trance of repetitive motion. For now the sound of clean hit on the sweet spot of the racket, and the crunch of a well returned or hit serve has been replaced, for now, with the woosh woosh woosh of the disk wheel. Or of someone else's disk passing my disk:)

On to the race report...I havent found any official GW pics but the following were taken by Pharmie, Speedo Steve's great wife, who i found out is ALSO doing Liberty Half. YEA!

Starting "sprint"..I am tickled that i am 1/2 step in front of the great Dave Dow. I have to give him crap for that. He is just to me left and a fantastic coach at SPA, chemist at 3M, and super biker as well. And a nice guy. This is the only section of the 1st 6k that is on terra firma. Then we head to the uneven terrain. fun fun. I worked the 1st run as best i could and didnt totally kill myself. but as this went on and on, and we had 90 deg turns, 180 deg turns, uphills, bridges, soggy wood chips, cones to run around..I was thinking how tough the last 4k run would be. LATER, not now, stay here, Julia.

Leaving T1 after my T(ea) party. For the life of me if i could not waste at least 30 seconds getting my Aero helmet buckled. I mean come on...what is my problem?! Once I got out i was good to go. 1st mile was hard, but that isnt news. I took a gel about 3 miles in and washed it down with some infinit that was too strong since for the next 8 miles i had my first episodes of reflux on the bike. Check, need water, and need infinit less strong for a fast paced day. I was passed by my buddy Dave at the only hill that I needed the small ring for, a quick incline up to 24. He flew by me as I was spinning my wheels up that stinker. Back into the big ring and I was on the TNT course, the same one that less than a week ago nearly blew me over.

I love this course and the subsequent turn to 19 up to the cemetary and Hamel Road. Lots of rollers with rolling hills in between those rollers. I had a few tough spots ( read 13 mph spots) going up a few rollers but with the rest I had the week before my legs just followed as I cranked the shifters down and took the descents as a fun and sorta fast effort, all the while pedaling with as much resistance as my legs could handle. I was passing some women, mostly young-uns from the Junior team, and then came upon a woman in my age group on Hunter Road. I know Wendy, she is from chippewa falls and is a very strong runner. She was about 30 seconds ahead of me on the 1st run so I kinda hung out beside her for a bit bc I knew that Hunter road was a short road and i didnt want to try to pass her as we were turning onto a busier Hi 6. So just as we turned she got out of her saddle and started hauling. Then she sat down. Ok now, 6 had a bit of wind and some long rollers. The kind i love to grind out. So off i went. I went by her with an "on your left, good job Wendy" and off i went. I also passed a Run and Fun gal who looked quite young. She didnt smile, and didnt look to pleased to have me ride on by ..I didnt look back I just kept riding. And when we turned back towards T2 I could see that they werent close to me. Likely 20-30 seconds back. Woot woot. Keep on going. Wendy will catch you in the run but MAKE HER CATCH YOU.

T2 was alot better, and yes I took my helmet off. And yes i was not sure where the run out was even tho i had been told before we started. Thanks Marti for showing me AGAIN!

So that last 4k felt like 6k. Or more. I mean really. I dont know the last time i hurt like that. And that includes doing a 50 mile TT in hilly northern Wi, and that includes running a recent 10k ( which i think are the HARDEST races ever...) i just didnt look back. I knew Wendy was there as there are all these turns, 90 deg, 180 deg so when we went around some baseball fence and on some grass ( really I mean, you run in circles) all i could think was "SHE GALLOPPING towards me." Ok so I was at peace with it really. Pretty soon Run and Fun gal comes sprinting by me. I mean ALL OUT...And kinda gives me the stink eye. Ok maybe not felt like it:)
And i figure if i can keep her in my 10 foot range maybe i can pick it up a bit so I can hold this a bit longer. In and out, weave, wood chip, up and down and finally i can see the hill that is short but steep. WOO...Maybe i can scurry up that hill and MAYBE I can hold on. So i scurry. afraid to wipe out....someone is yelling nonstop for someone behind me but it is for a guy. Not for Wendy. So I do recall passing a guy along the way I scurry up the hill wondering if anyone face plants after that hill...I see the track. OH man. I forgot i had to run a 100 yard dash before i can get to the finishing shoot. So off i go. Not looking back. Just ahead. dont look back. PICK UP YOUR FEET.
And all the sudden Nice Erik Hull is taking my chip off and I am wheezing like someone that needs an albuterol fix.

I dont look all that bad but trust me, this is what the Pain Locker looks like.

Dave ( who passed me on the bike!) and Marti ( who got me out of T2!) Thanks you two, Fun to see you at the races. Dave is the one who I TT with and then we run. He says he is done with the craziness of T runs, hee hee. Back to TT's for Dave.

Me and Speedo steve, who got his bowl full of sunshine shorts out and did a super job in the relay. He and his brother in law improved their time by over 3 minutes and got 2nd place ...I tell ya the guy that ran for the winning relay team was hauling. He passed me both times on my run and he was moving. Good job Steve!

I managed 2nd in my AG but since Jeanne Fleck ( who has her name on her butt!) got 3rd OA I got moved up to 1st. And actually we were talking at the awards that we all wanted OUR names on our butts. Sorta. With a butt name comes expectations...hmm....and then a lively discussion of how we would alter our names ensued. fun times!

I think i was 12th female OA and with the line up of Yndebutts, Mcgaverbutts, Hullbutts, Hoagbutts, Fleckbutts...etc...I am pretty happy with the effort. But Ouch. The MCL is a bit sore camber = extra stabe needed by those supporting ligaments.

Disclaimer: As i said, to have your name on your butt you have to EARN IT. right? So those chica's aforementioned EARNED IT! I am not calling them names, really!


Marit C-L said...

Great race report - I LOVE it! Nice work to really go out there - duathlons are TOUGH... much more painful than tris...just because of ALL the fast running in the beginning. Major ouch. Way to push it on the course - you had me on the edge of my seat!

Too funny about the butt names. I agree - totally! :)

Oh - and I feel the same way about Sunday races. Its like...really? Do I have to spend the entire weekend either 1)worrying about the race and then 2) actually racing? Better to get it over with on Saturday, I say...

StevenCX said...

Congrats, and good report!

Steve Stenzel said...

NICE JOB!! You did so great out there! I'm glad my wife can provide you with photos!!

I think we should all get butt names. Expectations be damned!!!

Jennifer Harrison said...

Julia! NICEEEEEEEEEEEEEE race!!!! LOVE the pained look! HA, laughing about the name on the butt. When Kiwami sent me my race suit last year it had : HARRISON on my ass and I was like, "UM, I am not sure I can do this!!!!???? have i earned that???"

Congrats! :)

Cy said...

There are many times when I wish I didn't have my name on my butt...I liked it at first, but now I would prefer to go undercover :-)

Last year at a race in Texas some new guy looked at my bum and asked "what does THAT mean"? Lovely...

You did great out there. It was a stacked field and you rocked. I hope your knee feels better...that course can beat you up.

FYI-There's a cyclo cross race out there every year. Just in case you want to run up that lung buster hill a few more times.

Damie said...

nice age group win! i love it when you can hang on, even when you know a strong runner is behind you. great race!!!!!

Beth said...

Awesome race Julia!! Dus are so painful - and a cross country du at that - OUCH is right!! Congrats on your win and for making it hurt. I definitely think you need your name on your butt - pronto. :)

djh said...
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TriGirl Kate O said...

Way to go! Thanks for "talking me down" the other day. It was nice to get your perspective on the experience, even from far away. xoxo

Jennifer Cunnane said...

I loved reading the race report - I think I hurt as bad you as you did on the run portion.. Hmm.... I agree those fast and furious distances less than 10K are painful! Also, per your other post - that ice bath looks perfect! Much more fun to sit in a river versus trying to dump ice cubes in a bath!

Charisa said...

Was Steven in his Speedo when you met him? :) haha