i'm not procrastinating this one...race report time!
THE DAY BEFORE
we cruised up to tom & amy's place in scottsdale, az on friday after work- super lucky to have such awesome friends just 20 minutes from the race. and, james got to get in some quality mountaib bike ride time with tom, so bonus that it didn't feel like as much of a selsfish trip.
saturday, my pre race workouts went fine. nothing great- i kind of felt like crap and lazy, but i wasn't too worried about it. that's how you're supposed to feel, right? i also showered right after my 20 minute run/35 minute bike, which made me quickly decide to skip my planned 10 minute swim in tempe town lake. i mean really, people, is that pre-race swim worth it if you've already blow dried and make-uped?
the expo was super uneventful, except for the traffic to get there. in phoenix, apparently, they jsut randomly close parts of the freeway. random. bike check-in was saturday, so i said good-bye to my Look. and okay, it was a little matchy matchy, but i was so excited my zoot alli'i shoes matched my new lululemon scoop neck tank....
the best part of saturday was the double date pre-race meal at chelsea's kitchen...JP- if you're reading- a) i'm sure you'd love this place and b) i'm sure you already know this and have been there. oh, and c) please don't make me feel like a loser by saying you went there and it sucked.
tom and amy at dinner:
up at 4am for breakfast....here's what i ate. yum.
brekkie (total= 500)
230- 1 zen bakery cinnamon raison roll (holy moly these are dough-y rolls of HEAVEN and pretty healthy. they taste like chewy bagels. )
70- 2 tablespoons cream cheese
20- a little honey on my delicious bagel roll thingy
40- 2/3 cup of grapes
100- yoplait light strawberry yogurt
40- coffee with milk
the view from transition early...
we got down to the race at about 5:45. a touch late considering that transition CLOSED at 6:15
and i still had to set up my stuff, pump my tires (w/ the disc), get body marked, go on a jog, body glide it up and put on my wetsuit. i was happily surprised with the coolest transition feature- bike guys who pump up your tires perfectly with air hoses! rad! i barely made it down to the swim start in time and actually started walking down the ramp with my suit only half on. whoops. went back to james for a last kiss and he zipped me all up.
yeah- looks like i'm pretty late...
see you in 5 hours!
aw, look at the moment of love james captured- right before my wave hit the water
SWIM- 1.2 miles
the swim is an in-water start and you swim about 850 meters directly into the sun. sweet. i think i swam the world's best zig-zag. my wave (purple caps) was pretty big (4 female age groups) and unfortunately, we started behind almost all the men. there was LOTS of traffic to swim through. regardless, i didn't have a great swim.
swim start from above
front pack of my wave...
swim time: 33 something. ick. i wasn't very happy with this, but then looking at the times, it's not so bad. the fastest male pro swam just under 28 minutes...and all the pro ladies were over 30 minutes. slow swim. i don't think it was long or anything, just slow for some reason.
was a s&^t show! i ran in (after having my first experience with wetsuit strippers!! awesome and scary at the same time- kept thinking my shorts were going to come off with the suit. nightmare material. ) i digress, andyway, i ran into transition and saw to my horror :) the man racked right next to me was there and he was fumbling around and bumped my bike, my helmet and glasses flew off, the bike fell down and he left it!!! i rolled right up and said, "hey- thanks, man!" aw, you should have seen how uncomfortable it made him when he realized he was caught! my glasses were way under the next rack and it took a bit to gather up my things. he offered to help but too little too late, i told him to go. nice manners, dude. i brushed it off and headed outta there!
out of T1..
BIKE: 56 miles
the bike is 3 loops of a flat course with a ton of turns and turnarounds. it's almost shaped like a clover, so you do a lot of out and backs and cross through the hot corner near transition many times. i started out pretty well on the bike. the course is very congested and there is a lot of legal drafting going on and i definitely saw some not so legal drafting too. i can honestly say i kept it clean. i wanted this to be my effort. the course is narrow in a lot of places, so no big packs formed except around the corners, just lots of extended pace lines. at about mile 5, stacy caught and passed me. i made it my mission not to let her go. we have trained together before and although i know she is a stronger rider overall, i also knew that she is a smart rider and that if i pushed hard enough i could keep her in my sights. i stayed about 20 yards behind her for the entire first lap and i thought we were cruising! all of a sudden i was coming up on the left, passing 2 guys, one of whom was drafting big time. i wasn't hyper aware of the drafting until i heard a smack and watched their wheels cross and one guy eat it at 25 miles per hour. he slammed into the ground, and everyone kept going. except me. i had a brief moment where i thought, "man, i do not want to stop", but then i did what i hoped someone would do for me. guess how many other people stopped? ZERO! crazy. this guy was laying on the ground cursing (i would be too) and i was scared. i pulled my bike over, got off and walked back to him. i kept asking, "are you okay? how can i help?" he lay for a bit (shock?) and then got up a couple minutes later (still no one stopped and we were on a highway off ramp so there were no course people there yet). at some point, he got up grabbed his bike and told me to go. i said no, and yelled at him, "what can i do for you?" he the kept saying he was fine and i said i'd ride to the corner and tell a race official or volunteer. which i did. i think it was the right call. it felt like i was stopped with him for 10 minutes but it was probably only like 2. not a race-breaking type of thing so back on the mission! i was bummed to have lost stacy, but i knew i was still making good time and my sub 5-hour goal was definitely still ON! the rest of the bike was uneventful.
total bike time= 2:39- big time PR! 21.1 miles per hour average.
T2: i came into T2 and was out pretty fast, feeling okay.
RUN- 13.1 miles
the "feeling okay" lasted oh, about 50 yards and then i felt like crap. i had brought my garmin which i turned on in transition and it wouldn't sync up which was frustrating. i didn't know how fast i was going, but i was pushing it and i did not feel fast. the concrete really got to me mentally and physically. i hate running on concrete and just keep picturing skeletal damage. wherever possible, i actually ran on the grass or dirt next to the path. slower, but less brutal. it was a suck-it-up run. i never felt great, i just made it through. in my head i wanted to run as close to 1:30 as possible, so i was a little bummed with a 1:34 since it was such a flat course. i passed a couple girls in my age group and eventually, happily, made it to the finish chute..
one last look back for any sneaky bohemeth tall swimmer chicks :)
and i'm there...
i'm happy with the result and breaking 5 hours really was my goal and i made it with 11 minutes to spare. 4:49!
turns out i had quite the speedy age group. i ended up 6th amateur female in the race (yeah!) but 4th in my age group. they moved me up to 3rd (so i got the SOMA bottle of wine!) as the ag winner was moved to the "overall", but even though it says 3rd, james reminded me i was really 4th. that's okay by me though. i accomplished what i set out to do.
looking back, i think i raced close to my best but i could have had a better run. i guess now that i am building strength on the bike, i need to learn how to run on tired legs (last year i couldn't ride hard enough to tire my legs out, i think). i'm also still learning about race nutrition...here's how it broke down during the race:
260- hammer perpetuem orange vanilla
300- 3 gu (vanilla bean, rocktane, espresso love in that order)
165 - 5 clif shot bloks (margarita)
105- about 8 oz of cola (2 half cups)
i definitely ate a little more this race than i usually do, and i still think it wasn't enough. maybe i need calories in 2 bottles (i put all the perpetuem into one bottle and had water in the other).
so the great thing about being 4th in my ag was no waiting around for the podium! (we only found out later on that they had moved me up), so, my withering tri sherpas got a break and we left at noon! the happy campers...james and tom...don't they look excited after standing in 90 degree sun for 5 hours?
me and super sherpa (please ignore the greasy arm that i must have just sprayed with PAM)all in all it was an awesome day, an awesome end to the season, and a great mini vacation with james. i am so lucky to have a future husband that supports me so much and truly likes (at least for the first few hours) to be out there cheering me on. james and tom had their bikes and they were all over the course which was huge for me. i must have seen them 7 or 8 times during the race.
i am also so lucky to have such incredible supporters that i think about all day while i'm racing...i think about how i am thankful for
- dan selstand for tuning my body and
- gordon for tuning my bike.
- zoot for making me always feel fresh and fast in my race gear, and the zoot shoes, the shoes the shoes!! there are no faster (or cuter) shoes. no way.
-breakaway training not only for the amazing support, but for being my little triathlon family- even in AZ, there were so many breakaway faces out there, dominating the course. it was really neat to be in another state and still have the breakaway orange in full effect! we all cheered for eachother and it was like our own little (fast!) family.
-hi-tech bikes for the opportunity to race on the look 496 speed machine and for always being there. and for not making fun of me 2 years ago when i walked in with my dad and didn't even know that clip in pedals existed. and i still can't believe it, but i let my dad pick out the bike (orbea- good choice, dad!) while i shopped for clothes. you guys must have thought i was a piece of work!
-nuttzo for the pre and post-race fueling and giving me my omegas!
-lululemon for making the most flattering, functional and amazing clothes and for the opportunity to wear them and give feedback to the company. but mostly, thanks everyone at lululemon for being truly amazing people and friends. when i walk in to the store, i feel like i'm at home!
-bettydesigns for making me a one and only :)
and thank you, to my friends and family for putting up with me. it's a long season! and i know i can be a real handful. and thank you too, to anyone out there who reads this because i know i can be sporadic and long-winded and hard-to-read as i jump all over the place, but at the end of the day, i just hope it comes through how much fun i'm having and how lucky i feel to be able to do this, and write about it, and go out there and do it all again! (sweet run on sentence that was!) i never would have thought that at 30 (almost 30) i'd be doing things i never imagined just a couple years ago. and that anyone would read or care about it. so. thank you.