Monday, May 6, 2013

Out of True - St. George Ironman 70.3 Race Report

When a wheel is "out of true" and you try to ride your bike, the wheel wobbles from side to side, usually rubbing the brakes and slowing you down. In order to fix it, you need someone with some knowledge- a bike mechanic or such, to spend some time "truing" the wheel to get it back into alignment. The whole bike is not broken, you just need to take some TLC and careful adjustments to fix it.

My race at St. George 70.3 is reminding me that my life is a little "out of true" right now. My alignment is off. I know this. And so, when I raced on Saturday, and placed 24th, I was still happy to get out there and compete with the very best in the world and place in the top 25. Was it a top 10 finish in a stacked field? No. Was it indicative of the fitness I've had before in triathlon or my fitness in the future? No. Was it a good current "state of the union" address of my current fitness? YES. And for that, I can walk away from the race content to have given my best on that day, and ready to move forward.
Part of the bike course (spoiler- it's incredible!) 
The past few months, my training has been a bit half-assed and haphazard. NOT because I don't care or don't want to be my best. But, because life has been challenging with work and personal obligations and I chose to cut myself a bit of a break at times, knowing that I'll soon have the entire summer to get my ducks in a row and train as I should. My bike ride at St. George clearly shows that I haven't been progressing on the bike as of late, and when I look at my training logs, well, it's honestly not a huge surprise. When I'm clamoring to cram in 4 rides per week, 2 of which are only an hour or so, I can't be surprised really that my result doesn't put me in with the top ladies who train their butts off in a very specific manner. My goal right now is Ironman, so my longer rides have not exactly been tapping the top end that I need to be competitive at 70.3. But, I'm pretty certain that I could have pedaled another 56 miles at the same speed yesterday, so that's a good sign.
Me...Climbing on my Slice
Plugging away at the run course...with a view.
Ok, on to my race... The highlights!

  • The course is absolutely breathtaking in beauty and challenge. The hills are humbling, yet so so fun. I'd call the course overall the toughest half I've done. Possibly tougher than Wildflower. Add in wind and heat (neither of which were too crazy for us this year) and you've got yourself a recipe for serious suffering surrounded by beauty. 
  • I swam in a pack of girls and felt I've had a much better swim in general than my past couple of races. I came out in the mix, and improving my bike would let me stay with these girls and be in contention for a far better result
  • I ran fairly well, under 1:30 on a crazy hard course and felt pretty good the whole time. I caught a couple of women on the run and moved into the top 25 overall. 
  • Even though I didn't go super fast, the bike course is amazing. Climbing the 4 mile ascent through Snow Canyon state park is truly an "I can't believe I get to do this in a race" experience. 
Pre-race swim w/ Jen- Sand Hollow reservoir is breathtaking (but COLD! bring an extra swim cap and surely your wetsuit)
During the race, I reminded myself of why I do this sport. Especially why I do this sport at an elite level when I am not always prepared to compete with the best of the best. I GET to do this. I GET to toe the line with some of the world's best endurance athletes almost every month. I GET to travel the country and the world and meet amazing people. I get to celebrate my friend's successes even when my day hasn't gone to plan...
#selfie...Waiting for bike checkout post-race

So, friends...We're off to a slow start this year....Thank you for sticking with me through the good times and bad. But things are going to pick up. The bigger picture is coming clear and I'm excited to tell you about what's next! (And look for a post very soon on my brand new BIKE!)

Thank you to all of my sponsors and supporters as I still work on getting this 2013 party started. And thank you to Jen (who PR'd!), Keith (who won his age group!), and Mark (sherpa supreme) for being such fantastic travel partners. 


Molly said...

Great job out there Beth! Sounds like you have a good perspective on things and appreciated the right parts of race day - you're on the right path!! Rest up and recover well.

Princess in Training said...

I have been following your blog for continue to inspire me. keep your head up and thoughts positive I know you'll start crushing pro races soon enough. You are driven and talented.

baker said...

Congrats on a great race! I had a lot of friends out there who also had amazing an day. Weather looked pretty perfect! said...

It's not that slow a start to the season. But, I'm sure it'll pick up. Read that you're taking a leave from school work next year?

JC said...

Your attitude shows TRUE greatness. Congrats out there Chica. You are one of the most amazing ladies out there! And you look totally "chic-a-lore" out there as well. And YES that is a word;)

Alison said...

Well, you can't have the ideal, perfect and best race every time, and sounds like you're laying the ground work for a great season! Congrats, and enjoy the victories to come!

GoBigGreen said...

I say that every day as an amateur! I GET TO RACE! It's so true:) I like the balance in your life Beth. Keep smiling.

long road to kona ironman said...

I've been following your blog for awhile. I too am going through a divorce. It has been really hard. My life for the past 10 years has been racing. I cannot muster the focus to race. I was signed up St. George. I didn't do it. I'm signed up for Lake Tahoe. I don't know if I can do that either.
I'm sure you hear this a lot but don't be so hard on yourself. When you find your heart, you'll find your speed. The soul doesn't operate mechanically.

NJ said...

I love that you always keep a great perspective and don't offer excuses. This is part of the reason why I still read your blog (and RR's). I find you both inspiring in both your sports endeavors and your personal life. Your strength is inspiring and in light of my own pending life changes it reminds me that life can still be great with a new reality.

OfficeSpace said...

Great job Beth, whish you more success.


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