Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Well it's over a week late, but here's my last race report before the BIG race! Last weekend's race was terrific. I was recuperating from a week long cold - a BAD cold, so in that respect, I was VERY happy to just be participating at all. The morning was cool and cloudy and I wasn't thrilled to get into the water so I took my time getting my transition area set up and then headed down to the beach to eyeball the water course and refresh my memory from last year on how many buoys there were and where they were located - 6 total. I ran into Diane and Michele who were in my swim start so we hugged and chatted for a few minutes and then I figured I better get my wetsuit on. I was so calm - it felt great!
I got into the water and warmed up a bit and then positioned myself right behind Michele and figured I would try to keep up. I drafted off her almost the entire .9 miles. She did such a great job that I never once had to sight until the very very end where I swallowed half the lake and lost her toes. I must have still been right behind her as I came out of the water just seconds after her. I may just have to draft off her at Pac Crest, too! Or maybe Diane - she came out about 2 minutes before us - but I'm not sure I could keep up with her. I do better in the water and especially on the bike if I am chasing someone (and by chase, I mean keeping up with not too much extra effort) - otherwise I start to daydream and lose the point of the RACE. Yes, RACE, Julie - not a leisurely ride through the country :o)
Although I have to say that I am so NOT a racer. I don't really care about winning - which is good because I will never be the winner. I do appreciate not being last, however - so I need to keep up some kind of a pace and work enough but still enjoy the journey.
Swim was 30:48 compared to last year at 31:42 - so almost a full minute off of last year!!
Headed in and out of T1 without any difficulty - just a couple seconds slower than last year.
Hopped on my bike and never really caught my breath until after the half way point of the ride. I really kind of despised the last half of the ride - I was ready to be done. I don't know if it's because it's a boring ride or because the weather wasn't that great or what, but it just wasn't doing it for me. I felt like I was going kind of slow but I knew I was just behind several good bikers on the team. Sometimes being in such a late swim start throws me off and I forget that I should NOT be close in physical distance to some of my teammates, but that I am close in time.
Last year at this race, I passed exactly 3 people. The first two ended up actually being bums that were riding their bikes along side the road looking for bottles and cans or had just slept one off in the ditch and were getting on with their day and the final guy I passed had a flat. But this year...I passed some real racers and it felt great!
Bike time was 1:18:55. I took 14 minutes off of last years time.
So after the swim, I was 9/22 in my division - not bad!!
And with the bike, I was tied for 7/22 in my division. I likey!
T2 also went fine - I cut off 7 seconds from last year.
Now here's where it breaks down and where I realize I really need to concentrate for the time being - the run. It has helped me to look at my placing in the first two legs and see that I can be competitive if I will just get into running again. I think my fastest pace in a long distance run in the past was about 9:15 at the Portland Marathon a couple years ago. We didn't actually finish the race at that pace due to other circumstances, but I definitely felt like I could have kept it up with no problem. So - not that fast really, but still...much faster than I've been running these past two years. Especially this year! First, I had shin splints what felt like this entire season. I took our long slow distance Saturday runs to a new level of slow...AND I didn't do any track or speed workouts at all this year - 0k, one.
Then as soon as my shin splints were better, I crashed the bike on the RR tracks and my left knee has been messed up since then - not too bad, but it's not helping me get faster, either. It's swollen and starts to bug me at about mile 5 or 6, so I've been cutting my 7 or 8 mile runs short. So last weekend, once I hit the pavement with my running shoes, I already knew that I wasn't going to be running fast to begin with and I was still not completely better from my cold (you would have laughed at my face during the swim - it was just COVERED with snot - ick). So I chose to run slower than even I thought I would. I figured it wasn't the time to try to kill myself - I'm sure I'll easily have that option of death at the big race :o)
I was going so slow people were actually coming up behind me and asking if I was ok - hehe. Strangers. I told them "I feel great!!" and I was telling the truth. I started to look at all those people with red faces and pain in their eyes and I thought to myself, I'm not going to go there - I don't like pain...AT ALL. After I finished the race with nary a drop of sweat on my brow, Dan asked me if I was running "country miles" today - hahaha. He kept waiting to see me on the course and apparently thought I was taking too long :o)
My end time was 3:07:48 - I ended up taking way longer on the run than last year so didn't PR by much, but I still PRd and ended up 15/22 in my division. Now...even if I had just run a 10 m/m which is my usual easy speed in years past, then I would have placed around 9th or 10th in my division, which is perfectly acceptable to me - so I just need to start running again and I think I'll be a happy camper.
I really do love this sport!
So the big event is coming up - I can't wait to give you all a GOOD report! It's not too late to donate - just hop over to my TNT DONATION PAGE to make a donation to help find a cure!!!! Thanks to everyone who has already donated - you guys ROCK MY WORLD!!!! I'm at 82% of my goal - thanks all!
Posted by A Prelude To... at 6:38 AM