Red Bank Olympic distance Triathlon 5/15/2011
I had decided to do this race more as my "sacrificial" race to prepare for Eagleman 70.3
(a half-iron) in a couple of weeks. I had absolutely zero expectations leading into this race, as I hadn't tapered and really didn't care what the outcome was-- just wanted to "blow out the carbon" so that I was sharp for Eagleman. Since my race performance was not so great at the Disney half-iron last year, Coach Cliff and I felt it was good to get a race in before my first half-iron of the year.
We (Foof and I) woke up at 4:30 a.m. that morning to heavy, cold, thick clouds and rain. Outside temp was around 55 degrees-- brrr! I figured, well, I will just put in a good effort and then after the race, finish up the rest of the work that was on the schedule for the day. Around 5:15 a.m. I ate a plain white flour bagel with earth balance and plenty of honey. I usually have a cup of coffee the morning of a race, but opted for a double espresso (note to self-- the rumors are true-- espresso clearly has much less caffeine than regular Sbux coffee). We headed out- all bundled up in sweatshirts and warm-up pants!
Got to the race venue around 6:15, set up my transition, saw a couple familiar faces, chatted and around 6:45 ate three black cherry cliff blocks (with caffeine). Headed to the restroom and waited in what seemed to be an endless line-- race director definitely needs to up the porto-potty count for next year :)
Got back to transition around 7:40, struggled to get the wetsuit on- was so cold I didn't want to get undressed!
SWIM: Our wave took off right around 8 a.m. (give or take a few minutes). It was a deep water start in the Navesink River at Marine Park. I jumped off the dock into some cold-ass water- but it wasn't so cold that it made me piss my pants and forget my name- so I was pretty relieved. Gun goes off and I thought-- find some feet, find some feet. I tried to hang on to the top ladies, but it just wasn't there for me today. Coach had mentioned about a week or two before this race that my swim times may go down a little (because of the heavy cycling emphasis over the last few weeks), but not to worry because I will get it back. I pushed as hard as I could and felt like hell. We hit the turn buoy and I was swimming so hard, yet lousy, that I didn't realize I had completely gotten off course and was practically at the other side of the fucking river-- well son of a bitch. I turned myself around, got back on course and started seeing people that I had passed a while back. Dammit. Got to the dock and looked at my watch...was expecting to finish the swim in the 22 to 23:30 minute range...25 FUCKING MINUTES. Double damn!! Coach telling me that my swim might be a little slow certainly didn't take the sting out of that! How did I go from swimming an average 1:13/100 yard to a 1:31/100 yard. WTF!!!!?!?!
Total swim: 25:30
Got to transition, was totally disoriented, almost fell over trying to get my socks and shoes on...normally don't ride with socks on, but was afraid I would have toe-cicles if I didn't. Got the helmet and sunglasses on and took off-- transition time: 1:53. Good Lord, I think my grammy can transition faster than that...and she's dead...
BIKE: I have had many discussions with Cliff about my bike performance and it seems that I am capable of much more than what my race performances have shown-- so I had decided this morning that I would say to hell with the run- I am not holding ANYTHING back on that bike course, because I want to see what I can put out there and how it affects my run. I had also decided to not use race wheels, because: A. It was raining and on a hilly course like that, I didn't see the benefit if it was raining, and B. I really wanted to use my wheel with the powertap so I could see what kind of watts I was cranking out on a race effort. Initially, I was passed by about five or six men, but I was steadily passing all of the women that had beat me out of the water. At about 15-20 minutes into the ride, I sucked down an espresso Hammer Gel and throughout the ride I drank a full 24 oz water with two scoops carbo-pro mixed with two scoops of lemonade Ultima. I felt very strong on the climbs. The downhills were a little tricky with the slick road conditions, but I managed to keep my cool descending, thanks to all of the tips and training I got in Spain last month. I was pushing very hard and although I felt some fatigue setting in, acknowledged it and pushed it out of my mind. As we started to make our approach back into town, I came up on what I had assumed was third or fourth female overall (she was actually 2nd place female overall) and passed her feeling pretty solid.
bike split: 1:13:04. Ave speed: 20.67...fastest female bike split...YAY!!
Back to T2-- Forget my overall placement in the race, this was my finest achievement of the day!!!! Historically speaking, my T2 has SUCKED!!! In :38 I racked my bike, threw on my shoes and grabbed my bottle, hat and bib number and out the gate I went! I finally had a good transition, yay!!
RUN: I started off the run with quick turnover (95+ foot strikes) and feeling very strong. In the first half mile, I came up on what I was pretty sure was the first overall female and had confirmation of that when I saw her friend wildly flailing his hands in excitement saying "you're number one!!!!!" He he he, not for long, and I quickly passed her. What a great feeling. The run course was very familiar to me as I had run these hills a zillion times doing long runs from Bodman. There were a couple big pushes, but mostly just some nice rolling hills. I sipped on 8 oz of bottle of Ironman Perform. I was running a race pace with high turnover, and even though I was pretty sure I would not be caught, I still pushed hard-- this race was all about seeing what I was capable of. I hit the turn around and didn't see any females until I was 2.5 minutes past the turnaround- yeah, they weren't catching me. :) I took the next 3.1 miles just as hard as ever and at about mile 4.5 a woman looked at me and said "honey, they are far back, you can slow down".... umm, yeah, right!! I saw Foof, gave him the thumbs up and then put my finger up and gasped "first place". I got back into town and hearing everyone screaming and yelling for me was pretty exciting!! I made the turn to head down to the finish line and became a bit overwhelmed with emotion. I saw the finish line and knew for sure that I was first female as I grabbed the tape! Whew!!!
Total run time: 42:51, pace: 6:53/mile. First place female overall (by 8.5 minutes!!!!)))
What a relief! I am so happy that I chose to do this race-- I think I needed this both to affirm that I am capable of putting out a hard bike effort and still have my running legs and also for a nice morale boost. Doug Rice and the crew of Split Second Racing put on a fantastic race-- the bike course was great, the run course was great and despite my own shortcomings, the swim course was great too! I am so grateful for Coach Cliff Scherb and his superb coaching abilities. He takes a personal approach to each of his athlete's training and because of this, we are all able to excel! I also would be lost without Karen Foote and her super-duper reiki healing sessions and Dr. Liz Perez, without whom I would not be able to stay injury-free...well, for the most part ;-) Many hugs, love and thanks to my very good friends-- my TRUE friends and family that support me in so many ways. xoxoxo
Stay tuned for my next race, Eagleman 70.3, June 12