Cut to the beginning for the deep dive shall we? Or scroll through and take a look at all the fun pics from an awesome girls weekend!
Pre race nutrition: 3packets instant
With the announcement being official on Saturday that the swim would be canceled, I prepped mentally for the change and really wasn't too disappointed...maybe I should have been since I come from a swimming background. Seeing the water on race day confirmed the race directors decision, the Lake looked choppier than any ocean swim I've ever done. It would have been incredibly difficult for the best swimmers and likely dangerous for those new to the sport. So when change happens, make the best of it! I found Sonja and we decided to get it over with and be the first two to go off in the time trial start for our age group wave. I had done a 20 minute warm up jog before the start but it was likely 20 minutes until we went off from after I finished. We took off at a pace that was definitely challenging but manageable. When I saw the first mile at 6:24 I was like, woah this is great, it feels OK, keep it up! Sonja edged away from me and by the time I entered T1 she was just about 20 seconds ahead of me. Time to Party on the bike. No nutrition for the opening two miles.
Did I mention the winds yet? So they were calling for steady winds at 20-25 MPH, but race morning brought winds that were a bit stronger than that. No problem, I've ridden down from Hawi right? These were head/cross winds like nothing I've ever raced in. I was getting blown all over and just kept reminding myself to relax, let the wind do its thing and me do my thing and the day would be just fine. Doing this race in 2009, I came out of it and knew I had work to do on my mental game. The wind beat me here that year and it had nothin' on this years wind! I knew that it would be super windy and just stayed aero the whole time. I caught back up to Sonja pretty early on and continued to ride hard as coach had told me to. There were a few sections where you got a good tail wind and I tried to keep the focus on these sections and not relax. After the turn around, Sonja passed me back and we kept on leap frogging each other for the remainder of the race. she told me that the only times she passed me was when here heart rate began to drop, AKA I was lolly gaggin' and had lost my focus. Thanks Sonja for keeping me honest! I took back the lead after the final turn with 9 miles to go. Sonja and I entered T2 together and I started to think it might be a duel to the end! Total nutrition on the bike: 750 from gels and 100 from Cytomax. 850 for 2:18 of riding...not bad! Time: 2:18:10, 2nd fastest amateur bike split.
Time to see what the legs had in store for me. Sonja and I started running together but it was obvious from the beginning that she was going to start to establish a lead. The girl can run! At dinner yesterday I said I wanted my kids to be runners and she said she wanted hers to be swimmers! Funny how you want to give your children the strength where you have weakness. The first few miles were a real battle, maybe it was just my head, but I wanted to walk, the pace felt very hard and I felt like a little plodder, not a strong runner. What to do in this situation? FOOD stat! I started hitting the aid stations for coke, gels, sponges and water. Seeing the kcal's from above that I had taken in on the bike, I'm not sure how it was that I was so low on energy, but don't worry, by mile 7 I was back on track! Better late than never right? I think my second loop of the run was faster an the first. Have I mentioned that I like to do ironman? Sonja was long gone and looking strong by the time I started to come around, but with the race being a time trail start, I knew that in order to make the best of my goals I had better start to want it. I knew that the girl who I assumed to be in third was a strong runner and not knowing how far back she had started from us, left me a bit nervous. I had also seen a younger gal also named Haley running strong and did my best to keep the pace to the finish line. Total food from the run: 400 kcal's from gel, maybe 100 from coke. Could have eaten more here for sure and think that it would have helped. Time: 1:36:32
I ended up 2nd in the age group and 3rd amateur overall. Good, but not great like I was hoping for.
After the race yesterday we got cleaned up, headed back to the race site for the awards ceremony and then decided it was time to get down to the French Quarter and have us some Southern food and music! We had an awesome group at dinner, such a good way to celebrate so many good days out on the race course. This is one of the best parts about racing and seeing friends while there...you get to catch up over delicious food.
Less than 4 weeks until Ironman Texas. I am looking forward to a swim and dare I say it, double the distance of yesterday. Time to recover and sharpen up. Like they say, everything is bigger in Texas.