Monday, July 16, 2012

Vineman 2012: Stuck in Third

Yesterday was Vineman 2012, my 5th consecutive running of this race. This is my fave race of the year.  I love the vineyards, it is close to home and there are always SO many friends there that it seems almost like a party, not a smashfest. 

For the second year in a row, I ended up 3rd in the W30-34 age group but took my OA ranking up to 4th place this year from 9th last year, with a 6 min PR even though i ran slower on the course.  Good stuff right?  All I can say is that the 30-34 AG continues to amaze me. 

So let's take it from the top shall we?

Pre Race- I wasn't much feeling like racing on Saturday but knew that the "I want to go home now" feeling was temporary and only due to nerves.  mark said it's normal to feel like this when you have raced a bunch already...not many nerves to have as you know the drill.  Swim, bike, run and make it snappy! Sure enough though, as soon as the gun went off Sunday, I was in it!

Pre race kcal's: Banana, pack of Justin's honey almond butter, Crunchy Vanilla Sunrise cereal (gluten free), 2 scoops Cytomax = 870 pre race calories down the hatch!

TYR Swim: 28:26, 2nd AG/11th Amateur
There had been talk all week, as there is EVERY year wondering about the temp of the Russian River...PSA folks, if you go to Vineman, it will be wetsuit legal.  Something like in the history of the race, it's only been 1 year without wetsuits.  But, just in case, I had my Freak, a shorty, and my speedsuit ready to go. A bonanza of options for my swimming pleasure.  A girl can overpack when there's no weight limit on luggage for the car! 

All smiles before putting on our game face!
The Freak makes it easy to spot Kendra and I
The swim in Vineman is as easy as it gets, the course is narrow and shallow and there is usually fog in the AM so the sun in your eyes is not a problem. So how, you are wondering does a gal make an error?  There are two bright orange bouys 3/4 of the way down....Now normally at any other race a change in color buoy means TIME TO TURN, so what did I do, when I saw these bouys?  Turned! 5 years at this race, and I pull this rookie move?!! Perfect, I was in 2nd place and then I took a :30 sec detour. I was able to get out fast and kept telling myself to remain focused- now was not the time to be daydreaming about what Reese Witherspoon is going to name her baby! Would I have been able to bust through the 28: mark without my detour?  I'd like to think so, but you just never I will have to take my :09 swim PR and be happy.  Thanks to Stanford masters for helping me to continue to improve...if I can carry this time over to my Kona, I will be looking good!

Nutrition: nada while submerged in H2O

Argon18 / Gray Wheels Bike: 2:30:16 1st AG/2nd Amateur

This is definitely a course where I always forget how many hills there are, but thankfully each year, the hills seem to get easier!  I remember when I lived in Santa Rosa for a year and would ride Chalk Hill.  I don't remember ever getting off and walking, nor would I admit to it but I do remember thinking, LORD when will this hill end!  And now when I go up it, I think huh, that's it?  Being in the 3rd to last wave meant that we were out on course with literally, the entire field.  I was very concerned about a drafting penalty, as the entire day I was just passing people.  It was very aggressive at the beginning of the bike, and the roads are a bit narrow.  I saw a crash and told myself to be hyper aware of my surroundings. 

Super Supporter Mark had let me know on my way out of T1 that I was in 4th (slow transition!) and there had been a super swimmer who was about 1:30 up the road. 

Kendra is a buddy from CO and we met up race morning and chatted.  We started the swim together, and left T1 together and stayed together, legally of course people, the ENTIRE bike!  She would go ahead, I would go ahead, the pesky male would try to go ahead.  We all know that story right ladies?  To the one male who reads this blog, what is it about "on your left" that when coming from a female you don't hear?  I was trying to be nice yesterday, but had to get loud a few times.  Followed up by a prompt "thank you", when said male finally moved himself out of the blocking position so I could pass. 

Kendra ALL smiles up Chalk Hill!
Chalk Hill Done!
Riding with Kendra in my sights was phenomenal.  I do believe I can speak for us both when I say that we pushed ourselves harder than we would have had the other not been so close.  I kept telling myself that the only thing that was stopping me from going faster was my mind...I am certainly physically cpable of going faster, I just don't like to hurt.  Mantra on repeat please. There was not one minute of that bike where the pressure was not ON, we kept the focus and with each pass would tell the other to keep it up, work hard and get into T2 in the lead.  I don't remember once looking down to see "how many more miles to go?"  the ride flew by and I was super excited to see the 22.4 MPH average...I kept pushing to maintain that pace.

Nutrition: 2scoops Cytomax (then I go all water), 1 gel, 3.5 packs of Cytomax energy drops = 900 calories over 2.5 hours so 360 an hour.  I have been trying to hit a max of 370/hour on the bike so this was GOOD stuff!

Muscle Milk Run: 1:38:06 5th AG/17th OA (AKA thank goodness, I can swim and bike!)

Kendra telling me to come time!
After T2, I was in the lead!  This was exciting, but I knew that Kendra came into T2 just behind me and that she is a phenomenal runner!  The pass happened before the first mile was out and she encouraged me to come with her...if only!  My 7:29's were no match for her 6:52's...that is where I should be and think I can get there, but I didn't get there yesterday.  I was wondering how long I would hold 2nd, and that pass came around mile 3 ish?  Kendra and Adrienne would go on to take 1st and 3rd amateur overall respectively.  I was in GOOD company!  I felt good at times, and when Mark would encourage me to lean forward, I could feel the speed- but it was like I just couldn't keep leaning forward...things to work on for sure!  The run ended up being 1:30 slower than LY. Only bummer of the day.

I came across the line in 4:41:46, 3rd AG and 4th amateur.  This was a 6+ min PR for me on this course.  I was proud of the mental state I kept yesterday, trying to focus on continuing to dig just a bit deeper...we can always do just a bit more, right?

Run Nutrition: 2 gels, 3 blocks, 1/2 of a 5 hour energy, coke and water = not nearly enough!  Let's say total about 400 total with coke added in and I think that may be a bit generous...but the tummy was a bit on edge, so didn't want any accidents before the finish line!

I was in no shape to eat directly after, a correlation to how hard I worked.  I got in a protein shake and a coke and then it was at least an hour before I was like, hmmm, let's go find a sandwich.  The only food in the athlete tent I was interested in was people are cramming down chicken and veggie burgers after a race is beyond me.  My stomach would have thrown a massive protest that would have landed on the pavement. 

Mmmmm, Vino and protein bars!
We stuck around for the awards and am pleased to have gotten another SWEET bottle of La Crema pinot as a prize. 

Alana from TX and I
Next up for racing is Vegas in September.  There could be a few races that pop up, but as of now, nothing scheduled.