|Flight with Friends!|
Quick stats before the dirty details:
2nd in the AG (previous best in 3rd AG), qualified for 70.3 Worlds but passed on the spot
4th Amateur female (same as previous best in 2012)
23rd female (best was 16th in '12)
I last raced in March at Ironman Los Cabos. I was supposed to do Alcatraz, but really just didn't want to race. And I know that that was the right decision as I was pumped to be at Vineman and see how I could do after so long without racing. I knew that there would be LOTS of fast ladies racing, specifically Coeur team mate Sarah (who I think this was her last amateur race...GO AHEAD girl!) and buddies Christine and Kayla. I also knew that we were THE very first wave after the pro women and that was exciting. No people to crawl over in the swim, an entire bike course to ourselves and empty aid stations...it was like a catered training day! I had also prepped myself for the empty course. Knowing Sarah and Christine would exit the water ahead of me, I figured when I passed Christine that would be the last of any interaction on the bike. So going in, I knew it would feel empty and there would be the potential to feel like I wasn't doing well as I wasn't passing folks...but there weren't any people to pass! So I had prepped for that going in and had only myself to push out on the course.
|Mighty Mer, the champ!|
Pre swim Nutrition: bottle of pre-load, granola with almond milk, banana and Wild Friends chocolate coconut PB, bottle of active mango. Total kcals: ~800
ROKA swim: 29:57 previous best of 28:26 in '12 (best time TY was a 28:32)
Bike Nutriton: 2.5 Bonk Breaker Bars (left salty balls at home), 3 bottles of active ~835 or 330/hr
Enve & Argon18 Bike: 2:40:07 previous best of 2:30:16 in '12
Run Nutrition: Slush bottle of half pre-load/half active for first 2 miles of the run, 1 pack energy drops, coke, and glucose tabs ~350
Once I hit transition, I quickly saw that I was right that I was in third as there were only two other bikes in our section. I grabbed by bottle of slush...best idea ever...and headed out onto the run. I must have been WAY too excited to see friends and family cause at mile 1, the split was a 7:06...now mind you, I FELT great...but having never held that pace for an entire half mary, thought I might have been a bit ambitious that first mile. Mile 2 was in check at 7:30 and I just need to do 11 more and we will be home and in good shape. But being the true flatlander that I am and my legs feeling flat, those tiny rollers of the Vineman course felt like Chalk Hill when I was still drinking and smoking more than I was S/B/Running! I got a little grumpy with coach out on the run ( I REALLY am trying Mark!!) and walked a few sections of hills (bad Hailey). I had made up time on 3rd place quickly though and passed her around mile 5 before going into the loop at la Crema winery (running a mile on a private vineyard makes this race spectacular) I was very vocal going into aid stations and drank only coke (since i had topped off salt store with the pre-load during the first few miles), water and had chews and glucose for the nutrition. The volunteers were amazing and had everything you needed. I was safely in second place, but not knowing what the other AG's would do, tried to keep pushing. Mark reminded me that the first few mile are always crappy for me and true to form, around mile 10 I was feeling awesome! Can we just go 10 more miles please...cause I can hold this pace forever...just don't ask me to go faster! mark told me to pick it up in the last mile, and I swear I tried, but it wasn't pretty. Somewhere along that last mile though, when I saw all of the spectators, I remembered JUST how much I love triathlon. All of the people cheering for you, and running down the finish line just can't be beat.
I crossed the line in 2nd place in the AG and was promptly greeted by Mark and Lisa from Osmo shaking a recovery shake at me over the fence. Here tired athlete, here girl! I busted a move for that...who wants a veggie burger? We chatted, watched as Kayla and Christine came in and then took advantage of the AMAZING showers that Every Man Jack had provided...that was a TRUE luxury. Post race shower? YES PLEASE!
It's hard to believe that I have done this race 9 times in a row and my very first time, it took me just over 6 hours. This past Sunday was not a great "time" for me on this course, but it was great to do and now we will take the lessons and apply them to Kona. I think I'll be doing some local races inbetween now and then, but other than that, all eyes are on the Big Island!