|Awards from WTC on left and original from previous race years ago...I want my wahine girl please!|
I've raced this event in the past, when it was known as the Big Kahuna- see my love for all things Hawaiian started long ago! I tried to go back through the results, but I raced it in 2008/2009 and then I think? 2012, but couldn't find the results anywhere. If you've not visited coastal California, it can be FOGGY and a bit cold, not my typical weather jam. We got lucky for a no fog swim so we could see the buoys, but it was a sunscreen optional kind of day, with the sun barely peeking out for the run. We opted to sleep at home the night before- it's always SO nice to be at home the day before a race, on your sofa, watching TV, relaxing and then getting to sleep in your own bed. The 4:00 wake up call was the only downside to this!
Pre-race nutrition- Staple of 2 eggs with rice and aminos, one banana about 30 minutes before the start, cold brew coffee(what no latte?!!), and one bottle of pre-load
|Ready to go!|
Bike nutrition: half a recipe of salty balls and 3 bottles (almost?) of Osmo Active
I managed to come out of T1 just a hair in front of Christine and we quickly set out in pursuit of the gal who was leading out AG on the road. The roads were wet as we headed out of Santa Cruz and wound our way to Highway 1. I was cautious as the memory of hitting the deck is still way too fresh and was excited once we hit Highway 1 and it was straight and dry...for a bit. There was one section that was a course change and it took us off of 1 and onto a small parallel side road that was some of the worst pavement I've ridden and culminated with a 1 mile climb, and subsequent descent. Somewhere along this climb, Christine came by me and I dropped into 3rd. Man, did I lose some time on that descent. It was still foggy and I was still nervous, so I rode it like a granny. I figured nothing was worth a crash, even if it meant that I gave up a position or two. On the return trip a gal come by me like I was standing still- she ended up going to win our AG and was 2nd overall amateur. Once back onto Highway 1, I told myself I needed to do some serious work to keep myself ahead of 4th place (good friend and faster runner, Sonja) and to be able to start the run in a good position. I was worried with it being cooler that I had not taken in enough fluid, even though I had pre-load both the night before and the morning of the race. Nothing was wrong nutritionally, but I am used to hot races and just plowing through hydration! My bike ended up OK with a time of 2:38:42 and I was in 3rd heading into the run.
|Getting ish done! Photo cred: @mariofraioli|
Onto the run I went, starting in 3rd, but could hear the announcer just ahead at the first mile mark, calling Christine's name. I knew Christine was in 2nd and I was able to move into 2nd place by the end of mile 2. Now to run the next 11 miles with Sonja chasing me! Going back to my thoughts on success, I had to make a decision. Try to run hard and get the very best of myself, or be scared and let myself get caught. I chose to work hard and try to maintain my lead. I have really been working on increasing my cadence and leaning forward, trying to be a more efficient runner, so that in the later stages of Kona, I am able to maintain a good pace. The good thing is, a quicker cadence doesn't hurt so much. This method paid off in multiple ways on Sunday. Most awesomely, I had a half marathon PR, by nearly 90 seconds, so bettering my previous half mary PR (from 2012) by 6 seconds per mile. I was thrilled to get home and figure that our, especially since I hadn't felt like I was running 7:15's. i also felt like I could have sustained that effort for longer, so hoping the same tactic and techniques pays off a little under 4 weeks from now on an island in the Pacific :)
|2 miles to go- RUN! Photo Cred: @jenbaer|
|35-39 podium and FRIENDS!|
|Post race Sunday dinner...the usual!|