Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Hometown Racing

Oh man, the procrastination on this one has been LARGE and in CHARGE.  It's been over a week since I raced in my hometown at the Ohio 70.3.  I've never had the opportunity to race at home and it really was awesome.  To have your closest friends and family there, the people that love you the most and could care less about your results, standing on the course just to cheer you on.  If you have the opportunity to do this and haven't yet..DO IT!!  While I feel like I had a pretty lackluster race, the experience was gold.  And like they say, in XX years time, you won't remember what place you got (really?!), you'll remember the experiences you had, this will go down as one great trip home.

My mama, the gal who started it all
One of the highlights from this trip was riding bikes with my mom...even though she didn't always remember WE were in taper mode ;) Riding with her reminded me of how naturally I come by my competitive spirit...I say "i'll be right here" and all of the sudden, she's 100 meters up the road just seeing how long it will take me to catch her.  Say it with me...MOM (roll your eyes).

Pre-Swim w/teammie Melissa
Leading up the race I'd been pretty tired and have been having some issues with my back/hamstring that saw me miss some key sessions.  I'm not setting these out there as excuses as on the day, my swim and run were flatter than a tire that ran over a pile of tacks.  I've raced a LOT this season and have had a fun time doing it, but it caught up to me at this race.  Now the only thing to do is ensure I'm getting enough rest, which is hard for me to do...I loathe seeing/hearing about others knock out BIG training weeks while I'm doing less.  It is hard to keep in perspective that what works for others doesn't work for me. I need to focus on staying injury free and getting to the start line in Kona in the best form possible. This is the time when I just need to put blinders on and focus on what I can do and what MY plan is.

My workouts the week of the race felt rough, but I am pretty good at not letting a workout effect how I think a race will go.  You never know what will happen on race day, right?  That's always my motto. However, the swim was also ROUGH from the get go..not rough water but I didn't feel strong even though I was at the front of our AG wave and then it just felt long, like when in the heck is this going to be over long...where's the finishing arch?  Oh man, over there?!!Just keep swimming...Turns out everyone felt the swim was long or very slow so as always once the swim is over, it's time to bike and forget the swim!

The bike getting dialed in!
Onto the bike we went...this was the best part of the day for me.  I was really looking forward to a flat bike course, this course had only 700 feet of elevation gain.  Do you know how rare that is in CA?! Like never...I can't ride 90 minutes without getting in 700 ft of climbing!  This was a treat as I LOVE flat riding. We were on tiny chip seal roads but there was SO little traffic and so many corn fields that it was perfect.  I saw the tar on some roads heating up and bubbling and remembered when I was a kid we used to go and pop the tar bubbles...Where'd you grow up?! ;) I got to ride in aero almost the entire ride which is great Kona practice and my Argon18 felt great! I've been loving the Gu StoopWafel's so had those on the bike (found the salty balls too tough to eat on really hard efforts like a 70.3 recently) I rode strong and came off of the bike in first place.  Cherish that feeling as it won't last long!

Pics by Dad are always better
Perfect OH summer day
Run...oh the run.  The BEST part about it was my crew.  That and running on roads I grew up riding! The run was a double loop and happened to run RIGHT by a close family friend's house.  So ALL of the family friends gathered there and created the best cheering section ever!  Honestly, the other runners around me all commented on both laps that "wow, you have the best fan club",  "ohh, your cheering section is awesome".  How lucky was I?!! It was cool to have everyone is one spot and then to have Mark leapfrogging me on the course to cheer me on.  He knew there wasn't anything in the legs and once first place stormed by me, he went into cheering mode :) I at one point stopped and tried to say sorry to Mark.  I had had such expectations for this race, so I was having a small pity party at the start of the run.  I then told myself oh well, this is what you've got today now pull your head OUT OF your rear and just do what you can do.  It wasn't even like I felt like the running was hard, but my HR was high and as soon as I tried to push harder, I just would have to stop.  But that's racing, sometimes you just don't have it.  Better here than in October.  And I got to work on my mental game when crap was going wrong, so why don't we count that as a win for the day?
W35-39 Podium! 

FAVE ice cream ever!!
I was reading a blog yesterday by Chris Hauth and it was the perfect time for me to read this.  Not that Ohio was a failure...it wasn't (and I know...2nd place is not bad at all), but it also wasn't the kind of result I expect from myself and my abilities.  I've had a week of rest and am now ready to roll into the last push to Kona.

"Failure reminds us what we are working for, why we are working for it.  Overcoming obstacles makes us stronger – helps us realize that the path is littered with challenges.  The path to great results must be hard, hence why it is such a rewarding, valuable, delicate path!  It brings out our true emotions to why sport is important to us.  Failure narrows our focus again on what our goals are."- Chris Hauth