Click here to read part 1
So if you’ve read part one, you know I had a rather frenzied pre race morning. Rushing around getting things all set up was my warmup!
I got in line and stood on the beach waiting for the horn to blow, and fiddled with my goggles and cap. I positioned myself to the right of the pack, third row back.
The water temp was 76 degrees, so the race was wetsuit legal. I wore my shorty suit. It was a standing beach start, so when the horn went off, I ran gingerly hopped into the shallow water and dove in to swim.
Renee’s friend got this picture of the start:
I felt like I was swimming strong, not too hard. I found some feet to follow for a little while. Then I started veering a bit to the right. I do tend to veer that direction. It was a counterclockwise course, and veering that way meant swimming wide. Not good.
Oh well nothing to do but keep swimming at a good steddie eddie pace, which I did. I was happy to make landfall and get onto the fun part – the bike!
Nothing too notable here. I peeled off my wetsuit, started my garmin and stuffed it into my bra (I only want the data post race, and dont want to see it during), socks, bike shoes, helmet, sunglasses and GO!
Okay, now the fun begins. The bike. I started out, and settled in for a nice hard and hilly ride. I made sure my shoes were nice and tight, tucked into a nice aero position and put the hammer down. I was going hard and having fun.
The hills were relentless and I powered up them, tucked tight on the descents, and peddaled hard on the few flats that I came upon. It was not hot, but I was working harder than at my last race, so was drinking alot of water. I was on fire, and thought of myself as a shark, hunting down my prey as I passed each victim. I felt really strong and fast.
Somewhere in the middle of the race, there was a big bump in the road. I had recalled reading a race report about bunny hopping over that, so I tried giving a bit of a lift to my front wheel. Not a good plan, because my back wheel then hit the bump really hard. So hard that I thought I might have flatted. I slowed down, listening to the sounds of my bike, and I was sure I had a flat. I looked down at my rear wheel, and it didn’t look flat. But the ride was rough and I had no speed.
This stressed me for a few minutes and I kept waiting for the tire to completely flat out. I thought back to my ride in the car earlier in the day and how I got a flat then. Wow, my lucky day, two flats!
But the flat tire never came, and I turned a corner and put the hammer down again. I think the road was just really rough in that patch, and my confidence had waned, and that is what had made me slow down.
Okay, put that out of my box and carry on! Hammer Hammer Hammer, Shark attack! Shut up legs. Go go go!
A little while later, the hills started to wear me down. And I was running out of water. I started to ration it. Since I wasn’t looking at my garmin, I really had no idea where I was. I had seen 5, and 10 and 15 chalked on the road, but missed any other numbers. I was thinking if I had 15 miles to go, I’m in trouble. But, maybe it’s only 5 miles. I didn’t know, so I decided to ease up on my pace a little bit so as to conserve fluids.
Then my friend Renee passed me. I gave her a hooray shout out, but inside I was thinking oh crap! I like winning on the bike, and I had expected to be a little bit faster than her in the swim and the bike. But here she was passing me.
Okay, put that outside my box and carry on. Steady eddie to the finish. Good solid form, not too hard. Save water. Thirsty!
There was a very long gradual climb, and I got caught up in a big group as I neared the top. I was passing someone as I approached this big group, and just then noticed a motorcycle official go past me. I was kind of caught between a rock and hard place. If I moved forward, I’d be in the draft zone of this big group. If I did not, then I risk getting a position penalty. I opted to drop back and noticed the official scribbling on his clipboard. Crap crap crap. ( I wonder if i should have just kept going, after reading rules that say drafting exception if blocked, hmmm…)
I was hot and thirsty and tired. I opted to skip my last Gu because I had no water left. I was really puzzled at the lack of water. I had the same amount as I had for White Lake. And the temperature was much cooler today. The distance was 2 miles more, which didn’t seem like much. But the Hills! I was working much harder because of them. That was it!
I rode on for probably a few more miles, and was estatic when I passed the field of parked cars. I knew I was close to the end of the bike, and closer to a drink of water! Thirsty thirsty thirsty.
I chant alot of things in my head when racing, haha!
I tried to be quick here. Helmet off, sunglasses off, rack bike, change shoes (no change in socks), grab water bottle, race belt, hat.
As I exited transition, I did grab 2 cups of water at the aid station, because I was really thirsty!!!! I dumped one over my head, and the other one I drank. Then it was off to the run…
I ran easy for a few minutes to get my running legs on. I drank some water, I had a gu.
Then I started working it. Going hard. I was breathing hard, focusing on good posture, fast feet. I felt strong and was happy with my form today as I passed the race photographer. I had a big smile on my face.
At about mile 1, I saw a woman with 53 pass me. I tried to keep pace with her, but nope, she was too fast. I didn’t let that drag me down, I kept up my own solid pace, inside my own pain cave.
The course was rolling hills, up and down and around a scenic lake I went. I don’t really mind the hills, I think they are kind o fun.
I did walk for a half minute up the two worst hills. But, then I got right back into it. Solid form, fast feet, pain cave.
I scoped out the ages on the backs of legs as folks passed me. Nobody else in my age group did. I took gu at mile 4.
As I neared the final stretch, I kept glancing back to see if any females were on my tail. I didn’t see any, but I kept my hard effort up until the very end. I ran across the line as fast and hard as I could go. I was beat, and hot and glad to be done.
Ran right to lake and dove in. Cool water felt oh so good. I was so hot and tired. I alternated laying on my back and front as my face felt really hot. Looking at my HR data, I had really pushed my effort level on the run. 11 m/m are a fast pace for me on that hilly distance. Does not sound that great, but for me it is.
I lay in the cool water for a really long time. I chatted with a few folks in the water. I saw Sharon and met her friend (can’t remember name), and met a fellow with a cool accent named Arman ( I think)
Then I was dying of thirst so headed for some water and oranges. Met up with Renee. Checked the results. My time was 3:18 and I went over to the penalty sheet, and sure enough I did get one.
Renee’s friend said I should challenge it since I didn’t mean to do it and got stuck in a group accidentally. But my feeling is rules are rules and it doesn’t matter, I should be looking farther ahead and not let myself get in that situation. Also, looking at the USAT rules, I may have been better off continuing forward even if entering draft zone of the bunched up riders. (being blocked is an exception to rules – I did not know that!)
After eating a bunch of oranges, I went back to the results tent, and I watched the results scroll down the screen until the age group standings displayed. Dang, I missed third by that penalty!
Oh well, better luck next time! And I still felt really great about my results because I really left it all out there on the course and did my best. Since I definitely did not make a podium spot, I headed back to my car. I was too famished to stick around for the awards ceremony, and didn’t really like the food options at the race.
Back at my car, I downed two terra packs of organic muscle milk . That hit the spot for sure. It’s a good recovery drink and tastes good even at room temperature.
Then I drove around looking for a hamburger and fries. I wanted some salty fattening food. I know that’s really bad for me, but after a race, that’s what I want. Finally found food – nom nom!
Here are nutrition notes for future reference:
- Day before – nothing special other than pigging out on peanut m&ms at work all week. We have too much candy around the office, and it’s hard to resist the chocolate stuff! I also drank G2 several days before to pre-load my electrolytes.
- Morning of – two bottles of starbucks frapacinno, mocha light, and a cup of oatmeal with walnuts, about 3 hours before. I ate just past satiation.
- Before Swim – Gu Roctane 45 minutes before and than 10 minutes before start.
- Bike – Gu Roctane at the 5 mile marker . 20 ounce water with 1/2 tablet Nuun. Plus another 2o ounce bottle with 1/2 nuun. I had planned on taking another Gu at the 20 mile marker, but had run out of water, so skipped it.
- Run – Gu Roctane at the very start and another at the 4 mile marker.
Gu Roctane Rocks!
Disclaimer: I received the organic muscle mile for free from a publicist. Even so, I have bought muscle milk products many times, and I drink it regularly. That’s why I said I’d take a free sample! I only accept free stuff that I actually want.