Sunday, September 20, 2009

North Shore Border War Recap

Before I end my play time for the day and get back on the study stick for school, which by the way has completely destroyed my ability to train I wanted to get this up. I will have to edit and report times and splits when the site has them up, but here goes maybe my last race report for quite awhile (sniffle).

Going into this race I was stressed. I was only completing my thrid week of school and I had skipped out on workouts with friends and forgone racing my favorite road race the week before due to an excessive need to study and do research. I felt completely unprepared for this race to say the least.

This week I had managed a really weak training block of 3 runs (6M, 10M and 4M) with one quick 25 minutes swim. I tried to justify it as a taper, but I knew I had fallen off the f*cking wagon. I had a huge test on Tuesday and other than worrying about whether I should do the race or not, I really had no time to stress about the race itself or mentally prepare, except for last night when I thought I would mostly just find my mental game at the bottom of a porto-john tomorrow if I raced.

I made the decision however, at 5:13am this morning to race one last time, to lay it all on the line, to race at least one time as a 32 year old (ick!). I was 32 today and I was going to ask myself 32 times if need be "are you going hard enough?" "is that all you got?" Then I was going to hunker down...I hoped and go harder.

It was chilly, in the low 50's near the start. I had my hoodie on and was cold. Other people were wearing gloves and winter hats. Boy, this was going to be a cold one!

I managed a warm-up of about 15 minutes of running with AH before donning my wetsuit and hoping to stay warm. The race started about 15 minutes late though, so my warm-up was becoming useless...Brrrr!!! Have I said how cold it is? Anyway, the men started 10 minutes ahead of us and although the swim was supposed to be a 1/2 mile, it looked to be a short 1/2 mile as I saw the leaders coming out in less than 10 minutes. I also noted going out it looked like you could touch for the most part. I didn't really pay much attention though as I started swimming with about 7 minutes to go and it was like taking a cold bath. It was a little shocking. Whoo!!! I felt the difference in my stroke and body immediately. I needed to relax, but was chilled and my body was rebelling. Oh, this swim was going to be unique if nothing else.

Swim: There were about 20-30 women in this race. I stood in the water in the second row. The horn sounded and there was water flying everywhere. I have learned to bilaterally breathe and debated trying it, but there was too much going on so the decision was made for me. I needed to see and breathe. The swim out was into the sun and completely sucked and should totally be negated from the swim time! I was swimming, but when I looked over I saw so many girls running I was shocked. This is a swim, not deep water running!!! I was even more frustrated to see girls runnning next to me and keeping pace! WTF!! I thought about running myself, but this is a triathlon and my pride won out, I kept swimming. It seemed there were 2 groups, of swimmers, the girls way ahead of me and then the rest of us. At the final buoy we made the turn to come back and that's when the race took a turn for the better for me. The water apparently deepened and I began passing girls on both sides of me. I was elated. I might have also been swimming a little technically less sound on the way out too as I noticed I had been dropping my shoulders and my hips were not up. I could also feel the slight twinges of cramps in my toes. My body was as acclimated as it was going to get to that freakin' ice bath. I needed to get out of that lake as soon as possible. I could easily see the last green buoy down the beach and I swam right for that bad boy. I jumped out of the water and as I ran up the beach I heard a friend yell I was 6th woman out of the water. No way!!! Sweet!!! I knew "Amanda Freak'n F****" and KK were 2 of the girls ahead of me and possibly this girl from the ETC who is a extremely fast swimmer, but not as fast on the run as me. I want to say 12:00 minutes but who the "F" knows. Definitely a short swim.

T1: I found my bike and noticed Daisy's hubby standing next to my rack and gave a nod as he was on the phone, so I didn't say hi and interuppt his conversation (still have to be polite in a triathlon). I stripped my suit and transitioned without any mishaps, but it felt like it took me forever for some reason and I don't know why. I don't have a split, but I am going to say 2:00ish (it may be more like +2:00ish)

Bike: Hopped on my sweetass tribike that I love so dearly and headed out. I didn't wear any gloves, arm warmers, vests or anything with the cooler temps. I figured I would suffer through and if it got that bad I would tell myself "aww, is the little baby cold, well pedal harder Motherf*cker!!" My left foot went numb in my shoe almost immediately and it was weird. AH had told me the course was more than likely going to be a flat 13.5 miles and it was. There were some headwinds and some gravelly sections. There was a tiny incline going up to the lake and then a right through Geneva-on-the-Lake. There was something going on and there were cars and people out and about so I hoped nobody planned on popping out into the road from in front of a parked car! About 3/4 of the way through the first lap BS caught me on his second loop and yelled "hey nice bike." I laughed. He had race insanely well at HalfMax Nationals the day before in Oklahoma and was just doing this to seal the deal on the Tri Series championship. About the same time he passed me there was a group of 5 guys that rolled by. I was really disappointed as they were all on tri bikes and had this been a USAT race they would have been sited for "blocking" or "drafting." Someone had called out my name from the group and said way to go or something like that. I found out after the race it was AH. I would never get mad at AH on purpose, but I hate cheating, even if it means losing to a cheater. I was definitely not happy with that group of riders. This is "MY" race by "MY" choice and I will never let anyone change that. Back to the race. My legs were burning from the get-go. I was living on the edge. Every time I felt I was slipping I would re-focus ask my question and hunker down or I would repeat "Amanda Freakin' F****" in my head. I had a secret goal to not let her beat me by more than 5 minutes. The second lap was a tad faster, I think, but my legs were so tight and my foot was so numb, I questioned whether I would be able to run. I dismissed the thought as my legs have not failed me in the last 3 triathlons. They would be there today too, at least I hoped. Rolled into the park and did my very cool flying dismount (best one in a race so far, since I got the new ride). I was up to gut-checking myself about 7 times by the time the bike had ended and I had only caught one girl. Where the "F" were those other 4 girls? Time I will say 35:00-45:00 minutes, no computer, no clue and I actually like racing without one way better than having one.

T2: When I got into transition I saw Daisy's hubby still hangout by my rack, but this time he was off the phone, so as I was "transitioning" I managed a quick conversation.

Joey: Looks like the new bike is working for you.
Me: Yeah, it wouldn't be because I was ACTUALLY training (wink, wink)

See short and with that I was out, except I hear this noise as something hit the ground. Hmmm, don't know what it is, so worry later. Just after the mats I noticed the world looked different in some way. "OH MY GOD!" My lens on my right Oakley had fallen out. Shit!! Those sunglasses were over a hundred bucks. I debated going back, but decided not to. I would finish the race and worry about it later. I did lift my glasses off my face and over my head though, so I didn't look stupid. The guys were teasing me after making stupid pirate jokes...hahaha funny...NOT! Time was maybe a little over a minute because of the run down and around into transition after crossing mat. This one felt slow too, but I am sure it will be normal. I just don't know why I feel slow.

Run: I am not gonna lie. This hurt a bit. I left transition and felt the tightness in my quads and groin with every step. My left foot was still completely numb and I was just slapping that bad boy on the pavement hoping it would wake up. I finally saw "Amanda Freakin' F****" coming back as I was going out to and then I saw KK, but no other girls. I was confused. Had the cold weather frozen my brain. What happened to the other 2 girls? My breathing was really labored from the start of the run and as pained as my legs felt they were holding and moving me just like I had hoped. I figured KK was about a minute ahead of me and I would close that gap a tad as I am the faster runner...for now. I had plenty of guys in front of me to pass initially, but then even they disappeared and I was running alone. I was only able to focus on 100-200 meters at a time before I would notice myself slowing and getting sloppy, so I checked myself at those intervals and ran for made up landmarkers, telephone poles, stop signs, intersections, turns. One guy passed me with a little over a mile to go. He got about 10 yards on me before I picked up my speed to match his and stop the gap from getting bigger. As we ran up the last straight-away before turning right into the parking lot for the finsih, I made my only really disappointing move of the day. I had not done anything but focused on the task at hand and chasing the leaders down, but when I made the turn I looked over my right shoulder to see who was coming. Answer: Nobody! I would not have to sprint for the line. I did not necessarily slow, but I sure as hell did not put the hammer down to the mat. Run time was I think, right under 23:00. I hit the line by my new watch in 1:15:30. I was done. I had gut-checked myself about 14 times and my legs quads were heavy as all heck, but I knew I could close the book on my season knowing I had raced my ass off :)

And to top it off our local tri club took home the winning trophies for the border war!! Go OHIO!!!!! We easily beat PA.


Times are up...

1/2 Mile Swim: 11:22 (it was more like 550-600 meters)
T1: 1:13
13.5 Mile Bike 39:09
T2: :44
3.1 Mile Run: 22:59
Total: 1:15:29

And I did not meet my sub-5:00 goal on Amanda Freakin' F****!! Damn that one is fast!! Grrrrrr!!

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