8/5/07

Top Gun Race report

As I enjoy my sunday after watching an encore airing of the Ironman World Championships I thought I'd recap my race from yesterday. The morning of a race I'm usually a bit nervous but I enjoy the time as I drive to the race, following the many bike racks and USAT stickers. My stomach felt a little heavy from the oatmeal and raisins that I had at 5am, but since I always eat the same thing before a race, I knew it was my nerves. After arriving to the race around 615, I set up my transition area after being bodymarked. Although I don't really think of myself as Elite, I enjoy having the E on my calf and racking my bike in the front. Just a few perks of racing Elite. There weren't a lot of us (just 3) racing elite but there were many age-groupers that definantly deserved the title of racing Elite and I was aware of a couple of them. I warmed up in the water a bit and stood at the starting line in anticipation to start. The 15-29 age group and Elite start was a bit caiotic but I kept myself cool and had a great run in the water start. I started swimming on top of people, all the while I am getting pulled under water and kicked. Oh well...keep swimming. Around 5 minutes passed by and I still had 1/2 the swim to go. Although we all have to swim the same distance, the swim was longer than 1/4th of a mile (which it was suppose to be). Doesn't bother me, I'm all for a longer swim. As I continued to spot as I came closer to the last buoy I could tell I was in the lead for the women and only a handful of people were ahead of me. As I ran towards transition feeling fresh, I could hear from spectators that I was the 2nd women out of the water. The only concern was that the other two elite girls were behind me! An amazing age grouper (which ended up winning the race) absolutely creamed the swim to put her in major lead! My T1 was quick and I had an excellent bike. Finally I am not getting passed by a million girls and I only got passed by one. I averaged around 22mph on the bike and I was 3 minutes faster (28 min. vs. 31) than last year at this race. After the 10 mile bike I was regained by 2nd place position and I was heading out for the run. As I expected, my run is not up to par like I need it to be for a sprint triathlon and I was passed by three girls on the run!!! Ouch. Oh well, I'd rather be a fast marathoner and break 3:30 than break 20 minutes in a 5K. I'll keep my training in perspective, especially since I have to run 26.2 miles after the 112 miles I will be biking in Kona. I was pleased with my run and the low 22 min. I ran was about 30 sec. faster than last year. I ended up placing 3rd in Elite and 7th overall out of the females. 1:03 was my finishing time and I was happy with my sprinting performance.
Just 9 weeks until Kona and I can't believe how real everything is for me right now. I am really focused and I will try to be as consistent as I can with my training. This morning Karel and I headed out to San Antonio for some hill riding and I was looking forward to a nice solo ride. I hoped to do 4 hours alone, but I ended up almost keeping up with the group and finished with 60 miles in around 3 hours and 20 minutes. Averaging around 17 mph in the hills was amazing for me since last year at this time I was averaging that speed for my longer rides. Karel did 80 miles and we both finished at the same time!!! I had a couple short cuts by mistake (since I had absolutely no idea where I was going) and I was lucky to run into Karel on his warm-down since I had a deflating back tire. Luckily I was almost finished with my 4 hour ride and I was close to the car, but Karel used a little CO2 to get me back to the car with enough air in my tire to finish that 3 hour and 20 minute ride. As usual, Karel and his buddies head to the Deli for some yummy food and I ran around 20 minutes to meet him there. I always find a way to squeeze in a run after a bike ride. I was crazy sweaty and hot and I thought the only thing that could be better than water would be ice cream :) Karel and I enjoyed our post-training ice cream and water and we headed home around 1pm. What a great morning to follow a great race. I'm feeling really good and I can tell an improvement in my recovery since I am not hobbling around like I use to last summer when I trained long and hard on the weekends.
The Ironman on NBC was great and I'm getting more and more excited. I probably watch and Ironman DVD at least 3 times a month but I can not believe that I will be in Hawaii racing at the World Championships in October!