Saturday, August 17, 2013

Rattlesnake race report

For not really wanting to do this race about a week ago, I'm really glad I did. Besides, if I didn't do it, I knew I'd have hell to pay.

Official results are not yet up, but my times are close enough. Yea. I forgot to hit my transition button here or there, but ultimately the finish time is the same.

Last night, it occurred to me that this was my best chance to FINALLY get my sub 3 in the oly distance. Quite honestly, that was a low ball time. I knew it. It's just that, with the year I've had, nothing is guaranteed.

I thought 2:45 was realistic. 2:50, worst case, but the goal I was shooting for was 3:00.

Back in 2009,  I did this race and came in at 3:30. A 5-10 minute PR was just not going to cut it.

The Swim:

The swim start is a time trial. Swimmers take off every 2-3 seconds. Perfect. I love this type of start.

As soon as it was my turn, I felt great. I felt strong and relaxed. I quickly caught up to the women that started before me and was quickly surrounded by guys doing the double (oly today/sprint tomorrow---they had their own wave start). 

As I made my way through the back strokers and side strokers. I kept thinking, "I feel so good. I really must be going slow."

My personal goal for the swim was 27min. That was conservative but again once bitten twice shy. In my case, I felt like I'd been bitten more than a few times.

This 1500m swim was the kind where you have to get out, run around a little dealie whop and jump back in.

All along, I kept saying that I have a 22-24 minute swim in me. I just hadn't done it. Imagine my surprise when I got out and saw 12:11 on my watch. I run up the beach chasing after other women while thinking "Come on, you've got this, don't fade. There's no reason to fade when that loop felt so easy."

It HAD felt easy. But for once, I didn't think the course was short. I knew that I was just capable of swimming that fast.

On the second loop, I really wanted to try to go faster. I kept focusing on Strength over Speed. Strong Pull, push back, strong pull, push back.

I started picking off swimmers ahead of me. Because of the way the start went, I wasn't quite sure where other women in my AG were. For the first time, I just didn't care. I was there to race my race.

I think that took a lot of pressure off of me and allowed me to get into my own groove.

When I finished the swim, I glanced at my watch: 24:12. I managed to negative split the swim with HUGE PR. Course PR of 13:00, recent 1500m swim PR of 4 minutes.

avg pace per 100m 1:29

I was so excited. I got out of the water, whipped off my wetsuit and started screaming to Mr. Tea "DID YOU SEE THAT? DID YOU SEE HOW FAST I WENT? I KNEW I COULD DO IT! I KNEW IT."

Pretty sure he was laughing at me. I just took off sprinting to T1.

T1 time: :48

The Bike

I threw down my wetsuite and took off on the bike.

Ok. Here we go.

First of all, the road had really big sections of being in really bad shape and being re-paved. I don't think ANYONE had course breaking speeds today.

Again, I had goals. I knew that if I wanted to hit my goal, I had to be halfway by 37:30.

My goal: 1:15.

I ended up doing 1:17 which was about 19.8 or 19.6 mph. The course was harder than I remembered it. Also, on the bike, I first started to notice that I was having problems.  I was SO thirsty. I was hot. I went through 3 bottles (2 of water and 1 of nutrition) just on the bike. That was NOT normal for me.

Maybe had I not had problems, I could have done 1:10-1:15, which I STILL think I can do.

Trust me. I am not sad at all about the 1:17 because I beat Coach Mike's guesstimate of 1:20.

Also, this was another HUGE PR of 17 minutes from the last time I did this course. It wasn't an oly bike PR for the year because I've certainly ridden faster but given the course....I'm pretty damn happy.

I kept waiting for the D3 guys to catch me on the bike. I kept seeing them on the other side of the street. But it never happened. Then with a half a mile left, my friend Jeff caught me and passed me. grrrr.

I pull into T2 ( :28) and take off running.

About a quarter of a mile into the run, and the first D3 guy passes me. We'd been talking before the race, and I told him that I thought for sure he was going to pass me on the bike.

Always the gentleman, he says, "Nope. You're just too fast."

THAT AND I had a 10 minute headstart. Uh huh. YOU do the match. DUDE WAS FLYING.

For the first 3.1 miles, honestly, I felt really good, except for the damn THIRST and the heat. WHAT was going on? At each aid station, I start slamming down water and gatorade. (I'm not a fan of gatorade but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do).

By the time I hit the turnaround, I could feel the break down happening. I was sick, nauseous. I was sweating like crazy. I couldn't maintain my pace.

I decided to take a walking break thinking it would help. I realized very quickly that it was even harder to start running again. That told me something was really wrong. Normally after a walking break (after say.....getting a cup of water), I am refreshed and can keep going. I saw my average pace drop from 9:40 to 10:00 to 10:15 to 10:30.

I looked at my garmin and realized that not only was the 2:45 goal shot but so was the 2:50 and now I was at risk for not even breaking 3 hours.

I kept going, doing what I can. My only thought was "keep going. you've come too far to miss out on your goal."

As I approached the finish line, there was a group of people cheering on the runners. Evidently there was a woman behind me. They started yelling "You can catch her! GO GO GO!"

Let me tell you something....I was about to pass out. I was so sick feeling. I was hot. I just wanted to be done. Those people were yelling for the woman behind me.....and....

I'm not proud of this....

but all I could think was "F*CK YOU AND YOUR F*CKITY F*CK F*CK CHEERING."

And the woman behind me passed me.

Goal time for the run: sub 1 hour.
Actual time: 1:11 with the first half being in 30 minutes.

Finish time: 2:55, just making my sub 3 hour time.

I won't go into what happened next, but it involved throwing a sandwich at Mr. Tea, yelling or maybe it wasn't yelling I don't remember but it was something about getting a PR after he said something about not making my 2:50 goal, almost collapsing at a table and just wanting to lay down. 

Once I got home, I started pumping in salt tablets. Once I started feeling better, I realized that I could eat without tossing my cookies. Over the next couple of hours, I was able to think coherently and figure out what happened.

It wasn't the heat. It was that I miscalculated my electrolytes. I needed more than I brought. once you're in a hole, during a race, it's tough to get out of it.

It's never easy to end a great race on a bad run, but it is what it is. The run was STILL a course PR of 4 minutes. Unfortunately, it was also my second slowest run of the year. 2nd slowest behind the hilliest course that I've ever run as part of an oly tri. So, that's not good.

For now, I'm going to continue eating to get recovered for tomorrow's long workouts. Honestly, I really wish I didn't have to do them. I'll just do my best. The thing that really sucks is having to get up at 3am to make a 2 hour drive. UGH. If Suzanne wasn't counting on me being there, I would totally bag the drive, sleep in, and do the workouts locally.

 I have two more races: a sprint and an oly. Then, I head into half marathon season.

That's all I've got to say about that.