Sunday, September 21, 2014

Holy F*cktards, Batman: A Race Report

How do you know a race went well? 

When you finish, and you have NO IDEA what your paces or finish times were. You just know you FUCKING ROCKED IT.

Oh yeah. This is the NSFW version.

Quick background:
This is a crazy competitive race. I know these women. They run SICK fast. They'll run 22:00-25:00 5ks. 

I can't compete with that. 

But, I CAN compete with them on the swim and bike.

Given the number of seriously fast women, I thought I'd make top 15 at BEST. I'm not training for sprints. I want to follow my plan. HAVE FUN.

The Swim

Not my fastest swim at all, but I am thrilled! We are getting ready to start. No one wants to start at the front. This is weird because the strong swimmers ALWAYS line up at the front. Where are the men? They should be in the front.

The swim itself. Pretty awesome. I paced really well swimming into the chop. I wanted to really feel the swim, and I did. I easily caught the waves before me and not just the slowest swimmers. I was swimming right in the muck of two and three waves ahead of me.

I kept the lookout for blue swim caps. Could not find one. I knew I was in the lead. At the last buoy, I took advantage of the tailwind and started really going strong. I hit the beach, stubbed my toe on a big piece of cconcrete and fell back into the water. I got passed by a blue swim cap as I was running toward transition.

I never checked my garmin to see what my pace was. All I knew was that I felt great. I felt like I accomplished something.

Got to my bike and my helmet and sunglasses are gone again.


I found my helmet AND sunglasses.

That's all I'll say about that.


Where do I begin? I've been wanting to hit threshold. Today, I've gotten as close as I've ever gotten to that goal. In fact, the first 5 miles were over threshold. 

Right at the beginning, I caught the woman that passed me coming out of the water. I wouldn't say I blew by was more of "HOLY FUCK I WANT TO CATCH HER BUT SHE'S SO DAMN FAST".  That's when I went over threshold. I *did* catch her. Only for her and I to yo-yo the rest of the time. Dammit, she was fast. 

Eventually, another woman caught me, but I don't think she was in my AG. BUT, she passed me like I was standing still, which begs the question:


Let me talk seriously about the bike for a minute. I have put all of my energy into my running this year, the "mental" side of running. I am fully aware that I am not giving my best on the bike. For now, I'm ok with that.(Next year, that's not OK. It's only on the sprint/olys. I'm doing much better with the 70.3 bike training). I'm making improvements on the bike at every single race, so it's not all bad. The biggest gains I can make are on the run. That's where I've put my effort. 

On the other hand, I rode my best of the year today. I felt like I did anyway. There were times where my legs were just burning, and I kept pushing through it. I backed off a little bit on some of the downhills later. THAT'S something for me to work on next year. I can really take advantage of downhills, and I'm not. I'm so much taller and therefore heavier than most women in my AG that the downhills should be my place to really pass them. I tend to take a breather.

I knew that if I wanted to be a serious contender today, I had to come in at 35:00 and faster. I did not anticipate the dirt road....actually, I knew the dirt road was there. I'd just forgotten about it. I went really slow there. I came in around 36:00.


Dear Bitchface who stole my brand new favorite visor,
YOU suck.

The Run

A few points to note:
1.) I gave up training with music: HUGE WIN. WHAT a difference. If you are a triathlete and are training with music, unplug! Unless you're a woman in my AG.....I don't need anymore competition.

2) My heart rate monitor is temperamental. Sometimes it works in races, sometimes it says my heart rate is 60. 

3.) I get stressed out when I feel like I need to hit a certain pace. 

With all that said, I decided to run by effort. I could see my lap pace, and I could see my average pace. But how close could I get to threshold by just going by feel?  

I didn't check my garmin until I heard it beep 1 mile. My first mile was a 9:48.  HOLY F......wait that's enough F words for today. 


Systems check:

How do you feel?
My butt and legs are feeling it, but I like it. I know I doing something good.
Can you keep it up?

The course has a half mile long hill, we run up and down and back up and down. My goal was to keep my average pace UNDER a 10:00 pace running up the hill. When I hit the downhill, I was going to get my pace back to the 9:3X.


And it wasn't horrible.

And I can't figure out why it wasn't horrible.

I actually had FUN running. Yes, I was uncomfortable. Yes, I was passed on the run. But I felt success. I felt like I had truly accomplished something. It was like all of a sudden I got to see what my next few years were going to be like. I am going to get faster!

It wasn't perfect....I mean, there was that one time at band camp when I lost focus for a few seconds on the downhill and knew I was starting to plod along.

Then, I saw Liz shaking her head and heard her saying, "I don't even know what you're doing right now."

Right then, I decided no one was going to pass me for the rest of the run.

Except THAT guy. 

OK, Now no one is going to pass me.

And, I had my first ever sub 30 minute OTB 5k. BARELY sub 30 at 29:58 (officially it was 29:58), but I WILL TAKE IT. 

Big win. 

I managed to do a negative split. HUGE WIN for Steady State Sally.

I got home and realized that I was very very very close to threshold, so running by effort worked for the first time ever. 

I crossed the finish line. I wish I could tell you I was smiling. Nope. Instead, I'm sure my race photo will show a look of "OhpleaseletthisbetheendbecauseImabouttopassout" Dave W will be happy to hear that I couldn't even form a sentence and had to ask some 7 year old to open my bottle of water. I was downright dizzy for a few seconds.

I calmed down and ran my cool down. Amazing how easy the cool down felt today. When I finished my cool down, I went over to find my results. 

I couldn't find them.

Because I was looking at times 10 minutes slower than where I finished.

And my jaw dropped when I saw that I came in 4th place. 1st, 2nd and 3rd were pretty close. Then, I was 5 minutes behind 3rd. 

I knew these results were correct. I felt it. I knew I had a fantastic race. I will take 4th place racing fantastic competition over a podium any day of the week.

Those women make me better. They help me race harder. I want to be like them. I respect the hell out of them for being able to go out there and run the way they can run. 

Well, I guess that's it. I mentioned last time that I really feel like things are FINALLY coming together for me. Now, I'm down to my very last race of the season. If there's a positive to heading into off season, it's that,  now that I'm really starting to see improvements all the way around, I'll be working my butt off during the off season to get to my next level.