i find it hilarious the pre-race rituals we have. the need to wear a "i've done an ironman" shirt to race check-in, rather than normal street clothes. the carting around of a gallon water bottle day before a race. the food we eat, and the abnormal sleep schedules we keep. hilarious.
pre-race prep was pretty normal. I got to syracuse at about 6pm on friday, and meet Kelly Covert, her husband (also kelly covert!) and boys Noah and Ryan. It was a fantastic place to stay, and we indeed, talked! it was great :) after a solid sleep on friday night, I was able to get a nice relaxed pre-race prep. Following a breakfast of pumpkin pancakes, coffee, and sheep yougurt, i tested out my bike for shifting, braking, etc. Good to go. Made it to the expo, regular crappy IM 70.3 bag and shirt. But... the lines were quick!!!! then, drove my way out to Jamesville state park to put my bike into Transition, dip my toes into the lake (a chilling 17 degrees on race weekend!), and go for a 20 min run. I also ran into some Mountaineers. including, a former rowing teammate, Lori Sherlock. SO nice to be at a triathlon where i knew people! And, to add to that, I had a team dinner that night. Coach Mary was there, as was all my train-this teammates, including turbo, mike corona, and alexa harding. great to put names to faces.
but... onto the race.
it was a fricken gong-show getting into the parking lot. bottle neck, galore. while waiting in line, i realized that I had forgotten my pre-race and "start of bike"
nutrition Hydration at kelly's (just the liquid nutrition, not gu's and the such) a little freak out, and then a big freakout with a worry that I had forgotten something like my bike shoes.
whatev. get to transition, alexa and other girl nicely give me a few bottles of water and gatorade, and the such. due to previously mentioned traffic jam, i have about 7 minutes to set up transition, and was super happy with my spot (first rack, right at the end). so, it was rushed. i use the portapotties, which were AMAZING! no joke. decorated with flowers, carpet, triathlon themed pictures on the wall, etc. checked my dry-clothes bag, and headed for a little swim warmup. a few short (but fast) laps back and forth, then warm clothes on, overtop of suit to wait. My wave left about 45 mins following the pro's. and, on ironman.com athlete tracker, it says I was 11th in my age group... but, at the race, I was 9th in my age group... any suspicions as to why the results online don't line up with what was at the race?
SWIM: i will not lie. I was worried about the swim. I have had (in the past), very bad reactions to cold water. I also had my lingering lake chaparral swim lingering over my head. I knew that I was feeling good, a little nervous (showed alexa my shaking hands), and told my self to just focus on me. don't worry about the other pink caps. I situated myself close to the front, but, not right in the front. so we took off. and guess what!?!!? NO FREAK OUTS. No fights with other girls. no chest tightness or shortness of breath. The only two bad things: swallowed a lot of water, and swam way wide on the way back in (for some reason, i just kept on wanted to go left... strange..). my cadence was steady, and I was not cold. I was happy :)
time: 32:42. split: 1:33/100m not terrible for this distance. right around what i was expecting.
t2: felt like it was fast, despite the 1/4 mile run from the beach to bikes. I used the wetsuit strippers, and this one was WAY better than the person at mooseman. woo! quick transition (though, when i look compared to my competitors... no super fast..), and opted for no arm-warmers, but putting my socks on for the bike. the only downfall about my bike position, is that it was FAR from bike out/in. time: 3:23.
bike: now, for me, this was my favourite part of the race. I had heard some pretty nasty things about this climb entitled "sweet hill." as i had been riding for about 10 minutes, i head a "woomp woomp woomp" of a disc wheel approaching. "local arch rival" rides by: "oh hey there! i never knew you would be here!" yup, here i am. and, there you are, as always, going faster than me. go girl, go! i guess that is my only EPP on the bike now. don't have disc wheels ;)
Bike course can be found HERE. And, despite it looking fairly flat for the most part... it never was really flat. pretty much rolling the whole time. but, this race was FAR easier than mooseman for me. the hills were easier, my bike was perfect, and i finally accomplished something that only pro-triathletes can do. yes ladies and gentlemen, i peed while on my bike. it was a big day for me. dont worry, i would look behind to make sure there wasn't anyone close behind me, that might get sprayed. and, i made sure i would lean a bit to the left side, as to keep the drive train as clean as possible. sweet hill was not as difficult as i thought it would be. and, i LOVED the downhills... it was dry at that point, so i could just fly. max speed? 76km/hr and, i was in control!! it was cold for the first bit, and I was worried that i made a mistake without the armwarmers. I had to get rid of the sunglasses, since pretty much, it was only fog. i also was worried, at about mile 20, that i had done too much on my legs~ but, i re-evaluated a little later, and no... i was confidant that i had nailed this ride. other disgusting things that i did during my bike: multiple snot rockets, ate gu, and wiped my nose with the back of my hand.
time: 2:50.37, 31.68km/hr
T2: no surprises. just wet socks. time: 1:27
Run: now... everyone was excited to be running this run because it was a overall downhill. well. that overall downhill came in the first 3 miles, with short, steep downhill rollers. the run course can be found HERE. overall, this run was not pleasureable. I think the best point was reading the comments on the pavement on Erie blvd to pass time along this stretch that took forever, was ugly, and a slight incline. also, somewhere along there, some little girl cheered "good job! use your muscles!" to the people running by. we all laughed, and thought "yup. that is what we are trying to do!" i also peed a few times during my run, as well. every aid station, i sipped some gatorade, and every 15 mins, i took a clif block. every aid station, i also proceeded to inhale gatorade into my nose, and spill it all over my face (for some reason, during this race, i was not able at all to master the squished cup technique). I also, at one point choked and almost sent a slightly chewed block flying onto the guy running ahead of me.
i couldn't stop smiling for the first 3miles. i was loving it. I knew it was going to get harder and harder, but, i was loving it. what a fricken privilege I have to do this!!! and, indeed, it got harder. my first 4 miles ranged from about 7:50-8:00 mins. my second 4 miles: 8:13-8:35. my last 5 miles: 8:48-9:20. so... gotta work on that a bit. anyway. time: 1:51.48, split: 8:32/mile.
OVER ALL TIME: 5:19.57. this, my friends, is a personal best by 28 minutes. and, it was good enough for 9th in my agegroup of 70 people. not so shabby.
i stuck around for roll-down. and, i will tell you what. 8th place girl got the second spot. she beat me by about 30 seconds. i was <------> this close to qualifying for clearwater. there will be another time. maybe not for another 2 years (since next year, i might be overseas) but, baby, it will come.
tomorrow, or wednesday, I will be writing some post-race thoughts. but for now?
it is OFF SEASON. and this girl is taking her sore body, and having a long fricken nap. because she is exceptionally happy.