Sunday, July 24, 2011

Race Report: Huntington Sprint Triathlon, 2011

As I explained in my previous post...I was very excited for this race.

It's a mile from my house. How cool is that? So I still didn't sleep well the night before (standard), but at least it was easy to get to! Plus, a lot of my local tri buddies were going to be there, and that rocks.

I felt like I needed to redeem myself a bit from Lifetime--I know that I did the best I could there, but I felt like it just wasn't good enough. I could do more. But I never know what sprints can bring. I sort of have one speed, and it's 70.3. I can dial that speed in, no problem. But a sprint? It should hurt. You should be gasping for air at the end. And that's not a race pace I'm really used to.

So I decided it was time to dial it up a notch.

I wanted this to hurt.

Despite crazy nasty storms, the lake was NOT choppy! I was pretty stoked about that. It was pretty warm and I wanted to go hard, but not totally blow it. I definitely felt like I needed to push it, though, especially after my pretty rotten swim at Lifetime. So push I did. I found a few legs, drafted for a bit, passed, and went comfortably hard. I knew I could have gone a little harder, but I didn't feel like I dogged it like I did at Lifetime. I was happy with my effort.

Swim Time 9:57
Place 6/19 AG

Got out and ran the almost 1/4 mile up to transition--sheesh! Tried to stay calm and collected and remember that I was about to embark on what's become my best leg. My buddy Ken was there and told me there were some girls to catch. I had a rough time getting my right leg clipped in but then I was off.
One of my former students and I leaving T1! She was doing her very first tri and finished 2nd in her age group--yay, Megan!


Long story short--I killed it. I felt FABULOUS on this ride and my watts were high but I felt good. I picked people off left and right and got especially excited when I saw a leg that had a "U" on it, as that was my age group. I passed 4 or 5 girls with U's, and didn't see any U's pass me, so I was excited. I knew I was near the front of the age group and felt awesome.

And then I took a wrong turn.

About 1/2 mile from transition. SO STUPID. I even knew it was wrong. I knew we were supposed to go straight, but the police officer was waving right. Turns out, he was waving the cars and not us, but I saw a fast chick turn and stupidly I followed like a lemming. She really let the police officer have it and yelled, "I was winning this!" at him, but I silently turned and chalked it up to not trusting my gut and knowing the course better. I knew better than making that mistake and turning, and was mad at myself for doing it.

I probably lost 30-45 seconds.

But I hoped that I had built up a big enough cushion to still hang onto an age group place. I was not sure what this run would bring as my hamstring has been much better, but I haven't really tried to go that hard on it. I put on my brand new birthday racing flats, Saucony Mirages, that are obnoxious blue, grabbed my visor, and took off hoping for the best.

I was kind of being the Chris Leito of the average-Jane 30-34 females in NEO. I took his strategy of hammer the hell out of the bike and pray you can hold on. I felt a bit like a hunted/wounded animal, but I tried to just focus on the run ahead.

Bike: 36:19
1/19 AG
20.2 mph

I felt SOOOO slow. The first mile, I expected U's to pass me left and right. I certainly must have been running 10 minute miles.

Except I wasn't.

My pre-race dream goal was to hold 8s, and it appeared that I was doing relatively close to that. I don't know because my little Nike kid's watch doesn't take lap splits, but I did time my 2nd mile and it was just under 8. Could this be true? One of the volunteers told me at about 2.5 miles that I was "the fourth female, and you can catch those other ones if you hurry." I knew that wasn't true because of the wave starts--I knew for SURE there were some SMOKIN' fast 40+ masters females behind me that were actually "ahead" time-wise. But if there were only 4 ahead of me, and I knew two of them I knew for sure were masters, then that meant maybe one more that was possibly in my age group.

Or not.

Or it was me, in first place.

I knew then, with about .6 miles to go, that this was going to be my race to lose. And I sure as hell was NOT about to lose it then. There would be NO U's passing me, and if one did, and this turned into a Raelert-Macca thing, then I WOULD BE MACCA.

(*of course, both Raelert and Macca could beat me while running backwards wearing stilettos blindfolded, but you get the point, right?)

This was a huge mental victory for me, because usually at this point in a race, I am talking to myself and saying things like, "Hey, 3rd place is pretty good" or "well, I had a great bike today," but there was NONE OF THAT in this race. I knew coming off the bike that I was probably in first, and I made up my mind throughout most of the run that it was going to stay like that. End of story.

I knew those girls behind me might be fabulous runners, and I was hoping for maybe a 25 minute 5K at best, and can I really win this thing with a 25+ minute 5K?

The answer today was YES.

I dashed up the hill, kicked it into high gear just in case, and finished in 1:16.47, just 10 seconds ahead of the 2nd place girl in my age group.

Thanks to my awesome friend, Anne, for taking these pics for me!

She almost got me, but I was NOT going to have that today. No way. I finished the way I wanted to--gasping, almost puking, and smiling.

Run 26:05
Pace 8:25/mile
5/19 AG

Met my two kiddies and Matt afterwards and got to hug them lots and lots.

1/19: 30-34 Females
9/115: Overall Females
72/292: Total Finishers

And THAT is how I rang in my next decade of triathlons.


Kate said...

Yay!! What a great way to kick off the next decade!

Alili said...

YAY!!!!!!!!! Way to bring home the WIN!!!

Margs @ Faster Bunny said...

nice job! so impressed.

JenC said...

Nice job buddy! I tried to amp up my game yesterday at Fairport too in an attempt to bust out of the 70.3 speed and did for the bike but shins had other plans for run. Oh well, still happy with the finish. Very proud of you!

TriEric said...

You busted out a great sprint race yesterday. How about we keep doing sprints for the rest of the summer?

Here's to another 10+ years of triathlon fun with my tri sister.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations -that is awesome!

Nelson said...

Awesome! My heart is pounding just from reading the race report. I'm very proud of you!

E-Speed said...

great job girl! way to push yourself throughout!

RobbyB said...

Yippee! Way to crush it. I bet it was the magical Wisconsin Cheese Curds!

Anonymous said...

you rock! and congratulations on a super-fast sprint race! Thanks for the photos-I am missing Ohio right now...(sigh!)

allanjel said...

I hope you celebrated your awesome performance with a DQ blizzard ;o)

Janet Edwards said...

Wow, what a great race!!! So proud of you girl!!!