So in the rush to get out the door and off to skiing......I failed to do a race recap. And why do I feel compelled......so next year I can look back and relive the anxiety, exhiliration and remind myself that I go trough the same emotions for this race.
Race week- feeling sluggish, worried about the nagging injuries, execution - what is the right plan, am I rested enough, what do I do this week. So basically I did 30-45 minutes of swim/bike or swim/run or bike/run each day- good maintenance and keeping the blood flowing. All easy, few fast 50's in the pool, 30 seconds running and 60 seconds on the bike. Sunday before the race, rode to LJ for breakfast and home- 3 hour ride, but no strong efforts so it was good.
Biggest fear is water temperature.....58-59 degrees. So the dilema is do I get in an ocean swim prior to race day??? E and I go on Thursday and it was cold, cold....We did a 45 minute swim and we settled in and just as I was thinking all was okay we turned around and the chill set in. It was cold and really set fear in me for race day. Not sure I need to do that in the future- note to self.
Friday, day before race day, it was windy and chilly. So the debate is again....what do I wear for the race. First off, my race kit is not here from BB Cookies, so I have to figure out what to wear. The idea of laying down a lot of $$ for 1 day is ridiculous since I will my race kit for future races, but still what is a girl to wear. I settle on a TYR top, reasonable and my PI tri shorts. The dilema is what I will need on the bike....arm warmers, jacket, gloves....so I pack it all.
Race morning...up at 4am to eat! 2 massive pancakes - organic TJ's pancake mix with blueberries- took in 800k per coaches instructions. Eat and take the pups out for a walk, may as well, have 30 minutes before I need to leave. It is very dark and very cold, 49 degrees. Pack up an double check the gear and head to O'side.
Great parking spot and on the bike in the dark and coasting toward Transition. It is cold, cold. Racks are NOT marked but I am early enough to get a reasonable spot for my bike. I set up all my gear and I have it all.....laid out in case I really need the warm clothes. Off and find E and we get marked and stand in the 15+min line for the potty. Of course as we come out the line is even longer and I wonder should I just get back in line?
Before I know it, the Pros are coming out and we need to line up. I spot a familiar face but cannot place her, I approach her and turns out she is a former swimmning mate from my age group/high school days. Too funny. She make a go at being a pro in the early 90's and now she is back racing. Great.......
We are in the shute waiting for our start and before I know it we are in the water. 59 degrees but does not feel all that bad. I see KM from Masters and I know we are about the same pace and assume HB will be right there as well, former swimmer as well. Of we go and sure enough I see them both- one guy takes off (W40-44) go off with (M55-59) and I cannot get on his feet. First 1/2 of the swim is great- ez to site and very few people but as we approach the turn around, the chaos begins as then is when I am catching the slowe swimmwers from previous waves and it gets worse, more and more people and we are now swimming into the sun so siting is hard as well. But we are on the home stretch.... Out of the water and into T1.
T1- did not think twice about what to wear - nothing, just my tri top and shorts. Our of T1 and on the bike. Feeling good and starting to roll. First 10-15 minutes were freezing but then warmed up. Settled in and followed my coaches plan, watched the power and stayed right on track. Held back and kept right on track. As we approached the first climb, was feeling good and strong. All was good and I felt great. Picked it up a bit on the 2nd 1/2, not too agressive, but feeling strong. I rode with a great group of guys and it was really fun. Mind you we had to keep our distance but riding about the same pace, we saw each other many, many times and ecnouraged each other. HB was in the mix as well, so I knew hte competiiaon was going to be on in this race.
Before I knew it we are on the final stretch coming back to Transition and after the last climb I am now in 1st place. At mile 55, I kid you not, my chain totally locks. I cannot pedal one stroke, I am changing small ring/big ring and nothing. I have to coast to the side and figure out how to get off the bike without falling or not being able to pedal. I slow, jump off and then cannot figure out what is wrong. I am pulling and yanking the chain and nothing....I am fuming now and starting to freak out, there goes my race. And then I take a breath and realize that the chain has jammed as it had come off the small ring and was stuck. I pulled with all my might and thankfully I did not break the chain and wham it came loose. Meanwhile I see HB go by and not sure if anyone else in my AG has passed. I jump on the bike and power to T2. My HR is high and I realized I need settle down and get ready for the run.
Into T2 and I run out right behind HB and she is running faster than I want to and am not sure what to do. Do I follow her, I decide no and stick to my coaches plan and keep my HR where it needs to be. I settle in quickly but the issue is I had not turned on my Garmin and it does not track sattelites well while you are moving so I am fussing and mussing with my watch.....aaah what is my HR, what is may pace. Okay I forget the pacing aspect and just go by HR. Follow my plan and lap one is over and I am starting to feel the toll of the race, but hey only 6.5 miles to go. Oh, did I mention the sand portion...this is new to me, 4 times we run down the sand, soft sand on a camber- what fun, onto hard sand -not an issue, and then up the soft sand. But the 3rd time it was not all that fun..... Lap 2 I am seeing the aid stations as a buffet, coke- yes, gatorade- yes, gu- yes, no, yes, I know I need it but don't want it, oh maybe a banana, or maybe not, I am literally on some guys heels, can you draft in running. I am counting steps to 100 and starting over again. I look ahead oh my gosh do I see her, am I gaining on her, uh no, some other blond in a black racing kit. I cannot see her and now assume she is miles ahead and we hit the final turn around and she is about a minute ahead of me. I did down, can I gain on her.....ugh apparently not but I draft of the guy for the 2nd lap we hit the final sand, I am complaining, he is laughing and we are in the final stretch so I take the lead and tell him come on, come on, I will pull you in. He looks at me blankly...this is almost as bad as asking a non pregnany woman when she is due.....He then tells me this is his first lap, he has 6.5 miles to go. I tell him how sorry I am and wish him good luck. Run in....no idea what my time is, no running clock.
My family is there- cheering me on. Love them all for coming out for T2 and the run. My sis in law was awesome, she was on her bike and kept popping up. I would see her neon yellow jacket and here her loud yell "goooooo Juuuuuliieeeee" Loved it, loved it. My mom with her Go Julie shirt on and my Dad and K! And of course John- my number one fan and devoted tri- hubby.
So happy to be done and P tell me I broke 5 hours. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!! I did it.... and well you know the rest, HB took the Kona slot. So I accept 2nd place and am heading to IM CdA with a lot of confidence.