Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ready to race....

Yes and no....but it is always that way. Usually this time of year I am wishing I had done a sprint or club race to dust off the cobwebs, practice transitions, remember what it is like to do all 3 sports etc...but alas with a few days to race day does not seem likely.  The good news is I always seem to remember what to do and what not to do.  I have a really detailed, sort of ridiculously detailed, race check list and I have a ritual of printing it out and highlighting each item just to be sure I am not forgetting anything. 

Already bought the organic beef for Thursday- always have 48 hours before a race and salmon at least 2x in the week.  Fueling the body as best I can. That along with Airborne, Wellness Formula and Zinc!

See as the race gets closer, the brain does not work as effectively and such lists are critical.  And maybe because I am getting so darn old, my memory is slipping :) But getting old rocks in this sense....yeah baby I am lining up 7 minutes later then ever before in the W45-49 age group.  So many friends are racing W40-44 and I am very happy to watch them start without me.  For those you non-trigeeks, see aging up means a new age group and that means the competition is less, well sometimes, or it seems that way.  Looking up past races, I see that even the old chicks 45-49 were under 5 hours- so maybe this is all an illusion to me.  But I am believing it anyway and being happy about that!

Super psyched to be racing with 5 other Nytro Women!  So fun to see teammates out there- it makes the race more entertaining. And then there are so many of my friends- it will be like a huge group workout, except we will be staggered, competing against each other and most likely suffering a whole lot more than on any given workout- bottom line- racing!  But it's a lot more fun when you are looking for friends, waiving and encouraging each other on the course.

I love this race...it was my first 70.3, 4 years ago- hard to believe!  Time flies-  so at least my worries are not about not finishing, got that one figured out.  What are the worries....oh so many- pacing, nutrition, weather, cold, cold, cold... yes O'side can be cold and based on our recent weather it may be really cold.  Water 57 degrees and air not much warmer- but heck as with any race, we all have the same conditions to battle.  It will be what it will be.

  I know the course, so that takes a lot of anxiety away... water start and the wave start is a pain because within 500 meters I start swimming over people who are slower and then on the way back swimming over more people from 2 waves up. But I guess it could be worse..I could be swam over.  Sighting is tough due to the sun in your eyes on the way back (hopefully there will be sun) but soon enough you are following the shoreline, then the dock and finally seeing the crowd and running up the ramp. The swim is fast 26-27 minutes is nothing compared to an IM.

T1- is tough as hands and feet are frozen and they don't work well...always a decision to be made- arm warmers? vest? socks?  I bring them all and usually leave them in T1- but if its cold I am taking the extra seconds to be warm.  And then on the bike...roll around the marina, wicked steep hill up towards Pendleton and settle in.  The 1st half is relatively flat and time to get the HR down and stay aero. Around the 1/2 mark is the 1st of the 3 climbs and this is when the race gets fun- I am a climber and like the hills.  The 1st hill is no biggie and many are hammering up past me, I dial in my power and do my own climbing.  By the 3rd hill the people who hammered up the 1st few are a heck of alot slower and probably regretting the 500watt surge to get up the hill.  As KP says- you start the race with a box of matches and every time you surge you light a match- the question is when will you run out of matches and you don't want to go for a match on the run and find the box empty.  The last 10 miles is flat and can be fast, ie tail wind, or slow, ie head wind, on Vandergrift- I have had both. By this time I am ready to get off the bike.....

T2 and off on the run- I hear they have taken out the running in the sand portion- thank goodness!   2 laps and race is over....the run course is all concrete which is not good but is great for seeing your friends on the course and spectators.   The 1st lap is usually fine and then the 2nd lap is when the suffering settles in and the conversations begin-how much can I suffer and for how long?  Gotta love it!  Really I do -  yup we pay for this entrainment.

Great finish line...huge crowds and long and flat!  And its noontime- such a bonus vs near dark at an IM.  Then the fun begins, connecting with all my friends, celebrating, eating etc.... going to be a great day....

as long as I don't get what John has (has been sick for 4 days), my IT Bands release,  the rest of the fatigue settled in my legs go away....and the list goes on.  Usual race week doubts and fears!