Race reports after stellar races are really fun....... Guess what, this is not a fun report! But it seems only fair to write the good and the bad....
Well......the race was not what I hoped! No race day magic, not a confidence building day for Kona, not a fun day out racing.... it was a tough day. I finished and gutted it out but it was not pretty.
What happened....wish I could tell you. Swim was good, but did not "feel it". The bike was hard, the course was hard but my perceived effort was high for the watts I was putting out. Usually in a 70.3 I have to hold back a bit in the beginning and pace myself, in Vegas I had to push myself. I trained on the course and left there not feeling like it was all that tough..it was tough and we got lucky- it was not 110 degrees and there was minimal wind. The hills were fair and took a lot out of me, the downhills requred hard pedaling - there is no break on the course. Hopping off the bike in T2, I could tell my legs were spent...I usually feel good right off the bike, so this was my first sign that it was going to be hard. The 1st mile is downhill so I had a bit of false confidence. As soon as I hit mile 2 and went up, I knew it was going to be a long 13 miles. So I checked them off one at a time and made the best of it.
Serious hot spot that lead to a big blister on the ball of my foot, but that was not the cause of my slow run. My foot held up which is GREAT news for Kona! My nutrition was not good... why I still struggle with this I don't know! I am seriously considering solids on the bike in Kona- I train with Powerbars and Cliff ShotRoks and am thinking it maybe the way to go. Save the gels and Gu's and liquids for the run. Again, nutrition was not the cause of my slow race, but my gut was not happy and if was a full IM I would have had serious GI distress.
Weather was great (for Vegas) that is...high of 95 I think- could have been 105+ so that was fortunate. The split transition is a bit of a bummer....we stayed at Green Valley Ranch - near the finish and I think next year I will stay at the Loews or another Lake Las Vegas Resort- too much driving back and forth, up early to drive to swim, then back later in the day to drop off bikes, riding from GVR is not that nice vs taking a nice spin from Lake Las Vegas, GVR is a big casino hotel which means cigarettes and a hike to get to the car etc.... would rather stay in one place- drive to register and take the shuttle back after the race. There are some great condos right there which could be a lot of fun.... cooking in and hanging with friends!
The trip was fun.....Ian was our sherpa and chauffaur which was awesome. Great fun with Riikka, Ian, Beth, James, Darcy, Diana, Jody and Stacey.... so that was all good! Lots of familar faces on the course- Whiteney and Liz were the rockstar cheerleaders....hooting and hollerin such positive mojo as I nearly crawled by. You know the race is going down hill when lap 1 KP gives me my position in the race, lap 2 says hang in there.... lap 3 not even sure what he said or if I could see him.
Anyone doing Vegas next year or ITU Worlds....hills, hills, hills....ride and run hills. Train like you did for Wildfllower! Serioulsy- it is a tough course.
Recovery for a few days...and final push for Kona!