What a day! I love this race so much. Yesterday was extra special because I had so many friends racing as well as many members of my training posse. I was so much more thrilled with their results, mine were great but I was more concerned about the athletes I train than my own personal outcome. I am so proud and blessed to coach the athletes I do. Thanks for trusting and being loyal to me throughout the years. The consistency and hard work that you put into your training programs is paying off. Jayasports athletes raced at the front yesterday! WOOT!
On Saturday, my friend and athlete Marty asked me what my goal time was for the race on Sunday and I replied that I didn't have one. My only goal was to race as hard as I possibly could, fully in the red zone from start to finish. Mission accomplished!
While standing on the beach with Marty, Dave, Wynn, Theresa, Susan, Jenn, Nancy and the Wingman we were all happily chatting away until Dave said to me: "green caps are in the water", "Oh Shite!" I replied. We all wished each other good luck and I quickly got into the water and up to the front. Right in front. Normally I hang back for second in line but I was feeling confident after working on my swim technique with kick ass swim coach Bryan Krut of OWS this spring. The water was perfect- rough chop (which I love, the rougher the better!) and the current was actually sweeping us away from the start buoy. The wind was carrying away the countdown but I heard the horn and sprinted out. No one passed me, I had a great start, angled in from the right towards the buoy's and tried to swim a straight line (have to work on this). I have a feeling I fish tailed a little, I had to correct myself a couple of times when I looked up. I'll be in the open water with Bryan in a couple of weeks to correct this, I have a feeling I can drop my swim time by a minute or even two minutes if I could swim in straight line. Most importantly when I stood up at the shore, my watch read 14 and small change, PSYCHED. I ran up to transition (heart in throat!) and I was one of the first ones there, all other bikes racked in my wave (PSYCHED!). Fumbled with my shoes, got everything together and raced out of transition happily seeing Susan at her rack (Psyched again! What a swim for her!) and high tailed it out of there.
I raced old school style on a high tech bike yesterday, except it was girl and machine only. I neglected to change the batteries in my computer and I didn't want to deal with putting the garmin on in transition. I raced totally by feel. Knowing it was a competitive field and that the speedy young girls were in the wave behind us, I hammered the bike. Listening to myself breathe was horrendous, I was sucking some wind in and I had to remind myself to settle down a little bit so that I didn't totally blow up but other than that I was low, aero in my new position (thanks Sinead!) and I felt strong and really really good. With a nice tail wind up to the Point, I glanced at my watch quickly as we pulled in towards T2, 38 high and no women passed me. PSYCHED! It was a good ride and I was really pleased. I fumbled with my shoes in transition though, definitely lost some time. I couldn't find my yankz in my old sneakers so I just left my laces open to tie them. Mistake! My fingers weren't working as well and it took away a good 30 seconds. Then as I got up to run, I realized my spare tube and CO2 cartridge were in my tri jersey and I had to take a few steps back to transition to dump them- another 20-30 seconds wasted there and I was getting paniced because I needed that minute!
Up the steps out of transition and onto the course with my HR way too high. To settle into a good but quick rhythm I shortened my stride a little bit and pushed as hard as I could. Working on running the last couple of years, I have learned to suffer and it came in handy yesterday. By the first 100 meters I knew it was going to be painful. Listening to myself breathe like a stuck pig I tried to up my tempo as much as I could. When I hit puke threshold I knew it was all I could give and from then on I ran scared. The run course has these sneaky little gradual hills and after killing myself on the swim and the bike, it hurt. There is running and then there is running off the bike. Two different animals. While I do some hard brick training it still doesn't quite match the all out intensity of the race. I can get myself close, but racing is racing. Mile 1 passed by and a 15 year old sprite of a girl running super fast passed me by. Amazed. At mile 2 I was wondering if I would even finish the race- that's how I knew I was going as hard as I could, it was only a 5k! Shortly after mile 2 I got passed by another young girl (DAMN! Not that it mattered for my age group but I did want to finish up as high as I could in the overall) and then I saw Susan and she made some kind of sarcastic comment about my bright orange Saucony Kinvara's. Inside I was totally laughing but I was working so hard all I could manage was a grunt of acknowledgement and I was super psyched to see her because I knew she was on the way to a killer PR. Emi was next, storming the run and I managed a small wave and then I heard some light, fast steps behind me and knew I was getting passed by another woman (DAMN!) and this one was in my age group (DAMN!) but I did not have another gear and she was easily running 20-30 sec per mile faster than I was. I knew that I had to push as hard as possible to limit my losses and ever so slightly took the pace up a notch until I felt like puking again. At Mile 2.5 I heard "hey warrior" and Sam caught up to me. Sam was acting as Dave's legs today and he was doing a super fine job of it. I managed to croak out "kick ass Sam" and off he went. With a half mile left I told my brain "Brain, allow me to recruit a few more muscle fibers now, I'm almost done, COME ON" and I rounded the corner, up to the finish and my little guy was ready to run in with me and it was GRAND. 1:24, a 25 minute 5k (blech) but it was all I had in me so I was pleased with the results of the entire day. It was a stacked field today and highly competitive! Seconds determined placings and it turned out that my T2 KILLED me, I needed that minute to snag the win for the 40-44 women. First place out ran me by 50 seconds or so and I had her by a minute on the swim and a minute on the bike. I've been racing triathlons since 1995, you would think that I would not make rookie mistakes but the transitions in a sprint race are critical and I didn't remember how long it would take me to tie my shoes and place my flat gear in my pockets. Yankz and a new seat bag are on order. I will not be making those mistakes again this year. Next up is the Smith Point Sprint and a week after that the West Point Sprint and I've got an excellent block of training coming up these next two weeks. Time to get after it!
Congrats to my posse- everyone shined!
Emi Berger: 7th overall woman and not at full throttle, coming off an illness. Way to go!
Marty Viera: 19th male, 4th in the AG- he just did a half iron last week! Look out for him when his legs are rested!
Ken Moore: 14th overall, 2nd elite male
Susan Roman: took the Athena title and scored a 13 minute PR!
David Gatz and Sam Cila- team Operation rebound. Dave's hip sang it's last song last month, no running until he recovers from hip replacement surgery coming up soon. Sam stepped in as his teammate and Dave managed a 13 minute swim, a 35 minute bike and Sam ran a 21 minute 5k for a time of 1:13- with an extra minute spent in T2 when they couldn't find each other but they took the male relay title in grand style, beating the competititon by more than 12 minutes!
Joe O'Connell had an awesome race, really pleased with his solid effort on a great day and my friend Jenn Charvat finished her first ever outdoor triathlon and look out! Jenn can really run!
Anthony Snoble raced the Xterra Sky High triathlon yesterday and led from start to finish for the overall win. It totally capped off my day!
There were too many friends to mention that we enjoyed talking with yesterday. Great to see everyone staying fit and enjoying themselves out there. The only downer of the day was when we went back to T1 to pick up our wetsuits, Dave discovered that his Helix wetsuit and Ironman transition bag was stolen. It was very upsetting and the security people were upset as well. After checking everywhere we left Dave's number with the security people and we headed to the beach. 20 minutes later we got a call, his bag was returned! Someone had "mistakenly" taken it. Not too sure how that works as Dave had his suit halfway in the bag and his cap and goggles laying next to it so the person had to have scooped up everything, placing it in the bag and zipper it closed before walking out with it. Dave knew from the morning that he was the only one in the rack with a transition bag. Fortunately, someone recognized our last name labeled on his wetsuit and returned it to the security team. When they called Dave to get it, the security man mentioned that the person knew me and returned the bag. Thank you anonymous person for returning our equipment. Your honesty made our entire day brighter. Thank you.
Plenty of pictures from race day to come, thanks for reading!