Saturday, March 9, 2013

Desert Triathlon Race Report

I am stealing this race report format from a friend.  She is a much better athlete than I and apparently a much better blogger.  Here goes-

Pre-race:  I was nervous heading into this race.  For two reasons.  One- It's one of my favorite races of all time.  The weather is usually good, the competition is excellent and goes deep, and the course is fast.  And two- I was starting to feel really optimistic about my fitness.
Caitlin and I met up with our good buddies Larry and Christina for some Mexican food prior to the race.  The food was stupidly good.  The whole dinner my legs were bouncing up and down under the table.  My energy was through the roof and I felt like I was going to have a blinder of a race in store. I was feeling like a coiled spring.

Race Day:

Swim: I launched myself into the water and tried to get into a rhythm as quickly as possible.  I was struggling to find feet to follow and wound up in no-man's land.  Swimming alone, I just focused on the process of getting out of the G-D water.  I thought about each stroke and tried to channel some good form.  I also kept thanking God for getting each little bit further in the swim.  With epilepsy, the swim is never taken for granted.  I finally rounded the last buoy and headed into shore.

Bike:  I whipped through transition and out with my new Quintana Roo CD0.1.  I was excited to race the bike now that I really had my position dialed on it and I had trained on it a bit.  Out onto the roads, the legs were feeling like magic.  I was clicking along, thinking my Garmin was full of $#!T as it was ready 27.5-28 mph with no wind to speak of... I was riding out of my skull!  I settled into an aggressive rhythm and worked my way from 15th through to 4th.  I stuck in my aerobars for nearly the entire course and just pedaled smooth controlled circles.  I ended with an all time best average speed of 25.4 mph for 24 miles!

Run:  Moment of truth.  Can you run fast off the bike? ... At this point my answer is probably not but you have to try. Onto the run, a step ahead of 5th place I was up on my toes and running hard.  I was feeling some cramping but hoping it would melt as cramps usually do.  5th place turned into 4th place as he was pure class and I was out to lunch comparatively. I tried to keep the elastic from snapping and came through the first mile in 5:45.  He was 3 seconds ahead with the elastic still in tact.  Next mile- 5:50.  6 seconds ahead.  Then the full on cramping hit me like a bomb.  I had never had cramps like that.  My diaphragm had gone completely haywire.  It was like horrifically painful hiccups.  My pace dropped as I gasped pathetically.  4th place pranced away from me as my next mile came in at 6:12.  I was unraveling.  The cramps continued as I set out on lap 2.  I slowed and squeezed deep into my rib cage and suddenly the cramps melted.  I was back into my pace!  next mile came in low 6's and then another 6 flat and then mid 5:50's as I hit the tape.  I finished the 6 mile run with an average of 5:58's!

Yep.  That was a good one.  It was about 1.5 minutes faster than the last time I raced here and that race was unbelievable at the time.  After the race I was thinking- It's amazing.  That minute and a half means nothing to anyone but it means so much to me.  It's good to be back racing after a year of injuries. I spared you the gory details by not blogging for that year but- trust me- it wasn't fun.  This is fun.