Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Kansas70.3 Race Report

Swim: I tucked my Sayonara Swimskin into my bag and pulled on the Hurricane. If I had to wear a wetsuit in 80 degree water, at least it was the best one on the market. I got into the water for a solid 20min warm-up. The swim wasn't too eventful. The gun went off and within 5 mins there were only two girls out with me. They fought through the packs of swimmers while I swam alone on the inside of the buoys. I joined one at the turn around buoy and drafted for a full 5 mins...possibly a new record for me. I lost their feet in the shuffle, but felt I was swimming strong. Only lesson learned here is that I'll be spending a lot more time in the ocean this summer. I need to love open water like I love the pool! So all you SoCal peeps- put me on your speed dial when you're looking for an ocean swim buddy.
If there is one thing I constantly do well it's transitions. I came into T1 just behind the other girl I was swimming with, and was out before she even had her hands on her bike.
Bike: This was where the race begins for me. The challenge lied ahead!!! My goal: get that heart rate soaring, and ride like I've never ridden before. I've put so much work into trying to learn how to bike, and I wanted this. From riding the course on Friday I knew it was going to hurt. Sure enough by mile 22 I wondered if I'd be able to hold on. My legs were screaming! I built a lead on Whitney, but actually didn't think she was even in my age group. She went by me around mile 15 riding really strong with a decent pack. I was focused on my own effort, but also had the goal of being the one doing the passing.
This is how the entire bike course went- long up, short down, up, down. It hurt!!!
I felt like I pushed my limit a bit more than in the past, and with it am building confidence. Around mile 40 I knew I could execute my race plan (for the bike portion).  The final result was an av HR higher than I've ever held in a half IM. Bike fitness is slowly finding its way into my body. I would be lying if I said I questioned whether this might result in a sluggish or fly and die run. But when I ran into T2 (after executing my first flying dismount in a race-go me!) I knew I gave it my all on the bike.

---For those interested in checking out this race in the future (and maybe think all of Kansas is flat), here is a short video recapping the woman's pro race. There is one flat section (lasting maybe a mile-it is actually shown a few times in the video, so don't be deceived). The rest is long rollers. The part of the video where Chrissie passes Pip-mile 30- is a good glimpse of what the entire bike course is like:

Run:  I started the run and instantly thought my orthodics were in the wrong shoes (right in left, left in right). I ripped off my shoe and confirmed all was ok. Weird feeling, but I was off to the races once again. My plan for the run was to start at 7:15 pace and hold through mile 6. I have an issue with going out too hard, but knew if my training was going to deliver on the day, that I was capable of running this pace. The hill from mile 2-3 hurt pretty bad. I powered up and got a visual on the only girl that had passed me all day. I was down by 6 mins, so it was going to take a crazy fast run by me and a not so fast run by her to make up the gap. I held to my own plan (and thankfully didn't look at my HR on my watch! Because of the scorching heat it was sky high).
 The wizard of Oz characters were awaiting my arrival.
Seriously, Lawrence put on quite a show for us!!!!!!!!!!!
The rest of the run was uneventful. Another thing I am working on is taking in calories during the run portion. Not only did I succeed with this, but I actually felt the energy enter my body after each consumption of my carbopro-Gu mix.  I had zero clue where I was within my age group or amongst the entire female field. It was as if I was in a time trial format race and just had to race amongst myself. After making it up the hill the second time I tried to drop my pace again (4miles to go). I was in a whole lot of hurt, but my new run form made the run feel more effortless than ever before. Less effort, faster pace- I'LL TAKE IT! With 1.5 miles to go I realized I could break 1:30 (it wasn't until after I crossed the line that I came to my senses and realized the course was a bit short). I did all I could to get under the mark and crossed with a 1:30 run split. (had the course been accurate I think I would have run 1:32 or 1:33...a BIG PR for me!)
Finish: I didn't know where I was within the rest of the field, but I knew 100% when I crossed that line I gave it ALL I had (and then some). Each race I am learning more about my capabilities, and building confidence.It sure does make racing fun!
The yellow brick road in Kansas ended with smiles (and maybe a bit of the dizzy/nauseous feeling). The girl that went flying by me on the bike ended up being in my age group, and put together an awesome run herself! This landed me in second.
Uli scored her first podium finish as a pro, and I couldn't be happier for her. Run through hell and back with someone along the Queen K, and you'll have a friend for life:
Andy and Chrissie dominated while previewing TYR's 2011 Tri gear. What can I say, I love racing with other former Michigan athletes...even if he is way more studly than I.
Racing this weekend meant a lot to me! Triathlon really is helping me power through some big obstacles right now, and having the support of family, friends and sponsors truly means the world to me! From the bottom of my heart I have to thank TYR for allowing me to sport the best gear out there!!! GU once again for fueling me from start to finish (and after-Gu Recovery drink was essential since there was no way I could have stomached the sloppy joes's being offered up in the athlete tent). Thanks to Ryan Robinson (and his entire family who was out there working the race) for putting on an excellent event; and to Laura, Scott, Lisa, Jordan and Sidney for making my first trip to Kansas so memorable!!!!


GoBigGreen said...

Oh man you got Andy!! Well at least I got Chrissie. Pictures I mean. hahaha.
Great race, hope to see you sometime soon!

Christi said...

Great job!

Mary said...

Sounds like a blast. Nice work out there!

Charisa said...

Great race Caroline!!

SSB said...

Nice job on the race. Congrats.