First off, karel was 17th in the State Crit and he said he is really happy about his race. Although 17th may not seem like a good place (says karel, i think just finishing is amazing!!) he said that he made a lot of moves and really contributed to the race. That is how Karel likes to race, rather than just sitting in with the pack until the end and then sprinting to the line for a win. He is all about the action and making the other guys suffer. So, a big congrats to Karel. It wasn't very fun waiting for his call after I finished my race. I wanted to hear from him and when he called "How'd you do??" I asked. Of course, the first thing he says, "How'd you do?" It was fun exchanging race stories all evening long.
The travel to disney was fine. I was anxious to leave so as soon as my parents came to pick me up, I was out the door. "Let's go to Disney!!"
We went directly to the goofy lot of Magic Kingdom and I rode my bike up to the pavillion. It is tough getting to the race site with spectators so my parents rode the bus to the race site. I called Kate who was also at the expo and that was just the start to us seeing each other for the rest of the weekend. It was funny out of so many people, Kate and I kept running into each other. I got my stuff and couldn't have been more happy that I got a pink cap. Wahoo-pink cap, wave 7:00am with all the 18-29 girls. yikes!
I went right through the expo (I don't even make eye contact with all the race gear) so I can save my money and went to go rack my bike. Well, I was by a big tree which was great for findning my rack (#30) but I was near the end and it was so tight. Luckily, on race day morning there was a big gap a few bikes closer (still far away) so I moved my bike so seduza wasn't so close to the other bikes. It was a big mess in transition with all the bikes so I could only imagine what it would be like in the morning.
Out of the past 3 years of racing Disney, this was the first year I didn't stay at the wilderness lodge. This year, I didn't have my racing friends with me so opted out of the lodge to save some money and be with my parents. All was good at the Fairfield in and I slept great. I actually liked be off the race site and of course, only a mile away from Outback. I invited my friend Kori to Outback with my parents and me and I enjoyed my bread, rice, house salad (w/ pecans and eggs and tangy tomato on the side) and sweet potato (everything on the side). I could have eaten another loaf of bread if Karel was there with me but I think the 3 we went through was good enough. I didn't feel stuffed so that was good. Just a simple dinner to keep the muscles filled with fuel.
Race day morning I woke up at 4am at went to the lobby to cook my breakast. I prepared my breakfast on sat morning and put it in a baggy so all i had to do was heat it up. 1 packet instand oatmeal, raisins, sliced almonds, a little protein powder, cinnamon and 1/2 banana (which I got sat night). With coffee and water, I felt good about my nutrition. Sometimes i am nervous and my tummy will make me feel like I need to eat more, but i know that i am well fulled. this time, I felt just right. I didn't eat anything else for the rest of the morning and that means so spikes in blood sugar. I drank my water and had my amino's before. I felt really good all morning.
I arrived to the bus's and saw Kate. Too much fun! We waited for about 10 min (seemed like an hour) and then we were up at the race site. My parents were a bus behind Kate and I (I jumped in line with Kate) so we headed right to body marking. #1435, 25 years old. All marked up, ready to go.
Into the mess of transition and I squeezed my way through all the girls and attempted to have some type of transition set-up. I tried to be quick cause I wanted to get out of the craziness. I checked Seduza's wheels and brake pads, put on my computer and I was out. My parents and i headed to the beach and my dad went to the pier to get a good spot for taking pictures (those will come soon). My mom hung out with me and I just enjoyed having her there. As I mentioned in previous posts, I love being around people before a race. I guess I spend so much time alone training and preping for my race that when I get to the expo or race site on race day morning, I just want to be around people who are excited and ready to race. I've already mentally prepared myself so I really look forward to being around 2000 of my closest friends (well, friends for the next 5-6 hours).
My wave was called and I was ready to go. I wanted to swim really hard but still efficiently to not waste energy. I put myself in the front line with the girls and I was happy to get a good luck hug from Kate. I love that girl! The horn blew and we were off. I was proud of my position when we started swimming. There are a lot of fast swimmers in the 18-29 age group so I knew I wouldn't be at the front. I just looked for pink caps and kept my stroke long. I had a few looks on my watch to see if i would break 30 min. but when I looked up near the end of the swim and the finish seemed forever away I knew I wouldn't be at 30 min. But i kept swimming strong, weaving my way through the swimmers from the waves infront of me and i was out in 31:50. I ran to transition, and ran and ran and ran (this is a long transition run) and finally arrived to my bike. I peeled off my awesome Zoot speed suit (I love that thing) and grabbed my bike. Off I got for the 56 mile ride. The outfit I wore today was the same as Kona. I felt that i needed another chance to enjoy my Zoot clothes and pink hammer socks. This race was for all I went through in Kona.
The bike was fun and I was flying. I didn't want to pound out the bike and I never felt tight legs. Actually, I keep thinking my legs felt so good the whole bike. I kept saying "fresh legs, fresh legs" and I just went at my own pace. I was riding cat-and-mouse to a lot of the same girls so for around 40 miles I felt good with my ride. That is, until the rain started to come. It was around mile 35 when we hit the rolling part of the course that it started to sprinkle. Then came the ran. Just to note my short racing career, I have never raced in the rain before. Maybe I am lucky but I have never been in a triathlon and had it rain. then, to be pushing hard, descending down hills and trying to make turns in the slippery roads, I was a bit scared. It rained on and off for the rest of the ride and I was so looking forward to being off my bike. I averaged 20.5 so I was happy with that. I knew my bike wouldn't be super strong because I haven't had a lot of time to train on my bike. I did the best i could with school but I wasn't going to be upset with my time. When I arrived into transition I knew I wouldn't break 5 hours (I needed to come in before 10:20am and even with that, I would have to run a 1:40 half marathon..no way! I didn't train my body to run that time so I was being realistic). When I racked my bike and put on my running shoes I opted out of the visor in case it rained again. When I saw all the bikes on my rack I was on a mission for the run.
I jetted out of transition and my first mile was just crazy fast. Then I hit the off-road section and I'm running with a lot of guys. I hear one guy say to me (or maybe himself) "Oh, this is the bad part of the run." I just wanted to say to him "If you want to look at it that way." But I kept my mouth shut. I hear a lot of complaining when I am running and I think it just drives me to run past the negative voices. I passed a few girls at the beginning of the first loop but I knew i needed to pick up the pace. my favorite part of the run is the last stretch (about a mile) on the off-road. maybe because I am about to hit an aid station and the grassy road turns into the street filled with spectators. I felt solid the whole run and I just kept running. I had no idea where I was in my age group but I was running my little legs off. My body wanted to slow down the last 2 miles cause I was super hot but I said no. YOu can rest when you get to the finish line. I was so over my breaking 5 hour time and I started thinking I might be able to place top 10 in my age group.
Here are my run splits:
First loop: 31:19 minutes
Second loop: 32:26 minutes
Last loop to finish: 41 minutes
I finished the run and was done. My parents couldn't believe how much I had left at the end but I left it all out on the race course. I wasn't in pain after the race but I was a little sore. Not too stiff (like I am today) but it was a hard race. I love having the loops cause when I see the spectators at the beginning of each loop I feel the fire to pick up the pace.
I checked the results and I just hoped that I made top 10. I was 6th out of 98 girls and couldn't believe it! No Clearwater spot (only 3 in my age group) but that is ok. I was so happy I could race on sunday because that is why I train so hard. I love going into a race with a trained body but dealing with wind, rain and heat is something that is hard to train for. I was so happy to see my parents enjoying themselves out on the course and having my friends Angie and Hunter out cheering me on. A big thanks to Hammer for making me feel so good during the bike and run. Thanks to all the other people cheering (kate's hubby Craig is an awesome cheerer..he got me really pumped!) and congrats to all those who raced in the heat and rain. I guess it is Florida so the weather is expected but hopefully the finisher medal is the memory that motivates you to sign up for another race.