I raced the Couples Tri last weekend and raced Splash & Dash on Tuesday, both are short, but I raced pretty hard at both. I felt great after Couples and S&D, but then on Thursday morning my quads felt super sore! Coach Jen thought it was residual soreness from racing hard, so she suggested I run a little easier at our Thursday night run, and stretch and roll my hamstrings & quads. By Saturday I actually felt fine again! I did my 1:30 ride and 1 mile run with no issues.
Since I had never done this race before and it's an odd distance, I didn't really have any goal times in mind but I figured I should be able to swim about the same pace as I did at Couples, I just wanted to survive the hilly bike- although I kinda thought I might be able to average 15.0 mph, but I knew that might be pushing it on a hilly course I had never ridden before, and I hoped to run under an 11 min/mile pace- but I knew my legs might be fried after the hilly bike and racing twice the week before. My true main goal was to have fun racing with friends and enjoy the day.
I got up at 3:50 on race morning and drove out to Marble Falls, at 3:50 the people who chose to go up on Saturday and spend the night were looking pretty smart! I got a good transition spot, set stuff up (and Kim B. ended up right beside me) and went to say hi to everyone, between Tri Zones and TWCC I had LOTS of friends racing & spectating! At 6:30 I drank my Pre-Race and Linda and Laura joked about the crazy effects it was going to have on me! A few minutes later I found Justin and we went to do a warm up swim, he called the water "bathwater" but I thought it felt good, only problem was, I was freezing when I got out.
|Interesting, I look deep in thought, but I could have sworn Kelly and I never stopped talking, but she's behind me and we both aren't talking. Photo by Bart Kleiman.|
I ran up the little hill to T1 and got my stuff together. I felt like I took a long time, but T1 was 2:45- not bad for me.
|Starting the bike and waving to Tom. Photo by Tom Marek|
I started to think that Cindy and Kim H should pass me soon and just a few minutes later I heard my name and Cindy came by me, then I heard Vickie yelling "YEEEHA"- oh yeah, I forgot that I'd get to see Vickie too, and then Kim H. rode by. At the turn around my average speed had come up to 14.0, hmm I might actually be able to do 15 if I really take advantage of the downhills on 281. My legs were starting to get a little tired on some of the long uphills on 71. I saw Kristen, Katherine & Jody on their way out and cheered for them. Even though it was a challenging ride, I was definitely having FUN! Then I noticed Allison O. was right in front of me! She's a ton faster than me, so how did that happen!?! I was right behind her on a hill, I yelled something at her, she didn't hear me, so I raced up the hill to talk to her, then passed her. Of course she passed me back about 10 seconds later on the downhill. And she yelled to me "keep pedaling, don't stop pedaling on the down!" Yeah Allison, if I hadn't overcooked it passing you on the up, I could have kept pedaling on the down, but I needed a break! Oh well.
I finally made it back to 281 and I was determined to take the downhills as fast as I could and try hard to make it up to 15mph average. It started off great, but I was a little sad when not just 1 but 2 guys over 70 years old passed me! One of them was next to me in transition and when I saw him before the start I told Kim B. he was going to kick my ass! There was quite a bit of traffic coming back on 281, we had a big shoulder so it wasn't bad, and I felt like I was flying downhill! As I rode up to the 2147 intersection, I realized my shoulder was blocked by cement construction barriers and there was a ton of traffic stopped at the light, I slowed down and realized there was definitely not enough space for me to squeeze by the cars on the right (between cars and construction barrier), and there were cars in both lanes, so I stopped behind 6 or 7 cars at the light. I was NOT happy about it because my Pre-Race focus had kinda turned to "bring my average speed to 15 mph" and I was getting really close! And of course this light was on a good downhill, it felt like I stood there forever (probably only about 1 minute), there were a couple cyclists stopped a few cars ahead of me, and as I was standing there I saw a guy fly by in the left turn lane, hmmm that looked pretty dangerous, but at least he was moving! Then the police started waving cars through, as I got to them them I yelled "where am I supposed to be???" They pointed and yelled back "LEFT, LEFT" turns out the bikes were SUPPOSED to use the left turn lane (and stay in that lane all the way til our turn off 281). A sign or volunteer telling us would have been really helpful, turns out most people had the same issue as me. I got over that issue pretty quickly and was happy as I rode to transition and saw Tom, Bart, Linda, Laura, Gina, and Justin who had done the sprint standing there eating BBQ! I finished the bike in 1:33:25 for a pace of 14.8mph, but honestly 15mph was a very arbitrary goal, and I wasn't upset even being so close (and even on Pre-Race!). My main goal of surviving and even enjoying the bike course was definitely a win!
T2 was 2:02 and as I left I ran by the crew again and told Justin "it's not fair that you're finished already!"
|Starting the run. Photo by Bart Kleiman|
|On the run, just before the steep hill at the finish. Photo by Ed Sparks|
|Finish line! Notice TWCCers cheering. Photo by Tom Marek|
|Finish! Photo by Tom Marek|
I hung out post-race and cheered in the other Tri Zoners and TWCCers, and watched quite a few from both teams get medals for placing in their age groups. Then I went to the famous BlueBonnet Cafe with the TWCCers for lunch and pie, and there might have been wine too (notice the turquoise solo cups!)
|Bart, Annette, Katherine, Laura, Linda, me, Anne, Jody, Cindy, Kelly and Kristen at Bluebonnet Cafe post race. Photo by our very nice and patient waitress Stacey.|