Sunday, September 27, 2009

Race Day!

On days I swim with Milky Way Masters I’m up at 4:15am, but for some reason 4am seemed REALLY early this morning. Wes wasn’t quite as eager to get out of bed as the previous two days. I made us the standard pre-race meal of an egg sandwich with soy cheese and coffee with soy milk. By 5am we were on our way to the race site. The road we biked on was closed, so we had to take a roundabout way there.

Before I had put the wheel cover on I had filled my tire with air. I had made sure when I put the cover on that the valve was in the opening. In the process of attaching the cover, it shifted a bit and the valve was not easily accessible. I had only ridden a half hour and should have been content with the existing air pressure, but decided to try to fill it anyway. Bad idea. All the air came out before I could get any air in. Damn! With Wes’ help I finally got it filled.

I made my way to T1 and found my rack. We were in the order that our state joined the union (Iowa was 29th). It was still dark out which made finding everything in my transition bag a bit tricky. At 6:30 I wandered down to the beach and got in a bit of swimming after struggling in to my speed suit (complementary gift from Xterra). It’s easier to get into then a wetsuit, but not by much.

At 7am we were off. I’m usually not very paranoid about my timing chip coming off, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it today. It did manage to stay on my ankle the entire time. I could tell that most of the wave was ahead of me, but I did pass 3-4 people in the last half of the swim. I’m pretty sure all of the men’s bikes were gone by the time I got to T1, but there seemed to be several women’s still hanging. The ones on each side of me were gone, though.

The bike started off ok. The road was a bit rough and I thought that maybe my tire had gone flat. About 10min into the ride, I pulled over to the side of the road. Sometimes my break pads will get a little off and rub on the rim. I felt like I was using too much power for how slow I was riding. So I stopped to check on the breaks. I should have looked behind me and I would have realized I was going uphill instead of on a flat. The climbs were so long and steady that I frequently thought I was on a downhill when I was actually going up. I’ve never had the feeling before.

The course was an out and back with a figure 8 at the turnaround. I was surprised to see a woman coming towards me. I still had the entire figure 8 to go around! A few women passed me on the bike and I overtook a few as well.

Last night on my way home from dinner I checked out the road leading into T2. I had completely forgotten that we actually come in to T2 on the trail. I had no clue where I was. I thought I was getting close, so I unstrapped my shoes. I rode probably 5min like that before I could see T2. I was able to get my feet out just in time for the dismount.

The run started off with 3 women passing me. No surprise. Another one went around me about a mile later, but I was able to keep her in site the entire rest of the race. My run training has been so minimal the past 2 years, that I expected pretty much the entire field to pass me.

Several spectators yelled “go Iowa” and “nice game yesterday”. I know if I had my Midwest Xtreme jersey on I wouldn’t have had the same reception. When Trisha Byerley ran by me she said it was nice to see someone wearing a uniform that represented their state. I’m glad I picked the TriHawks kit.

The run course reminded me of the TriHawks course. Some of it was off-road, and the last 4-miles were all hilly! Thankfully the last mile or so was all downhill! An age-grouper woman had caught me, but she couldn’t break away. At the time I wasn’t sure if she was age group or BOUS, so I tried to stick with her. Coming into the straightaway to the finish line I was able to out sprint her. I think she just didn’t try very hard since we weren’t competing against each other.

The post-race party was pretty good. They had food catered by Trader Joes. There were also several stands giving away free things, like Snicker’s Marathon Bars, Cliff stuff, and fruit smoothies. Yummy! A band was also playing.

My main goal was to have fun and not come in last place. I felt like I did as good as I could have (minus the bike stop). I checked the results and saw I was 20th. At that time there were only 26 women listed. It was just now that I realized there were 31 that raced. Not too bad, but definitely room for improvement. But I have no idea how I could cut over 15min off my time!

At 11 was the awards ceremony. I saw that Chris, Mark, and Cindi had done well, so we stuck around. They gave awards to the top-10 men and women, and the top-5 state teams. Chris was 4th for the men. Mark and Cindy were 3rd for their gender and 1st for the state title. The top 3 of each were given Waterford crystal vases. The rest got a frame and will be sent a race picture to be put in it. We quickly congratulated all of them, then rushed back to the hotel to pack up and head for San Diego.

It was only about a 90-min drive to Mark’s (my coach/helper guy), and traffic was great! After catching up for a bit, we went to the old town area for dinner. While I was here I really wanted some authentic Mexican food. I had chicken with tomatillo sauce and Wes had fish tacos. So good!

It’s been a long day and sleeping sounds really good right now!
Bike Route
Female Results
Male Results

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations, Daniela! You did well and it sounds like you're having fun adventures. You've come a long way since a few years ago at Core when we were egging each other on to give tri a try.