Sunday, July 17, 2011

LATEST RACE REPORT

  
Definition of: Knackered [ˈnækəd] adj 1. exhausted; tired out 2. worn out; no longer working, esp after long or hard use. Yep, knackered...that's just how I have felt this week! Wow...what a week it has been leading up to this race. I had talked Rich into stopping off in Louisville Kentucky on Sunday to ride the full Ironman bike course. He wasn't exactly thrilled at the thought after racing Ironman Muncie 70.3 and having to ride 112 miles in 110 degree heat index the very next day, but he obliged and I was grateful. I have four more good weeks training for IMLV and then it's taper, so I am getting it all in before the rest period begins. As before, the Louisville hills took a toll on me. There are 130+ hills and climbs in this baby and that combined with blazing sun and scorching heat...well, you can imagine. For a simulation, you could take your bike into a sauna, attach it to a trainer, add a sun lamp and ride for 6 hours. Yep, that's about what it feels like. Anyway, all went well until 90 miles in and after 90 the heat basically drained what energy I had left making the remainder of the ride a struggle. In the week and a half prior leading up to this ride was another six hour ride in 98 degree heat and a three hour run in the same temps, thus making this ride not the easiest. A few days rest might have left me feeling a little fresher. No worries tho, that's the life of an Ironman athlete. I'm used to it by now.

So... with the bike course completed then it was a loooooong drive home which drained even more energy. We made it back on Monday night and it was right to work with triathlon camp for the next four days. I was able to continue training on Tuesday and felt a little like a zombie. Coaching the kids at triathlon camp was busy work and then coaching adults all evening did little to help me revive my energy. I swam 5k on Tuesday and  another 5k on Thursday, so I knew that if I decided to race on Saturday there would definitely not be much speed in the swim.

With all of the above being said...I decided last minute to race this morning with no rest at all. Not something I would normally do, but I needed a refresher race. I love sunshine and am a sunshine summer gal and I don't like rain at all. We are fortunate here that it's usually, almost always sunny and I am spoiled to this.  I wouldn't get my way with the weather on this day though. UGH...we rolled out at 5am and first thing Rich pointed out was that it was pouring rain. Going back to sleep in my warm bed was what I really wanted to do, but I managed to push myself out the door anyway.

We arrived about 15 minutes before transition closed, my fault, and I barely got my bike racked and ready before the race start. No time for a warm up...GREAT!

All the females were in the same wave and the gun went off,  I started out like a rocket as always. Coach had warned me not to do this as lactic acid would build immediately and make for a rough day. What do I do?? I go out like a charging bull, but I must work on this. Between stubbornness and lack of control off the gun, I always go out too fast. I did lead the swim for the first bit and quickly realized that I couldn't hold on.  I knew this shorter swim be a little lack luster because of being so tired. About seven girls came around me and I thought no worries I'll do work on the bike or at least try to.The run out of the swim was all up hill and left me quite winded going in. A quick T1 and I was on the bike. All uphill from there for the first couple miles. After all this race is at the base of the Brushy Mountains, so you can imagine. I quickly caught up and passed a few gals and after the first 5 miles, I could catch my breath long enough to drink some Gatorade. There were many hills on this 16 mile course and it was a two looper. Tackle the hills twice, you gotta love it. I felt tired on the bike as I expected but again with my training leading up to this, I was not disappointed. I averaged 20.5mph on a hilly bike course, so was pretty pleased with that.

On to the run. Ugh...right out of T2, all up hill. The first 1.5 miles to be exact were a steady climb and I was completely anaerobic for this entire run. So was everyone else, so at least I fit in. The only flat part of the run course was a nice little .5 mile recovery then back up the next hill. The best part about the run was the small downhill to the finish. YAY!!

Rich was waiting at the finish and I was happy to hear that I had won my age group and was 8th overall. I would like to have had a better result, but with being absolutely knackered...I have to say I was pleased.

Some lessons learned from the day...

#1- I am more fit at this point in my training that I have ever been, and am full on ready to tackle Ironman. Very xxcited and can't wait for the race to get here in a few weeks!!

#2- I would rather do an Ironman over a sprint any day! SERIOUSLY. Ironman athletes do not train for the speed of sprint distances and my legs kept reminding me of that today. My turnover just isn't there which is fine. I train for and race long distance and yes, speed work is important and I do it, but everything in training is geared for an Ironman run. Much different that training for 5k or 10k.

#3- I have the best coach and husband ever. He helps and supports me in every way possible and it's nice that we both share the same love of the sport.Makes life a lot easier!

#4-I love love love to see that our sport keeps growing and growing. I saw a 13 year old awesome female triathlete racing today and even a 70 year old woman. I love this!

#5-Most important...the reward of food! We came home, I stuffed my face with pizza and chocolate and didn't feel guilty about it for a second hehe! That's a perk of doing what we do ;)

Congrats to all that finished out there today in the rain :)

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