Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Race Weekend Report #2 : The Race

When I last left you, dear reader(s?), I was being an old lady and yelling at drunk people because I needed to sleep.

Eventually I went to sleep, and woke up before the sun to pack up the car and head to the race. When we got up, it was COLD. I'm told 34 degrees. Yeesh. I donned my tri suit, pants, shoes, socks, three jackets, and a beanie and climbed in the car. I made Vanessa drive so I could choke down my bagel with peanut butter and an Ensure (because I'd rather drink my calories in the morning).

We got to the venue and I set up transition, and proceeded to do very little for the next couple hours. Body marking was extra fun as I had to strip down to my suit and stay that way until the paint dried. With about 20 minutes before we were due to start I climbed into my wetsuit, leaving my beanie on because I'm super cool, and headed down to the water.

The walk to the water was a long one, so most people brought shoes with them. I probably should have done that too. I was a little afraid my toes would crack and fall off from the cold. Happily, they survived.

The lake was perfect. No waves, crystal clear water, blue skies, and snow-capped mountains. The beach was sandy, making for easy running (versus the rocky beach at Tahoe City), and the lake got deep enough for swimming quickly (again, different from Tahoe City). I swam out a little way to make sure I still remembered how to swim, and lined up to start.

The swim: 1500 yards broken into two 750 meter laps with a short beach run between laps. I managed to have an AWESOME start. The cannon went off and I dove in and went for it. Everyone was spread out enough that I had clear water until the first buoy avoiding getting kicked, punched, or run over. I did a good job not freaking out about the random things under the water (big concrete blocks with chains in them mostly) or about the depth we were swimming in, and the first lap went almost perfectly. I kept swimming until my hand hit the bottom, stood up, ran along the beach, and dove back in. About halfway to the first buoy I was swimming behind a girl (I think...she/he was wearing hot pink goggles) who apparently decided I was too close. As I was getting ready to go by this person I took a breath at the same time they made a big kick (the "get the hell off my feet" kind) and I inhaled a ton of water. I had to stop swimming to hack and gag all the water out, almost throwing up, and got passed by a bunch of people. Boo. I was a little leery of getting close to feet again after that, but the rest of the swim was fine and I hauled myself out of the water and started the run back to transition.

T1: The perk of knowing the race announcer (if one were to look for perks) is that you definitely get announced at races. I entered transition to my name being called out and him telling people to "watch out" for me. Ha! Sweet. I'm not sure how long I took to get all my bike crap on, but I wasn't going slow on purpose so I guess that's ok.

The bike: Holy crap. Brutal but freaking gorgeous. The first 3.5-ish miles are climbing up a fire road, a feature my leg didn't really appreciate so I stopped a few times to stretch it out. The goal was to finish healthy for Maui after all. A girl in my age group went by me a couple miles in so I rode with her until I needed to stretch again, hoping she was moving into second place and not third (I knew who would come in first, so I just wanted to be on the podium at the end of the day). We climbed for what felt like forever then hit the amazing Flume Trail. I'm sure everyone has seen pictures of this trail at some point, and I was a little bummed I was racing because I kind of wanted to stop and enjoy the view. The trail runs along a cliff overlooking the lake and is maybe six feet across at its widest, but usually around four feet. If one happened to fall over the edge it would be ugly. It was spectacular. And mostly flat. After the Flume we climbed some more, came to a lake (not Tahoe), and climbed more. Lots of climbing. The beginning of the descent was great. We rode through rock gardens and off little drops, around switchbacks and between trees. I love mountain biking. Sketchy sections were easy to anticipate as there was usually a camera man or two waiting to catch some crash action. I managed to scare the crap out of one who didn't see me coming, which I found pretty amusing. After all the rocky fun was a long fast fire road descent back to transition. This part was the coldest part of the whole day. It was still cold, maybe in the 40s by then, and I was wearing wet lycra in the wind. I think I was blue.

T2: I think I managed another fast-ish transition. Yay!

The Run: 10k trail run, two laps. I could do runs like this one every day. Instead of long extended climbs we ran over rolling terrain, with tons of twists and turns, and several bridges. I settled in with a couple runners and was feeling pretty good until we ran off course, got yelled at, and turned back around to figure out where we were supposed to be. Once we got going again I paced myself with a guy in the 60-64 age group and ran the rest of the lap with him. I tried chatting with him and he didn't seem all that happy about it. Grump. We finished the lap and I kept following him expecting to be directed somewhere to start the second lap. Turns out he was done and no one saw me behind him so I ended up in the finishing chute. I frantically told the guy who tried to take my race number that I only did one lap as the announcers told everyone I was done. I got pointed in the right direction and ran out for my second lap listening to the announcers calling after me and trying to figure out what the hell was going on. Oops. Just a little embarrassing. I saw Courtenay cheering for me on my second lap which was kind of cool. I settled in running with a girl named Jamie from Alaska, and she remained my running buddy for the rest of the lap. I managed to roll my ankle pretty early on in the lap. Sucked a little. I was feeling pretty crappy by the end, but finished relatively strong. The announcers called my name again for my actual finish.

I got third!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I packed up my gear, limped on my now-stiff and sore ankle to the med tent to get ice, and loaded up a plate of free BBQ. Excellent. The awards ceremony was fairly long with most of the winners giving little speeches. They announced that the fundraiser they had for Jamie Whitmore raised over $12,500. So cool. I got called up when it was my turn and got another lei, some Gu, some Paul Mitchell product, a medal, and a plaque. Not a bad haul! The girl who won my age group was the fastest amateur woman overall.


Vanessa and I loaded the car up with my bike and gear, changed clothes in the casino, and hit the road. I bought my body weight in travel food at a gas station and we had car karaoke and snacks all the way home.

It was a very good weekend.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

yay fun race!!! just think if you stayed on course and only finished once! :) great post amy!