I already left a quick update, so it's no surprise how the race finished but here's a RR to tell how it went down...
We left for Lubbock thinking that we would be greated by heat and humidity. On our 10 hour drive there, we encountered sand storms, lightening rain and wind.
The day before the race saw much of the same thing, with the forecast for race morning being nasty. We were actually worried that they may cancel the swim (for lightening), which would have made me more than a little upset.
Race morning came, and the radar showed storms all around Lubbock, but for the time being we were okay. Bike check in and transition set up went on as usual and before we knew it, we were being called to the start line.
Wave starts - pros first then many waves of men and older females. All females under 40 were together, which helps you to keep track of your overall position.
We were called to the line and about 50 girls ran right to the far right, front were I would have liked to have been but was not willing to push my way there. I couldn't help but think, "uh-oh. Are all these girls really planning on backing these actions up for the rest of the race? Or are they just being a little overzealous?" So, I started behind about 20 ladies, hoping to manoveur my way around them when the gun went off.
The plan was to attack the swim, go a little easier on the hilly bike course and first half of the run and then hammer home.
Well, I definately attacked the swim. Time: 26:39:70. PB by 3 minutes.
BUT, it was a beach start. Times are always faster when you get to run some of the swim (running is faster, duh). AND, a good 1000 m of the swim was with the very strong wind... which helps (however, a good 600 m was into the wind and chop).
I was trying a new 'thing' in the water, and I guess it helped. I new I had pushed hard when I got into transition and felt like I was going to puke all over. It took me a few seconds to get a grip and get moving -- again, a slower transition than I wanted, really need to work on this!
The bike course begins with a 7% hill right off the bat (20m from transition). Then another one right after that. Ouch.
It always takes me a good 15 miles to feel warmed up, but for some reason I was just not feeling the love. My watts were okay, but I just wasn't feeling the desire. The wind was howling, 15 - 20 mph, with gusts over 40, and the rain had begun. I keep referring back to our plan to take it a little 'easier'. The hills were very steep and long and made for tretcherous descents that had to be taken slowly in the rain. I new my bike time was going to be dissappointing but I felt that there was little I could do at the time. In the first half of the ride, I think I was passed by 5 girls, yikes.
The second half of the bike is when I started to feel better. I felt like I was just spinning the wheels but I was moving very fast and pushing bigger watts!! I passed 3 of the girls back, and was smiling and giggling like a little girl playing in the rain. Unfortunately, I lost too much time the the one girl that I was keeping my eye on... Molly (beat her in Show Low). Time: 2:50 (not happy with this, but I still averaged 8 watts higher than Show Low 4 weeks ago).
T2 was slower than I wanted, but my shoes and socks were soaked (rookie mistake). I had to take the extra time to make sure they were on correctly, to limit the inevitable blistering of my feet.
I can't say that I felt good heading out on the run, but I was under strict orders to hold a good pace the first half and hammer the second. For the first few miles I was wondering if I'd finish (isn't that always the case?). There were a couple of gals infront of me that I was trying to keep from getting too far away. Once I hit half way I decided to give it a shot. In my head, I had a goal of 1:34. At this point, I was unsure if I could hit it.... I would have to run around 7 min. miles to do it, and negative split a very hilly run course. My legs didn't feel bad and my lungs were game so off I went. I passed the gals in front of me but ran out of real estate before I saw Molly not 25 m in front of me at the finish. Dang. Run Time: 1:34:37 PB by 5 minutes.
Total time: 4:55:31, 1st AG, 5th Amateur.
Declined the Kona spot (it went to a very excited Amanda Durner), took the Clearwater. Yep, I'm nuts.
Ryan also had a great race despite a possible torn hammie. 5th in AG and an amazing run PB!
See, go a little slower on the bike and look what you get?!
Thanks to Splish for another amazing suit, and to ZYM for giving me the boost I needed in the second half of the bike, and running legs to help me to a run PB!
*** and no, I wasn't in the medical tent for treatment -- just to visit Teri and to get warm!