Sunday, November 9, 2008
Up until a day before the race I was feeling pretty tired and definately questioning whether or not I was recovered from Kona. But at athlete check in and race morning I began to feel ready to rock. I love to race and was soaking in the atmosphere.
I toed the start line wanting to give it my best and have fun! I thought I was prepared for the pain that would come with the 4:30 performance it would take to secure a podium spot.
Short little warm up and into the corral.
The water was pretty calm and had cleared up a little from the day before. It even seemed to be a little warmer!
The cannon went off and I ran right to the front on the buoy line. A couple of dolphin dives later I was off! One girl got in front of me and I quickly lost her draft. I stayed in second for the rest of the swim, but could feel the hands of another on my feet, the whole way round. I felt like I gave a steady effort for the duration of the swim and came out in 28:20. Over a minute faster than the swim I did here in 2006. Good start!
I had a super fast transition and was out on the bike in no time.
Right away I had an issue. My aero bottle lost a velcro strap in transition and the bottle came loose. Actually, it came right out and was bouncing around. I tried to drink the bottle quickly (I liked what was in it!) and decided to ditch it at the first water stop. Nothing serious.
I was averaging just over 36km/hr for the first 10 km stretch and was pretty comfortable. Shortly after 10 km, my odometer stopped working. Great. Racing by feel was my backup plan.
Next problem: I went over railway tracks and my aerobars bent right down.... "Oh well, I can fix it by gently pulling them back up everytime they fall". Sure enough, I pulled them up. High enough to take on the 'praying Landis' position.
Hey, it happens. I went on my merry way and after passing the first place gal, I was passed by two legally riding, very fast gals in my AG. I knew I couldn't go that fast just yet. Needed to warm up a little more before I picked it up.
My legs actually felt pretty good for the first half. I knew I was working, but hey, that's how a half IM goes.
At about 45 km the packs started to go by. I was really excited and impressed that they were able to keep the first half so spread out. But unfortunately, the second half was pretty rough.
A small pack caught up to me which contained 5 girls in my AG. One of them was riding very hard and legally, while the others sat on her tail.
At this point, a draft marshal pulled along side the group, causing it to break up a bit. One of the blatant cheaters actually said to me, "that draft marshal just ruined all my fun!". My jaw dropped.
I finished the ride thinking I was in the top ten, but not really sure. My legs were pretty tired, but I was excited to run (I heart running). Took it out at a decent pace, but felt that maintaining the pace needed for a 1:30 half was a little too ambitious. As the miles clicked away, it got hotter and I found myself in a world of pain...... definately not recovered. I held on as best I could and wouldn't allow myself to walk, even though all I wanted to do was curl up in the fetal position.
Total time: 4:34:54. 5 minutes better than 2006.
Can't complain about my time or the effort. I just didn't have the extra gear I had in Kona. I know I pushed hard, as I don't remember the last time I was this sore after a half IM..... I actually embrace this soreness as it really makes me feel alive.
After the race we ventured to Shephard's for the post race party. I don't get out very often, but I have to say that when I do go out I giver pretty hard. Last night was no exception and we all had a blast.
Here are some pics approved for this website:
Mirinda was ALMOST the best dancer there ;)
Good friends, old and new.