As always, I never JUST race. There is always a reason behind it.
1. It was a small, some-what local race with interesting people and "flair".
2. The Aussie style Olympic - 750 meter open water swim, 15k bike and a 5k run X2. That's right! I got to jump back into the water and do it all over again! It was anything but the same ol' mundane race. It was new and exciting!
I kidnapped my room mate for the weekend to support my crazy racing endeavor. The 2.5 hr commute to (excuse the phrase) Butt-F*** Egypt aka Pine Hollow ended up taking us 3.5 hrs. My Google map directions landed us on a closed road up in the mountains. Luckily my room mate is a smart cookie and used her Iphone to find us a route in the right direction. I think this was the first time ever that an Iphone had a signal when my Blackberry did not.
Alas, we arrive in the beautiful, yet secluded Pine Hollow. A friend of mine hooked us up with a sweet A-frame cabin. Check out our view from our door step!
Here I am infront of the little cabin.
It was little but pretty pimp. Inside fit 2 beds, a sink, dishes, coffee maker, stove top, fridge and a heater/AC. This was campin' like a Pizzimp'!
Apparently I had too much energy.
Room mate and I relaxed the night away eating corn chips and fake guacamole. She bought a dip and didn't look at the ingredients. Upon inspection we learned the dip was mostly made up of coconut oil. Ugh. The green slim with the tortilla chips made for some pretty tasty fat and carb loading, if I do say so myself!
The only thing the cabins didn't have were bathrooms. Those we had to walk to. But they were "real" toilets and not just a hole in the ground.
Right outside the bathroom there's a sign that states "Dial 911 for emergency" but the phone next to the sign had been ripped out of the wall. I found that amusing. Room mate was trying to get ET to phone home.
I awoke rested with a solid 8.5 hrs of sleep.
There's many things about this race that I should have been nervous about.
1. I haven't been in open water in almost a year. Lord only knows the last time I tried on my wetsuit.
2. How were my feet going to react in 62-64 degree water temp?
3. How was I going to survive the second swim sans wetsuit?
4. I was trying out my new Specialized cycling Tri shoes....for the first time.
Yet none of these things concerned me. What did concern me was my foot. The same foot I fractured months ago was giving me "phantom" pains near my big toe. This was really a mind f***. I have arthritis in my feet. Sometimes when the weather acts up my feet hurt. It's not an injury but at the time I don't really know what it is. I decided to do a 10 min warm up run to test out my feet. They felt ok. I figured that I would give it a go and if anything "hurt" like it did last time I would stop immediatly. Ultimately if I was already injured there wasn't jack-s*** I could do about it now.
The race was small. Maybe 50-60 people. I suited up into my Helix.
I've lost 10-12 lbs since I bought this suit. It's now too big :(
The race had a mass start (sprinters and aussie style oly's). I love these. I started in the front and managed to end in the front pack. Woot! Woot! Go me! Sighting wasn't an issue, nor was any kind of "open water shock". Again, I'll thank my parents for throwing me in lakes when I was a kid. Got to teach your children how to love the water from any early age!
Here I am running out of the first swim. I talked the race director into letting me wear my TYR Sharkfin swim cap.
T1 - first time around. My feet were frozen solid!
The bike course was awesome! The first couple miles were pretty flat with a few descents. Perfect for the aero position and achieving free speed. The hills and rollers picked up mid-way through to the end. The route had almost no traffic and was very well marked. I'd say it's one of my favorite bike race course. I think there is something wrong with my bike fit. My right quad cramped severely. This is not the first time this has happened. It usually happens on longer (3+hr) or high intensity rides. No worries, I have an appointment to get it corrected :). Anywho....The bike cramped my right quad bad!
Starting the run was brutal. My quad was cramped and I still couldn't feel my feet which made me worry. 2/3 of the way in I generated enough internal heat to defrost my feet, and they felt ok. I finished the run feeling strong and avg'ing 7:39 min pace.
And there I go back into the water! Sans Wetsuit!
Oooooeeee! The water was cold! I had initial cold water shock but it dissipated quickly. I started swimming hard. I zoned out the chilly water. I throughly enjoyed the 2nd swim. It felt good to be free of a constricting wetsuit. The chilly water actually helped the cramping in my right quad. The only downside was I that I could feel my body position go to crap when I had to lift my head up to sight.
I came out of the water to have the little girl with paddle tell me I was in 4th position, 2nd girl overall.
Again I hop on my bike and attack the course. Well, ok....you got me. "Attack" is embellishing it a little. My quads were still pretty beat up. I ended up avg'ing almost 10 watts per lower on avg my second time around. Blah! It would have been helpful to have a rabbit in sight to chase!
The last run felt better then the first. I think the fact that I was able to feel my feet helped a ton.
I managed to avg 7:45 pace - didn't loose much on the second run around.
I finished in 4th place overall and 2nd female overall. Each transition was very slow. I would have closed the gap or possibly beaten the girl who took 1st IF I would have gotten my act together in the T-Zones. It's something I can learn from. After a year and a half off I need practice.
This was well put on race and a ton of wacky WTF?! fun. It's an event I would highly encourage local athletes to check out as a break from the norm - Pine Hollow Tri
I recovered in my fancy Zoot Compression Tights
A day later my energy is a bit low but my body surprisingly feels great.
Thanks Bryan for a great race. Thanks Jesse for being a great room mate, friend and supporter.