Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Racing, Racing, and more racing

BIG CHECKS!!
 Cornering hard on my awesome rental bike at supersprint
Since my last blog posting I have raced just about every other weekend.  I have had some great, good, and not so good results.  It has felt sooo good to be healthy and able to race this year.  After St. Louis I went back to Flagstaff for a week and a half of training.  I then headed up to Boulder for the 5150 Boulder Peak race. I ended up finishing 7th there.  This was not the result I was expecting or hoping to achieve in Boulder.  But that is racing and I was happy I earned enough points to get into Hy-Vee.  After Boulder Peak I drove my car back to Ohio. This was the first time it has been home since 2010.  Ha, I have definitely lived the traveling gypsy life. 
*I then raced 5150 Giant Eagle which I view as my hometown race since it is 90 min from where I grew up.  It was awesome to race so close to home and have my aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, and husband there to watch.  I ended up finishing second there.
*Next up was REV3 Wisconsin Dells where I finished 4th.  I traveled there with my parents and brother.  Growing up my dad always wanted to go to the Dells on vacation, but his two sisters always outnumbered him to go to the beach.  After 50 plus years my dad was able to go to the Dells and visit Green Bay to see the Packers practice with my brother.
*After Wisconsin I had 3 weeks of training until Hy-Vee.  I finished 16th at Hy-Vee.  I was definitely expecting more out of myself in Iowa. 
*I then had another three weeks until REV3 Branson. After racing so much the previous months, I needed to get some higher volume training in.  Paulo had me doing quite a bit of volume leading into Branson.  We did not rest for this race at all.  I always had a taper leading into past 70.3 races.  I was pretty nervous since I had only done two and a half 70.3 races (I DNF'd Quassy on the run).  I knew the race was going to be tough as the bike was pretty hilly and challenging, especially since I was tired.  But I love challenges.  The morning of the race it was cold and the water temperature was significantly warmer than the outside temperature.   This created a nice layer of fog making it extremely difficult to navigate the swim course. That swim was hands down the most stressful swim I have ever done.  I was never more happy to hear the race announcer say I was the first female out of the water as I was running up the beach.  The bike was a nice 2 loop rolling course on a very large highway that REV3 closed for the race.  I was riding in 2nd position with Radka until about mile 12 when I shifted wrong.  My chain became kinked in 3 places.  It forced me off my bike to fix the problem.  I was extremely annoyed to be having another bike mechanical issue.  I honestly have not had any my entire career and this year I have had more than enough.  After a few minutes, I was finally able to get my chain corrected and I hopped back on my bike.  Little did I know that kinking your chain like that results in it bending, which basically makes it impossible to stay in a gear.  So for the remaining 40 plus miles, I was riding on a very difficult bike.  I rode so hard to minimize the time I lost and keep myself in the race.  I was soooooo happy to make it to T2 and get off the bike.  I was nervous how my legs would feel running since I biked pretty hard. To my surprise my legs felt good and I took off to catch as many competitors as I could.  I came into T2 in 6th and I ended up finishing in 2nd.  I was really proud of myself for not giving up and staying focused mentally after having the issue on the bike. 
*After Branson I went back to Ohio for 2 weeks.  I then flew out to San Diego to train with Paulo and the Squad for the last month of my 2013 season.  The weather in Ohio can be crazy in October.  It actually snowed last week.  I needed to escape to a place where the weather is always good! 
*I raced Lifetime Oceanside on the 20th of October. It was a very cold day because of a marine layer that came in during the swim and lasted the entire race.  It was an equalizer format.  The girls started 10:44 in front of the guys.  Since three of my male squad mates were racing, we of course made bets on who would be across the line first.  I lost the bets I made to Joe and Eric.  Now I have to be a wing woman for Joe and make Eric like a billion rice krispy treats.  Anyways, I ended up finishing 5th in the women's race.  I was somewhat satisfied with this result. 
*The week after Oceanside there was a Super Sprint race down at Mission Bay in San Diego.  I had no intentions of doing this race until about 5 days before the event.  I only had my TT bike here in San Diego, so I had to rent a road bike from a bike shop. It was a super quick and extremely hard race.  This particular race was 2 rounds back to back of 375m swim/8k bike/2.5k run.  It was crazy since it was all in a parking lot and each bike lap was 1k and each run lap was 500m.  The camera crew from Universal Sports were there taping it.  If you got lapped out at any point during the race, you had to step off the course.  That ended up being difficult in the women's race as only 3 people finished.  There was little room for error as each bike lap was taking about 80 seconds and each run lap about 90 seconds.  I ended up finishing 3rd after having very subpar swims, but I managed to bike and run well.  After the race they decided to do a two person relay.  Each person completed a 375m swim/4k bike/1.5k run.  My partner was Eric and I am unsure where we finished.  But I think we both had fun and it hurt really bad! 


The Triathlon Squad and Paulo after F1 Supersprint

The Squad after Oceanside
Running hard at REV3 Dells

Running through an aid station @ REV3 Branson
Me and my cousin Grace after Giant Eagle
I am now in my last solid week of training before tapering for the last race of my season. I am looking forward to racing hard and then having some much needed downtime before gearing up for 2014! Thank you to my sponsors Powerbar, Rudy Project, and Blue Seventy for all their support this year! A big thank you to Paulo and The Triathlon Squad for everything they do to get me race ready. And of course my family and friends for all the emotional support they provide to me!