Here we are, my first race of the season is complete and I am writing my first official race recap of the year! Heres a pic of me getting my bike out of the trailer..sporting my Endurance Films ear warmer of course!
This weekend started the season with Frost yer fanny Duathlon (2-15-2). As mentioned in the previous post, I won this race last year, so I had to come back to attempt to defend my title. I really had no expectations other than to try my best, see where my fitness level was, and squash my previous time from 2 years ago. Well, I can positively say each of those 3 things were accomplished, bringing forth some new motivation and a reality check.
Here is the race start. There were 3 waves, with the youngest going last...so thats where I was. Unfortunately, this puts me in a bad position when it comes to biking because I can run faster then most of the older men, but biking is about equivalent. This all but led me to a 2 minute drafting penalty, that was really non-existent, but the referees do not give a crappers if men will not let women pass. Men, why is this?? If Chrissie Wellington was passing you, would you lose your pride? I dont think so. There are female athletes out there that train extremely hard, and if you get passed by them...Do not fear!! We females are not thinking "oH you are so slow". We think of you as any other athlete out on the course. On the other hand, If you want to give us a run for our money and not let us play in the biking field-block, speed up, grunt and curse....We females will take this highly offensive and get even more annoyed with you. So please, get out of the way, and just as I will keep pedaling hard, you can keep pedaling hard too and everyone will remain happy.
With that being said...Before the drafting penalty, I finished the race 2nd OA female in 1:10:03, a blazing 12 minutes faster then I did it 2 years ago!! With the drafting penalty I dropped back to 4th place, but this is what beginning of the season racing is all about. Get the Kinks out now, and be the hot shot later! It really was an eye opener to get out and race again. You forget about all those post-race feelings, the effort you put forth, and the intensity of racing. Right out of the start my heart rate was 183!! Whoa, havent seen that in a long time. I kind of freaked myself out a little bit by looking at that. How long could I sustain that? Am I going to bonk? I slowed my self down a little bit, and came through the first 2 miles in 12 minutes flat. I got on the bike and still being conscious of my heart rate was telling myself to bring it down a little but maintain. Then, I realized I have never raced with heart rate before, so why care now? If I worry about my heart rate I am not going to race. Its nice to know these little things, but really when your racing you go by feel, and you push hard no matter what. So, I forgot about it...and I raced. And I did fairly well.
I biked near 22.2 mph with a time of 43:30. There was 3 laps, and each lap contained about half the way wind in your face, and half the way 30+mph effortless glide. I passed a fair amount of people in both, and I really felt strong. I have never felt strong on the bike in the last year. It felt so great to be able to pedal each stroke with the same effort, rather then backing off because my right knee starts to twinge. By the third lap, however, I was completely frozen. My hands were numb, and I knew there was no way I was going to be able to get my flying dismount together. So, I didnt. I practiced these all week too, and was pretty upset I couldnt do this! But you have to be prepared for whatever a race throws at you, and at this point in time I just couldnt do it. In fact, when I got to my transition area, I couldnt even get my Helmet unclipped! I actually ripped it off my head still clipped in. Ha! I struggled to get my shoes on and then I was off to the final run.
I was super glad it was only 2 miles. I wasnt tired, I was just numb. My toes were tingling as they regained circulation. I didnt really feel like I was racing at this point. I felt like I was "fast running", or maybe tempo running. I ran the second half in 12:30, so slightly slower then before, but probably alot more equally paced. This whole time I was battling some side stitches and cramps. This time not from eating or drinking..just lack of oxygen. I havent done anything at this intensity in a while, so it HURT. The closer we get to my "A" races, the easier this will get...Hopefully.
All in all it was a great race. Lots of friends. Lots of Collegiate Athletes, and Yes, we did Frost our fannys! It was nice to see the improvements, but it was also nice to see the motivation come back into my life. I want to train, I want to get better,and I know what I need to do to get there. Transitions also count. Dont ever forget the importance of these, particularly in shorter races (I felt like I lost precious seconds in these today).