Sunday, September 18, 2016

Woodstock Duathlon Race Report

HOLY FUCKING CRAP! I won my AG today. I was classed in 60-69, but I thought the skinny chic in the picture above would beat me. Nope! Not only did I win, but I was 2 1/2 minutes faster than I did 2 years ago, and I am training harder than I was 2 years ago, and well, I am just amazed that this is happening! Of course, I didn't taper for this--I'm training for a 50k!

I was trashed on Friday after a bunch o' running. I was supposed to run :40 and bike 1:15. I did the run, and it wasn't bad, but it wasn't at all fast, BUT, I ran all the hills on the route. When I got on the bike, I was like I have ZERO power, so I cut it short to :53.

Yesterday I swam a 5k workout. People think I do long, straight swims. Nope. This was a hard fucking workout: 800 warmup, 1200 race pace 1'RI, 3x600 30"RI at race pace with last 50 sprint, 1200 pull with paddles, 200 cooldown. That workout fucks you up. I did it last week, too, the day before my 1/2 marathon. A 5k swim isn't really a big deal, but when you do those intervals and end with the paddles, it fucking sucks. But I love it!

After I swam, I went grocery shopping and then tried to take a nap but failed. Then I went to my bike club's picnic, and that was fun. When I got home, I did finally take a 1.5 hour nap, which was really good. Except that I was groggy for about 30 minutes after waking up, because that much nap time will do that to you.

I then started thinking about what do I want to wear, etc., and I had my shorts picked out, then I selected a top, but figured I'd leave the rest until this morning. I did switch from the blue Louis Garneau winged aerohelmet to my new white POC, because I figured I could get the white helmet on and off quicker.

I got to sleep early (around 8PM) but kept waking up as is typical before a race. At 2:45, I decided, fuck it, close enough (alarm was set for 4:15), and got up. I mostly spent time on Facebook and tried not to be nervous. I still get nervous before races--I get dry heaves, I pace--all that shit--but it's part of the ritual, so I am happy that I still do it.

At 4:30 I thought I better eat breakfast (I'd already been drinking coffee), and had my usual hard-boiled egg on a toasted English Muffin with some jam. It was tasty. Then I checked my box of arm warmers and other cold weather gear and found my neon arm warmers! I thought they were too tight, but they fit just fine now (guess I was FAT when I bought them!). I brought some other things in case I wanted to change, but I thought those were good and since it was going to be cool, calf sleeves. 

At about 5:05, I started getting dressed after putting in my contact lenses and brushing my teeth. I swear I pooped like 6 times this morning! It felt good to put on the clothes (I'd already put Bitch in the car as well as cooler). It is nice getting ready for a duathlon--none of that swimming nonsense!

I drove to the race site--about 61 miles from my house--and had no recollection of having raced there before until I got to the park--Emricson Park. Then I was like OH FUCK THIS COURSE IS HILLY. But, hey, it is what it is. I remembered I'd gone there in 2014 with a friend, and she drove, which is probably why I didn't remember.

I set up Bitch, and they have these nice bike racks:

I didn't like the bike number sticker, but what the hell. I was ECSTATIC that I got #11!!!

In my head, I wasn't thinking I was going to win today, but I knew I'd enjoy myself. It was picture-perfect weather, and today was my last multisport (official anyway--I plan on a 1/2 NothingMan over Thanksgiving weekend if my coach lets me do it) event of the year, so in a way I was sad.

But I wore a necklace that belonged to my Mom (fake diamond--who the fuck cares?), and I had some of my Dad's ashes in my jersey. So no matter what, I would be accompanied by 2 of the people I loved most in the world. They would give me some strength, and then the rest would be up to me.

Debby Jones said she'd be there because her husband was racing, and I saw her right away. When I met her husband, Bob, I said I knew him, but we'd never met. I know I've seen him at several local races. Here we are pre-race looking like fucking badasses:
We got ready to go, lined up, and then the horn blew. There are no chips in this race, so it's a mass start and everyone goes at once. Immediately, I felt old and slow. Lots of people flying by me, and all I thought was, "Do your best. That's all you can do."

The run course is fucking hilly--like 4 major hills over 2 miles--but I felt strong on the hills albeit slow. I didn't care what my pace was, and didn't look at my watch. I just know I was so happy to get on Bitch and begin my bike leg.

Right away on the bike, I felt pretty good. Not great--but not bad. I started passing people pretty early, and started counting. And I would sight on the next person and plan on passing them. In all, I passed 27 people and 1 tractor. Yes, a tractor! I was like, what the fuck, do I have to pass THIS? But it made me laugh.

When I got to transition, I quickly switched gears, and was like, well at least my legs don't feel that much worse! And I wondered how many people would re-pass me. As it turns out, only 9. And they were FAST runners. Still, I didn't know how well I'd done, but was happy I finished with what I felt was a solid effort. Here I am all fucking happy I'm done:
Really, I had had a great time! What's not to like about a short race where you pass a bunch of people on the bike? But I didn't know how I'd done rank-wise until they started announcing the awards. I heard something about 60-69 and though I was toast, then I heard MY NAME! Turns out I'd heard the 2nd place woman and I came first! How about that!

I was so happy (first picture in the post), and still am. This was my final multisport race of the year, and it makes me sad, but I'm moving on to bigger and better things now. Still--I feel like I've come a long way in a short amount of time doing pretty major training! Seriously, I was afraid I'd lost it and couldn't show up and race well. But I guess I can. Now I race with such joy that any winning is gravy!

But I have to say that winning is fucking fun!

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