Let me preface this race report by saying that TODAY WAS SO MUCH FUN!! WAY more fun than that stupid duathlon a few weeks ago!
I got up a 4 am, got to the race site at about 6 am. Racked in transition next to my friends Rae and Greg. I saw a ton of people and it was awesome! Train-This people that were racing included Alan, Matt, Mike, Eddy, Solveig, Jason, Joe, Matt K. (who I just met today) and Chris L. (who I saw but have yet to actually meet) and probably more people that I forgot! I also saw Mary (of course), Travis who was racing and Kim who was not, Mark (CRANKSKINS!), Jeremy and Glenn!! and MY DAD came!!! The one person I feel that was missing was Mary M. I have never done a tri that she wasn't at and she is super fun!
Mark said that he has a pair of Crankskins shorts for me! I hope he really does because I would totally rock them and I know Mary would be SO JEALOUS! Anyways..
It freaking POURED on the drive there. I woke up and heard the rain and debated on whether to go back to bed and just skip it. Racing anything in the rain sucks. Everything gets soaked, it's more dangerous, and it makes a huge mess. But that would be really ridiculous so I went. Luckily the rain slowed down as I got closer to Pen Yan and eventually it stopped, then started, then stopped, then started - you get the picture. I was worried about lightning because that would cancel the race. I was also worried about heavy rain on the bike because that is just scary. Luckily, the rain held off for the entire race (at least while I was out there) so that was really nice!
I did this race last year and placed out of the money so this year I was hoping for an AG award and a top 10 finish. That is generally my goal in an Olympic distance race.
Swim was good. I got kind of blocked for the first 5 mins or so.. I was on the outside and couldn't get over to swim a good line to the buoy. The swim is my weakest leg. That also means that there is lots of room for improvement. The lead women are so far ahead of me out of the water that there is just absolutely no chance for me to be competitive. I also find it difficult to pace the swim and I think I am swimming (during a race) at a slower pace than I should be, especially since I KNOW my swim IS improving this year with consistent training and swim sets. I definitely am not "pushing the pace" on the swim at all.
Bike was also good. My sunglasses were fogged up for the first 5 mins or so. It always takes me 10 mins or so to calm down, get my HR lowered, and get into a rhythm. The Keuka bike course plays to my strengths with the climb to Skyline. It's LONG (I'd guess 4-5 miles?) but not that steep. (I changed my mantra of Just Keep Swimming slightly to Just Keep Spinning to get up the hill!). I passed a TON of men on this climb. I am small which helps, but I can't believe the amount of people that try to climb a super long hill like that in their aerobars, a big gear, or both. I saw so many people wobbling around and stomping on the pedals to get up the hill. SHIFT INTO AN EASIER GEAR!!! Your quads will thank you later! I passed a few women on the bike and a few passed me but only 1 of those finished ahead of me. I am consistently one of the faster women transitioners but am nowhere near as quick as some of the men!
Bike: 1:17:38; 19.4 mph
I dropped my race # belt running out of transition and had to go back and get it. Jeremy was cheering me on when it happened so he felt bad but it totally wasn't his fault, the number and my hands were all wet and it just slipped out! I tried to keep my run pace around 7:30. The course looks flat but there are definitely some false flats that slow you down. I felt good til the last mile and then I started to cramp up and slow down but there were 0 women close behind me (a benefit of an out and back course) so I wasn't worried about it. I got high fived by tons of teammates/friends and it was awesome! Anyone who has ever been on any kind of team must be able to relate to the camaraderie. I was on my HS XC team and it was so much fun and I have missed it ever since, but now I am part of a team again!! It makes me so happy to see everyone out there being so enthusiastic and having fun at these races! I am so glad that I have all of these new tri friends! :) Also, Mary announced and it was fun to hear that!
Run: 49:20; 7:57 min/mile
I ended up in 7th place OA and 2nd place in my AG with a finish time of 2:38:46. I'm happy with that! (Although now that I think about it, this was less than 15 seconds faster than my time from last year and I was in terrible shape for this race last year and am much more fit this year.. GOODBYE SPEED). Travis won the men's race which is awesome because he had a really bad crash in Placid less than a year ago. Matt rode the last 5+ miles of the bike course on a FLAT TIRE!
I am very happy with my 7th OA finish. I'm proud that I have the ability to finish top 10 at a tri. (Although I can't do it at a sprint tri - too fast!). But I have to say that the ladies that place 1-4 (I can't remember where #5 was) are WAY out of my league. First place was over 20 mins ahead of me. I know that it doesn't matter because Olympic distance is not my focus. Even if it was my focus, I doubt I could take 20 mins off my time. My best finish ever was at A Tri in the Buff last summer where I was 3rd OA. Once again, I was WAY behind #1 (Kathleen Hayden). And I'm not going to deny that it was freakin AWESOME to be on the podium for the first time ever, but it was a small tri with a really small field. I think there were less than 30 women. So really, 3rd wasn't even top 10%. But I will get better. I am young and I only have 2 full years of triathlon under my belt. I am sure that more speed will come! :)
So now I am home and wearing my HUGE sweatpants and prepping for some serious couch time. I already unpacked all of my stuff because it's all wet! My wetsuit is nasty and covered in seaweed. This is why I hate rainy races! Ugh I think I also pulled a groin muscle during the run.. ouch :(