Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Chinook Olympic Race Report-June 2010

Are all distance runners superstitious? I am….so after my success in the 10k at footstock last weekend I had to replicate the night before food. Last Friday, I had popcorn before bed, so I made sure to do the same the night before Chinook….must have been the popcorn!

I was nervous all week about this race…first race of the season, first race after rediscovering my speed in the 10k. I do everything wrong when it comes to race goals, everything we are told not to do…I could do “this” in the swim, “this” on the bike, “this” on the run, I should be under “this” time…. I put so much pressure on myself to do well instead of just appreciating the opportunity to train, race, be healthy and develop friendships with a great group of people. I definitely do appreciate those things, usually after the race is done!!!

Woke up feeling great, but of course nervous!! Hard to force breakfast down with my race nerves, but I got it done (it’s a strange combo of oatmeal, banana, and wait for it…canned salmon—don’t ask why). Got transition set up and proceeded to be a recluse and go hang out by myself. I think I probably would do better with the nerves by staying with the group, but it’s an old habit I developed in high school track.

Swim wasn’t great, my sighting to the first buoy was off and I couldn’t see the second buoy for part of the second leg. Every time I found feet it felt too slow and I had to pass. Second lap was better, less congestion, better sighting. I had to remind myself to swim smooth lots, and probably not enough! I though I would have been faster out of the water, but I will definitely be thinking about ways to improve the swim for next time.

T1 was fast, but should have done the elastic band trick for my shoes on the bike (first time leaving my shoes on the bike!!). Bike felt good, keep my hr in the 160’s (my last tri I over did it on the bike and crashed on the run). Only one glitch, riding through the water that was on the road I got some gravel between my rear tire and my aero frame so at the risk of a puncture I jumped off my bike (going up a hill), and wiped my rear tire down with my hand. Coming into T2 I came off the bike great, doing a gliding dismount (first time!!). I had a tough time getting my running shoes on because my feet were still numb, and it definitely hurt my feet the entire run, both when they were numb and as they thawed.

Other than the feet, the run felt awesome for the first 8km. My pace was on or under what I wanted and it just felt great…then at 8km I saw the first place female and I looked at my hr and new I could go higher. I made up my mind to catch her and the last 2 km were tough, a real mental challenge going up that hill “second is really awesome”…”you can catch her”….”second is good!!”….”nope, go get her!!!!”. I caught her with 600m left to go and thank goodness she didn’t make a move to go with me because I did not have much left! I hung on and followed the bike in (yes, a bike!! That was cool!!). There was lots of cheering down that last stretch as I came in, it was absolutely amazing!! It was so thrilling, an experience I won’t forget!!

After the race I wound my way down to the home stretch to cheer my fellow teammates in. It’s so much fun going to these races knowing there are teammates supporting you (and having teammates to support!!).

I came in under my goal time for the season ( I know…goal times are bad….) so I was thrilled with that. I was absolutely thrilled with my run time, running only 5 seconds slower than my first stand alone 10k of the season at St. Patty’s Day. I will continue to push for my super secret goal time of the season ( under good conditions…I know!!). All in all it was a great opener to the season!

I will definitely be thinking of the team on the 4th….I hope everyone has a great day at GWN!!