Sunday morning, I woke up at 5am, and put on my race kit, heart rate monitor, the whole shebang, and then Scott and I drove up to the swim start in Guerneville (we were staying in Sebastopol, which is about a 25-30min drive away). I had a slight problem getting my back wheel on my bike that morning, which prevented me from seeing the pro’s go off, but we figured it out and fixed it! I set up my transition area, hit up the Port-o-potties and then got myself mentally prepped for the swim. I really like how Vineman does the swim start, because they let each wave have about 8min to warm up before the gun goes off.
Right before my swim start with my Coach, Nina! It’s early!
My wave went off at 7:10, which is actually perfect, not too early and not too late! I honestly was obsessed with my start time. haha. I got in the water, peed like usual, before the start, and then did a few striders in the water to get warmed up. Then it was time to line up and go!
I had the best swim I’ve ever had! Seriously. I remember just thinking go hard but stay consistent. I will say that the start was the most I have ever gotten kicked, elbowed, etc., it still wasn’t terrible, but it definitely got me more prepared for what the start of IMWI will be like! It makes me a little nervous, but the best thing is knowing that eventually you find some space and can get into your stroke. What was especially nice about this swim since it was in the Russian River, which is not very deep, and fairly narrow, I didn’t have to sight all that much which saves some energy and let’s you really get into your stroke. I only found feet to follow for about the first 1/4 of the swim, and then I lost the girl, so I just stuck to my rhythm, and was determined to not have another slow swim!
Swim Time: 33:15 (1:44/m), 18th in AG/81 – PR by almost 6min!
My swim to bike transition was probably the worst EVER! I couldn’t get my wetsuit off, I think it had something to do with the stones I had to step on, and then I couldn’t get in close enough to the rack to get my bike off, so it took a few times. Also, it was a long way from where my bike was racked to Bike Out. As it was for everyone in my age group, but not necessarily everyone who raced that day. They always say everyone goes the same distance, but it’s easier to go farther when you aren’t pushing your bike with you.
Onto the bike. Right out of transition there is a steep hill, so I decided to run up the hill and then hop on my bike, I think that was a good decision because I passed a lot of people just simply doing that. Then it was out on to the wine country roads. This bike ride is beautiful. You never really get a chance to look around, but it’s all green and pretty as you ride along. The first half of the bike was great! But, I think I started out a little too conservatively. My goal is always to negative split each event, so I got into a groove, focused on nutrition and hydration a little bit, and just let my legs warm up. Unfortunately, I think it was a little too slow, because I only ended up catching about 6 or 7 girls in the first half, and the 1-5th place girls were probably pulling more and more away from me, instead of me catching up to them.
A little more than halfway through the bike, a guy was passing people and I was on the far right, where I should be, and somehow, he just wasn’t paying attention, and decided to get over into the right hand side after passing the guy behind me, and he ended up running right into me. I was yelling at him, that I’m right next to him, as he kept getting closer, but he didn’t notice until we actually hit. I ended up off-roading, flailing all over the place, one foot unclippped, and practically crashing, but I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty proud of myself for saving the fall. In fact, a bunch of people behind me were yelling, “Nice Save!”. The guy did slow up, and wait for me to get my bearings and catch back up, and he apologized but, it threw me off a bit, and aggravated me some, because I was right where I was supposed to be, as far right as I can on the road, and just cruising along. It came out of nowhere! I have a few scrapes from it, but nothing terrible. I had to take the next few miles to shake what just happened, and I definitely lost some time there I know. But, after about 3 miles, I took it into high gear, because I didn’t want to get too far behind, so I started really pushing the pedal.
The one thing I really need to work on, is figuring out how hard I can push on the bike. Because, I want to feel the burn in my quads, but for some reason for me, in order to make this happen, I have to push into a really hard gear and my cadence really slows, so I’m going to try to find a happy medium.
Bike Time: 2:50:28 (19.7mph) 8th in AG/81 – PR by 45sec
I had an awesome T2 transition! Racked my bike, bike shoes off, and then threw on my run shoes, and ran out of there putting on my visor as I went, and holding my EFS Liquid Shot (wild berry) in my hand.
Out on to the run course! I LOVED the run! The sun was coming out, and I knew it couldn’t be any harder than the hills at Rev3 Knoxville. I just took off and felt AWESOME! I knew this was going to be my fastest run time ever, because I just felt great! The run is an out and back, and the turn around is through a vineyard which is pretty cool (it’s kind of a trail of rocks, stones, sand, and dirt) which keeps you on your toes halfway through because you have to watch your foot placement so you don’t roll an ankle. I caught up to a girl in my AG in the vineyard, and I thought hey, I’m gonna pass this girl, if I caught up to her! She drafted off of me for about 2 miles, and then passed me! I thought she would burn out because she kicked with 4 miles left to go, and I was planning on kicking with 2 miles left to go, but she never faded! I found her after the race, and told her I was amazed! I clearly never ended up catching her again, but I gave it my all on the run.
Run Time: 1:38:52 (7:32/mile) – PR by almost 3min
Finish Time: 5:08:02 7th in AG/81
It was a fantastic day! And to PR by 18 minutes from Rev3 Knoxville (which was my old PR time of 5:26:02), means a lot! I just couldn’t believe it.
Post Race Fun!
It was such a fun weekend! Got a massage today, and now it’s back to hard work to prepare for Ironman Wisconsin, which is less than 8 weeks away (my first full Ironman!).
Thanks for reading!