Coming off of IMC, I had no idea what race day was going to be like. It was like buying a lottery ticket. I had no idea what my body would feel like that day. About 2 weeks out from the race, I started to have some really awesome training days, which would then be followed by a bad one (or 2). It’s mentally toying when you are prepping for a race to have to deal with that, but its all part of the game, and you can’t let it play with your mind. Of course I would like to place top 3 again, or even win in my hometown, but a big reason for doing this race was to support it, and it is so much fun being a local athlete- Pro or Age grouper. It’s also tough racing in your hometown, because sometimes it feels like there is a level of performance that is expected. I was amazed at the Pro field when it was posted! It was stacked- both male and female sides. This was great for the race here…. But sure makes it tougher to get into the top 5.
I went into this race with a plan, but also keeping the fun-factor in mind. Race day morning, we waited around to find out if it would be a wetsuit swim or not…. It JUST made it under the cut-off…YAY! This was one benefit of having a larger Pro field- at least I had more drafting options! Gun went off…and once again those front-packers separated themselves from me fairly quickly….surprise, surprise…lol. I jumped on some feet and made the best of it, coming out of the water just under 28 min…. Not overly fast, but my best half distance swim to date!
I have been riding my good old Orbea since I started Triathlon back in 2008, so I finally got a new bike (thanks to Cervelo and the Bike Barn) just after Ironman Canada, so I was eager to put it to the test. My legs felt pretty good leaving transition, but, having this course in my backyard, I knew what I was in for later on. Sticking to the plan, I slowly picked off those faster swimmers. I LOVE the new bike…..after all…it’s the machine that makes you faster, not the motor, right? The bike went pretty much as planned, and I came out with one of the fastest bike splits. My legs didn’t feel quite as good as I wanted them to, but, I knew that race day was going to put my recovery to the test.
I ripped through T2 and out onto the run in 4th place, only to find that my legs did NOT want to turn over the way I wanted them to. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to push the pace that these other girls were running. I was able to maintain the pace I wanted, but definitely not the same legs I had at IMC! I was passed by two girls in the first 10 km, so I was hoping that I might catch someone who had taken the bike too hard. Ya…that wasn’t going to happen. I was no comparison to those girls at this distance. I needed another 20km to hunt them down. The last half the run, I knew I wasn’t going to make the money, so I just had as much fun as I could, enjoying the cheers from family and friends as I ran through town. Around the 17km mark, my stupid competitiveness kicked back in as I realized I had another three girls or so on my heels. Hammer time! Leaving it all out there, I made my way down Main St. to the finish line, keeping 7th place.
Overall, I was happy with my performance. Of course I wish it had done better, but that was one of the fastest fields I have competed in. And, not to make excuses, but the majority of my training over the last three months has been geared towards the full distance. Take it away with a smile and a learning experienceJ Now, for some well needed R&R before we crack down on training! A huge thanks again to all my sponsors for getting me to the start and finish line: Skechers, Bike Barn, Cobb Cycling, CarboPro, and Peach City Runners.