Sunday, July 13, 2008
Lakeside Triathlon Race Report
I can't believe I haven't had time to write up a race report on this!! I have been doing so busy and doing lots of great things, but I can't skip a race report! The race was a week ago, so the details are now fuzzy memories, so I'll just give a quick recap.
First off, I almost cancelled out of the race. I had a little scare with my beloved labrador retriever and he trumps a race any day. A quick visit to the vet in the morning assured me he wasn't in pain and that he was going to be OK. I was a bachelorette over the weekend, so I needed to bring my little angel to the race (it's like bringing a small child...OK, almost)!
Mapquest never fails me and got me to packet pick-up with plenty of time to spare. While wandering the "festival", I ran into BC, his better half and some friends of his. I was quite distracted, I was so focused on tending to my baby. They told me I missed the trailer where packet pick up was set up, so I said goodbye and headed back. I got my things and headed to the hotel. I got a little lost getting to the hotel and just decided to get a sandwich and call it a night. I didn't want to leave the dog alone for long if I didn't have to.
I think there were drug deals being done at my hotel. Throughout the night, doors were slammed, lots of voices in the halls and just a general stench in the hallways when I walked through them. (what do you expect from a place that accepts dogs?) I slept horribly, but was happy that the dog seemed to be doing OK.
I picked up Neumann at her hotel and we headed to transition before sunrise. It was quite warm and humid already and I ditched my jacket quickly. I really enjoy smaller races because they're low key and I don't feel the pressure like I do at the high-profile races. It was exciting because this was Neumann's longest triathlon to date! We were in the same wave, so we were able to rack our bikes together. Do some socializing, take the bikes for a small test ride, play around with transition set up, meet up with BC for a quick run warm up and before you know it, the race was about to start!
Just before my wave started, three young girls jumped in front of me. Great, I thought, I'll get a really nice draft! These girls looked like they were in high school (I found out later they were). Off we go and these girls hammer it out. I found a sweet pocket and just coasted, smiling to myself because I wasn't working at all at this point. I was a little cramped, but I wasn't getting hit and we seemed to be moving. About 400 yards into it, these girls slowed dramatically. Now I was in trouble. I couldn't get around them! There were women to my left and right and straight across the front. Oh come ON, where is a gap when you need one??? It seemed like minutes, but there finally became a small space and I brushed right past two of the girls. I could see other caps with my color in front of me, but they were too far for me to try and catch them for a draft. So I settled into a rhythym and made for a good, easy-paced swim.
T1 seemed so slow. I felt disoriented and scolded myself for not practicing transitions more. I was the first one off my rack though, so I had lots of space to do my thing. On the bike, I felt good. I was breathing a little heavy initially, but got it under control in the first few miles. The same woman that flew by me on the bike last year did so again this year...but much earlier! I picked up my effort and kept her in sight. She is definitely a masher...I don't think she ever takes the bike out of the big chain ring! Whatever she does, she's very effective! One of the greatest things about this race is that they have PLENTY of volunteers and IL State Police covering the course! The way back felt easier and my legs felt good. As we neared transition, it's back through the hilly section of the course and my legs started to feel heavy. I could now see the runners and the leaders of the race!
Into T2 I had a hard time spotting my rack (scolded myself again for not checking that thoroughly!). I felt my transition was quick, but the clock told otherwise. I headed out on the run that was .5 miles longer than I expected! There were a couple of opportunities to see your competition on the out and backs. Jen Harrison yelled to me on her way back in...took me a few seconds to understand what was going on. I didn't even see her before the race! She was hauling on that run! I don't expect any less. The hills on the run killed my hamstrings and I felt myself slow and take shorter steps to compensate. It's just something I have to figure out how to deal with! I'm still having fun!
Down the finish chute, the crowd was bigger than last year. The band was on stage to the right and there were bleachers on the left. I didn't feel like I left it all out there, but I put in a solid effort. I was able to watch Neumann finish with a look of determination on her face! She waved her arms at the finish that made me know she was in a good place!