Monday, September 29, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
We're lucky one of our runners, Jim M., had a cell phone on him and we were able to get this quick shot. The picture doesn't really do the water in the background justice, but if you've ever run at WFG, you might recognize this spot and have a better idea at how amazing this was. You can just barely see the railing of the bridge if you look to the right of the guy (Jason) in the orange shirt. I'm sort of surprised Jim's camera didn't fry out. You can't tell in the picture, but it was still raining hard when we took that.
Monday, September 08, 2008
Unlike last year, the predicted weather was just perfect for racing. We picked up Jess and arrived in transition at about 5:15am. We pulled up right next to AJ and then Caroline pulled in rightnext to us! Not sure how many total participants in this race, but transition is tiny. I like tiny - fast transitions! I was too late to get the first spot on the rack, but second wasn't bad. Truthfully, there is not a bad spot in all of this transition area.
I helped Elizabeth with a little tire problem and was pretty distracted...so distracted that when I was about to get into the water, the Saint asked, "hey, where's your chip?" I HAD FORGOTTEN TO PICK IT UP! Yikes! I ran over, pickedit up and slapped it on my ankle. I skipped body marking all together. (did I mentionI was distracted?) My feet were really cold, so I got in the water to warm them up. Swam a couple strokes and the water was a good temperature. Walked over to Caroline, got this quick photo and jumped over to line up for the start.
The first section of this swim is directly into the sun. The buoys are pretty far apart and it was a bit difficult to see them with the sunglaring in my face. After the first turn, I was already running into people from the previous wave. It was easier to see now. After the second turn, I had to stop more than once to find the next buoy...spaced too far apart. I didn't trust that the swimmers in front of me were on the right track. The swim felt good and I ran into transition and got out of there in a hurry. Nice to have small transition areas!
This was my first race on the new aerobars. I know I didn't put in as much time on them as I should have, but theyfelt pretty good. I had to rearrange the aerobottle and computer, so the whole set up was a new experience for me. Seems to have worked out! The first 10 miles of the course was turn after turn after turn. There was no time to get up to speed before having to slow down to go around a corner. Thankfully, the volunteers learned this year that we do not want unopened water bottles on the bike! They still don't realize it's easier to hand us bottles as they run in the same direction we're riding, though. My handoffs were pretty good because they had the stops right after the U turns on the course. I need to practice getting through those faster!
Once we got out further into the course, it felt windy in almost every direction we rode. Not terrible, but enough to make it loud in my ears. Lots of unleashed dogs running out onto the course. Very dangerous! I heard one run up barking after me and I freaked out a little and started riding faster to make sure he didn't take a chunk outof my leg! I yelled at several others as I rode up to them...they were just standing in the street and would begin chasing biker after biker as we rode by. Insane! I was working on keeping a steady power output. It turned out to be not quite what I was looking for, but taking into consideration all the slowing for the turns and U turns on the course, it wasn't too bad. Not a very fast bike split for me. I was getting uncomfortable in places I don't want to talk about and was happy to see transition up ahead.
Super fast transition (about 40 seconds I think) and I was off and running. My toes on both feet were numb. It's not fun to run when you can't feel your toes. I think it took until mile 3 for them to warm up. Note to self: put on toecovers when it's below 70 degrees in the morning! I've never complained of my feet being too hot during a race. The run course was rather boring. It was a "C" shape and to cover the 13.1 miles, you had to go out and back and out and back...I cannot imagine the people doing the full ironman today...they had to do that FOUR TIMES! Good God! Had some pain in one foot...something I've never felt before, but it didn't seem to slow me down. I stuck with my regular nutrition on the run and felt good until around mile 10 when the hamstring pain kicked in. I slowed, but not too much. I only ran the second "lap" 1 minute slower than the first one. I was happy to be done.
Weather conditions were perfect...aside from the little wind on the bike, the day was just beautiful. Don't get many days like that, so you have to enjoy them when you get them! I'm now suffering from a considerable amount of chafing. And now the Ironman training begins.