I wanted to write up my race report while things were still fresh in my mind. What a day. I was lucky enough to stay up in Boulder last night with my Partner In Crime, Michelle. I love rooming and traveling with her, she's my peeps! We had a great evening going out to eat with teammates and friends and then settled into a mellow evening, got our stuff together for the next day and hit the hay. 4:20am wake up and I was really ready to go. We were at transition well before 5 and were two of the first 100 to rack our bikes. Primo Spots. I had like 2.5 hours until my wave went off, so I disappeared to be mellow. Then I saw some PC people warming up and jumped in with them. It was nice to have some company and good to catch up with folks that I haven't talked to in awhile. We did a long long long warmup, probably a bit over 3 miles. I felt really good and I was excited to see what would unfold for the day. After a long wait in line for the potty I was able to find Troy and Annie who drove down that morning. They were doing quite well, although Troy had missed me. We had to catch up a little. I slipped into my friend Liz's wetsuit and got into the water to warm up my arms and shake off a little bit of my nerves. I sold my wetsuit to a good friend (it was too big) but I haven't bought a new one b/c I wanted to try a sleeveless. I LOVE the sleeveless. Something about having the arm movement really helps me out. Liz is prego, so she didn't mind that I have been hogging her suit for like a month now. I have become really attached to it, it's going to be hard to give it back.
I was in the last wave to go off. The race was also running late, so my wave ended up going at about 7:50. It was already like 96 degrees out when we started. Ouch. I was quite concerned about my elbow and racing. I knew I could swim the distance on it, but I was afraid of getting into a scuffle with another swimmer and hurting myself. I started WAY WAY right, like so right that I was outside of the start arch. They counted us down and I just got out steady and calmly. Lots of sighting into the sun, but I remained on course. I stayed right, watching the field of competitors when I breathed on my left side, keeping equal distance. I felt good. Every time the elbow gave me a zinger I would really focus on taking big scoops of water and getting my catch in the right place. Then I would get lazy and along would come another shot of pain...it was like shock therapy. Swim bad = zing, swim good = no zing. Around the buoys I went, keeping even tempo, minding my stroke. I exited the water ready to be done swimming, but in good shape. I looked down and saw a 27 number on my watch, but by the time I hit the timing mat it turned to 28, I still felt quite good about it. I always wonder just how far I am back in the age group coming off the swim, this time I went and counted all the ladies with faster times. 40 of them. I was out of the water 41st. Wow! That's a lot of passing to get up to the front. No wonder why I am always feeling like I run out of real estate.
Transition was quick, although they added another bike rack to the "desirable" end of my row AFTER I had racked my bike. So my primo "first come, first rack" spot was now cramped and distorted. Such is life. Onto the bike and I was feeling good. I just passed, passed, passed ladies. I did get passed by one lady early on, but I let her go, thinking that she was a little overzealous and that I would get her on the back end. Never saw her again. Other than that I felt really strong throughout, strong on Old Stage, strong on the descent, and great on the rollers. I felt like I blew by every single person I passed.
Back to transition and whoosh, I was off. It felt fast, and I was happy to be running. I really tried to run hard...I really did. But it was tough, temps were in the 100's and I was slow to get going. I would have phases where I would go really hard, then ones where I would loose my momentum and slow down. I looked forward to every aid station and took several cups of water and ice at each one. I tried to wave at teammates and did a pretty lousy job at it. Some times getting out some sort of jumble of noise. I hit the turn around, saw a few ladies in my age group ahead of me and worked on pulling them in, I was able to get every one within sight. I really gave it my all on the run, and even though I knew I wasn't running my fastest, I knew that I was doing the best I could.
The Practical Coaching crew was cheering up a storm at the finish and I was so utterly happy to be done.
So, a few honesty remarks now. Beware. You are forewarned. When I finished I was ecstatic. I felt like I had a great race and that I had redeemed myself from last year. I had watched my watch the entire way and had hit the lap button several times at transitions and mile markers on the bike. From about the mid section of the race I was feeling pretty good about what my watch was telling me. When I hit the turn around on the run my watch said if I ran a 22 minute last 1/2 of the run I could break 2:30. I ran my heart out for that number and when I crossed the line and stopped my watch it said 2:30.52. I was still ecstatic. Thinking that I had taken about 10 minutes off my last years time. I was high! The next several hours I was my normal, jovial, "just had a great race", Sonja. When the results came out my time was 2:36.14. The tears just started rolling and I just walked off, I quickly grabbed my stuff and just wanted out of there. I was upset. I was throwing a tantrum. I must have messed up my watch when I was hitting the laps and stuff and somehow stopped it for 6 minutes or so. I felt really defeated and seeing my splits was sad to see the same bike time from last year. I live on my bike now-a-days and to see what felt like no progress was a super duper ego blow. If you have raced with me before and have had a bad race you know I am the first person to tell you not to play the numbers game, that the numbers don't "define" you. I couldn't believe I was flipping out and it was amazing how hard it was to follow the advise that I give tons of YOU ALL when you have less than desirable results. I felt ashamed on several different levels. Ashamed of my performance, or lack thereof, ashamed of my attitude, ashamed that I was crying, just ashamed.
I didn't want to talk to Steve about it, but he found me, and I got a talking to. He gave me a few little challenges, and although I am still processing my pissy attitude, I am coming around to learning some lessons from this experience. My PIC Michelle was right there for me, even though it meant that me dogging and complaining about my bike time was also complaining about hers being that we rode the same time. Again...in retrospect, quite ashamed of myself. I love you Michelle.
So, I wanted to be honest about my hissy fit today. This racing stuff isn't all flowers and berries. Endurance athletes are hard on themselves, including me. Finding a way to get back to the warm fuzzy feelings I had about my race before seeing the results will be tough, but it's something I'm going to strive to do. As always, any advise or similar experiences would help me a ton. Feel free to comment, or email me personally.
BTW: The watch I wore at the race has now been deemed bad luck on my wrist. If you would like a new watch (it's only been worn once) then email me or hit "Contact Me" on the top of my site. It looks like this but it's blue.
Results are here: Swim: 28:05 (41st in F25-29) T1: 1:04 (Fastest in F25-29) Bike: 1:19:34 (19.6mph 7th fastest in F25-29) T2: 0:45 (4th fastest in F25-29) Run: 46:47 (7:33pace 7th fastest in F25-29)
Age-Group: F25-29: 6th (out of 101) Overall Women: 50th (out of 527)