So, I'm not feeling particularly inspired to write a race report for EM perhaps because I didn't really feel like it was a race bc I knew the run would be disappointing. But here goes nuthin':
Ahead of time I made the decision to really try to push the swim. I haven't been swimming a lot and felt tired at the end of an OLY a few weeks ago, which was a huge wakeup call for me. So, I got my tush to the pool the last few weeks and did the speed and endurance work as scheduled. When I plugged my numbers into a bike pace calculator, I estimated a bit on the strong end (estimating a sub 6 finish with a .80 or .85 IF), knowing I wasn't going to run the run per the protocol). Since getting plantar fasciitis, I've only been running about a month, perhaps 5 weeks, with the ART/Graston specialist's blessing. I did the OLY running 4-2s. Since then I've done 2 90 minute runs, the first 3-1 and the second 4-1. I've done a few 30 and 45 minute runs straight (not doing the set workouts, just trying to get my endurance and running legs back). I decided that I'd run a 5-1 for EM and give it a go hoping I'd be ready to tackle 13.1, my longest run since IMFL in November. Gulp.
Vigo learned his lesson from last year's uncommonly warm water temps and had a plan B - the last wave was for those who wanted to race in wetsuits. I don't know if anyone did, water temps were 81 o 82. I can't imagine that. Heck, I didn't even pack mine as I'd been checking the water temp all week. After a bad swim followed by a bad mood at Timberman last year I've stopped timing my swims because in the grand scheme of things, it just doesn't matter that much and I'd rather not know if I did "badly" so my head stays in a sort of happy place. I lined up wide left of the buoy line but in the front row to start - and avoided the mosh pit of people at the start which was a relief. I did find myself in the buoy line for most of the swim and at times there was some posturing and pushing, but nothing bad. I felt really good and was very happy with how it went. I wasn't tired like I was after the OLY a few weeks ago. That said, I think the swim was long again or something was up based on the times. Mine was 42 (up from 39 last year and 35 the year before). I checked and the woman who won my AG was 28 and the next few were in the 32-35 range. My first EM swim (with a wetsuit) was 35, so that's kind of what I was expecting... Oh well, I felt great and at least everyone else's times were also slow.
I suck at transitions and that's just how it is. I was limping as I jogged in which worried me a bit. I sat down to put my shoes on bc the specialized roadies are a pain to put on with wet hands, the spindles/spools are hard to twist and I've been having trouble with them even with dry hands lately (the wire is getting warped and twisted). Anyway, I just kept calm and got my stuff done and was off again. I'd made sure that my bike was in the gear I wanted it to be in to start, which helped a lot.
The bike leg was sort of similar to last year, kinda windy the whole way, a bit stronger at Egypt Rd but not by much. After a 20 minute warm up, my "gear 2" watts target was 149 and my "gear 3" for the super windy sections was 156. I was going to try to keep my PN at 150. "Try" is the operative term, my PN for the ride was 144 and my avg speed was 19.9! I was totally shocked - not only that my watts were too low but that my speed was so good. I wasn't slacking for sure but I just couldn't hold watts any higher with comfort or without worry that I'd be sabatouging myself on the run. It felt great out there. I passed lots of folks and that was a first for me on the bike. I wasn't trying to, mind you, I knew I still had a run to do (that I was ill prepared for), I was following my race strategy and keeping my numbers in mind. I was drinking infinit every 15', taking S! caps every hour, and 3 sport legs at the 2 hour mark. I also took water at a few aid stations to dump on my head, which felt heavenly! Saw a few friends on the bike in the last stretches of the ride, which was nice.
T2, slower than T1. The woman next to me on the left misracked her bike and I couldn't get my bike on the bar. I was a little ticked. So I took her bike off the bar and rolled it under the bar and rebalanced it resting on the brake levers. Then I was able to squeeze mine in there. Annoying. Sit down to get my shoes off andslide on my sneaks. Fortunately the wire cables didn't stick and I could actually get my feet out of my cycling shoes! (as much as I love those shoes, I think I need tri shoes with velcro to make life easier) I also took the time to spray sunscreen on and fish my chapstick out of my bento box to put into my jersey pocket - I knew what was in store for me and I knew both of those things were crucial. Then I was ready... I walked out of transition while fiddling with my watch to get it to my run program... so my T2 time wasn't really all that surprising in the grand scheme of things. Whatever.
So, the run...even though it was shy of 100 out (which is downright cool for EM), there was lots of carnage on the run as there always is. I'd planned to do a 5-1 run-walk all along and had my watch programmed for it. I kept to it and also walked the water stops (how annoying that they didn't correspond to my programmed walk breaks. ). The first 7ish miles felt good. My run segments were around 9:30 and then the walks I tried to keep under 15min mile pace... and for a while my total avg was below 10:30 which thrilled me. The last few miles were harder. My foot was aching, my ankle was tightening up, I was getting warm and frustrated... My running pace was starting to creep over 10, my walking pace was whatever it was. I stopped to use the bathroom (shockingly the first time all race) in the last mile and a half. Then I shuffled my way back. I'd told myself I'd run the last mile without the walk break but when my watch beeped, I walked. Those minute breaks became a crutch... broke the run up into bite sized pieces that I could handle. Amazingly enough it was as I entered the finishing chute that my last walk break was set to start, so that was one I could manage to skip!
Post race I was limping pretty significantly. It hurt a lot. Next day the foot loosened up and my quads had that post-marathon lead feeling. Hurts to get up and get moving. Hurts to tackle stairs. Still feeling stiff like that today... Considering my longest run/walk effort in 6 months has been somewhere in the 8-9 mile range, I can't complain too much!
All told, my swim was 0:42:08 (div rank 31); T1 3:21; bike 2:48:35 (19.93 mph) (div rank 29), T2 4:44; run 2:24:02 (10:59min mile)(div rank 39) = 6:02:50 (div rank 39). I really can't believe I only "lost" 10 spots on the run... hmm... I guess I did something right and wonder how well I could have done with 2 good feet!
Awesome race, Becky. My two "good" feet need to take lessons from yours! Great seeing you at the start too. Joyce
Nice warm up to IMWisconsin I'd say ;) You are going to kick some ass at IMWis later on this year.