Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Wet and Wild

That pretty much sums up this past weekend for me, it really was crazy and left me tired, but it was fun.

Friday afternoon, I finally got on the road to Bloomington for the Evergreen Tri. This is an Olympic distance race in the middle of cornfields. However, I was surprised at what a cool lake there is out in the middle of nowhere. It is in a , nice state park. I took a little warm up swim the water was warm! They had mentioned likely no wetsuits, the water was 80 deg......well as I was packing I thought I need to bring it anyway, just in case. I always do, always have. However...1/2 way to Blooming ton I remembered that I had forgotten it. (bad mistake) Always bring it no matter what!!!! You never know! Because, Saturday morning we woke up to pouring rain, which must have cooled the water .5 deg. enough make it wetsuit legal. Thankfully the water was still very warm and yuck I would have suffocated in it had it been on, but it is definitely a disadvantage when much of the field is wearing one. I just said to myself just forget about it and go race.

The rain continued through the entire race, pouring at times. It think that the rain must have had cement in it because I felt like I was going nowhere, especially the first 1/2 of the bike, and the run. I didn't feel bad, but I didn't like I could go fast the way I wanted and needed to.It took 1/2 the bike to feel like I was going at a 40k effort. I was cautious in the turns because of wet roads, but tried not to slow down too much while keeping the wheels on the road. There are a lot of out and backs on both the bike and run in this race which is good especially when you're trying to catch up. On the run I was making up some ground on a few of the girls,and passed 2 in the last 1/2 mile but the 2 others I was gaining on I couldn't get. Had I had my wetsuit I might have been more in striking distance to catch a few more. I finished 6th in the elite division, but really should have been like 3rd or 4th on a good day. I packed up all my wet soggy stuff, headed home dried out everything, re-packed, gathered up forgotten belongings for Racine, and headed north.

Danny D. was allowing like 20 of us to stay in his lakehouse which is basically across the street from the transition area at the RAcine 1/2, and hosting a pasta party for Multisportmadness. Racine has always been a big race for our club. This was very fun! Thanks DANNY! I was doing the relay the next day, and felt like I should be nervous like I was doing the race, because everyone else was. I had to put a number on my bike, rack it the night before etc. But hey I was just doing the bike portion! Thank goodness because I was sore from sitting in the car for 4 hrs. I did go soak my sore legs in Lake Michigan. wow. The water was like 56 deg. I could hardly stand it, but it did help as I felt pretty good Sun. morning.

We woke up to a ton of fog and we couldn't see the buoy's. They delayed the start like an hour. The relay is the last wave so I had a lot of waiting around, but by the time I was handed the chip and on my way...the sun came out and it was really perfect. Now, racing from the back of 2000 people is quite an experience. My goal was to ride hard, which became challenging with so many people on the road. Lots of people are clueless about riding on the left. Don't hang out there. At one point I even yelled at someone, "are you going to pass or draft? out of my way" It did improve further up the road. I have to say I felt way better on Sun racing the bike than Sat. Hmm. Was it, the Lake Michigan soak?, Danny's pasta?, the fact that I had done a strong effort the day before?, sleeping in a house with 20 other people?. Not sure, but my bike split for 56 miles was 2:32. I hobbled out a few easy run miles off the bike....blisters, then cheered on all the racers. Even though Debbie and I had raced Sat., I still think Carla had the toughest part swimming in the foggy cold water, and our "Dream Team" as Debbie named us broke 5 hrs.

It was an great weekend of fun and racing, but I did realize some things in it all. I race as a true product of how I have trained. I was never great at crossing over and racing the varying distances and do well in the same season. But at 40, I am thinking that is even more true. A lot of my training has been targeted at Steelhead 1/2 IM. And that is basically how I raced Evergreen. I didn't have the speed and snap needed for an Olympic.( I thinking this needs to change after Steelhead, better talk to the coach!) This weekend was also Lake Placid, and I had no sad feelings or regret about not being there.

Congrats to all who raced! Madness did great in Racine way to go Joe, Kristi, Wellman and all. Also congrats to Jeff the cardiologist who did his first Ironman in 14:00 flat in the rain.

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