I don't typically like to write race reports specifically because I don't think people really are interested in what I ate for breakfest what my pre race brick was like etc, but I do try to share interesting race experiences. Whether it is soemthing funny that happened, or some kind of ugly blow up, or anything that I might learn and can pass on to others ...there is usually something that comes out of a race weekend that is worth passing on.
Memphis in May is an all time favorite race, but say good bye to good old Millington, Casper Lake, Plantation Oaks, the flat bike and hilly run through northern Memphis. They announced that next year Memphis in May will be in some other town which is actually in Mississippi and will be sponsored by Harrah's casinos and will be held at a new location to make it bigger and better! Wow, end of a legendary race...a race I did as a begginner just trying to break 2:30...and one where I went fastest ever and won AG several times. I wonder if they will still do the time trial start? I guess all things progress and change.
This years race was a mixture of high points and low points. All starting with our hotel. Usually we stay at the lovely Plantation Oaks, tradition! It is close to the race venue and all 15 Multisportmadness friends that were racing were there, but our room when we checked in smelled like someone had just partied all night. Between spilled alcohol smell combined with smoke stench we lasted 15 min before my eyes were watering and lungs were closing. Usually I can suck it up and deal with it but this was past that point. It smelled like it was a hell of a party. We ended up in this fancy Hilton in Memphis.! 30min away but clean, plush and new!
At 77.7 deg. they allowed wetsuits! LOL! So I did wear mine and while got a little toasty swimmming...it wasn't the worst warm wetsuit swim I've done, and I set a swim PR on that course, which cracks me up because I manage to swim 2 maybe 3 x a week these days. Crazy..and I get my fastest swim ever there. I guess experience comes in handy some times. I did find Jordan's feet (1 of the former MSM kids) for a short ways around the first turn which gave me a boost!
During the first 12-15 miles or so of the bike I didn't feel I had 100% of my legs. I had that lovely burn which didn't go away until about mile 15. But despite this I just kept pushing despite the burn hoping eventually they would come around. I did eventually find all parts of my legs and managed to pick it up more. I love that right hand turn on the big smooth highway back to transtion. My bike split was close to my PR that I did back when I was 34!
My run started off ok, but got ugly pretty quick. Hello heat and humidity..where have you been! But really the worst part more than the heat was the weight of my legs. I felt like I was running up and down the hills with the weighted sled my trainer Mark has me pull through the grass! Seriously. Did he show up and secretly attach it to me. The run there is hilly and its hard to get a rhythm going. And I had none. I trudged along, never able to get it going.
Here is the crazy part of it all, I was 2 min faster than I have been in the past 2 years there, with a faster swim and close to fastest bike for me. It was my second fastest Memphis time ....even with an trudge of a bad run. But despite that I placed the worst ever there at 7th in AG. ICK. Go figure! There were some very fast chicks in W40-44 this year. Congrats to them! The winning time in the AG was right there with the top OA times! 2:09 I think? Who says old ladies can't go fast!
So lessons learned:
> I was a bit tanked the weekend before Memphis. I had trashed myself. Feeling a bit behind in training because of some lost time training being hurt, and feeling the pressure of a 70.3 coming on, so I crammed and paid for it. So I did rest a lot going into Memphis, and didn't start feelng normal until Friday, but I was coming around. Its good to know I can still push through when maybe not feeling 100%. And don't cram it doesn't work.
>You improve on your time, but wind up worse in your AG!
>90+ deg. is HOT; in case you forgot
>Old ladies can still go really fast!