This year I was actually looking forward to racing in Racine. It has not been my favorite course in years past. It is flat with horrible roads, there is a big tendency for drafting, and the Lake Michigan swim hasn’t always been good to me. But I often come back because it is so fun to race with all my Multisportmadness friends, its close to home and is always competitive.I'm always up for a challenge, so I took the bad with the good, and headed up to Danny’s house on the lake for a fun race weekend. I had big goals for this race. I knew it was going to be hot so I packed extra salt tabs, decided to braid my hair to cut down on the frizz (lol/ jk!), and tried to stay hydrated.
Pre race day in Racine for me typically involves packet pick up, soaking the legs in the cold lake, pre race pasta dinner with all of MSM, and hanging out watching highlights of the tour,and sometimes working a little physical therapy magic. Who can beat accommodations across the street from the race with friends. Thanks Danny!
Casa Delgado becomes its own little bed and breakfeast triathlon style! This year athletes were tucked away in all corners, and included 3 pros. It was hard not to sleep past 4 as everyone was up early ready to race!
The transition area was huge and packed. It seemed very crowded compared to previous years. I kept bumping into the people behind me when trying set up my transition and pump up my tires. I set up my space, and made the long walk up the beach to the start. It was warming up fast and I waited as long as possible to put on my wetsuit, and hung out talking with friends waiting for my start.
Swim: it is a shallow start, so I did several dolphin dives out to the deeper water. I was right in the front with the leaders for this part! For me I had a good start and made it to the first turn with the lead pack. Then I settled into a decent rhthm. The water was perfect, and I felt good. I swam strong. And finally made a little headway on my swim.
actually smiling at the swim start!
I think some of the swim time includes the long run up the beach. Its not where it should be or where it used to be but there is a glimmer of hope in the distance for my swim. Once I hit the ground I ran as fast as I could through the sand, passed 3 girls in my AG before getting to my bike. I made a quick transition and was on my way. I should have taken a few seconds to rinse the sand off. As I was riding away I felt like a snickerdoodle sugar cookie with sand all over my arms and hands.
Bike: the first few miles of the bike are out of town and a road with big cracks. I was building my effort and letting the biking legs get in the groove when I hit a big crack and launched 1 water bottle. I;ve made the mistake of leaving it on the road in a different big hot race which was the wrong move and lead to a meltdown. So I stopped and went back for it. Smart move because of how hot it was, and it seemed like there was 1 aid station short on the bike compared to most 70.3 races. It was windy and it seemed every turn there was still wind. Maybe my legs were flat I don’t know but the ride seemed hard. It was hot and the roads were full of cracks. Not the most pleasant ride or fun ride. I kept passing girls in the AG which was motivating when I wasn’t feeling the best. I finished strong, but was glad to be done.
Run: I started the run feeling pretty good, took 2 salt tabs at mile one and was able to follow the plan for the first few miles. At the first turn around I could see a few girls in front of me weren’t that far off. My run has been good to me this year but I wasn’t feeling as snappy in the 100 deg temps. Slowly I was reeling 2 girls in front of me. I kept trying to pick it up to my goal pace but it wasn’t happening. I saw AZ coming at me and he looked good. He is having such a good year its hard not to feel like a slacker, so I kept trying to kick it into high gear. I felt like I was running through mud! Finally I caught the girl in front of me with about 2 miles to go. The aid stations became a nightmare to negotiating even slowing the avg. pace down more. I had to wait in line, or grab my own drink/ ice etc. It seemed all those people I was bumping into in transition were in my way when I was trying to plow through transition. I wanted to quit several times. This race wasn’t so fun, it was HOT. I wasn’t meeting my goals, I had already had so many good races and had my spot to Vegas, so felt like why was I out here doing this! But realizing Vegas is on the horizon, I started to tell myself keep running its going to be Hot, and hard in Vegas. I tried to hit that last down hill right before the finish trying to run fast only to have my calves cramp up causing me to hobble and wobble. The girl I had worked so hard to pass, caught me back and then 1 more with in yds of the finish.
I always try to take away something good from every race, even when they aren't what you set out to do. I was disappointed to be 7th, but 4th -7th were within seconds. I finished 5:01+ and on such an extreme day, isn't so bad. But, I feel even better about sticking with it and pressing on when it got tough and the goals for the day weren’t happening.