I should've made my appearance on here like 2 weeks ago but I have a really good excuse, I promise...so this is going to be partially a double race report but only a quick on on the first of the season since I titled this post Potato 70.3.
Anywho...unlike everyone else it seems, my season got off to a bit of a later start. This is my first year on the Zoot Ultra Team and I've been super excited to get my season going. We may not have really had a winter up here in the PNW, but now we're not really having a summer either. The lakes are still around 60, and even though I'm a Tennessee girl at heart, I think I've acclimatized quite well considering my size. I don't mind it all that much, it just means that the race season generally starts around May instead of March/April...which is also a good thing when you're going to CLEARWATER! (more on that later).
On May 30th I did the Shawnigan Lake Olympic Distance Triathlon up in Victoria, BC...kinda like my home away from home. My grandparents live there, I have lots of old training partners there, and my coach is there too, so it was lots of fun getting to see familiar faces and bike on some roads that I know quite well...the weather on the other hand...the water temp was around 56 degrees and the air temp was about the same as well. I'm okay with going numb on the bike. It almost seems normal now, but this one definitely ranked in one of my top 3 most miserably cold triathlon moments (just about even with Short Course Worlds in Vancouver 2008 for those who heard about how cold that one was...actually, maybe worse...because at that race I was actually able to get my helmet off). To sum it up so I can't get into my Boise report, the swim was COLD. Getting my feet in my shoes on the bike didn't work so well either, but luckily I went back and forth for 44k (slightly long because we were going around the lake) with a friend of mine which was a life saver. It kept my mind off how miserable I was. I never warmed up. Couldn't eat, shift, or grip onto my water bottle either. T2 was painful and after a few tries (with no luck) of getting my helmet unbuckled, I said to my friend Lindsay across from me, "whatever. I give up. I'm running with it." ha. yeah. I was gonna run 10k with an aero helmet on and had totally mentally embraced the thought of my finishing photos being the best out of everyone's because of it. There was, however, an official at the end of my transition row, and since I'm already familiar with TriBC, I knew they were allowed to unclick the clasp in such awful conditions. Clasp unclicked, I was able to get it off the rest of the way by myself and run without a helmet on. From there on out I eventually thawed out by 6k and finished off the day with a OA win. OH yeah, this was my first race as 25-29 too.
The reason I didn't post after that was because I was studying for the LSAT on June 7th. I figured that was a good reason. We don't have to discuss that though. It was fairly traumatizing. haha...but the better part of that week was going to Boise a few days later for one of my favorite races of the year.
So Boise...yeah. I was super super pumped. Despite many nights of fewer hours of sleep than I should've had while in training because I was busy taking a Kaplan class, working, training, and studying in what other free time I had, workouts were going really well. I know this is a race report, but one of my standard week before a big race workouts is 3x1mile fast. Before Clearwater last year I went 5:35, 5:40, and 5:45. It's only the second race of the season and I knocked out a 5:21, 5:20, and 5:33. Yeah, so I faded quite a bit on the last one and had a good heart to heart talk with the infield after #3, but that was the best I've ever done a full out set like that. I was just aiming for 5:30.
The drive was long. It's 7 hours to Boise from Seattle and my trusy race sherpa Adam was meeting me there via a one way flight and helping me drive home post race. I'm sure everyone has heard that it was WINDY. At least it was sunny. Last year was not pleasant with a torrential downpour, hail, thunder, and lightening. I'm going to cut to the good stuff because I tend to talk a lot in person as it is so this blog may turn out the same if I'm not careful. I swam and swam and swam and then I got on the bike. A side note about myself. This is my very first year on a TT bike. For the past three years I've been on a road bike with some clip on bars and on my very 3rd ride out on my pretty red ordu at end of april I had quite a gnarly crash. I broke my helmet on the pavement (and probably had a minor concussion because I had a few symptoms but I never got it checked out), shattered my watch, and had a sore hip up until about Shawnigan at the end of May along with going to the chiropractor 2-3 times a week since. Needless to say, getting in the bars when its windy out still scares me. I road race in the offseason and feel a whole lot more comfortable on my other bike. For the most part I was okay though but word is the winds were around 30mph and they NEVER let up. Maybe for like one stretch of 5 miles and boy was it weird. Super quiet all of the sudden. At the beginning I just kept telling myself it would let up as soon as we turned to go up the big hill but it didn't. AND it was hot. I gave up hoping the wind would die and just ate, took my salt, drank, and stayed upright. A huge plus. I told my coach later that I felt like I was riding stronger this year even though the time doesn't show it. Onto the run, it was fairly apparent that everyone was feeling quite zapped from battling the winds. I knew it was most likely going to be a tough run when in the last 6 miles of the bike I found myself spinning a few revolutions and then coasting for a second of recovery...over and over. Yeah. Tough day for sure. I tried to eat around mile 3 but wasn't having it. I think that's when I got jello legs for the first time but some guy in a white top that had a big blue X across the back ended up encouraging me for all 13 miles. I only remember him from the blue X though. For the first time ever I also hiked up my jersey so I could keep ice in it. That was my second hint at survival mode. Around mile 7 I saw Adam. I knew where he was standing cheering for me and I really needed a word of encouragement too but this was jello legs round 2. Apparently they all thought I was going to face plant into a little wall I was running by, but after putting my hand down to stop myself, I stood up and kept on trucking along because I really wanted my Clearwater spot. Seeing as I still hadn't eaten, the plan of attack was to make it from station to station, trot through and get what I needed and keep on going. I remember seeing mile 12, looking up, and seeing a girl in front of me...a girl I recognized that passed me on the bike with a 28 on her leg. Here I was, running on empty, and I knew I'd be pissed if I watched her finish RIGHT in front of me...so I did it. I gritted my teeth and I did it. First place 25-29, 4th age grouper, and 13th overall...AND my Clearwater spot. Such a relief. I like getting that over with sooner rather than later. So all in all it was a not so good day with a good ending, but I'm definitely okay with it for now.
Apparently triathlon really is a summer sport. My feet weren't numb the WHOLE race and 60 feels balmy when you've raced in 56. On a FUNNY note (and I totally forgot I did this until my best friend from home asked), but I listed my occupation as a plumber. C'mon. Clerical/Administrative sounds kinda boring and I'm definitely not a boring person outside of work so I chose the best that the pull down menu on registration had to offer. I've got a good 3 weeks to decide what I want to "be" for Clearwater. hahahaha.
UP NEXT...I'm SPECTATING at CDA and I'm super pumped. My trusty sherpa, Adam is doing his first Ironman so we're switching roles as racer/race support and chauffeur home. I know LOTs of people racing and I'm throwing my road bike on the trunk of his car so I will be everywhere on the run course...after I get my training done while everyone is out on the bike. As for my next real race though, its the Vancouver Half Iron on the 4th of July. Another one of my favorites!