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This blog is out of use and out of date. I am now posting on mercedesorten.blogspot.com

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Race Report: The Austin Triathlon - Are We There Yet?

The day started with a gorgeous Texas sunrise over the city. My personal photographer, my special, and my cheer squad were all up early with me at this triathlon. My favorite of the year. I'd been looking forward to it since last year.

Transition closed early and the men got to start in the first heats so there was a lot of waiting to do before the start. Luckily, my favorite training partner had packed an extra banana for me to eat before the swim start. I think that helped settle my stomach before the swim.

We hopped merrily into the 80 degree water on that 80 degree morning and tread water until the starting shot. I kept incredibly calm throughout the duration and surprisingly I did not have very many "are we there yet?" moment during the swim. The swim was an out and back to the Lamar Bridge. Mostly, our pack of pink caps followed this guy on a surf board out from Auditorium Shores on the out portion. He was easy to sight! I love swimming in Town Lake/Lady Bird Lake because it is such familiar stomping ground for me and it's neat to see the land from a different angle. The high rises speckled the shore and the sun began peek its hot self out, making me glad I decided to go with my new tinted googles that were a birthday present from my dear friend. The swim was great, and the volunteer that pulled me out of the water was even greater! Oh my gosh, I flew out of the water and ran up to transition. Apparently, my cheer squad including my first marathon coach and several of my running buddies were there yelling for me but I didn't hear any of them at that point. But they would help me later! Oh my goodness, yes they would! I transitioned seemlessly to the bike. The only complaint I had was it was super dusty in transition and so that grit was EVERYWHERE.

I got on the bike only to find that my cycling computer was not working. Bummer. I try not to rely on those tools and so I brushed it off. I was riding ZEN. I felt good. I let myself warm up on the first loop and then started pushing the second loop. I really love hills on the bike and so I pushed them and played mind games with myself as I climbed. I counted the number of guys I could pass on the hills and thought about many of my cycling friends and how awesome they are as I motored along. I was having fun until the 2nd loop. It seemed the 2nd loop went on forever. People were standing on the hills and making me nervous. My legs felt numb with the work, but I kept pushing and I thankfully had my cheer squad to snap me out of my "are we there yet?" dazes. I drank a lot on the bike and had a whole packet of clif blocks. They were delish and worked well for me.

I was totally ready to get off my bike and get on to the run. I had that familiar feeling of "o yes, this is my element" coming off the bike to the run. I slid my new Ascics Nimbuses on, grabbed a goo and went off like a shot out of a gun! Instantly, I was in pain and of note though, also instantly, I was having fun. (Pain and fun in the same sentence. Win!) I never let up on the run. From the get go, I thought "Let the passing game begin!" Silly me, though, I did not realize that the 10K was only 2 loops. I think I might have gone faster on the first loop had I known that. I thought for a while that we had to do 3 loops like we did on the bike. Yes, I need to plan better for these things mentally. Note to self. So when I realized it was 2 loops I really turned it on and just picked off man after man. This macho guy and I were pushing each other for a while on the first loop, I was having quite the time. I ultimately passed him, and I have to say it felt great. I saw my super star training partner a few times on the out and backs and really enjoyed hearing her cheers. The cheers of my amazing support team were also extremely helpful. Every time I heard them call out to me, I felt myself surge on. I treated this 10K as a fun tempo run. One of my cheering friends screamed out "YOU ARE A MACHINE" and I used the word "MA-CHINE" as a mantra for the entire second lap. Last year on the only hill of the run up S. 1st I channelled my grandmother who died of cancer in 1993. This year I could feel her hands upon my back yet again pushing me up the hill. It was an incredible experience.

Equally incredible was crossing the finish line and being immediately greeted and hugged by so many friends. I felt so honored and touched that so many of my close, dear friends were out en force for me on Monday. Thank you friends, you made the world of difference. This Austin Tri went from a "Are we there yet?" theme to a "MA-freaking-CHINE" theme thanks to you!

I'm so proud of my performance. My goal was to get into the top 10, and since I got 10th, I think that qualifies! I'm very pleased. Onward to the Longhorn 1/2 Iron. I totally feel ready.

Age Group Place: 10
Overall Place: 46
Swim Rank: 20
1500 m Swim Time: 32:37.21
Pace per 100 m: 2:10
Transition 1 Time: 03:36.80
Bike Rank: 26
40K Bike time: 1:20:36.65
Average MPH on bike: 18.5
Transition 2 Time: 02:08.90
Run Rank: 3
10K Run time: 46:43.15*
Pace per mile: 7:32

*My 10K is roughly 2 minutes slower that my 10K PR. Somebody's going to break 45 in their next 10K! Or BUST!!

Current book I'm reading: The Ultimate Ride by Chris Carmichael

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I am a marathoner. That means I have a tummy that could sieze a spider.