Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Conquering the heat!

With the projected heat wave in the North East I knew Eagleman was going to be another challenging race! I was all for wind, chop and heat though...as I was in the fearless mindset! As per my blogs earlier in the week I was taking this race in stride..just fitting it into a busy schedule and hoping for the best!
I arrived at the hotel after 10 pm saturday evening after watching my daughter participate in a very cute ballet performance earlier that afternoon. Children grow so quick and this was such a special moment for me as a mom.
I was not too concerned about not getting a great night sleep as I had got a decent night the night before and that is all I hear that really matters. I did wake up Sunday morning feeling quite exhausted and my arms and legs were a little achy and tired. I put this out of my mind and decided that I would do a little run to wake myself up when I got down to transition. Nothing could break the great attitude I had Sunday. I really followed through with the fact that I was going to enjoy this race, enjoy having my family there to watch and yet race hard.
At transition I could not locate my race packet anywhere which held things up a little but this was handled with enough time to get my gear organized and bike racked. They announced that the pro's would not be allowed to wear wetsuits as they were now using a new set of rules which were no wetsuits for pro's if the water was 72 degree's and over. I did not even think to bring my speedsuit down so it was just me, myself and my swim suit.... One of my goals is to still have a breakthrough swim this year where I can stay with the main pack of girls.....this was not going to help my chances. With 15 minutes to go I headed down to the water to warm up. Seeing alot of friends on the way and then my kids and husband who had made it up in time to come watch. I missed the warmup as Vigo was already calling for everyone to come over the mat. So there I stood ready to go!
6.45 and the gun went off and I was surprised at how congested the first 200 meters were. I was getting hit alot which meant I was staying with the group. The water felt great and I quickly settled into a good pace. Unfortunately I still did not stay with the pack but I did feel a few girls on my feet. The swim went by quick and I felt really good. I do much prefer a non wetsuit swim even though I am slower.
I exited the water and got to high five my kids on the way to transition. A few friends commented that I had had a good swim so I was happy to hear that. I ran hard to transition and all went smoothly. It felt great to be on the bike. I biked conservatively yet with a good effort. Very controlled at all times. I had tried to reset my power meter at the beginning of the race as the numbers were coming up high. Eventually I gave up and just enjoyed the effort my legs were putting out. Racing pro is always a lonely but fun ride and I was encouraged to see another pro girl every 10- 15 miles in the distance. Entering transition they announced I was in 5th place. I could hear them announcing that there was another pro girl, Kelly Couch just leaving. I figured I was a minute behind her. So I ran quick and saw her in the distance. I tried to settle right into a comfortable pace as I knew I shouldn't go after her in the first mile. It was so hot that I really did not want to blow up early on. I decided I would run the first six miles controlled and then try pick it up the second six. My legs were feeling great and by mile three I had caught her. When I got to the turn around I was dissapointed to see I had not made up much time and that there was a few good girls coming up behind me. Fiona Docherty was running super fast. I knew I had to pick up the pace/effort. There were no mile markers this year so I had no idea what kind of pace I was running. I just kept an eye on my heart rate. I pushed a little harder. This on a normal day would have me running 6.20-6.30 pace. Today because of the heat I was holding around 7 minute miles. ( I found this out at the end)
Kelly pulled up next to me around mile 7. I figured we could work together and push each other for a mile. I laughed and said we better pick it up as Fiona is coming. At mile 8 Kelly stopped for a drink and I kept going. Around 11 or so Fiona passed me and I tried to stay behind her for about 30 seconds. She was moving and I did my best to stay close to her. My heart rate went up to the 170's and I pushed harder to hold 5th position. I knew Kelly was close so I ran pretty hard to the finish line.
I did save some time to smile and say hi to my kids.
I really had a great time out there and enjoyed every part of the race! It was fun to see and have the support of alot of the local guys that I have trained with throughout the last 8 years. Great job guys!