Monday, May 17, 2010
Florida 70.3 Race Report and a new attitude!
Well I am home after a quick two and a half days in Orlando.
I am happy with my result from the Florida 70.3. I managed to finish 5th Pro in a time of 4hrs29min and a new Half Ironman PR. ( well besides Florida 70.3 Worlds but that doesn't count and we all know why).....My splits were Swim 31 Bike 2.24 Run 1.29.
Now I don't mean to be overly enthusiastic by my result as 1-4 would have been even better. But a solid performance and a pay day(especially with the new 8% rule) is always a reason for excitement!
Leanda Cave, Amanda Stevens, Migali Tisseyre,Ayesha Rollinson and me!
So to recap my day....
My day started at 3.30am, as this race starts literally as the sun peeks up over the water.With a 6.20am start means an early breakfast if you want to play by the 3 hour to digest your food rule! Also I was staying just outside of Disney property and needed to give myself plenty of time to get to the rather difficult but pretty race site at Fort Wilderness!
Breakfast for this race was a gluten free bagel with jam, vitamins(Optygen HP and Multivitamin) and a small bottle of EFS.
The morning went smooth and I had enough time to lay out my gear, make a few bathroom stops and do a little run as they were not giving us any swim warm up.(not good for me)
At 6.23 sharp the women's pro field gun went off and I high kneed into the water followed by some dolphin dives. This enabled me to stay with the lead pack for 20 seconds longer than I would have normally as running was involved.
I settled in to a nice pace that was obviously a little too comfortable looking at the time. My swim went relatively fast and I was happy as the water was warm and calm and the buoys were well set up well and easy to see! I knew I was pulling at least one girl as she constantly touched my feet which was kind of a reminder to me to keep pushing hard. I felt good on the swim and actually caught one of the girls that was swimming on her own ahead of me....I guess all the 5000 meter swims are paying are off....just not in the speed department.
T1 is always fast and a little hectic but I was pleased to see about ten bikes still in the transition area.
But most of those girls were right behind me and it was a sprint to see who could get out of transition fastest. So race on and I did a good job getting out onto my bike. I went out with Tamara, Heather Jackson, and a few others. The lead pack of Leanda Cave,Nina Kraft,Sara McLarty, Amanda Stevens and Migali Tisseyre were already a few minutes ahead. So I knew I had to do my best to stay with the girls around me. After biking alone in New Orleans and in Tennessee I really wanted to feel like I was in the race. So I chose to push harder than I normally would early in the race.
A few miles into the race Tamara passed me. I know she is a solid biker so I decided to let her get no further than 400 meters ahead of me. My plan was to always have someone in sight. A few miles later Heather Jackson passed me. I know she got the fastest bike split in New Orleans and I knew if I could keep her in sight for a while I would be gearing up for a good bike. I went into this race with goals and a new attitude...something I did not have my last two races. I had specific times I wanted to do...they weren't set in stone as I know you have to adapt according to what the day throws you ...heat, wind etc but I made myself a plan and it gave me something to focus on.
I felt great on the Kestrel and was thrilled to have my power back. I think the fit that Coach Paulo did in Tennessee really helped me get comfortable and I felt the best I have all year!
Throughout the race I was happy to see that the drafting officials kept our pro girls (well the ones that I could see at various times) racing very clean for a flat course. That made me HAPPY and at one point I thanked them for it! This was my fastest bike split in a few years and I did feel like my legs were fatiguing near the end. I rode my own race though and had to eventually let some of the girls out of my site as they were pushing a little out of my comfort zone. I also made sure to stick to my nutrition plan of 3 bottles of EFS and that seemed to work perfectly.
I was thrilled when I came into T2 and saw my 2hr24min bike split. I was also a little nervous as I was not sure how my legs were going to feel. Well there was no time to think about it as I had some girls to go try catch. Another thing I really liked about this course was the ability to see your competition over and over as it is a three loop course. This is very motivating especially when you see the girls up ahead starting to fall apart. For this race I decided to race with a heart rate monitor so I knew how hard I was pushing. I knew it was going to be hot and I had to pace myself early on. So I kept my heart rate steady and ran controlled. This course has about 8 miles of uneven grass running that gets very hot...95 degree hot! When you are tired and getting dehydrated it can be very tough! But I kept my mind so positive this race...I reminded myself about how much I love racing in the heat and how forgiving the grass felt. I was passing girls and that felt good. When Ayesha passed me around mile 7 I tried to keep her close. I dug deeper and managed to bring my miles back down to 6.40/6.45 pace. I could see the speedy Kim Loeffler working hard to catch me...she was running fast and making up time and I knew I had to give it my all! With one mile to go I was told I was in 5th place 40 seconds behind 4th. I pushed as hard as I could making up 10 seconds but just not enough to catch 4th.
I was thrilled to be 5th on a day like this with such great competition.
Last Thursday I was very undecided about racing. My knee had been bothering me for weeks and my chiropractor was strongly suggesting that I take it easy. I was thinking that I may just stay at home or do a small local race. My friend agreed with me that it was a far way to go when I wasn't feeling 100%. Instead just when I was about to not go it became very clear to me that I really wanted to race! I actually had forgotten why I race... the challenge,the excitement, the energy and...the competition. I could take the easy way out or I could go and test myself,race hard and do the best I can.
My son Tanner was going to be in his own competition while I was racing His first Tae Kwondo full contact sparring competition. I explained to him my decision to go...that the better the competition the better you feel when you do well.
I thought of my son often while I raced. I raced for him....I raced hard as I felt the need to make the most of my day...I did not want to feel like I had anything left over. He was doing the same. He took a challenge...he faced the big boys and he got beat up ....but he hung in there and proved that he had heart and that he deserved to be there. He won his round against a boy 2 years older and a foot taller than him who kicked him in the head and stomach repeatedly. Tanner was tough and I was racing to show him that you have to be tough to do well. I am so proud of him and the athlete he is becoming and I was proud of myself on Sunday and the athlete I work hard to be!
So all in all a good positive weekend and some good lessons learned. Next up Quassy Rev3 race in a few weeks!