Thursday, June 25, 2015

Race Recaps- Legends Free State Sprint Tri and El Dorado Lake Sprint Tri

June is coming to an end so I will briefly recap my two races I did this month. Even though they were both sprint the way I raced them was night and day.

Even though I am in crunch time for Muncie 70.3 and putting in 10 hours of training a week, I still enjoy racing as it breaks up the monotony of constantly swimming, biking, and running for hours on end. On second thought, I don't just enjoy racing, I LOVE racing. I can't just exercise to exercise, it needs to have purpose for me, racing gives me that purpose. Every time I hit the pool or the road, it is serving a purpose to me beyond just staying healthy, and that has been what has driven me the past five years. Since I started tri training in June 2010 I have been consistent with my triathlon training because of my love for racing. This is the reason why I was so angry at myself after Legends Free State.

Going in to the race I was already annoyed, the race director put out that there is no race day packet pick-up. Not wanting to get a hotel room, Joel and I drove to the race site 90 minutes away to pick up my packet, and drove 90 minutes home, just to wake up at 2 a.m. the next morning to do it again. Getting in to the state park was hectic, then the almost 2 mile walk from the parking area to transition left me with 7 minutes to set up transition. Fortunately one of my wonderful teammates Therese all the way from Iowa was doing the olympic and she found me setting up transition. This did a 180 on my mood and I was really happy to see her and I was able to smile and be happy for the first time all morning. It was so nice talking to her as we were waiting for the race to start.

Me and Therese pre race
Almost go time
Swim was a wetsuit swim, and I'm getting a lot better at open water swimming, as well as figuring out a wetsuit will actually allow you to float if you let it. Too bad it took me this long to figure that out. I finished somewhere in the middle for one of my better open water swims. The bike was hilly, no surprise there. I biked well and finished towards the front. The run made me question everything in my tri heart though.

Starting the bike
I got to mile 1 on the run, and all of a sudden I didn't want to push anymore. I have had the blues for awhile living here in Kansas, and it just got to me. It was as if all the sadness and all the loneliness hit me at once and I just didn't care anymore. I missed my friends and training partners I had in Georgia. I knew that after the race I would go home to Fort Riley and have no training partners to train with, I just got.........really sad and in that moment of time it didn't feel worth it to push. I literally jogged the rest of the run at an easy pace (for me) and my run split was 25:04, my slowest sprint tri run split ever.

I ended up placing 2nd in age group, 6th overall female. Awards were not ready, they said they would be mailed off by the end of the next week, but it has been 3 weeks and I still haven't received my award in the mail.

But the beer was good, and after Therese finished I got to meet her family and hang out with her for a little while before she had to hit the road back to Iowa.

Me and Therese post race
Getting home I couldn't help but to feel immense disappointment in myself. Since my intestine rupture in January 2014 I have been doing good at not being so hard on myself, but this was different, I mentally gave up. I truly couldn't believe I let that happen. The move to Kansas has been good for everyone except me. I am a very positive person, above all I choose happiness, but I have been having a hard time since we moved here. I haven't really found my place here yet, but I am still holding on to hope. I am ecstatic that my husband's career has taken off since we moved here and that he has so much pride in his job now whereas he used to have so much doom and gloom (and chest pain) just getting ready for work every morning. I am truly happy for him and seeing his happiness every day shows me that this move was worth it. Seeing my children happy here brings me so much joy. I know my time will come, I am just getting a bit impatient.

Since I am heavy in to the Muncie 70.3 training cycle I was just going to train through the month of June and try to put this race behind me. Joel could tell it was really bothering me so he encouraged me to do one more sprint tri until Muncie. He was right, I mentally needed to have a good short race before Muncie. I found the El Dorado Lake Sprint Tri taking place two weeks later in south Kansas. They were offering race day packet pick-up so I went ahead and registered.

The next two weeks my training went great. I worked on adapting to the heat and not letting my heart rate spike on hills. I got in a 65 mile bike ride, my longest ride in 2 years. I leaned on my husband and best friend for support. Thankful for technology, I clung to my triathlon friends scattered all over the country. Going in to the race I mentally felt better.

Joel went with me to the El Dorado Sprint Tri. Arriving to the race site I already felt at ease. The atmosphere was happy and relaxed, my first time experiencing this Georgia-type tri atmosphere since moving here. I felt really good and the race hadn't even started yet. I felt ready, and I felt I could be fast today. So dramatically different than I had felt two week prior. I met two triathlon buddies who live in the next town over from me and it was so nice to chat before the swim start. It was a nice, low key race, I had a good feeling about it.

My naturally crazy hair
75 degree lake water meant a wetsuit swim. I had a really good swim. I allowed the wetsuit to let me float and kept my sighting on the buoys. It has taken me this long to learn you can't swim in a lake like a pool. Another great swim for me, this was probably my best open water swim in a sprint. Uphill run to T1 was a good way to get blood pumping in the legs, I was ready to ride! I made a big mistake out of T1, I ran out of the bike in and heard the beep of my chip, noooooo!!!!! The volunteers had me go under the rope to get back in transition and had me run over the bike out timing mat. A volunteer ran alongside me to get my race number so she could run over and get my timing fixed. Joel was spectating along the beginning of the bike course and I tried to tell him what happened but he looked really confused. I rode hard for the 12.5 mile bike ride, in the back of my mind I was worried I might be disqualified for the timing mat mishap. I tried not the think about it. Fun bike course with not too many hills, headwind all the way back.

Swim start

Attempting to tell Joel what happened, he was confused
In T2 I hit the right timing mat this time. I got ready to run in well under a minute. As I was heading out to the run I found the volunteer from the T1 mishap, she told me my timing was fixed. YAY YAY!!! I thanked her 3 or 4 time and have her 2 high fives, I was so happy that my race wasn't over. A few feet out of transition I got a high five from the race director.

High five from race director
Beginning of the run
Joel ran alongside me for a few feet to find out what I was talking about out of T1. I briefly told him the story in 10 seconds and and got a "good luck sweetie I love you" as I hit the running path. I was running well. I felt tired of course, since its a race, but I stayed engaged in the race and kept my pace well under 8 minute miles. There was a big out and back on the run and I realized there were only 2 women in front of me. Most of the run went through the shaded campgrounds. There was a half mile stretch at about 2.3 miles that was exposed but I stared at the ground and kept my run cadence up, know if I looked ahead it might slow my pace. Off of the path there was a sharp left turn to the finish line. For the first time since we moved here, triathlon or running race, I sprinted through the finish line. Even though I was exhausted, I felt an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment. Joel told me I finished 3rd female.

Sprinting to the finish
Talking to Joel while we were waiting for awards, I was all smiles. I felt great, I felt like myself again. I was able to let go what had happen two weeks prior. I learned from it and I moved on.

 The race vibe here was so happy and positive. The race production company is called Oz Endurance, looking forward to doing more of their races.

3rd overall female
15 days to Muncie 70.3. I start my taper on Monday. Can't wait for race day!

Thanks for reading!

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