Michael and I are getting ready to leave beautiful St. Croix in only one hour.
However, I wanted to give a short race report before some of my memory and some of the details from the race are clouded. I enjoy writing my race report within 24 hours of race finish. Sometimes if I wait longer, my immediate and raw feelings are lost…
I awoke race morning at 1am, unable to go back to sleep, eager in anticipation for race morning. I had been waking up at 3am for the past 3 days. Despite the early wake up times, I believe that I was very rested for this race. My need for sleep was not really there. I felt ready!
As I lay there, patiently waiting for the alarm to go off at 3:45, I thought about the day that was ahead of me. I had talked to Cliff and ML about what to expect on race day. We talked about my training. We talked about making our own luck happen. We talked day the sort of day that I would have if I raced like I train. ML and Cliff have so much confidence in my ablity. I never believe ML when he tells me what he believes what I can do. After all he is my loving husband.
The truth is that I am a realist. I know my abiltiy and I am not delusional. It’s important for me to be able to do things in training before I believe that I can do it in a race.
…Lucky for me, Dede Griesbauer was in Ausitn for 5 weeks leading up to St. Croix. After 70.3 CA, I aligned myself up with her and I had 3 solid weeks of wheel sucking. Dede is by far the strongest female rider that I have ever ridden with. We did some epic rides together. Riding with her gave me a good bit of confidence coming into this race. Not only is Dede a strong rider, but she is a great gal with lots of great advice. In fact, after my 2.5 weeks with her, ML has ordered both of us a power tap…LOL!
Back to the race…
As we swam over to the beach, I thought about my swim start. I needed to be aggressive just like CA 70.3. I lined up next to Lisa B. I’ve swum with her before. And I knew that my swimming was really good. If I had a good start, I knew that I could sit at the back of that pack and hold on at least for 300-400 meters. My swim wish was dashed however, when we ran into the water and I was absolutely pummeled. I got a bit timid and backed off. Within 25 meters, I was already alone. By 200 meters, I couldn’t even see the pack of girls…and I was pulling the back of the pack…GREAT! Not ideal, but at that point, you just do what you can. I knew that I was going to have to pull these girls around the course and I was bummed. Whenever I have someone else’s feet to sit on, I work harder and I always swim faster. But, I did what I could and I quickly got onto the bike.
Memories of last year came back to me slightly. I crashed coming out of T1 last year. That memory was quickly forgotten as I started putting the smack down on the bike. ML kept telling me that I needed to race like I trained with Dede. And I kept reminding myslef of that throughout the bike…
The “beast” came and went…total breeze. However, at mile 25, I had that weird heart rate thing happen to me again. This time, this race, I didn’t have any caffeine at all as I was afraid that it was the culprit at Ca 70.3. For about 15-20min my heart rate was 208-210. I just settled in waiting for it to drop. At that time Jo Lawn and two other girls were all together with me. I just pedaled on. It was sort of strange. No one seemed to make a move. However, once my heart rate dropped, I decided that it was time for me to go. Jo came with me. It was awesome for me to feel like I was in the mix with some one like the great Jo Lawn! With 10 or so miles to go, we picked up Lisa Bentley who had been getting her shoe duck taped at one of the aid stations. Now I was riding with two amazing athletes…I was REALLY in the mix. We were probably in 6th-7th- and 8th positions.
As we all came into t2 together, racked our bikes, put our shoes on, I took inventory of how I was feeling…My legs felt good and I was ready to run!
I was the last girl out of transition out of us three girls. I caught Jo right out of T2. Lisa was about 10 seconds up. I ran steady thinking about all of the great track session and 2-mile repeats that I had done with my friends Cassie and Terra. Cassie would beat the crap out of me on these workouts and my plan was to race like I trained when I was with her…
Just around a mile or so, I realized that Lisa wasn’t running any faster than me. In fact, I was slightly catching her. My effort was relaxed and I felt good. All of the sudden I was actually running WITH Lisa! OMG! I was actually running with her!!!! We ran together, pushing each other for four miles hitting 6:28′s down to 6:03. At the long ascent in the the Buccanneer, Lisa put a bit of time on me. I believe that mile was 7:20 However, the next mile I was back at 6:21. I don’t have any more splits as I lost the mile markers after mile 6. I did blow a bit with about 2 miles to go. I am, however, extremely pleased with how I ran. I went for it! And I didn’t get intimidated by someone that I consider a hero in our sport.
I finished 6th yesterday in a field that was extremely competitive. I had a few issues during the day, but I was able to work through them. I fought really hard and I am extremely pleased that I was able to race like I trained!
A huge thank you to all of my friends who called, text, and e-mailed me. All of your well wishes, thoughts, and good energy mean more than you really know. It was especially awesome to have my triathlon friends who really know me, who have trained with me, and who respect me as a person, and as an athlete give me so much support. So meaningful and so awesome…thank you!
The smartest decision that ML and I made last Ocotber was hiring Cliff English to coach me. In fact, he now coaches Michael. Without Cliff, I would be still scratching my head trying to figure things out. Cliff is a bad ass! We mesh well together and we are so excited that he is a big part of team LOVATO! Thank you CLIFF!
Last but not least, a huge thank you to all of my sponsors including Blue Seventy, Splish, Brand Betty, TRAKKERS, First Endurance, SCOTT, Jack and Adams, Boulder Running Company, Race Day Wheels, Oakley, and ZINKA.