Michael and I are finally home relaxing and preparing for our journey to AZ in only 1 week. I have had some time to reflect on my 16th place this past weekend. And while I am disapointed in my run time of 1:34, I am encouraged about my swim and my bike.
The race started early for the pro women. Our race was at 6:43, three minutes after the men’s wave. It was freezing cold and I was really looking forward to feeling the 70 degrees that was promised later that day. I had a great start swimming well within my group of girls including Sian Welch and eventual winner, Kate Major. I was swimming hard the first 200 meters, putting my head down and “going for it”, until I hit a small yellow buoy with my face and losing my goggles. The shock was momentarily as I husseled to put my goggles back on my face and start swimming hard again. Unfortunately I lost the group and was swimming all by myself. I had a great swim considering and was off on my bike.
I looked around the transition and noticed that Sian didn’t pick her arm warmers up. SO I thought, “I don’t need mine either”. That was my mistake! I literally froze the first hour plus of the bike. My poor feet were like ice blocks. My legs were burning and I was just trying to warm myself up. I was shaking from either nerves, caffeine, being cold, or all of the above. I thought to myself, ok, there is nothng you can do at this point, just try to keep it going and ride the best you can. I passed a few girls on the ride, and a few girls passed me. Altogether, I had a great ride and came into transition focused and ready to run fast:).
As I started the run, I knew immediately that I was “off”. My legs felt heavy and flat. As I went throught the first mile, I saw 7:02 pace. I thought to myself, oh no….I usually start my half ironman run in the low 6 range. I tried to push, however, my body wasn’t going to let me go hard. The most unusual thing happened as my calves were cramping the final 5 miles. I usually don’t ever have cramping issues and hardly ever use salt unless in Hawaii. I’m not sure if it had to do with being near the ocean or having my body temperature change during the race. In any case, I maintained a 7:16 pace until the end running a 1:34. I was a little disappointed knowing that my fitness is pretty good and knowing that this is just 4 seconds off of my marathon pace for the marathon. However, I also realize that if I had run to my potential fitness, that my legs might be completely trashed.
I feel like I had a good first race in California and I am really glad that i did it. It gave me the chance to shake out my legs and get a race under my belt before IM AZ.