Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sweet and Twisted Tri

The Sweet and Twisted Tri was this last weekend out at Pace Bend park just west of Austin. It is a Women only event and the friendliness of the event draws many 1st time racers, and the prizes awarded to the age group and overall top finishers also bring out some good athletes getting in a good speed workout in preparation for a bigger race. Which is exactly what this race for me. After Vineman 70.3 and my injury , i took the last 5 weeks to get myself healthy and get in a good block of focused training in preparation for a few more big races for this 2nd half of my racing season. This race was going to let me know if what i have been doing in training has been paying off, and give me insight as to what to work on these next few weeks.

We were the first wave to go off, and the swim flew by. I came out 2nd and just 20 sec behind the lead girl. I have been putting alot of focus on my swim training the last 5 weeks and also changed my stroke up quite a bit - Thanks Maurice and T3 Swim workouts, so it was good to see that pay off. i still have a long way to go with my swim but at least i feel like i am moving in the right direction now.

I quickly ran up the hill to transition , all went smooth and by the time i got on my bike i was already caught up to the lead girl . I immediately passed her and started to really push it and try to put some good time on her. my legs were hurting and i could hardly breath, which always concerns me and makes me think i am unfit where truthfully it is just me giving it all i got and the way i should feel in a Sprint race. The pace i was holding was way faster than i had held before on this course, so it was confirmation of the pain i was feeling.
I came up on a cop who had his back to me and was directing traffic into a turn that i thought i was supposed to take . The turn was completely coned off in the centre,not allowing anyone to take the turn so i kept going straight - which would have been similar to last years course for this race. The course last year took the cyclists all the way out the park and about a mile and a half through some rolling hills. I kept heading in that direction expecting to see the turn around , but as i came to the point where i expected the turnaround to be, i saw noone. I looked back , didnt see anyone following me,and realised i had gone way off course. I turned around half hoping the girl i had passed to come in my direction to confirm i was infact on the right course, but it didnt happen. I booked it back, frustrated that i didnt take that turn or at least ask the cop, i knew better. I got back to the turn , and those cones had been moved out of the way now, and everyone was taking that turn . uurrghhh.. I put my head down, knowing i had just cycled an extra 3 miles and the other girls were probably way ahead. The course is pretty techinical with downhill turns and in the past i always clip the breaks a little on the turns to be safe, but me being so far behind made fearless/reckless , and i was flying down the hills. I came to the end of the 1st loop and saw Steve with his hands up questioning what had happened, i told him "went off course" .and He in turn told me i was in 3rd and not to worry. I was close.. and it made me work even harder. I stood up and sprinted for every hill and anytime i felt my pace go down a touch. i really wanted to come off the bike first and not have to run anyone down. But that didnt happen , i passed one of the girls and came off the bike in 2nd.

I got through transition quickly and heard the announcer say that i was a minute and a half behind. the run course was on a trail surface and very open/unshaded and i could see her ahead. The first thing i look for in anyone running infront of me is their cadence. Hers was alot slower than mine, so i felt good that i was going to catch her, but i wanted to make the pass as soon as possible so i found myself literally sprinting for the first mile. my breathing was totally out of control, but i kept telling myself it was only 3 miles. I got to her just before the 1st mile marker and kept the crazy pace going for a little while longer just to make sure that she wouldnt think that she could run with me and try to latch on. About 500 m later i had distanced myself quite a bit so i decided to try slow is down a touch and get my breathing under control since at this point i wasnt sure if i would even make it to the finish line. The heat was really taking its toll and i was starting to feel light headed and goosefleshy. The rest of the way, i just told myself one foot infront of the other and it will be over before i know it. I came over the line exhausted and relieved that i had dug myself out of a stupid mistake on the bike and still managed a win.

So the funniest part of the day is that at the awards , i was 2nd on the overall podium. A lady who had just done her first tri had "won" by 11 min . But what really happened is that she missed a whole 7 mile loop on the bike. The had some mishaps with the timing mats so they had no splits for the bike at that time, so had no way to prove her wrong .And since she was 100 percent sure that she had done the whole course she stood on top of the podium. I didnt say anything when she came up to me afterwards, I wasnt going to be the one to burst her bubble.

Unfortunately the whole incident did kick a few other deserving girls off the podium and out of some cool prizes( think soleus watch and Simply fit foods G.C, aswell as other schwag. )
A fun race and some fun stories we are still talking about. Any day i get to race is a great day, and that it was ! And yes, the results came out a day later and i did win afterall .. too funny...

1 comment:

  1. Whoops apocalypse on the timing, someone should have asked the "winner" a few simple questions...

    We used to be slower with manual timing but you would have all the splits on paper, even if you missed one or even two you could see if something like this had happended... Well done on a fab race, it sucks to go wrong in the lead, ask the leaders in the London Tri, they got it wrong a few times even with a lead car!!