This Mothers Day, 100's of women celebrated by racing in the Skeese Greets Triathlon put on by Stacy Skeese, wife of Jack of Jack and Adams and owner of Skeese Greets,a greeting card company that uses bicycle chain designs to celebrate every occassion. If anyone ever receives a card from me, they would know that i personally use these cards all the time and actually used one of her cards for a wedding i went to the night before the race. Check out www.skeese.com. And got to give a shout out to the New Mr and Mrs Ryan and Lainy Peterson.
Anyway, Back to the race. It is a local womens only race that is very short in distance, a Super Sprint, and ideal for the new triathlete giving the sport a first time go at a distance that is not too daunting, and then great for the more experience triathlete wanting to go all out and see where their pain threshold lies or treat it as a speed workout for another race down the line. I am racing the Florida 70.3 this up coming Sunday, so i went into this race to get one more good hard workout in before i rest up aswell as see how my fitness was compared to last year when i did this race.
Had my usual oatmeal, banana breakfast with coffee and a bottle of Hammer Heed and Water in my cool Clean Bottles. Then right before the swim i took down 2 salt tablets and a Hammer gel, which would count as my fueling for the race since i knew it would only be about 45-50 min long.
Swim went well,or at least i felt good and swam somewhat straight. I came 2nd out of the water in my wave right behind Angie Balentine, an awesome swimmer and triathlete, who will be representing at Kona this year after qualifying at Ironman Arizona last year. I knew i would be behind her out of the swim and have to chase her down on the bike, but i didnt think it would be by as much as it was since my swimming has improved quite a bit, i thought. But I guess not enough, still got work to do ! I got a little draft off her for the first 150 meters or so, then at the turn bouy she was off !! She came out of the water a whole minute ahead of me. The unfortunate thing about this swim is that i swam through the part of the water that is literally black in color. So i fear to see my race pics and no that i will have a black beard for all of them.
Got out on the bike and felt great. While i may not be swimming much faster in time, i am at least coming out the water feeling alot fresher after a hard swim and ready to attack on the bike, where the race really begins for me. I started out really strong and i was moving alot faster and alot easier than i had last year.yay. I was passing most of the gals that had been in the wave ahead but still had Angie out in front, and i could see the gap closing. At about mile 3 Angie was just 100 ft ahead and i was so focused on closing in on her, that i didnt really pay attention to a seriously sharp turn up ahead aswell as a gal that was getting ready to turn right infront of me. I came up on her quickly, a little too much so , and there was not enough space for us both to take the turn. Unfortunately what that meant is that i took the off road route after going through the cones, barely missing the cop car and slid into the gravel on the side of the road. My first bike crash of my tri career. They say its no IF that happens its WHEN,so knowing that i was always curious at to how i would react if i had to ever fall in a race. Well, now i know. The cop that was standing at the corner, came running up to my aid to help me up asking if i was ok. i pushed him off , said "fine, fine" and got back on bike to take off. I was in such a hurry i didnt see that my chain had slipped off, so as i started to try and pedal, i immediately fell over again on the same side and shoulder, which happens to be my bad tennis shoulder. ugh. The cop stayed away this time, kindly pointing out the the chain was dropped and that i needed to put it back on before i try to take off this time. After some fiddling i finally got it back on and got going. The only problem was now i was riding with a "clack,clack,clack". I played with the gears and the chain wasnt switching between the gears or holding onto anything in the big chain ring, so i switched down to the small chain ring (which i never ride in)and the "clacking" went away. I just kept it in that gear and found myself spinning at around a 110-120 cadence, and sometimes bouncing around in my seat like you see folks doing in a Spin class at the gym. You know what i am talking about. Anyway, i finally caught up to Angie about mile 7 and then the lead girl from the wave infront of us at mile 9. After passing her and having the sag vehicle lead me in, i relaxed, started to chuckle at myself and just cruised the last bit in. That is all i was really chasing, i just wanted to come off the bike in first and then see how my fall was going to affect my run and just adjust accordingly. I wasnt going to DNF but knew walking was maybe going to be apart of this race since i didnt want to further hurt myself.
Got out onto the run, and luckily felt ok. Thank you God. So i was off. I had the goal of trying to run sub 6 minute miles going into the race, but after the fall i didnt want to stretch myself too far and in turn have something start hurting, so i thought i would treat this run as a good mental pace prep for Florida and try to pace myself accordingingly. I started out a little too fast just to make sure i had that gap on 2nd but then a half a mile in i took my foot of the gas, controlled my breathing and cadence and just enjoyed the rest of the run highfiving all the girls on the return home since it was an out and back and stayed steady at a 6:30 pace. I would like to think i could have continued to run somewhere close to that pace for another 11 miles, and i feel i am ready to do that bargaining that i nail my nutrition and salt intake this time and avoid the cramps that come along with that distance for me. I will shoot for it and we will see Sunday.
Post race had an awesome massage by Advanced Rehab folks who keep me race healthy all year long.Had my usual post race snack of an Oatmega bar or two( mocha flavor being my favorite ), Pedialyte to restore electrolytes lost, and nibbled on items from the Post race "buffet" which had fruit , Honey Milk Protein Drinks ( yum ), tacos and more.
While by the grace of God, i didnt get seriously injured, i did get a bit banged up on the right shoulder and hip, so hoping the bruised feeling will be completely gone by Sunday and i wont wince anytime i get a hello pat on the arm. Which funnily enough, everyone pats on the right arm, which i just found out over the last 3 days.
Below are photos of the Run. Thank you Tammy Metzger for your awesome photography skills for catching me with both feet of the ground. Of the finishline with Desiree Ficker, Terra Castro and Jen nieman - props go out to them for volunteering on what would normally be a good training day after sleeping in for them. Of me in the Advanced Rehab tent, and lastly with 2 young, talented and promosing triathletes Savanna Overly and Ashley Chapa. Excited to see there continued improvement in the sport in what no doubt will be a successful career ahead for both of them, and i am waiting with bated breath when they start beating me to the finishline. Oh, dont we wish we had found this sport when they did.