I guess this post is kind of a two-fer.
On May 9 I raced the Market Street Road Race in Ravensdale, WA. The Cat 3 women raced with the 1-2 women in this race but were scored separately. The race was 5 loops on a rolling 9 mile course.
We started with about 22-25 women. There were a bunch of Wines, Group Health, IJM.com, Blue Rooster, and even a few Hagens women. I was an orphan as were two other women. The pace was decently fast for the first lap and I think we shelled a few women. The second lap was pretty pedestrian. There were a few half-hearted attacks but nothing stuck.
Then, at the beginning of lap 3 a Group Health girl attacked and took a few other women with her. This break of 5 just kind of hung in front of the pack for a few miles. After a little while, I noticed that the break had a girl from almost every large team in it which is why no one was chasing. Right as I noticed this, Martha, who was also racing alone, made a move up the side of the pack. I jumped on her wheel and when we got to the front I attacked and started chasing the break. It took me a couple of minutes to catch the break and once I did, I realized that I hadn't taken anyone else with me!
I sat in the back of the break for a few minutes while I caught my breath before rotating in to take some pulls. One other girl from the pack caught us making us a group of 7 before the follow car was finally behind us.
The pace was manageable for the rest of laps 3 and 4. On lap 5, the wines girls (who had 3 in the break) started attacking and counter-attacking. I just did my best to hold on. It was during this last lap that I noticed there was only one other Cat 3 woman in the break so all I had to do for the win was beat her.
On the final climb before the 1k mark, we really pushed the pace and dropped one girl. We let off a little bit over the top and then 4 of the 1-2 women took off. I stayed with the other Cat 3 woman and let her pull me to the 200m mark where I sprinted around her and one of the other 1-2 women who had taken off. I finished 4th overall and 1st for the 3's. Not as glorious as being first across the line, but I'll take it.
Last weekend was the Onionman Triathlon in Walla Walla, WA. I did this race once in 2007 and ended up with a really disappointing result, barely finishing in the top 10. This year, I wanted revenge.
The swim is 2 laps in a small reservoir just outside of downtown Walla Walla. It's a small race so we do a mass start. Just like last time I did this race, the start was rougher than an Ironman start. Just tons of clawing and dunking and punching. Not much fun.
It took me probably 300m to find a comfortable space to swim in. I was in a pack with a few men and one other woman and I managed to stay with them for the whole swim.
About 3/4 of the way through our 2nd loop, I passed a woman who was still on her first loop. More power to her but man, I couldn't imagine having an hour+ 1500m swim.
I was disappointed with my swim time but when I compared it to other people's I realized that I actually swam really well, the course was just probably long.
4/75 individual women
T1 was uneventful. The transition area is kind of steep so i did more of a shuffle than a run out of the water and onto the bike.
This bike is what destroyed my race in 2007. I was determined not to let it happen again. The bike is an out and back but it's a false flat the entire way out. I've heard that you gain somewhere between 800-900 feet in the 12.5 miles out to the turnaround. It can also be windy as heck. Sunday was no exception. It was so windy out that when I took my bike out of the car and put the disc wheel on, the wind nearly blew it out of my hands.
The bike was fine for the first few miles until I hit a crosswind near an onion field. I definitely got blown over a foot or two but managed to keep it upright and keep moving.
I passed a few women right off the bat and kept just powering away knowing that after the turnaround it would get a lot faster. At the turnaround, I realized I was in first place although Kara N. was right behind me. I made it my goal not to let Kara pass me until I was off the bike (girl can run) and this was my motivation not to slack just because I was going down hill.
I came into transition feeling good but not super confident in my current run fitness. Kara came in seconds behind me.
2/75 individual women
T2 was also fast and uneventful. Kara's T2 was faster than mine and she passed me in transition. Dang.
I know I said I fell apart on the bike in 2007 but the run was where I had really paid for it. I think I ran a bit over 50 minutes last time I did this race ... really disappointing. My goal for this year was to run somewhere in the neighborhood of 48 minutes. My running has been going pretty well although I have been slacking lately so I wasn't sure that I could do it.
Since Kara was just a little in front of me heading out on the run, I did my best to keep her in my sights. I won't lie, I felt like shit. It was windy and hot and my feet hurt and *complain complain complain*.
At the turnaround, I could still see Kara, she had put some time into me, but not too much and no other women had passed me. After I turned around I saw two women right behind me. One was closing in fast and the other was still about .2 miles behind me but was running really fast. I tried not to think about being run down by these women and kept trucking.
A little before a mile to go, one woman passed me. She had definitely picked up the pace and I knew I just didn't have it in my legs to chase her. I tried to stay on her heels but once we hit a hill, I just couldn't.
I kept wanting to look behind me to see if that other woman was going to pass me as well but I made myself just keep focusing on the finish. I could tell that I had blisters on my arches (txs new balance) and I just wanted to be done running as quickly as possible.
With 200m to go, I was pretty darn sure I wasn't going to get run down. I rounded the corner to the finish and saw 2:22:xx on the clock. Awesome! a 10 minute improvement over 2007.
I crossed the line feeling very pleased with myself.
6/75 individual women
3/75 individual women
All in all, very pleased with this race. I'm happy that all the bike racing I've been doing hasn't killed my triathlon mojo and I'm extra special happy that I got revenge on this race!
2 weeks ago