2012 race #2, done. Today was the South Bay Du.
The day started with a racing heart, as I popped up in bed sure that my alarm had not gone off and I was late. Even though I set my watch alarm, just in case our smart clock didn't turn out to be quite so smart and forgot to spring ahead. After a few heart pounding seconds, I realized I was up 5 minutes before the alarm was set to blare. Dang...I probably just spiked into Z5....and all before the race!
Up for breakfast, out the door, and into the car. It was a bit of a drive, but of course it never takes quite as long as I think it will. And with the small-ish race there wasn't a huge amount of traffic to contend with. Got set up in transition, moved to a better spot that Molly had saved for me, chatted for a bit, warmed up. Soon enough it was time to wander over to the start cones. Ladies first for this race, with 40+ going off in the second wave (younger ladies first).
Run1: I'm really working on not jumping out too fast....not sure I've succeeded at this just yet. There are some super fasties in the 40-44 women's AG. And no, I am not one of them. I'm faster than I used to be, but definitely not fast. I was happy with my pace for this run, but not really thrilled to feel the wind in my face on one of the sides of the rectangular course. I tried tucking in behind some bigger folks, especially once the guys caught up. I just couldn't quite find anyone at my pace to hang with. Either too fast, or too slow. Two (and a little extra) short miles later, I was running into transition and grabbing my bike.
Bike: A recurring theme with me and my bike is that of perceived effort. I have a really hard time "feeling" how hard I should be working. Of course, during the race it always feels like I'm working hard, but then I look back and wonder if it really was as hard as I thought. It's time to race with a power meter, methinks. I have one on the wheels I train with, but not my race wheels. I thought I was getting closer to having the feel for this last year (especially during my half iron race), so maybe it's just a matter of re-teaching myself how hard to go. The bike was two mostly flat 5 mile loops with just one short steep-ish hill. Unfortunately the roads weren't closed and on the second bike loop I got stuck on that hill behind a guy towing a boat who was, understandably, hesitant to cross the double yellow and pass the cyclists. Frustrating. And with a pace that was just slightly faster than the pace at my last half iron race, I was definitely disappointed with the bike leg. But that's the good thing about such a short race, you can't get too worked up about any one thing because before you know it you're on to something else. I managed my 'flying' dismount, but at the cost of a HUGE cramp in one calf. Ouch.
Run2: Or....hey, who put that cement in my shoes. Okay, it wasn't quite that bad, but the legs definitely didn't have the zip they did for the first run. I was trying to keep my turn over up, be light on my feet, and keep good form. There was one woman up ahead of me that I'd been hopscotching with on the bike. In my head I thought she was in my AG and I really wanted to get past her. I just couldn't find another gear. Eventually I did tho, or she lost one, because I passed her with about a mile left. That's when it sunk in that she was up an AG from me. Doh. I guess even in a short race my brain sometimes checks out.
I did manage to better my time in every leg of this race compared with last year (the bike *barely*....sad face) so I can't complain too much....or at least not too loudly. As my good friend T reminded me....I've got bigger fish to fry this year. Moving on! Just over 80 days until Hawaii 70.3! *gulp*