So the day began the night before with this image. The sight of seeing my lovebug’s name on my rack spot. Tears ensued, I covered Blue’s computer and headed home to sleep the night before. For the record, I think chicken with a little pasta rather than pasta (or pizza) and a little chicken the night before was totally the way to go. Sleep didn’t come easy but eventually.
Brrrring..Brrrrring. 4:30am on Sunday morning to cool breezes in my Hobart William Smith dorm room. Bags were already packed so it was body glide up, braid hair, brush teeth, and eat time. Breakfast: banana, smuckers pb&j, apple, and tube of almond butter (and water)
Heading to the site I got the gorgeous view of Seneca Lake at sunrise.
I set up my transition area, realizing that every bike around me belonged to a boy. This was weird but I did see chicks around, so I figured I was just the lucky one. I set up my t area on my strawberry shortcake blanket. The boy next to me had spongebob which I thought was hilarious. The USAT nazi was out looking for mis-racked bikes so I helped a few strangers who were going the wrong direction. She was warpathing. (Seriously? It was 5am.)
The weather was lovely. In the 60’s with light winds and partly cloudy skies. The water was coming in at 68 deg, perfectly wetsuit legal. The day before I had gone in for a warm up without one and it wasn’t horrible. It could have been done without one but who doesn’t love extra bouyancy in the caboose right? My wave went off third and I positioned towards the left, near the front. I did this at Columbia and didn’t get kicked in the face all that much. This water was weird. It was very clean, but it definitely messed with my head that I could see all the way to the bottom. I did not want to see a snake, fish, or barracuda. (ok, so no barracuda’s in new york) I had swam (swum?) over a ginormous fish the day before and it was weird. I got into a decent rhythm early, but really had to think about form and kicking. My ws is really too short which messes with my barbie legs. The buoys came fast, which gave me confidence. The swim was fairly uneventful until the turn in the canal. This was supposed to be home free but the smell and taste of the water made me so sick. I had to sit up to (excuse me) gag. I had a two second mental smackdown and stuck my head back in and kept along. I found my way to the boat ramp and got up. whew. done. (34:39, 14th in AG! Woo Hoo!)
T1 was not particularly fast. I did not want to jack up my HR just to get to my bike faster while waddling in my wetsuit. My rack was halfway across the t area so I had to waddle pretty far. (do you have a mental waddle image? did it make you giggle?) (3:21, it was the waddling)
So I started out on the 56 mile bike course with very low expectations. Finish in 4 hours without dying. I had very little idea what the bike course would be like so I just went out and figured I would learn something along the way.The first 10 miles just plain sucked. I couldn’t get my body to feel right, everything from waist down hurt. Finally after the first bottle exchange we had a nice section of flat, really nice. It tucked in and pedaled like a mad woman, just to build my confidence. It worked, I felt much stronger, even though my legs hurt. I was hitting up to 23mph, which for ME, is huge. (I did get passed by a mtn biker and several people in cages….but at least this race doesn’t allow 12 year olds, the would’ve passed me too) Next thing I knew, I was at mi. 20. I felt pleased with this and kept fighting hard head/cross winds and long slow grades that were on the flat side, but deceptive. All in all, I felt the course was mostly flat. We had an amazingly gorgeous downhill to Cayuga Lake. I did take a moment to observe the beauty (two seconds) before snapping back into the fact that there was a hard right at the end. (or you end up in the lake so the RD says, he wasn’t kidding) Turning right back into the headwind, I just kept fighting it along Cayuga, pulling out 17+. Another right turn went up a steep climb. It actually felt great to be working the quads hard, the pain dissapated whenever I had to push. (what does this mean I wonder?) The sixish miles through the State Park kind of sucked. I held a decent pace (Pat didn’t pass me until 2:45 in the ride!!!) but the surface was rough which messed with mentally. Finally with 12 miles to go, I got excited. I allowed myself to look at my avg. pace and saw it was right at 15. I knew I didn’t want to let that go so I pedaled hard and got a good push to the final turn. (I took a gel just before the turn into the park, I think this was great prep for the run.) Just as I was finishing the bike, the oa winners were finishing. Really?! I just pretended the cheering was for me.
My tush was happy to be off the bike. I definitely need to adjust my fit. I am really struggling with the right position both in and out of aero. The way I felt the best was definitely NOT the most aerodynamic…appt for a fit????
Bike finished. (3:42!!! under 4! 15.1mph. Alas, 30th/32 in ag…but this is to be expected)
T2: Fine. No drama but a little slow I’m realizing. Did I stop for a coffee or something? (3:32)
I knew going into this race that the run was going to be a 4:1 run/walk system. What I wasn’t sure of was how fast to run the 4. So I just ran, sometimes fast, sometimes slow. What I did not expect after mile 2 was the GIGANTIC hills in the run course. It was harder than CT (I’m serious). The first big hill was so steep you could choose grass or steps. I chose grass as to not fall down. It was a walker, I would like to see the dude/chick who runs this hill. Then back on and through Geneva (concrete, SUCKS) to a turn into the HWS art school where I must say, the aid station folks were the best of all) My moment of hilarity came in a “nature break” behind a garden wall only to discover a p-o-j around the corner. Another girl and I had a good laugh at this one and decided my choice was more sanitary. I was continuing on the 4:1 and getting frustrated by the run speed. It felt good, but I knew it was deceptive. I know now how SLOW I really was, alas, at least I learned. The run was truly uneventful but so darn hilly I got sick of it. What I did learn from the 4:1 is that in the end, it is better. I played cat and mouse for over an hour with a girl from the adirondacks who told me the bike course was hilly (really? come do CT). In the last 1.5 miles I opened up and stopped 4:1 just to finish hard. I ended up kicking her tail. (not that i was racing but…) In the end, I am most disappointed by the run. Really? Me? It was just to damn slow. But, now I know. (2:21, which is 10:47 pace, yikes.)
Final: 6:45:14 (Not 7 hours!!!) Not the fastest, but not the slowest. Not as good as friends, but good enough.
The finish was fun. the little boy gave me my medal and said “this one is the best because it has TWO” All the medals were made from old bike chain pieces. I have two cogs(?) from an old campagnolo cassette. It is the coolest medal EVER. Then onto food which included fresh local peaches and ice cream.
What I learned:
- When I OWS I need to focus on stroke and not freak out about fishes.
- I can go hard on the bike, if I wanna. And I will get passed, but if I’m going hard in “Sarah World” that is all that matters.
- WHen I make sure I eat a lot of protein and fat, I stay mentally acute.
- I need to run harder on the 4 of 4:1.
- That doubling this distance in 6 weeks is not as scary as I thought.
(So I don’t forget here is the food log)
Food: 3 Hammergels’s (two on bike and one on run), 1 PBJ on bike, 2 full bottles-1 HEED, 1 Perpetuem w/a choc. hammergel mixed in), drink at every water stop on run (mix water, heed, two stops of coke yum.), 4 electrolyte tabs on run. (really needed advil on bike)