|A big reason to race in Portland--to visit with my grandma, who is 100.5 years old!|
I did my flying mount and for some reason I missed the seat. This was always a worry when I raced cyclocross in Chicago but people told me that it is pretty rare to miss the seat. All you have to do is get your inner thigh onto the saddle and then you slide on and start pedaling. This did not happen on Sunday. I vaulted myself over of the seat, slammed down onto the crossbar and in the process lost my right shoe. I tried to get started but the right shoe hit the ground and popped out of the pedal landing 20 feet behind me. I turned around, got the shoe, put it on and finally got going. I actually laughed out loud as I got started on the bike. What a disaster! I still cringe when I think about it. As my coach said "not pro" at all.
My plan for the bike was to build into it and hold back on the first couple of climbs. The air temperature was going to rise and then sun was out so I knew the run would be toasty. I wanted to have as much energy as possible going into the run so I could lay down a good split. Plus, I thought some people would wear themselves out on the bike. I also made the decision to drink A LOT. In the last few half ironmans I have done I felt that my run fell off in the last few miles. I wanted to go into the run topped off on fluid because no matter what I think you usually end up a little dehydrated at the end of the race. I did not want to start out in a deficit with 13.1 sunny miles to go on the run.
I was riding well, hydrating and staying within myself and not panicking if a woman passed me. At about mile 28 (I think) I was going up a very steep grade. I was behind another pro so I made sure to be staggered. However, the official behind me did not feel I was staggered enough. I was given a penalty and I had to stand down for two minutes. I stopped immediately and got two feet on the ground so the official could start the count down. The hill was very steep and she had to pull up before being able to get off and I kept asking if she had started the watch. She had and she commented that I certainly did get my feet on the ground quickly. When I got this penalty I was probably going 6mph on so it was pretty easy to stop. The two minutes went by pretty quickly and I was able to started again even though I was on a big hill. A tour de france type push would have been nice but I don't think it is allowed. I told myself to be calm and keep riding as I had been. Trying to "make up" the two minutes by putting out a huge effort was not going to help, in fact, it would probably come back to haunt me later on the race. I must say, it was challenging to stay in the moment and not freak out about the time lost. I needed to be where I was and not think about the being two minutes further up the road. I was also super paranoid about having anyone around me because a second penalty would disqualify me and take me out of the race completely. I maintained my effort and pushed the descents a bit. Who knew that a stand down penalty could make me a fearless descender? In truth, I probably was still a wimp on the downhills but I felt like I was being brave. I finished up the last part of the bike feeling strong and I was ready to run and see what I could do about the gaps to the women in front of me.
|Mile 54 (or so) of the bike.|
|Mile 5 on the run...I needed to run FAST!|
|At the finish. My shoes match my kit.|
|A stop at Crater Lake on the way home. Breathtaking! Pictures don't do it justice.|
Next up is Rolf Prima's Tri at the Grove in Cottage Grove, OR and then back to Chicago for the triathlon in August. Some short course racing is on tap for the next couple of months and I am excited about that! This week is my mid season break so I am enjoying waking up and watching the Tour without having to rush out to train. It is the little things!!!