Race morning went quickly due to our insanely early start of 6:32. There was no time to get anxious for the start which is fine with me. I warmed up on land (run and stretch cords for arms) and then got in the water for a 10 minute swim. The start was civilized and there was not too much contact. I laid back just a bit and settled into a good rhythm. I ended up swimming next to one woman and then we eventually caught up with another woman close to the turn around. As we were coming around the buoy I ended up kicking someone pretty hard (sorry!!!). I felt bad about it and in an effort to "flee" the scene of the crime I decided to pick it up a bit. I kept sighting and looking for other woman in our powder blue caps but I saw no one. I figured a group had gotten out in front and were probably well ahead so I kept swimming and focused on my effort. I felt strong and my turnover was solid. I also was not overheating since I decided to wear my sleeveless Roka. As I emerged from the water I saw Meredith was still in transition and thought "that's a good sign, my swim was not too bad." I got my suit off quickly, grabbed my bike and ran out of transition making sure to run up the steep hill versus mount the bike and ride into a ditch like I did in 2010.
|Perfect temperature for my sleeveless Roka.|
I continued riding and went around Lisa on a false flat before we got to Geyserville. Just past the aide station in Geyserville Linsey Corbin passed Lisa and I. Lisa came around me and we all rode together for the next few miles. At one point I could see the gap between Lisa and Linsey was growing. I still felt pretty good so I decided I had to go around Lisa and try to stick with Linsey. I knew if the gap kept opening up I would not see her again until after the finish. So, I said "f--- it," put in an effort, went around Lisa and caught back up with Linsey. I felt good on Chalk Hill and although Linsey was a little more daring on the sketchy descent I ended up closing the gap on the flat roads heading to T2. I did not know how the run legs would feel but I gave myself a shot to race with her for 13.1 miles.
|Riding amongst the vines.|
|In pain but trying to hide it. Mile 5 or so.|
I came out of T2 just behind Linsey and waited for my run legs to come around. They usually feel a little weird for the first mile or so but then they settle in. I hit mile 1 and there was no settling!!! Linsey was pulling away and others were behind me. I was convinced I was running at a snail's pace. I told myself it might take longer to feel better since I had put out a good effort on the bike. Mile 2---NOTHING! At that point I knew I was just going to have to gut it out, hope it would feel better eventually and get the job done no matter how I felt. I focused on my form and kept my turnover going. I took care of myself on the nutrition front and there were points I felt like I found a rhythm but it seemed to be fleeting. I got to see my competition at mile 8.5 and I realized if I maintained a solid pace I could probably hold them off. Light on the feet, turnover, Powergel, count to ten, relax your shoulders, Coke!!!---those were my only thoughts.
|Finish...trying to smile but it came out wrong and I look tortured.|
|When Stephanie sent this picture the filename was "ECexhausted." Spot on.|
|Thanks to Roka, PowerBar, Rudy Project, Rolf Prima, Smashfest Queen, Focus and Zoot.|