Tuesday, May 01, 2012

St Anthony's 2012 race report


Hoping my little horse is ready to ride fast!

Like I said, I was suffering!

The Dane and me representing Outspokin with our loud shirts!  Anything for our sponsor!

I neglected to do a report about Escape From Fort Desoto sprint tri two weeks prior likely out of pure laziness but suffice to say, I did reasonably well.  I was third overall, first Masters on a fairly breezy day, even for the Fort!  I was excited to see how that race went as I have been doing all bike training on the turbo and I literally hadn't ridden outdoors since Chilly Willy Du in early Feb.  I swam pretty well, rode as well as could be expected and ran great so I was really looking forward to a good result at St Anthony's.  I have been racing Elite Amateur at St Anthony's since they began that division, not because I feel "elite" in any way, but more because of my fear of too much bike traffic on the course starting out of the AG wave.  I had had enough getting my ass kicked in Elite Am so switched back to AG again this year, mentally prepared to deal with the bike course best I could.  Overall, this year's experience was far more fun as I felt engaged the entire race instead of depressed about my crappy mid-pack race!  It was a blast!
The swim was wetsuit and a brand new course for this year.  It was still somewhat rough but that is standard here.  We had an in-water start which was new, not my personal favorite but that's life.  I lined up next to super-fish Mandy and hoped to stay with her for longer than I did (which was about 3 strokes) so settled into a moderate pace which I couldn't break out of.  No top-end swim speed and will need to work on that!  I wasn't touched the entire swim and really did enjoy it but as always, happy so see terra firma after 25+ minutes (4th out in AG).  T1 was uneventful, my Orca Alpha wettie came off like a charm and I was off.
On to the bike.  I really started bike training six weeks out (after Gate River Run) so didn't know what to expect, really; 40K is a big difference from the 10mile rides in the previous races this year.  My legs were still feeling fatigue from the bike training I tried to cram in between Escape and St A's but I figured I would have that so just dealt with it.  One, of many, great things about training on the turbo exclusively is you really get comfortable with being uncomfortable, which is generally not my strength when it comes to riding.  I did have to dial down the running during this phase to get some power back on the bike but felt the run would come to me.  I actually remember thinking how much fun I was having during the ride which, if you know me, is highly unusual.  Dead legs but kept them churning.  Had a lot of company but mostly single-file traffic I passed folks the entire ride......Fun!  It was hard but it was fun.  Not the crappy, nobody around me because I'm way behind/in the middle rides I've had racing Elite Am!  Now, the key was can I run off this? (?3rd off race age on legs this year so just racing hard and hoping for the best).  T2 uneventful and slow as usual.
The run got warm but I love warm so I wasn't having any issues.  I could definitely feel the ride in my legs as soon as I tried to run with any pace so just ran as hard as I could.  No idea where I was in the AG (or Masters for that matter) so ran has hard as I could for as long as I could.  I really was hurting and breathing hard!  Another great thing about racing from the AG wave is a lot of people I know were also racing and have the heart to cheer people on while they are racing, very cool!  I heard more cheers than I can remember!  I suffered but pulled out a good run.  Not quite the sub-40 10K I was hoping for but my best run split ever on this course.
Ended up winning my new AG (45-49) with a sub-2:18 race and I'm happy about that.  I was second on Masters to a totally stellar Lauren Smith, no shame.  It was a really fun day and weekend!  I can't remember another St A's that was that much fun but I look forward to many more!  This race is so great because of the competition and all the people that we get to see and hang out with, a real social event (with a race attached)!   Got the Hy-Vee 5150 US Championship qualification and hope to get there this year (got injured last year), big goal to race well there.  I have some serious work to do on the swim and bike and will, as always, keep working the running.  I just have to shout out to the most amazing crew that put this race together especially Susan and Phillip, totally first class!  We are blessed the have one of the biggest, most competitive races right in our backyard!
If you need me, I'll be in the pool.......