Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Race Report-Chisago Lakes

A week ago Monday, I got out and rode the Chisago Lakes long course with Cindy since I needed to get in my missed long bike ride and run on Sunday. My legs felt crappy and not too far into the bike course (I think about 10 miles), I just yelled out "I hate this course!" The fact is that I struggle on flat courses! I feel that I cannot find the "right" gear-one is too easy and the next one is too hard. Along with gearing not being as comfortable as liked I focused in on every little thing that made me unhappy about biking. A while back I started having some problems with my seat chafing, being uncofortable, etc, so my seat became the focus of my biking problem of the day. I got off my bike numerous times to adjust the seat a million times-I though Cindy was going to leave me behind:) Anyways, I waited for the hills to come (which is about 20 miles into the ride) and then I started to feel okay with the course. I need to work on riding some flat courses because the constant spinning wears on the legs. I followed up my workouts with a strength session at Discover Strength and a 4 mile run with run club.

For the rest of the week, I really took it easy!
Tuesday, I swam at Lifetime and ran 2.5 miles.
Wednesday, I rested.
Thursday, I biked 45 minutes and ran 30 minutes at Lake of the Isles with P2.
Friday, I rested
Saturday, I biked 45 miles and swam 15 minutes at the race site.

Race Report:
The morning started early with a 3:45 am wake-up. I quickly fed the dogs (I was watching my parents dog too), took them for a quick walk, and then packed up the car with my race gear before heading to the gas station to fill up my car and grab some gatorade. While at the gas station two men came in raiding the place for food and just being obnoxious-talking about that they need to ride really slow on the way back because they needed to drink their waterbottles, wink wink...........these guys were still up from partying all night!

I ended up making it to the race site at about 5:20 and was surprised by the number of people already there, especially since there were assigned spots on the racks. I wasn't looking forward to racing Chisago, which is probably more related to the feeling that I needed to do well since I had raced crappy this year so far. As I made my way to my assigned spot I was greeted by a ton of people that I know-its really nice to see so many familiar faces at races! The transtion area before the races has now become a big social event!

The swim: Last year the swim was extremely short! This year it was much longer and maybe even long for a 1/2 iron distance course. I was positioned in the 3rd wave based off of when I registered. The waves were mixed men and women, which sometimes can be rough as the men push you around a bit. I borrowed Cindy's sleeveless wetsuit since, I always feel so restricted in my long sleeve. I thought by going sleeveless will allow for less arm fatigue and better stroke effiency.

As I dove into the water when the wave started, I got kicked in the face knocking my left goggle off, making me have to tread water and reposition my goggle back on my eye. I started up the swim trying to stay close to the bouys, which was probably a mistake as I didn't have anyone to draft off of and swimmers from the previous heats kept crossing over the center causing me to get hit a couple of times. The swim was difficult for me-I don't know if it was related to the wetsuit or lack of swim training but man it was hard! As I rounded the corner and was heading back into shore a man crossed over the center and hit me head on! Nailed me!!!!! Shortly after than I started to feel naseau and then vomited twice. I finished the swim, hit the wetsuit strippers, and ran to my transition spot to get my bike. As I approached my spot two guys were there waiting for their relay mate, they asked me how the swim went-I responded with I puked twice probably not a good sign huh. They were so sweet! They gave me a little pep talk about that I would feel better once I got on the bike and that I was going to do awesome.....so sweet!

The bike: As explained ealier, the bike course is really flat for about the first 20 miles, then gets a bit rolly, and finishes up flat. In training for Madison, I train on so many hills that flat courses are really hard for me. I started off the bike at a pretty good pace (I believe somewhere in the 20's) but couldn't hold it for long since my right thigh was really cramped up. I tried to massage the tightness as I pedeled but it really didn't help that much. About ten miles into the course the bike route splits with the long course going to the left and the short course going to the right. Shortly, after the split Jake came flying by me, I tried to pick up my pace a bit but couldn't hold it. I thought to myself that I will catch him on the hilly part where most of people struggled on the course. As I biked longer, I continued to dry heave. I finally started to vomit after the hilly part, but right in front of a camera man! I tried to hurry up and get it done before the camera man started taking pictures. With about 15 miles left of the bike, I had made the decision that I was going to take the DNF as everything was hurting, I had been puking/dry heaving for several hours, and I was totally spent!

I finally made it back to the transition area and the relay guys were waiting for their teammate to come in from the bike. They asked how the bike went and if I was feeling better. I told them that I was done and that the puking hadn't stopped. They again gave a pep talk as I stood with my head between my legs in the transition area. I put on my running shoes as I had NO energy to find my flip flops. I walked my way out of the transition area and started to jog slowly to see if it would trigger me to vomit again. I thought to myself that if I end up vomitting within the first mile I would turn around. I did end up dry heaving a couple time during the first couple of miles causing me to walk. Christina's boyfriend saw me on the route, pulled over to the side of the road in his car and offered me a ride back to the start, but I waved him off since I was now determined to finish the race (he first had me mixed up with Christina because of the uniform, but shortly realized it was me instead). As the run continued on the my nausea started to get better. I took a little gatorade and some candy at a waterstop located 6 miles into the run. The candy was a lifesaver!!!! I love tootsie rolls!!!! I started feeling stronger and stonger as the run continued and ended up meeting up with Jake. I ran with Jake for a few miles and then finished up on my own.

Time: 5:52
The slowest swim I have ever had in a race!
Bike was close one of my fastest on a long course bike split! What?!
Run was pretty close to other 1/2 marathons in my long course events! Again what?! Even with all the walking!

Even though I had hoped for a better race, I made it and that is all that matters:)

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