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Lovin Lake 2 Lake (what a difference a year makes)

Posted Jun 25 2009 12:00am

One year later….in my second season of triathlons, I was headed to Loveland to race in Lake 2 Lake Olympic Distance Triathlon.  Last year this was my second triathlon after doing Napa Valley Sprint Tri w/my jr high school friend Janet V.  After that first race I decided I liked this sport and wanted to keep going.  Janet decided one was enough and focused on becoming a life coach. 

The past 2 weekends leading up to Loveland L2L, I have ridden a 100 mile bike fest; raced a 1/2 ironman the following weekend, and then found myself tackling L2L Olympic Tri….My question was- How would I stand up to this??

I also realized that so far in my tri career I have raced 1 sprint, then 1 olympic (L2L), and then 4 Long Courses (1/2 ironmans).  I had not raced in an event shorter than a 1/2 ironman since L2L last year. I was overjoyed with the idea of racing a shorter distance….Like pretty much 1/2 the distance as I have been racing which would mean half the time!  It was nice to be racing locally as my last 3 races I have had to travel to. This just means packing much less and not worrying about logistics so much.  It’s amazing how much preparation goes into racing out of state! 

After a drive to Loveland following work on Friday- Sandy and I went straight to packet pickup and ran into Andrea, Laura, and Gary.  We all went out to a spaghetti dinner (not so great) and headed to our rooms to get  things ready for an early morning.

I like getting to an event right when transition opens.  I like getting a “good” spot to set up- and I like not feeling rushed and to be able to take my time…and there are no long lines for the porta potties yet  :)

So I racked my bike and set up in the first row…As the row began to fill I noticed that everyone was female.  There was not one man who set up in the row were I was.  I made a comment about this and my fella triathletes thought it was nice (& odd) too. 

After setting up my gear I put on my running shoes and headed out for a 2o min warm up run.  I ran through the Benson Sculpture Park.  This is an amazing park w/sculptures throughout.which I enjoyed.  I felt good, nothing hurt, and when I finished I still had about 30 mins to get in my wet suit and head to the water.

Benson Sculpture Park

Benson Sculpture Park

 

I headed back to transition and began getting into my wetsuit.  Sandy was next to me and I could see the other PCers   throughout transition.  I once again did the squirm into my wetsuit, but this time I pulled to hard on my upper leg and got a tear at the seam….I almost started to freak out but decided the worst that would happen is cold water would get in- and once I started swimming it wouldn’t matter…

Wetsuit Time

Wetsuit Time

Off I headed down to the water.  I was pleasantly surprised to see all the PCers together getting ready.  It was fun to take a group picture and get in the water together for a warm-up.  I loved starting that way……But then the waves of swimmers ahead of me started to go…so I focused and centered and made my way to the swim start.

Group Hug Pre Race

Group Hug Pre Race

My instructions from coach Andrea for this race was to use the swim as a warm-up; ride the first part of the bike course mellow and hammer the second part; use the first part of the run as a recovery from the bike and hammer the last half of the run…..

So that’s what I did.  This swim was the hardest swim I’ve done so far.  I don’t know why….but I never got my groove.  It felt hard the whole way…I did start more towards the front so had lots of people swimming around and over me for the majority of the swim….but out of the water I made it and up the big hill and across the grass to transition.

I got to my bike and made a pretty quick transition and was out the parking lot in no time.  Once again as I started the bike-many people came panting by me in the first few miles.  I always wonder about that….I can never remember who they are but chances are I pass them later on.

My legs felt like “blah”-noodles for the first 8 miles or so.  They did not have much in them.  Then around mile 10 I started to feel the strength in them again.  I felt like they had some juice…so by the time I was halfway through the bike I began to pick up the speed and hammered the hills.  I love downhills and there is this great section right before you get to the “flats”…. It was here I really put the hammer down and began the business of picking off people.  Not sure how many I passed but it was a few…men and women included.  I felt good and like I was flying….standing for the rollers and spinning like a fiend on the downhills and flats! And it’s like that I rolled back to transition and onto the run.

The run.  I was shocked!  For the first time ever- I began the run feeling great!  I didn’t feel stiff or like I needed to warm up.  I felt like I had good form right from the get-go.  I loved feeling good right away on the run.  (maybe I’ll be able to feel that again someday  :)   I did spend the first part of the run at a moderate pace not pushing myself-per my coach.  

Around mile 2 I did begin a game of cat & mouse w/someone in my age group.  I passed her and then she passed me.  I knew I was stronger than her and that she was running too fast to stay ahead of me…so I hung off her left shoulder for a good 5 minutes until she began to slow down…and then I took off and passed her.  Never saw her again.

At the turn around point on the run I began to pick up my speed.  I kept my breathing just under anaerobic and held that for the last 3 miles of the run.  I felt strong and my form felt solid.  My legs began to get fatigued in the last half mile of the run…but I kept pushing.  The last part of the run kinda pisses me off as you pass right by the finish but have to keeping winding your way through the park….It’s like “I’m there! Fooled you-no you’re not”

It was at this last winding part that I spotted a woman I thought was in my age group.  I dug down and picked up my speed in the attempts of passing her before the finish.  Down, down, down, I dug and my little legs didn’t see to listen!  I reeled her in, but not as well as I had hoped to!  I came in 10 seconds behind her  :(   Darn……But I pushed it-that ‘s for sure…felt like I was going to puke when I crossed the finish line.

So all in all- I took 10 minutes off my time from last year…but the best part was I took 8 of those minutes off my run!!!!  You see, running is my most challenging event in this sport.  I use to have one of the slowest times in my age group…but w/this race- my run time was FASTER then the two women who placed ahead of me!  How cool is that!!!!

After the race we all hung out, ate great food, stayed for the awards (Sonja, Barry, Steve, Holley, Laurie, Beth all placed!) and then went to ColdStones for ice cream on the way home.  I feel so blessed to be training w/such great coaches  and to be surrounded by such great athletes!  Plus we all have a blast together….and if we’re not having fun…then something is wrong. 

Getting Our ColdStone Fix

Getting Our ColdStone Fix

So here’s to a few weeks of no races or events until July 11th when I head to Minneapolis for Lifetime Fitness Triathlon  with the PC gang….just many days of training.

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