Saturday, August 20, 2011

Race Report: 2011 Age Group Nationals

It was a mighty fine race day, indeed! I knocked it out in 2:27:29 to finish 39th out of 108 in my age group. Thanks to the age-up rule, I also qualified for ITU Worlds on October 22, 2012 in Auckland New Zealand. (The age-up rule means I was compared to people who will be in the 45-49 age group at the time of Worlds) My number-loving husband came up with this from the online results:

829/1624 Overall Finishers
182/650 Female Finishers
61/332 Female Masters Finishers

Hey, I'll take it!

This is the quick race report.
finisher's medal and "Wacko" beer!

I had no warm-up on anything, no swim, no run, no bike. This was a cold start (as in not warmed up), but the day was gorgeous and the water was perfect. We jumped in off a dock and lined up. It was announced that among our age group was an Olympian! This is Nationals after all. I settled in fast and got busy drafting. The sun made it kind of hard to see the turn buoys and the whole lot of us did not swim straight. The spectators were saying later how wide we all went. It's funny how a whole pack can do that. Like lemmings we just follow those around us. My swim was a 29:18, nothing stellar, but I enjoyed it and didn't get mauled. There was some chop out there and in T1 I felt a bit dizzy but the wetsuit came off fast.


Given the road conditions, I was happy to finish with no mechanical issues. I saw a fair amount of carnage along the way as there were lots of potholes and some areas of road that were buckled. I swear I caught some air on one bump that got me. I passed quite a few people in my age group plus a bunch of older, but tough, women. The swim wave order was all mixed up and the 30-34 year old men were behind us and a bunch of them just blew past me, their disk wheels purring and the sounds of shifting gears reverberating. I held my own, averaging 21.3 mph, finishing in 1:10:00.

My Garmin got stuck on "locating satellites" forever and I finally gave up. My goal pace was 7:20 but without my watch, I had no idea how I was doing, how far I had run, or my time. But guess what? My average pace was 7:21. Dang. I kept it happy and positive too. It's funny the thoughts that run through your head in the loneliness of a race. I thought of all the support I had heading into this from family, friends, coach, trainer, blog readers, facebook posts, and my new Endurance Films Racing Team. I drew strength from all those pieces and parts. I thought about the craziness of the last 8 days. At one point I swear I heard Kurt's voice in my head, pushing me on. I laughed out loud and found some extra energy. The run always leaves me feeling humble and grateful, somehow just stripped down to bare emotion.
Thank You

Sometimes I still can't believe that I am a triathlete and that I am living this dream.  Thank you Robert for your encouragement and support, and for keeping the family going when I am racing and training. I love you. Thanks Spencer and Grant for understanding why I wasn't there for your second and third days of school. I am so proud of you both. I'm grateful to Oma Therese for standing in for me when I am out of town and for generally pitching in to make our chaotic family schedule work.

Coach Jim, you always seem to know just what to say, just what I need, and just when I need it. I could not possibly do this without you. Thanks for putting up with my hairbrained ideas! Thank you Kurt for helping me to find a better balance in my life. Your encouragement means a lot.

Thank you Mike for talking me into this crazy race. You were right, it was worth it!  Kimberly, I'm so thankful we roomed together, this would have been very lonely without you, and we'll be enjoying more time together on our 15 hour ride home!!

Thank you Eric and Danny and all my Endurance Films Racing Team members! This experience was so much richer because of you all!!

Thank YOU to my readers. I hate that my blog does not let me respond to comments in any sort of way, but I do read it all, whether on TriCrowd, Facebook, or right on the blog, and appreciate it.

My goal is and remains to encourage others to dream big, get a game plan, and then just do it. Have some adventures and see what your body can do......

More later....whether you want it or not.  We are headed to the awards ceremony to finish off the experience, then we'll start our journey back to Virginia!