I suppose it's about time I write a race report, if I even remember what one of these is supposed to be.
Big surprise, it was hot. The water was bath-water warm and not pleasant at all. But I shouldn't complain because it was pancake flat and there were no broken-off sheet pile walls for me to cut myself on. I went slow on the swim since I was worried about overheating before I got out of the water. That wouldn't have been good. I didn't realize how slow I was going, but based on my swim split I was really dilly-dallying around. This isn't a water tour, Sam.
I should explain my strategy for this race. Due to the heat, I was hoping to ride hard, maybe get the best female bike split, and then jog the run. I was hoping for a sub-3 hour finish. I am not built for hot-weather running and things go downhill fast when I overheat. My German-Scandinavian ancestors were laughing at me all day. I've always said if there is a race that involves throwing bales of hay and hauling buckets of grain, I would WIN! At least I've learned to take it easy during hot-weather races. I've done more damage than good in the past.
Race strategy aside, I wasn't planning on coming out of the water in 37:54 (over 2:30/100m). I just shook my head when I looked and my watch and knew I had to make up time on the bike (wait, I thought I wasn't racing hard?). For comparison, in the last short race I did I average 1:42/100m.
I flew through T1 in 1:05, fastest transition in my AG. I got on the bike and then started to work. This race is a sadistically hilly course with the Kansas wind pushing you around the whole time. I have not been training in the hills. But I did catch every other female except 2, and I was close. Considering the hills and wind, I was happy with my bike time of 1:18:18 (19.1 mph). I was the 2nd fastest female on the day and I blame that on the farmer who decided on taking his thresher out to cruise the course. Jerk.
I took a little more time in T2 because I wanted salt before starting the run. I downed 2 S-caps and shuffled off in 3rd place in the women's race.
The best part of the run? Seeing Shelley and Kelly at the first and last aid station. I kept a modest 9:20+ min/mi pace, not bad considering it was now well above 90 degrees and humid. I held on to 3rd place until the last 1.5 miles in the race and was passed by two women, clearly with a runner's build. A volunteer tried to get me to chase "You're only 30 sec out of 3rd!". No thanks. There was no chase in that weather. I finished the run in 56:39 for an overall time of 2:55:37. I made my sub-3 hour goal.
I ended up 5th overall female, which also happened to be 5th in my AG. Nuts! There was 13 min between me and the winner and 25 min between me and the 6th place finisher in our AG. Less than 2 min separated 3rd-5th places. Oh well, since I was using it as a training race, I would say it was a success. Best part? No diaphragm pain! I think I finally have that problem figured out.
Now I'm focusing on Nationals, increasing my hill training and long runs. I'm looking forward to VT just for a break in the weather!
3 hours ago