Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Pumpkinman Race Report: All that hard work

Don't know how else to say this. I rocked this race. Not perfect, there's always room for improvement, but still this race far exceeded expectations!

First check out the venue. How gorgeous is that?

[special thanks to Carrie for the picts and to all the BTTers for all the support on the course]

I wasn't much worried about the swim. It was a little seaweedy at first, but you know, extra fiber never hurt. I've been swimming well and enjoying it, so I got in near the front and didn't get too fussed about going fast. Turned out it was a pretty good swim. Second fastest in my age group (of 23), and average of 1:31 per 100. My goal for the season was to swim 1:40s for an olympic distance swim. Crushed it.

This race was unique cause it had a massive hill climb out of the swim to transition. Looks like I liked it:
Then to the bike. This ride was all about conserving. I set a goal of averaging 18 mph. It was tough, there were times, when girls in my age group passed me that I wanted to go faster. I wanted to stay with them. But I stuck to my plan. Let them go and stayed focused on my own race.

I had borrowed my friend Noah's aero bar bottle to stay hydrated. Major advantage of this bottle is that it's refillable while you're riding. On the first loop every time I hit a bump the bottle would splash me. At just about any other race this would have been great. But when it's 60 degrees out, you just want to stay dry. After the first loop, I had drunk the full bottle and I had to pee. Good sign. I found a stretch of road with woods and hopped off the bike for a pit stop. I just couldn't bring myself to pee on my bike. I get to the water stop, and this time when I go to fill the bottle, I knock the valve right into the bottle. I guess I hadn't quite gotten it in right when I filled it that morning, so I stop again and fix out. The last 10 miles, I ease up the pressure and up the cadence. I feel good, if a little cold coming in off the bike, average 18.1mph.

And then I miss my rack... Too many friends cheering me on from the relay section. Oops.

To the run. I focus on one foot in front of the next, I focus on tempo. I start thinking about my friend Simone, doing the Ironman in Australia. Some one referred to her as "metronome" she just doesn't stop. I start singing to myself "Simone, the metronome" and it works pretty well. First two miles at an 8:45 pace. Great. The course is an out and back and out and back route. It was great, I kept seeing friends, high fiving all along the way. At about mile 10, I realized that my secret goal of hitting 5:45 was not just achievable, it was crushable.

Pure race bliss!

In the end, I crossed the finish line 5 hours and 40 minutes after the start. I held solid sub-9 minute miles on the run the whole way. 7th place in my age group.

I've been planning on spending next year focused on getting faster at the shorter distances and moving on from the halves, but with a solid half under my belt, I might just be tempted to do another.


Dave September 24, 2010 at 1:28 AM  

Improvement is so awesome, Laura. Good job. I hope you just keep getting faster and thinner and more excited about this.

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