Soooo ready to RACE!!! Matt and I left for Muncie, Indiana on Thursday morning. We decided to wake up and leave early, take our time driving in, with plans to check into the hotel around 4pm. Once we arrived and unloaded the car, we figured we might as well go scope things out. There was no early athlete check-in so we chose to kill some time and drive both the bike and run course. Bike course was pretty pancake flat, maybe a few rollers near the end and the run course was rollers throughout the course, no BIG hills to conquer so wasn’t too worried. We also knew signing up for this race that it was going to be HOT but that wasn’t a huge concern. With training in the heat the past month and a half, I was ready to RACE!! Bring on the hot weather!!!Friday we woke up, ate a quick breakfast compliments of the hotel, and got a quick bike ride in to loosen up the legs. The temp was around 94 degrees at 9:45am. Bike check-in wasn’t until 2pm, which I thought was kind of late, so we tried to get things done before then. We drove over to the transition site to check things out and to attempt to get in a quick swim, but unfortunately a no-go. The swim was in the Prairie Creek Reservoir, very similar to Maraine State Park. There were “designated swim areas” with lifeguards on duty so we were unable to swim unless we either A. paid or B. had our athlete wrist bands on. We hadn’t checked in yet so no wrist band; I was not about to pay money to go swim but I also wasn’t too concerned about not swimming before this race, so off to the “check-in” we went!
The first “athlete meeting” was not until 2pm (again I thought this was late). After check-in, we grabbed a bite to eat at Subway and then headed over to the “meeting.” I think these “briefings” are all the same, but for some reason I felt this was going to be different. The first thing the race director said and I quote, “Hey, sorry guys, I hate to break it to ya but there is nothing else we can do but shorten the race course tomorrow due to the extreme temps.” Just like that. I seriously thought he was kidding! I guess the weather forecasted temps in the 100’s with a heat warning, and a 115 degree heat index. My first thought was okay I understand this, but didn’t we all sign medical form waivers?? There has got to be a better way to handle this, maybe have those who do not want to race, defer? Isn’t Kona hotter than this? Seriously I traveled this far to race an Olympic distance?????? I was NOT a happy camper. But it was what it was and there was nothing I could about it.
We drove back to transition to drop off our bikes and then headed back to the hotel to meet up with Joe V (who drove in Friday) then off to shower, relax, get our bottles of nutrition ready and meet Matt’s parents for dinner. It was nice of Marty and Bill to come out and support us, we felt badly it was such a short race and yet they still decided to come out to watch us! We enjoyed a quick meal at the Olive Garden, and were back to the hotel and fast asleep by 8:45pm.
Race morning/Swim: The first swim wave started at 6:30am, we had to get up and moving by 3:50am to get to transition and warm-up. Since this was a shortened race: 1 mile swim, 30 mile bike and 6.2 mile run, I had to mentally prepare myself for this distance. The only other “Olympic” like distance I have done was the Pgh Tri last July, eek! Breakfast included one cliff bar for breakfast and a Gatorade, didn’t need to pack in the calories for this distance. My swim wave started at 7:10am and Matty’s at 7:40am. Matt usually has to wait for me to cross the finish-line, but today it was going to be the other way around! The water temp was a nice warm 88 degrees, disgusting! Blech! I quickly threw on my speed suit and away I went. The swim actually seemed a lot longer to me, and the last half I was swimming directly into the sun. I had no idea what my time would be, all I know is my face felt like it was a ball of fire! I did what I could and finished the swim at 31:33, 1:57/100m.
Bike: I knew this part of the race was going to be over in a blink! It felt like I was riding 10 miles. Not much to say here except the course was pretty flat and fast with a few rolling hills (2-3). At this point I must have accidently hit the stop button or something on my Garmin instead of lap, so I was all messed up. I tried to clear and start over but it wasn’t working out (drat!), so I figured I already had my trusty computer on my bike so I could at least see my speed, cadence, etc. I had two bottles of infinite with me but only drank one and ¼ bottles. I have been having stomach issues lately on the bike for some reason so I didn’t want to over-do it being it was a shorter distance. It worked out well. I finished the bike with a time of 1:18:34, 22.91 mph and wanted to keep going!!
Run: At this point I was feeling great, legs felt strong, no sick-to-my stomach feeling this time! I was a happy camper! Only downfall was I still couldn’t get to the right screen on my Garmin, so instead of slowing down to try and fix it, I decided to run by “feel.” I didn’t start drinking any water until the second aid station. There were stations set up every ½ mile. I grabbed cold sponges and ice water and dumped them on my head, other than that there was no stopping. I was trying to aim for 7:15-7:30 pace and I was fairly close. I finished the run with a time of 46:35, 7:30/mi. It was starting to get harder to breathe towards the end of my run, but all-in-all not too terribly bad for not knowing my pace or heart-rate. I finished the race with an overall time of 2:42:03, ranked 12th in my division. I will get top 5 one of these days!!! ANNNNND I don’t think I will ever be back to Muncie to race anytime soon (not to mention, there is NOTHING to do there, you sneeze and you’re thru the town), but at least I got another great “training day” under my belt.
Special congrats to Joe V. who qualified for Vegas and placed 2nd in his division!!! You rock!!
AND just some random great things about traveling in the car to the races are:
1. I get to spend some quality time with my hubby, chatting about everything
2. Extra sleep!
3. Our tradition of stopping at a yummy restaurant on the way home, I must say though I LOVE Chipotle after a race…it might be the salt!
5. Listening to a good message-Keith Moore
6. Any kind of “road” games!
7. Taking pictures of “state” signs when passing thru each state
I can’t read or do anything constructive, due to getting car sick easily so that’s basically the extent of my car trips!
Next race up, the Pgh Tri!