|Spoiler Alert!!! Celebrating with #roseallday ;)|
My “A” race this season is Ironman Chattanooga, so IM Santa Rosa 70.3 was going to be a test of the fitness 2 months out. As my 9th 70.3, I went into race weekend/registration/preparation like it was old hat. I was super relaxed…my shake out ride/run went smoothly, registration was easy, checked my bike into the transport shuttle so I didn’t have to deal with traffic up to Lake Sonoma, and had a great lunch with good friends. All this was done by 1:30, and it was time to kick my feet up and relax for the rest of the afternoon at our delightful AirBnB up in Healdsburg. Everything was going great. Then mom and I headed out to my traditional pre-race dinner of Basil Chicken at the Thai Orchid Restaurant…and that is where the night took a turn…
|Sherpa Extraordinaire - My Mom!|
|Best part of the Air BnB - 2.5 year old Uma!!|
During dinner, mom realized she didn’t have her wallet. After checking the car, we thought she left it at the cottage. After dinner, we turned the cottage inside out…no wallet. So we went back to check the restaurant and parking lot again…no wallet. Back to the cottage to scour it again. As we’re searching a second time, I realize that I had all three of my gear bags (morning clothes, bike gear, and run gear). And it hit me…I was supposed to turn in my run bag at T2 in Santa Rosa earlier that day since the race has two different transition locations!!! All that relaxation from earlier in the day went right out the window. I knew it would work out ok, but I had to revamp my race morning plan, including a wake-up call 45 minutes earlier than planned! Plus it meant that I tossed and turned all night worried that I would miss my alarm :/ That will definitely teach me a lesson in not taking my race prep seriously!!!
|5am arrival at Lake Sonoma|
|Ironman definitely made the right call! Photo Cred: Tammy|
|The lake was nice and clear by the time we started riding! Photo Cred: Tammy|
Race morning rolls around. I make it to T2 in plenty of time, grab a spot on one of the shuttle busses, and pop in my new favorite playlist for the drive up to Lake Sonoma. As we arrived, I completely understood why Ironman was contemplating cancelling or shortening the swim…the dark and fog was super eerie! But I found my bike racked right where it was supposed to be (thank goodness the Tribike transport shuttle worked so well) and prepped Penny the P3 for the day ahead. Then it was a waiting game. Lots of potty stops and chatting with most of my friends in transition until the final decision was made at 7am that the swim was cancelled. I was surprisingly bummed (I don’t hate swimming, but it’s definitely my least favorite of the 3) because I really wanted to test out my swim improvements from Coach Tom’s torture sessions for the past year.
|Body marking by friends is the best! Photo Cred: Tammy|
|Killing time with Kathy and Bill until the swim was cancelled!|
|Pre-race photo with Brenda - Thanks for pulling me along when you caught me on the run!|
Bike: 2:32.15 - The race began with a time trial start with 5 people being sent off on their bikes every 5 seconds. I lucked out because of my AWA status and was within the first 100ish people out on the course. Coach Muddy had given me a plan for the day and it started out with riding my bike as hard as I could. The course was great, weather was perfect, and it turned out to be a beautiful day.
|Flying through the vineyards. Photo cred: @alpynephoto|
Even though there was an elevation gain of about 2k, most of that was on rolling hills, and I just felt like I was flying! I played leapfrog with another lady for most of the day, totally legal on both our parts, but great motivation to keep pushing the pace the whole time. As I rolled into transition, I checked my watch and saw that I held nearly 22mph and came in with a 13 minute bike PR!!! So stoked! My mom yelled out that I was in 4th, which was awesome, but my main goal was to execute my plan and as long as I did that I would be happy with my day regardless of placement. But it was definitely an incentive to keep my head in the game on the run.
|A look of concern when I thought my watch was broken! Photo cred: @alpynephoto|
Run: 14:41.12 - After a quick transition, I was off for the last 13.1 miles of the day. My legs felt great as I started running, and as I looked down at my watch to check my pace, I thought my watch was broken! My pace was WAY faster than I imagined and when mile one clicked over at 7:11, I was shocked. I knew that the “out” portion of the 2-loop run course was slightly downhill, and I still had 12 miles to go, so I tried to dial back my pace. Coach said he would be happy with 8:20s for my first few miles, but when mile 2 clicked off at 7:31, I decided to just go with it and hold that pace as long as possible.
|Is it really an Ironman run if I don't do jazz hands?!? Photo credit: mom :)|
The course was shady and quiet for the first loop so it was easy to settle into a rhythm. The miles passed pretty quickly and soon I was at the turn around. When I was out on the bike course I spotted 2 of my training partners with Coach Muddy and I was certain that they would catch me before the end of the bike. But they didn’t, and when I finally saw them on the run my goal was to hold them off for as long as I could 😉 I managed to do just that…barely! I heard the finish line announcer call out John’s name just as I crossed the line, and Jeff and Fred crossed the line minutes later. I managed to pull out a 3 minute run PR, but the best part was feeling like I could have kept on running at that pace (I guess that means I should have run faster, but it bodes well for IM Chattanooga!)
Total (69.1 miles): 4:17.16
Total (69.1 miles): 4:17.16
|#muddylove - Best training partners ever!|
|Women's 35-39 Podium!|
All in all, it was a solid day of racing. I’m still a bit bummed that we didn’t swim because I KNOW I would have had a huge 70.3 PR (and my first sub 5 hour finish), but I am beyond proud of my day and my first 70.3 podium spot. And the best part of racing “local” was the number of friends I shared the course with, and spotting my photographer hubby out on the course. And as always, a huge shout out to my Sherpa extraordinaire mom – xoxo
|This crazy triathlon obsession all started because of that guy in middle!|
59 days to IMChattanooga!! #headdowndowork