Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Carlsbad - a contuing attempt to race myself into shape

Who needs to train anyway? Isn't racing much more fun? I suppose racing while actually in shape is fun, but I don't know what that feels like anymore.

Not too much on the workout front during the 2 weeks in between SDIT and Carlsbad. On the work front however - The shop got busy [again, a reoccurring theme] due to moving [again, last time I swear] to the final NEW SPACE! It's awesome! Flooring, walls, new dedicated Fit Area, a BigAssFan, office, kitchen and an amazing white service area. Fixtures are on the way [and need assembly] as are a bunch of other final details. Anyway - we are moved in. Prep for Carlsbad [on the sponsorship front] was packed - designing goodie bag inserts, prepping and packing for the expo, finishing the move, and doing pre-registration/check-in on Thursday and Friday for all the athletes who live down here, made for a busy pre-race [read: exhausting] week. Doesn't Lynne look awesome? p.s. feel free to print the coupon and redeem by Sept 30th!

Alright, so after standing all day at the expo [+setup/takedown] I went home, packed, and fell into bed. Only to awake at 4am to arrive a the race day expo and setup again. Get my bike in the line for Transition and head down when it opens [got the coveted "hole shot" this time!]. Setup and helped a bunch of people in our mechanics tent. A lot of very unprepared people. Here are a couple of examples:

"How do I shift my bike?"
"I think my shifter is broken; it won't go into an easier gear." [she had the Tiagra shifters where you push the button to get harder and have to push the break lever to get easier in the rear; have you ridden the bike before?]
"Do you think I need air in my tires?" [I put the pump on; they were lower than 20psi each]
"I super glued on the front derailleur guide last night, can you put the cable back together? Think it's going to hold?"

After helping with others issues, it makes me feel prepared, even with the lack of training. Set up, get wetsuit and head down the beach to the start. Got in for a warmup, and some awesome sets came in. Got lined up, took a look at the competition (goggle search!) and found my rabbit - Lisa F. and a girl without a wetsuit in sweedish goggles.

Ran into the water, swam, swam, dove, swam some more, big waves, and no real issues. Looked over and saw Lisa waaaayyy off to the right. Crap, am I swimming crooked? I know she's going to swim faster than me, so I best go chase her. Waves were too big to sight for the first buoy, so I gave up on my instincts and followed her. Only to find out when I got to her, we were waaayy off course - to the right. Seriously?! Mad dash to the first buoy (left turn) and tried to hang on. Started mingling with the previous cap colors and lost her. Swam alone for a while and then the no-wetsuit girl approached. Grabbed her feet and we made the turn for home. Actually caught a big wave and body surfed in. No transition times, but I made it out of T1 in front of her, finding out she's like 17 yrs old. Awesome.

Onto the bike and with some consistent power sessions with Noko on Fiesta I felt more compelled to push the pace. Carlsbad does a great job running the race and actually shutting down both sides of the PCH!! Wide open 2 lanes + bike lane really helps when passing new riders. One girl was going back and fourth with me (I think she was on a yellow Felt B2 from a couple years back, and with a power meter - stay with her)  No real issues on the bike, and legs felt okay. Not awesome, but what was I to expect. Saw Kyle and Erin cheering on the sidelines.
Of course, the one time out of aero - mounting the bike and heading up the hill out of transition, looking serious.
Down to T2 and again it was a test of might. Headed out onto the run and legs said sorry, no turnover. My mind continued the battle until the legs finally started picking up the gears; until the uphill. Saw a shower just off the path and contemplated jumping in; hey it was turning out to be a hot morning! Was on the hunt for the yellow Felt girl as I knew she was just in front of me. Saw her ahead as I began the downhill stretch. Was pushing the pace and I'm sure I sounded like a wheezing freak, but I had to catch her. I knew I had to make the pass looking like a million bucks so I picked it up for 100 yards. Yikes, I can't believe I passed someone on the run! This is what it feels like to run someone down!? Much more rewarding than beating most your AG out of the water. Seriously, I have never run someone down. Heck, this was the first year that I started passing more people from previous waves than people who pass me during the run.

Started back the uphill to the finish. Only 6 more minutes of your life. It's always the countdown for me. Finished. Man, sprints are ridiculously hard. The long swim and long bike really helped me on this course. Finished 2nd AG, as Lisa won - and placed really well overall. And although I didn't win this year, I beat my time on this course by 2 minutes!

After the race, we had to take the stuff down at the expo and head back to the shop for the rest of the busy afternoon. I was exhausted and the last thing I wanted to do was stand all day and help customers. Bed. Nap. Must stay awake.

Much more to come. Raced Goleta triathlon this past weekend after a fun vacation. Yeah, a 4 day fun filled vacation! I owe myself a bike racing report as well, since I never really talk about that secret side of my racing.

No comments: