My first top 10 finish at a 70.3 in the Pro field. I am really happy with the result as it was only my 2nd 70.3 as a Pro and my 3rd ever. I wish the race would have ended at mile 10 of the run...there I was still in 6th place. But here is the full story:
I left on Thursday to fly to Boise. The day started great as the woman at the Flagstaff airport only charged me 15 Dollars for my bike box!!! I got to meet my homestay in Boise after getting picked up from the airport. What a nice family!!! They spoiled me the entire weekend. Quick bike and run and the day was over. On Friday I got picked up by my homestay's friends who also had an athlete-Mario from Argentinia who turned out to be my travel buddy for the weekend. We got our package, went to the pre race meeting. 17 women were on the start list, including Samantha McGlone, Linsey Corbin, Magali Tisseyre,...lots of famous triathletes. Mario and I got invited for lunch and then went swimming. In the evening we had a pasta dinner, where I got to meet a girl from Australia, who was racing with me on Saturday. Since there was no start list we did not know who else would come, we just knew the "famous" athletes from having seen their pictures in magazines :-) I have to admit: I like it way better if I know who I am competing with!!!
Saturday morning, race morning. I got up at around 8 am-NICE!!! With a 2 pm start you are way more relaxed because the changes that you sleep through your alarm are very low. The tough thing is nutrition...mhhh...I went for a 10 min jog and did some strides, then had breakfast. On our way to T2, downtown Boise I had some plain pasta at around 11 am. When we got to Lucky Peak Reservoir the weather was still nice but more windy than the days before.
Into the wetsuit and off we go.
I had been working on my swim a lot lately, it will still take maybe 1 year to get where I want to be, but I definately saw and felt improvement. There were 2 girls who actually caught up to the guys who started 2 min ahead of us. I stayed with a group, tried to draft as much as I could and it felt good. I excited the water in just under 30 min, and then ran the looooong transition up a hill and to my bike. The lead swimmers were at around 27 min, so the course might have been a little long. Comparing the lead swimmers time to my time showed me that my swim is improving.
In T1 we had to put our wetsuit in a bag- try to do that FAST during a race where you are shaky and nervous:-) But it all worked out.
Once I was on the bike I looked back at the lake which now had white caps!!! The wind had picked up and a few seconds later: RAIN!!! And it did not stop to rain ALL DAY!!! The bike was windy, rainy, wet and some times it felt like hail. But: it was fun from the beginning to the end. The course was hilly and tough once we had to turn into the wind. But everyone has the same conditions and we were all suffering. I biked a 2:27, which was great. I had change my handlebars about 2 weeks before the race which was great on the bike but turned out to be not so great on the run...
T2 was right downtown and despite the sh&%?y weather, the Boise crowd was out there cheering. I felt like I was racing in the Tour de France!!! My host family was also all over the place, going from one spot to the next to do the most cheering possible.
FELT GREAT- just under 41 minutes for the first 6.2 miles!!! But then at mile 10 my lower back and my glutes cramped up like crazy. I was in 6th place up to mile 10!!! The last 3 miles were soooo painful, not with my breathing, just my right glute. My explanation for this is the switching out of the handlebars. I think it just changed my position slightly, which might have taken more out of my glutes. Well, and then with the cold weather my back and glutes just cramped up. I got passed by 2 athletes and was not even able to respond, because I had trouble lifting my right leg every stride...
I finished in 8th place with a time of 4:38, and I am very satisfied with the result. A race can always go better:-) So I just see all the improvements I have made over the last few months, and all the positives I experienced in the race.
Before awards I checked on the Clearwater spots. 1, 2 and 3 already had one. 5 and 6 didn't want one. Brooke, who was 4th wanted hers. So there was one more. I got all excited because my chances of getting one were 50/50!!! I found the 7th girl and asked her if she would take it. She said NO. I was so excited. Oh my gosh, I will get a Pro Clearwater spot. She said that she didn't wanna do it because of all the drafting in the race. I was thinking about that too and also that swimming is my weakness, but I still wanna do the World Championships.
So I went to the car and got my credit card. The roll down is at awards, which by the way were so cool. Top 8 get to go on stage and get a trophy!!! My first 70.3 trophy, plus a paycheck!!! And I got to stand up there with all the stars!!!
Then the roll down....no, no, no, yes(one was gone), no, no, ....then they asked number 7...AND SHE SAID YES!!! There goes the ticket. I was a little sad just because I had already played with the thought of saying yes :-(
Sunday morning I had to get up at 5:30 to get to the airport. Here goes the bike box again, but to my big surprise: US airways didn't charge anyone for the bike box at the airport!!! ) DOLLARS!!! Sweet. I was back in Flag by 10 am :-)
It was a great trip and a great experience. I hope that the 2010 Boise 70.3 will have nice weather as they had bad luck for 2 years in a row.
I recovered on Sunday and was back in the pool on Monday. Today is a run and a small bike ride.
My next stop will be the Boulder Peak Triathlon in June!!!
Thanks to my host family for taking me in!!!