Monday, September 28, 2009

Updates - Pigman 1/2 Iron, St.Croix Valley Olympic and Peregrines Charities Triathlon

It has been a long time since I have blogged because 1) Life gets busy, 2) I was so upset after what happened at Big Creek I didn't want to write about racing and 3) I wasn't sure if people actually read my blog! However, after getting some emails from friends of how I did in some races I decided to do a recap of what has been going on in the last couple of months, hopefully this won't get too long.
In August I did my second 1/2 ironman distance and placed first at the race - it was called the Pigman Half Iron. It was a crazy day for the race though, with 40-50 mph cross winds that practically blew people off of their bike. I somehow managed to bike my way through it and came off the bike in first. This is an unfamiliar place for me because I am usually running people down, however, people were trying to run me down and it is not a good feeling being the chasee. Once I entered the park though and made my way to the finish line it was a great feeling knowing what I accomplished that day. Here are some highlights about the race from Jerry MacNeil's blog:

Pigman Half Iron

I needed some time to recover from Pigman so I didn't race until September 6th. The event was called St. Croix Valley Triathlon - Olympic Distance. I really like this race and do not know why more people don’t sign up for it. The course is tough but really scenic and in Hudson, WI which is right on the St. Croix River and only about 30-40 minutes from our house. Derek and I both were able to race that weekend because my sister in law was in town for a wedding and she and her husband watched Owen in the morning for us. The start of the race was a little chaotic because all of the men went in wave 1 and then all of the women started in wave 2 and it was a two loop course. On the second loop I got myself involved with the first wave and had to go around a lot of the men but I came out first for the women – probably the one and only time that will happen! I did have a decent swim – 24 minutes – which is the best I have done for an Olympic course. I felt like my sighting was good and I was pushing and building the whole time. I came off the bike leading the race and since I didn’t have any women to catch, my goal was to try and catch Derek. It was hard to get motivated because I seriously didn’t see anyone on the run. No one passed me and I didn’t pass anyone, it was really lonely. The only tme I started seeing people was when I started making my way back to the finish line. I crossed the finish line about a minute after Derek (women started about 3 minutes after the men). I thought it would have been funny to see us both sprinting to the finish against eachother. There would have been no way I would have outsprinted him though!

Now for the last race of the season…Peregrine Charities in Waterloo, Iowa. I did this race last year and I thought they did a great job for their first annual race. I was hoping there would be more people this year and want to get the word out about this wonderful race and organization. The race is really well organized, the volunteers are so helpful and encouraging, the prizes and gear bag they give out are awesome, and the race director is one of the nicest people you will meet. What is fun for us about doing this race is that we went to school at the University of Northern Iowa which is right next to Waterloo and so we are able to walk around the campus and reminisce about being in college! We were also lucky that we had both set of our parents there to help watch Owen so we both could do the event. I placed second last year in this race and it was also my last triathlon I was going to do this year so I wanted to do well. The course was a mile swim, 22 mile bike and a 6 mile run. I knew there was one really good swimmer in my wave so I was hoping not to come out too far back from her, unfortunately that didn’t work out too well. I knew I was struggling in the water because I was just not staying on course. It was really hard to see because we were swimming right into the sun but my sighting really stinks! It got really bad when I saw some green caps passing me (Derek was in wave 3 and in a green cap – they started 4 minutes behind my wave), then I saw Derek passing me with about 100 yards left in the water. I caught up to Derek right out of transition and he told me to kick it into gear and so I did. The bike course was pretty windy at certain times but that doesn't seem to bother me at all and I actually prefer it to be windy because that benefits me against my competitors. I knew there were two women in front of me, I caught one of them on the bike right at the turn around point and then I didn't catch my other competitor until we were almost to T2 - about a mile away. I knew I had a decent chance of winning if I was able to come into T2 first off of the bike and then have a steady run. I pushed it pretty hard for the first three miles because I knew I needed to build a lead. When I reached the turn around I checked my watch to see how long it would take me to see the next women. I figured I had about a 30 second lead until I saw Derek and he told me I had better push it because the other girls were looking strong and fast. I was then scared and actually started pretending there were people in front of me to catch because I needed some motivation to get to the end. The run is mostly on a trail but once you exit the trail you run on a road for about a mile. Once I hit the road I looked behind me every now and then and didn't see anyone. It felt great crossing the finish line knowing that I didn't have the best swim but was able to make up some time on the bike and run and to finish the season with a win.

Picture of Derek and I after the race

It has been a great summer but I am tired and need to take some time to rest and improve. I also think Owen is tired of going to races and I am looking forward to being able to spend more time with him and not have to worry that I shouldn't chase him around the house because I have a race tomorrow and should rest! I have a great coach who helped me realize that rest is just as important as the training and quality over quantity. I have had people ask me if I am going to do an Ironman and the answer is yes but not anytime soon. I am not sure when the best time would be, but it is something I would like to accomplish. Right now I just want to be able to enjoy racing and competing like I do, but also have that balance of spending time with my family and friends. Thanks to everyone who reads my blog I appreciate all of the nice comments, and looking forward to next year already!