Monday, June 09, 2008

A Few Tears...

Last Thursday, I finally made the decision to step out of the box, seek a new challenge and race in IA. Although I can't regret the decision, I was devastated as I woke up Sunday morning to severe Thunderstorms, and flash flood warnings in full effect.
Curt and Christine came over Saturday afternoon, and we made the 3.5 hours drive to Des Moines. We picked up our packets, drove the bike course and checked into the hotel...Pretty standard pre race flare, and I was getting the usual pre race anxiety. There was a Pro from Boulder on the start list but the RD still assigned me #2 as the top female seed!! I was trilled with the expectation and couldn’t wait to get out there and give it my best effort. # 1 was assigned to Daniel Bretscher, 2007 USAT Amateur Triathlete of the Year and first year pro, who made an 8 hour drive to Des Moines from Indiana.
Race start was schedule for 8am, and there was plenty of chatter regarding a potential delay. This seemed inevitable as the sky was an ominous grey and the rain was coming down sideways. Bikes were blowing off the racks and everyone was freezing.
At 7:30 we were promised an announcement regarding the new schedule…WE GOT IT-CANCELLED... and volunteer’s immediately starting stripping chips from all the racers. the time I couldn’t believe it...I was standing with Curt and Daniel. We were all devastated, but poor Daniel…his first words…”But what are they going to do with the 5K purse”…I felt so bad for him. As we drove out of there, it was obvious the RD made the right choice. According to the radar, there was no break in sight, and the bike and run courses were under water.
The drive home was nasty at the beginning, but conditions improved as we headed north. Curt and I were already planning monster workouts for the afternoon, and thanks to Kerry we received updates from the local Manitou race.
A big congrats to defending champion Kevin O’Connor who broke the Men’s course record, and to Kate McCann the new female champion.
I finally arrived home around 12:30pm; I had just hung up the phone with JH, who told me about the great day at Manitou. I was very happy for her as she had a strong 2nd place finish, but it made me so sad that I was not there to share in the excitement. This was the first time that the reality of my morning set in; the emotions starting flowing, and couldn’t help but cry... I guess that's a true indication of my Passion and Love for triathlon. I couldn’t help but think of all the Athletes in Vancouver at the World Championship and what they faced on Saturday. I was feeling their pain, but I believe it’s the joy, passion and love for the sport that keeps all great performers positive and moving forward when faced with the ups and downs of the journey.
I rallied from my sadness and prepared to capitalize on my free afternoon. I came up with a monster workout plan, and Kerry was eager to join in on the FUN!!
We set our bikes on the Compu trainer, loaded a flat 2.5 mile course, and laid our racing flats by the door…On the docket: 6X 2.5 mile bike at LT watts, followed by a 1 mile run loop at race pace. After a nice warm up, we were ready to go. I went out hard, pushing well over 300 watts for the first few minutes (yup, lots of built up emotion coming out there), and pulled off a 6:07 on my first run loop. I was hurting pretty bad after that, and had to take it down a notch on my next rep. That one hurt more, and my run split crept up to 6:22, and didn’t think I would make the entire workout, but I finally settled into true LT pace on the bike (instead of VO2max effort) and was able to descend my mile runs and pulled off a 6:04 for my last mile. It was hard, but great at the same time. I pushed through plenty of mental and physical barriers during that workout- A true victory!
I took a few hours to recover, then ventured off to the pool for a swim: 1000m strong cruise pace, 500 w/paddles race pace, then in honor of DKTs great race at Alcatraz, I did 20x 50s DKT style! I was having one of those workouts- Effectively clearing my mind of all distractions; I was motivated and focused on stretching my limits.

A received a great surprise when I got home from my swim- My dear friend Jen was waiting in my kitchen to give me a big hug. She knew I had a rough morning, and was there to ensure I was back up. It was great to catch up and hear her stories from the race. She won a new QR Lucero carbon frame in the Gear West sponsored raffle at Manitou, and to simply say she was excited would not do it justice!

I do not have any racing on the schedule this weekend, but I plan to do the TNT tomorrow night. I’ll make it a big training week as I build for the next round of 3 Oly races.

So on the DKT note, The Escape from Alcatraz was the first race in the 10K CATCH DKT challenge, so it was awesome to see David crush the bike (probably a new bike course record) and finish with and a solid 4th place. AWESOME JOB!!

Congrats to everyone who had the opportunity to race this weekend--I'm so envious~