Monday, September 14, 2009

Nations Tri Race Report & the Big 3-0!

My Cute Cake from My Mom last weekend!

Well, I'm entering the next decade sore, tired, but happy and thankful that I got to race this past weekend which was fun.
I headed down to DC on Friday after work made it by 10:00pm with minimal traffic which was a plus.

Oh..before I get started on that.. I think it's time to introduce my new mascot (yep, I'm that big-time, I have a mascot) her name is Beyonce the Beaver. We were first introduced when Kyle and I were running and we found her along the road in perfect condition and needing a home. Luckily, I quickly realized that she wouldn't eat much, nor would she need ample attention because she is in fact a stuffed animal. The perfect companion for my busy lifestyle. Someday maybe I'll graduate to a real animal mascot (like all you people with little dogs that eat your cupcakes off the counter and such), but for now, I'll be chillin with Beyonce.

Anyway, she will now be traveling to all the races for moral support and to keep the general moral up among the troops (aka me). She loves car rides and short rides in my transition bag so it's a perfect match.

With that said, The Nations Tri was our first official endeavor as team owner and mascot set out down Rt. 76. Beyonce was pleased with the new Garmin so she didn't have to do any map reading, which was good for both of us since she doesn't really say much.

The trip went smoothly and I crashed pretty much as soon as I got there! Saturday was spent getting everything done -registration, bike racking etc.

I attended a race meeting and bumped into one of my fellow Mark Allen Online athletes Collin so we checked out the expo together and he filled me in on some nuisances about the race. Beyonce, also a bike expert, getting ready to make sure the the Cervelo is ready to ride fast and smooth. Checking the Polar to make sure it's reading properly pre-race.
I only have time to do a very abbreviated race report because I'm in Cleveland with my company and I get about 10 minutes to myself each day! I started with the elite wave of about 70 men and women and that was exciting. Once they rushed us from the holding pen to get in the water we only had about 10 seconds before the gun went off. To my dismay my goggles (that I had just worn the day prior during a practice swim) didn't want to adhere to my face no matter what I did. I started to panic a little when the suction just didn't seem to be working but decided everything would be fine. The gun went off and on the way out to the first turn buoy I felt pretty good about my stoke and pace. I was pretty in line with the group and things seemed to be going well. However, on the way back water started to leak into my right eye very badly and I found myself closing it just to try and keep all that extra water out. I probably should have stopped, tried to suction it again, and then kept going. However, I didn't want to loose a bunch of time so I let it go. The leakage, combined with the sun was an awful combination and at one point I looked up only to find I was (what seemed like) miles away from the other swimmers! I was so upset! I tried to take the straightest line I could to get back on track but my eye was still bothering me immensely. When I finally made the final turn I couldn't wait to rip those goggles off my face!! I came out of the water, looked at my time and wondered if we might be swimming a half-ironman race as opposed to 1500 meters! It wasn't pretty, but I decided to just move on to the bike. The crazy part was that my right eye was still blurry and no matter how I rubbed it, it didn't seem to clear. It took a few minutes but with some fresh air it FINALLY became normal again and I was thankful as I mounted my bike and rode off!
The bike was pretty flat and I tried to keep my heart rate in check while giving it some good power and high cadence. I immediately fell in with a group of two guys and one other girl who all seemed to be riding my pace. The not so cool part is the older gentleman that was with us kept riding faster to pass, then would slow up once he got in front slowing all of us down to keep from drafting. My heart rate would drop and I would end up backing off significantly. This happened two or three times where one of us would pass him and then he would re-pass and slow down (as would the girl in our group further making things complicated). Finally, I said, ok..lets give it 5 hard mins and push it to get away from this pack. I tried once, it didn't work. I tried again, finally, they were gone. I was riding pretty much on my own and had less to worry about. By that time I was getting pretty far into the 25 miles and really was feeling better about my race. My legs felt good and I was thankful to be out there in the perfect weather racing again. When I pulled into transition people were cheering loudly and I felt I was somewhere in the top ten women. I racked my bike and ran out quickly toward RUN OUT.
During that first mile I was feeling pretty darn good and the leg turnover seemed perfect. I passed two girls right away and kept telling myself I was about to have a great run! I looked at my first mile split - 6:12..WOW Kim..slow it down here! I always do that and I have GOT to do better at pacing that first mile. The next mile was better and when I hit the half way point I was starting to feel it in my legs. By mile four I was really pushing it to stay around 6:50 and it just seemed so empty with a few men in front of me. Mile five finally arrived and I saw a girl about 40 seconds up but I was really starting to hurt and wanted to catch her but didn't think there was enough race left to do most likely. Someone told me I was in 6th at that point and I thought I might have a chance at top 5 which is what I really wanted. Later I would find out they couldn't count and I was actually in 7th! I pushed the last mile as hard as I could and pumped my arms to get into the finish. The crowd was awesome coming into the finish and I enjoyed the course so much. It was flat and fast and I would highly recommend it!! It really was a wonderful venue and was run extremely well! Afterward I caught up with some friends and ate some PB&J sandwiches! Beyonce was willing to wear my finishers medal for a picture which was good of her.. I don't have many race pictures (ok, none) since I was traveling solo and Beyonce isn't very good at cheering and holding the camera! Hopefully the race photographer will have some good ones! Last night we celebrated my Birthday in Cleveland with my company at a really cool Thai Restaurant and they even had a tiara and sash for me! I had to laugh because I felt like some sort of prom queen or pageant contestant (which was a first for me!)
They brought out a huge cake and surprised me! The whole restaurant sang to me and it was quite the event. Here I am looking kind of funny with my eyes closed right after I made my wish and blew out all 30 candles (which had pretty much melted down to stubs!). I would put in a better one but I don't have it since after that I was stuffing my face. The cake was enormous and delicious!! It was a very nice day so I was thankful to have friends around me to celebrate.

Thanks for all the well-wishes before the race and for the Birthday wishes also! I really appreciate it, and you guys are awesome. I hope everyone else had a great weekend!! I'm looking forward to the next thirty years!!

No comments: