Initial goal: Very happy if I finished sub 5:30. VERY VERY happy if I finished sub 5:15. Knew that running was going to be tough due to a couple of weeks I lost when I was experiencing some severe tendonitis in my left foot a few weeks ago. Knew that my back was going to probably be angry with me for not putting my aero bars on my bike sooner than a week and a half ago. Otherwise, knew that I was prepared to give this race everything I had, and I do mean everything.
Between Cristi's inspiration, the support from everybody around me and my own determined will, I achieved my goals. I learned a few more things about myself. I dug deep and felt stronger than I've ever felt. I'm inspired to focus on my weaknesses. Best thing of all? I really had fun.
I didn't officially qualify for Clearwater 70.3 by the standings, but since nobody wanted the spots who DID qualify, I had a chance to take a spot. I decided against it. If I go to a championship race, I think my goals need to be a little different. I'm enjoying the goals I set for myself and not trying to meet pre-determined goals. If my goals eventually fall into line with the other pre-determined ones, then great.
Coming down the chute was agonizing. If there's one thing I can't stand about Vineman, it is the last 1/4 mile. It is the longest 1/4 mile you've ever seen, and you hit the front of Windsor High School with people cheering you on saying "You're THERE! YOU'RE THERE!" No, dammit, I am NOT THERE. It's amazing how such honest attempts at encouragement can be so frustrating, especially when you're in pain. Reaching the field in back of the high school, I saw the green and purple that lined the chute and thought the first green post was the finish...I was sadly mistaken to see that no, in fact, I still had further to travel. It was all I could do to eke out a sprint down to the finish, and upon crossing, began stumbling stupidly all over the place as I attempted to remain standing.
It was very hot yesterday. In spite of it being near 90 degrees, I managed not to dehydrate, which was good.
"I'm on a Japenese fisherman's line, scaling the slope painlessly." - I repeated this on the many rollers on the bike, as well as the rollers on the run. Never stopped to look back, made me smile. THANK YOU CRISTI!
"I think you're going to have your best race ever." - Used this when legs were burning and also beginning the run. THANK YOU, MATT!
"You have no idea what the human body can do." - This quote continued to inspire me all morning. Lifted my spirits when they began to sink. Lengthened my stride when it started to shorten. Reminded me to inhale deeply as my back started to ache. To the late Klaus Barth, thank you for your amazing inspiration.
Violins from Bolero emerged in my head every time I began to feel weak; they pulled me back up, and I could hear the crescendo of the beautiful song as I began the 11th and 12th miles of the run, all of which inspired me to keep on keepin' on.
It was a great day in Wine Country.
Swim: 34:34 (or so...the official results don't have my swim time...just a T1 of 37:52...damn! Anyway - slower than usual...1:38 pace which is OKAY...but I need to get back on that 1:30 open water pace!)
T1: 3:18 (trying to work on sub 3 min...stupid wetsuit)
Bike: 2:44:35 (20.42 mph!!! Realization here: tri bike would seriously have helped....if I can avg 20.42 mph on MY bike...what could I do with a sweet tri bike and sweet wheels? Maintain a pace easier, that's for sure...)
T2: 2:36 (even the pros had slow T2...I think it had to do with that long run into the transition zone and long run out of it)
Run: 1:59:36 (9:08 min/mile. Not quite what I was hoping for...I was hoping for around 1:55 or 1:56 and started the first 6 at a pretty great 8:30 pace or so...slowed down after that. Look forward to practicing with those orthotics! Hope they get here soon!)
Overall time: 5:24:39 :) Oh yeah...and 20 minutes better than last year!!!!