Saturday, November 9, 2013

So Long Longhorn

Of course – we were in the middle of a drought in TX and I pick the one weekend it’s supposed to rain! It was Crazy HOT two years ago and Crazy COLD last year. Thank you Coach Karen for making me go out rain, or shine! Luckily it didn’t rain on the drive up to Austin. I stayed with my first homestay EVER! They were AWESOME! Mike works for Livestrong and Tori works in scientific publishing so we all had lots to chat about!

Mandatory Hair-E-Butts trip! HEB Plus!!! Oh yeah!

Onto the expo! It wasn’t too crazy when we got there so I picked up my packet and immediately ran into some fellow Team RWBers – Caroline Gaynor, Jared Rose and Fred… as well as Jeremy Brown – the Athlete and Apparel Director for Cobb Cycling! BTW, did you know the application is out for Team Cobb Mobb? We chatted so long I was almost late to the pro meeting… whoops! They take attendance now uh oh! In the pro meeting I met Sue Huse – it’s nice to meet other women who are competitive and approachable. By the end of the pro meeting, the expo was packed! The packet pickup line was almost out the door. I stopped and chatted with the Sugoi rep (down from Canada) supporting the local shop and day dreamed of IM Canada in Whistler and IM 70.3 World’s in Mont Tremblant. One of the many cool things about Sugoi, is the meaning of the word itself – “incredible, awesome”. On my way out I just had to try the Bonk Breakers – purely scientific purposes of course… lots of replicates and trials and controls to ensure accurate data… And Steve left without me… I got a little carried away…

Back to the house to set my race gear up and test everything out – including me – to make sure everything still works. Then dinner with Team RWB at Johnnie Carino’s Italian! We arrived early to meet with my coach and a couple other friends – Esteban and Amy. At the dinner I met Brad Williams, Jessica Jones Meyers and her family, and lots of other supporters of the Eagle! The food was great! The company was energetic! I was relaxed and loving the trip – surprising for the night before a big race.

After dinner we tucked in and passed out – or I did. Steve apparently tossed and turned, but I was out cold! I slept great until about 3am when I woke up and was ready to race! Way to freaking early! Then it started pouring… I was able to go back to sleep a little, but kept waking up thinking it was time to go. By the time the alarm went off at about 5:30am the rain had slowed to a drizzle! YEAH!!! It continued to sprinkle on us as we readied our gear in transition. We tip-toed to the swim start while trying to avoid the ‘Goat Heads’ (no relationship to Steve’s ‘The Goat’). The rain never started back up the rest of the day. Cloud cover = kept the morning temp warmer and the afternoon cooler and really, really humid! Just like Florida! Weeee!!! The swim went great – I know I have more in me to go faster and will really focus on strength and lots of swimming this winter. T1 was painful – I was still removing ‘Goat Heads’ on Monday and my bike felt a lot heavier carrying it to the mount line than I thought it would… funny how tired my arms are after a swim… who’d-a-thought… The bike was mostly good minus the big bump around mile 25 that apparently ejected my water bottle – the full one – so I had to refuel at one of the aid stations. My first attempt at refilling the ‘Fuselage’ on my Shiv while racing was a success! It was very easy!!! Then the frustration came as another pro female passed me drafting off one of the male age groupers. For as long as she was in sight, she was drafting. This is not the first time I’ve seen this and I’m sure most of you reading this are not surprised. Why do so many draft in this sport? Why not just race ITU if you want to draft? For those of us who want to do the right thing and race clean, we are significantly hurt by your actions. It’s even more frustrating when you openly admit to doing it online and/or get caught on video drafting. So much for positive role models… It’s disappointing to see my role models and fellow competitors cheating. Enough of that crap… onto T2 – T2 was also painful as the pavement was crazy rough and laden with loose gravel. I usually have pretty tough feet (considering the glass I had in my foot for months while still running). When Steve and Esteban asked how I felt all I could say was, “This sucks!” while pointing to my feet and the pavement. Onto the run, a 3 loop out and back course with some rolling hills – of course! It’s Hill Country!!! The cloud cover kept the temps nice, but made it crazy humid! The rain made the turn around point feel like an Xterra race! Jim, Matty P, and Jenky probably remember the long run through Conservation Park when our feet were loaded up with about 1-2 pounds of mud! That’s what it felt like! Laps 2 and 3 I learned where I should step to avoid a ton of mud! All this and I still held onto my run time from Augusta – which is a completely flat run! Thanks to Coach Karen, I continue to make gains on my run!

Although this was the last biggie of my season, I am looking forward to a little time off. I am anxious about planning my next season and finally making it into the gym. My husband Steve has been dying to get me into the gym for some off-season strength training. I’d almost rather do an Ironman than go through one of his workouts ;) I’m sure I’ll race several smaller races here and there in and around San Antonio as I start working on building my base – and of course support the Rock N Roll Marathon here in a few weeks. That and trying to avoid gaining 20 pounds this holiday season (as proved to Mike Connors in person on the scales at work)!

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