I’ve mentioned that my coach has a way with words and always seems to know what to say that will stick in my head when I need it. The note attached to today’s race in my training calendar was no exception: You have BUSTED YOUR LEGS for this....now, MAKE IT HAPPEN OUT THERE!!!!!! Yep, just what I needed to keep telling myself.
I had a goal in mind – a time barrier to break for a new PR and it was 5 minutes faster than my goal time when I PRed on this course last year. Now if you’re short on time, I’ll skip to the end and tell you that I broke the time barrier, got a new Olympic PR and even beat my goal time by almost a minute.
I love races where not only do I perform well but I get to share the day with friends! I had family AND a bunch of training buddies all competing today which made it even more fun!
Strolling down to the beach with my aunt and uncle
Waiting around with Kristi
The water didn’t seem quite as warm as it had yesterday but maybe that was because it was cloudy and cool (50s) at start time. Still it’s never too cold not to ham for the camera.
I met Jessica while waiting around at the start line! I’m totally impressed you somehow recognized me in swim cap and goggles!!
And then we were off!
The swim was changed last minute from a convoluted zig-zag loop around the lake to a very simple 2-loop swim (in reality I think they got lazy and left the buoys right in place from yesterday’s 0.5 mi and 1.0 mi swims, meaning this course might have been long).
Running across the beach to dive back in for loop 2
The upside of the 2-loop swim was that I was able to draft on the fast men during my 1st loop. The downside was getting stuck with girls who couldn’t sight/swim on my 2nd loop and getting really pissed off at how hard I was getting kicked by women swimming across my very straight line to each buoy.
But I was out of the water, up the hill and across the transition mat within 10 seconds of last year’s time (and ~2 minutes faster than my other Oly distance swims this year) so I’ll take it. I knew my gains would come in the next leg.
Even with my wetsuit getting stuck on my lower legs again (can I cut the bottom inch or two off this thing if it keeps getting stuck?), transition was my usual speed. THIS time I figured out how to rubber-band my shoes to my bike properly and had a nice easy mount at the line.
Holy shit, it worked! :)
And I was off for a scenic 24 or 25 miles around south San Jose.
I knew from last year’s race that I could do more on the bike, especially with all the improvements I’ve made this year. I had a target wattage to shoot for and a plan in my head for how to attack the various parts of the course that I knew so well.
This is the smile of “I just took over 7 minutes off last year’s bike time.” (2010: 17.8 mph. 2011: 18.5 mph)
And then it was off to the run, where I set a new 10k PR last year.
Er…this is going to hurt.
The sun was finally coming out as I started the run and it FELT warmer for sure. It took a few miles and water at every aid station for my stomach to stop feeling gacky (I kinda thought I was going to puke the whole time, which led me to think of Beth and wonder if I’d just feel better if I did it already!) – even though my legs felt pretty good, I kept having to dial it back a little to keep everything else under control. We’ll have to do a bit of thinking about how to avoid this in the future. Still I can’t complain TOO much about the pace (8:15 vs 8:07 last year) and I had room to make my goal because of how my bike had gone, even with a run course gone a bit long (they moved the finish line but not the turnarounds, huh?).
In sight of the finish and knowing I’d accomplish my goal for the day
In the end it was a 4.5 minute PR and about 45 seconds faster than the goal I hoped to make. In the past year, I’ve taken over 25 minutes off my Olympic race time!! Huge thanks to my coach and training buddies and Recovery e21!
My friend Mary finished her first Olympic with a great time and my aunt and uncle PRed!
I never saw Nigel until the run course (his wave went off well ahead of me and he’s a great swimmer) but I think he PRed too!
See, even better when you can celebrate the success of friends too!