Sunday, July 22, 2007

Just this close (aka Marble Falls Race Report)

Overhead Announcer: Thank you for training with Camp Punishment this morning. We're looking forward to our on time departure of 7:06am under cloudy skies but an otherwise beautiful day.

Our trip today will begin with a 1000m slice through Lake Marble Falls. Traffic control tells us that visibility is somewhat limited and there may be some debris to move through, but we believe it won't be a problem.

The second leg will be a 'hilly' 23 mile spin. Control also warns that there will be additional traffic, so everyone be sure to look around and see what else is traveling by us.

And our final leg will be a meandering 4.4 mile tour through a great neighborhood. We are testing out some new equipment and are hoping to pick up some additional time during this portion, so we are planning on conserving fuel during the first two segments.

We know you have a choice when you train and we'd like to thank you for choosing Camp Punishment.

Training Attendant: Welcome, Dionn. How are you doing today?
Dionn: Fine thanks!

TA: Here's your chip. Will you be checking anything or carrying everything on board?
D: I'll need to check one item please. (Hands over Ego)

TA: Ahh! Yes. Will you be picking that up at T1, T2 or the Finish?
D: T2, please.

TA: Here you go. (Hands over claim check #175)
D: Thank you! (Places claim check in pocket)

Overhead Announcer: We are now ready to depart. Have a great trip!

And so it began! Having securely checked my ego at the gate, our swim wave was off. Yes, the water was brown and murky, but because my goggles fog in the first 100m I can never see anything anyway, so it doesn't really matter.

Our swim wave was for all women 39 and under. You know folks like, Amy Marsh and about 5 other sub 1:30 pace swimmers. It was a wet start with a triangular counter-clockwise course. I let almost everyone jump in the water and swim out to the start. I got in towards the very end and started my swim in my favorite place, front row outside lane. It was a good distance to the first buoy and turn, so it didn't make any sense to me to scoot inside and battle with everyone. I just pointed my nose at the buouy and took off when the horn blew. It was SO tempting to snuggle up to the leaders and try to draft, but I looked in my pocket and saw my claim check and decided to settle in to a nice pace using long, strong pulls and a gentle roll and just make my way through the swim. Other than inhaling gas fumes during the first half, it felt good. I loved the long stretch of the triangle-shaped just begs you to find your grove and settle in. I swam strong with no bang (!) and followed the race plan.

Turns out I had a GREAT swim! 1:43 pace, finishing the 1000m in 17:13. Second out of the water in my age group. (Last year's course pace was 2:01, finishing in 20:05)

Off to the bike. So the first mile is straight uphill. I looked in my pocket and saw my claim check and settled into a nice spin up the hill to get things going. I have to say that all the hill training we do TOTALLY pays off. It was definitely a hilly course, but was not concerning. SEVERAL times, however, one of my age groupers would come whizzing by and it was all I could do not to starting turning the cranks harder, but I kept thinking about the run and just let them go.

Ended up finishing the bike with a 18.7 pace. Last year's pace was 18.5, but I distinctly remember going as hard as I could on the bike portion of the race last year. So while I was glad to see that my not-hard pace this year is faster than my hard pace from last year.

And then the run. I turned in my claim check, grabbed my Ego and headed out! The goal was to beat my pace PR of 8:09 (set at Danskin this year). It was tough (as always for me), but I kept slogging through. My first mile felt slow, but I chalked it up to getting those cinder blocks off my legs that someone snuck in and strapped onto my quads. Each mile I tried picking up the pace a little more and a little more. I was wearing a watch but kept forgetting to check my times at the mile markers to see how I was doing, so I would end up doing some quick mental gymnastics to see how my overall time broke down to my pace. It was going to be close. I definitely went anaerobic a couple times going up hills, but try to use the next downhill as a recovery.

Shorey passed going the other way and hollered, "Drop the Hammer Dionn!" I frantically searched around, hammer, hammer....where is my FREAKIN' HAMMER? All I could find was one of those small mallets used to check your reflexes. shit.

I kept after it and gave it all I had. But, I just missed it.... run pace, 8:12. DAMMIT! DAMMIT! DAMMIT! Surely I could've found 3-4 secs in each mile from somewhere! Next time, I'm totally going to have to work the splits on my watch.

...sigh.... there's always the next race though!!

And while I didn't hit my race goal, I smoked last year's run pace of 8:55 and my overal time of 2:09:45.4 (vs last year 2:16:11) was good enough for 6th place (vs last year's 9th place) and a PR for the whole course. WOOT!!

So...I'll see ya on the run!!


Shorey said...

Damnit is right! Shoot! At least you had a course PR, and smoked yourself from last year. THAT is completely worth it & very awesome! So glad you're my regular race buddy!

MikeW said...

Nicely done. Congrats on the improvement from last year!! That's really all that matters!

(can't compare different race course, i don't think!)

Erin said...

I loved this race last year, and I'm a little sad that I didn't do it. But since I am familiar with what you were up against... way to go!!!! You freaking rocked!!!!

Panther said...

I'm really proud of you for following your race plan, D. I know it couldn't have been easy for you to let those people go. I have to ask, though, why was your claim ticket #175? Was that your bib number?

Good job, D!!

Dionn said...