Sunday, May 11, 2008

Racing with the Rear View Mirror (aka The Rookie Race Report)

It's the official start to the 2nd Annual Texas Tri Series hosted by Jack and Adams!

(Please note that the length of the race has no influence on the length of my race report...just warning you.)

The Rookie! A quick 300 meter swim, 11.1 mile bike and a 2-mile run. I'm assuming originally designed for folks their feet wet with triathlon. But over the past couple years, it has turned into an all out Fast Fest with some of Austin's best triathletes showing why they kick some serious ass. Amy and Brandon Marsh, Andrea Fisher, Patrick Evoe, Paul Terranova, Kelly Handel, Todd Gerlach...and a bunch of other names most tri folks recognize...all showed up to demonstrate the "sprint" in sprint distance. Holy crap, these folks are fast.

And, as you know by my previous post, I was a little anxious going into the race. I had some expectations for myself and it was making me nervous. No excuse for horsing around this year, you know? Additionally, I've perceived (right or wrong) a friendly rivalry with a fellow age grouper (who I've known since the 8th grade! Boy, is Austin a small town) who I knew would be at the race also. I could be just me whipping up some unnecessary drama, but I just had it in my mind that she's out to get me.

Anytime we've gone head to head, except for once -- last year's Austin Tri, I win...but barely. She's always there breathing down the back of my neck. But you know what...I love it! It's great to have someone pushing you...and good competition can be fun!!

However, I pretty much spent pre-race strategizing and racing thinking about what was going on in my rear view mirror. The race plan from my coach was centered around making sure I finished the race ahead of her. My thoughts during the race were making sure I finished ahead of her.

It wasn't until after the race was over (and I did in fact finish ahead of her) and I was looking at the stats, that I realized I had spent the whole time thinking about what was going on behind me and not what was ahead of me. I missed first place by 36 seconds. 36 SECONDS!!

Had I just ONCE looked ahead at the woman in first place and thought (and known) all I need is to pick up 36 seconds on that chick, I would've hawked her down. But I wasn't looking ahead, I was looking behind...even literally occasionally. During the run, I knew my nemesis wasn't going to catch me, I just needed to hold steady and I would beat her.

And looking at my stats, my run pace was 7:47. 7:47?!?!? Not even close to my PR from last year AND certainly not what I should be capable of. Last month on the same course at Spenco, I ran a 7:16 for a 5K vs. 2 miles. WTF.

See D.
See D run.
See D lollygag.

HOWEVER, it is not all gloom and doom, don't get me wrong. I set out my goals and beat them all.
1. Finish in under 1:00:00
Check. - 0:59:42
2. Beat Ms. Lord
Me - Second Place
Her - Third Place 1:02:23

I came out of the swim second, which is about normal for me, but out of transition third!! (I think I need to consider going without socks and trying the flying mount thingie).

Really tried to push it hard on the bike. As soon as we got through the first big up hill and were headed into the flats, I nestled in behind the second place cyclist. She seemed like she was going hard and I thought I would just try to hang with her (3 bike lengths back of course). But as I was hanging out back there, I realized, hey -- I'm hanging out..NOT working hard. What am I doing, just waiting here for Tracy to come get me? WTH? I grabbed a bigger gear, stood on my pedals and got my pass on. If she wants me, she's going to have to come and get me. I got back into second position despite the serious head wind on the back side with the rolling hills. (Second on the bike split also.)

I was in and out of transition with no sight of Tracy, however there was another gal on my rack who came in right behind me and I was like whoa - who is that? shit? I'd better giddyap! I started my run with the plan of just shaking out my legs for the first half mile as my calves were feeling a little crampy. Short strides and quick turnover. Quick feet, quick feet -- I kept thinking to myself and I heard this new chick fall in behind me. Crap. No rest for the weary. Let's go. The first half mile was hard, but I remembered a quote JJ told me that Desiree says, "If it's hard for me, it's killing her." I channeled that and kept pushing. I could hear her breaths getting harder and more labored. "hard for me...killing her" Push. Push. And then it was getting quieter behind me. I knew she wasn't able to keep up. Sweet!! I kept it up until I was sure I couldn't hear her anymore and then I relaxed and tried to focus on the finish.

I got to the turn, flipped a U and started scanning the other side for the new chick and Tracy. When I passed Tracy going the other way, I knew I had put enough distance on her...she wasn't going to catch me today. Not today my friend. Locked into cruise control and headed home.

As I was rounding the final corner where all the supporters were I could hear people cheering for some woman behind me, tell her to pick it up, pour it on. Uh Oh! I thought..some woman trying to out kick me? I don't think so. Came out of the turn and poured it on. Shorey and JJ yelling: "Kick now! Go D!" Spectators were cheering hard. Crap! A sprint off at the finish! Go, D, GO! Passed the T3 tent and got LOTS of cheers from my new T3 friends: "Go Dionn! Nice Stride! Big Finish!" Came charging down the finish, even had the J&A banner to run through at the finish line! YAY!!!

Checked the watch...just under 1 hour. Sweet. A look behind me. No Ms. Lord in sight. Phew. Turns out the woman behind me, Tiffany, was in the age group below me. She must've racked on the wrong rack!

Met my age group winner, Shelly, and we congratulated each other on a good, hard race. Tracy came up and we high fived each other for a good race as well. Me, her rabbit, she for pushing me. All in all, a good outing.
Official Stats:
Chip Time: 0:59:42
AG Place: 2nd
Gender Place: 13th
Overall Place: 80th

Today's lesson - don't spend all your time looking in the rear view mirror about what MIGHT be happening because sometimes you might miss the opportunity right in front of you that SHOULD be happening.

OH!! (before I get a nasty note from Wiley) -- here's a picture of my hardware!
There's actually a set of four of those discs..I think they are coasters!! Who wants to join me for some celebratory bevies??

ps.-> Greg B. of T3, I now own the Scenic Brook neighborhood bragging rights. Better bring your "A" game to CapTex my friend.


Shorey said...

I'll send you the two photos I have of you in T1 - TWO. This means that I had time to stand at the swim out for a few seconds after you ran out, consider running over to transition to cheer you on, scurry over there and then take the first pic, review it to see what it looked like, then aim and shoot for the second all before you barely even got your bike off the transition. I was yelling, "Get out there, quit yer lollygaggin'!"

Good photos by the way, but I expect at the next race there will be absolutely NO TIME to do that.

Great job! And congratulations!

MikeW said...

You need to stop getting pedicures and develop some tough feet to compete!

great job, D!
Happy Mother's Day to you.

(thanks for the H/W pic!)

Tim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim said...

great job girl, I think I am gonna have to change my Team Woot title to "Official Hardware Security" the way you girls are racking up awards this spring

Erin said...

yes, yes... good job....

moving on. Damn it. I hate you! Longhorn? I hate you!!!!!! :)

oh, thanks for the post-race pick up, btw. ;)