This race was a late addition to my race schedule. Like 2 1/2 hours before the race late addition. I started kicking around the idea on Friday when I heard it was an afternoon start. This meant it wouldn't interfere with Morgans Saturday morning Zumba class. The zumba class is pretty much the only thing Morgan asks of me all week so it's only fair that she gets to do it.
Anyway, I thought about it on Friday and talked it over with Morgan while we shared a bottle of wine on the porch. I decided then, that I wouldn't race so I wouldn't risk hurting my fragile running legs. I could promise myself all I wanted that I wouldn't race it hard, but let's be honest... all those promises mean nothing when you're getting ran down at the end of race.
When I woke up on Saturday I watched a couple of races I had recorded on the DVR. That was enough for me to get that itch to race. The soreness had left my legs from Boise on Thursday and this ended up being a free/recovery week. I also still had my bike all dressed up for racing from Boise. So I decided to give it the old college try.
My mind was made up and all I had to do was wait for Morgan to get home from Zumba at 11 and I'd be ready to go for the 2 pm start. The problem was the I had looked on the internet and seem that the race started at 2. I just happened to see Matt Cusack post on facebook that it started at 1. Whoops! I fratically called Morgan and she rushed home. We both showered in record time and got everything all packed up and we were out the door at 11:30.
We arrived at registration at 12:00 and I mingled with everyone while we waited for the swim to start. I got my bike racked next to Matt and a local guy. Before long Josh Hadway and Dave Erickson racked between us with plenty of room to spare. The more the merrier. Not everyone felt that way as one guy was a little territorial over his spot and thought we were too close and he moved his bike. I didn't know we were at the world championships. Anyway, everyone else was very low key and friendly and eventually we all hopped into the lake to swim across to the start. Josh decided to go sans wetsuit which proved top be a mistake. (I think he was trying to give us every advantage to try and stay somewhere near him. He didn't have his race wheels or helmet either. He didn't make it to the run, but I think he may have been planning on running in hiking boots too.) :)He ended up with hypothermia on the bike and had to drop out of the race. I can't say that I blame him. I was cold in my wetsuit and he's gotta be about 2% body fat.
Swim- This was the strangest swim start I've ever been a part of. We were all across the lake talking when a faint horn blew from across the lake. We all stopped talking then the horn blew about 3 more times. "I guess that means go" Off we went. I put my head down at started to go hard. Before I knew it I was a good ten feet to the left of everyone else. I straightened out and ended up on Josh's feet for a little bit until Matt bumped me out of the way. With such a short swim there wasn't the normal gap that I have to make up on the swimmers so I came into T1 and saw all the guys I thought would be contenders in the race still there. Off came the wetsuit and onto the bike I went. I had my shoes clipped in and did a great flying mount, landed on my right shoe which caused the whole thing to collapse under my foot. The top of was smashed down so much I couldn't my foot into my right shoe. I had to come to a complete stop and unclip my shoe it cost me about 30 seconds and three guys passed me. Yet again, I screw up my transitions. This is a part of the race and I'm consistently horrible at it! Anyway, I got rolling but I had lost site of all the leaders. I decided before the race that I would bike hard and run easy or possibly not run at all. So I took off on the bike and made the first turn and instantly got stuck behind two cars going about 20 mph. I ended up passing them both (I kind felt like a bad ass passing cars on my bike, even though they were slowing down for the other racers). Once I came around them I pushed hard and passed the 3 guys that passed me during my shoe debacle back. Right before the course turned to go around Clear Lake I caught a glimpse of Matt. He was about 30-40 seconds up. I lost sight of him for a while as the course really starts to wind around. The roads were wet and it was a little sketchy going around a couple of the corners. Eventually the road straightened out and I could see Matt who had actually caught 3 guys in front of him. I saw one of them was Josh and I knew that had to be the lead group. I also knew that meant something must be wrong with Josh. As I rode by him he was sitting up on the bullhorns and he dropped out shortly there after. After I passed Josh I passed the next three guys within a minute and I was into the lead. From that point I focused on staying on course and trying to make all the turns. The police officer that marked the turn to T2 was sitting in his car on a side road and I nearly missed it.
It felt good coming into T2 first but Matt wasn't too far behind. He actually left T2 first and I figured he would run away from me as I took it easy around the lake. He was about ten feet up on me and I just relaxed and ran easy. I fell into a nice relaxed pace and by the time we hit the first turn we ended up being even and he told me he was not feeling good and he thought he might puke. I have to be honest here. I really like Matt and I was okay with him beating me, but I didn't want anyone else coming by and I was afraid if I stayed with him we might get caught. So I put in a mini surge of about a minute and opened up a gap and made the next turn around the lake. From there it gets hilly and I started to feel some pain in my left leg. I promised myself that I wouldn't push it on this race no matter what happened. I decided to stop and walk and was happy to see that Matt was still in 2nd. I stretched for a couple of seconds and waited for Matt to catch up. I ran with him for about 20 seconds but I could tell that 3rd place was getting close. My leg felt okay so I settled into a comfortable pace again and I had all the gap I needed at that point. I finished the race with my first overall win. It wasn't pretty but I'll take it. I know this race wasn't as deep as it usually is but a win is a win and in this sport so much depends on who does or doesn't show up (or who gets hypothermia) you have to be happy with a win no matter what. Who knows the next time I race could be the full of speedy guys and I'll get my butt kicked even though I may have raced better.
Sorry about the lack of splits but I raced naked and I don't even know what my finish time was. I think it was around 55 or 56 based Matt's time.