Tuesday, November 12, 2013

World Champs!

Here it is at long last!  It has taken me much longer than anticipated to get to writing this race report. We moved immediately after I returned from Maui and I have been lost in the moving twilight zone the last 2 weeks. I feel like I am finally getting settled and coming back into reality! 
So, finally, here is my race recap!

As many of you know, I had been training and hoping to go to Maui this year but financially things were not looking good for me. Then, the government shutdown so our paycheck was halted a few weeks and things REALLY weren't looking good. After nationals I knew that I had something more in there and wanted to have a good race in Maui this year so I just laid it all out there and let the need be known.  So many great people stepped up and really helped make this happen.  Everything came together to make my trip a GO! 

I had a couple great weeks of training leading up to Maui. Ashlyn had the opportunity to visit my parents and "the cousins" in Colorado so I was able to get a little bit more training time! My mom and Ashlyn flew back to Sacramento on Tuesday and I headed out to Maui Thursday. It would have been nice to go a little earlier to have more time to acclimate but that is not always how things work out. I was so
great place to stay!
happy to find the super friendly Canadian ladies who were willing to take me in as a roommate and it was almost like a girls getaway that was really quite in the days leading up to the race. Besides the sore sides from laughing! 
Friday I went on a preride and opted to do the short version and only ride the first 3 miles and the last 5 which is all the single track on the bike course. Since it was only two days out I didn't want to do too much, I wanted to save it for race day.  I was pretty 'underwhelmed' about the bike course after my preride and found myself feeling disappointed right along with a lot of the mountain bikers that the course really doesn't take much technical skill.  They did try to make it harder by making it longer.
Saturday I headed out with the girls to go for a swim and try to figure out how to manage the waves. The rest of the day was just taking it easy and relaxing. I found myself getting pretty negative about the bike course and I knew I needed to change my attitude.  I talked to a friend on the way home and he was saying " aw, whatever, I LOVE this bike course!"  I decided it was up to me to change the things I have the control to change like my attitude and perspective! Thanks Rife! And this helps to have this slogan on my bike!
Good thing to see on race day

Race Day

Race morning arrived and I made sure to get my head in the game. There are always pre race jitters and doubts of whether or not I will be able to perform to the best of my ability.  I knew I had gotten some good training in and I knew I was capable of having a good race.  Goals set high, I wanted an age group win.  That top spot has eluded me in a championship race up to this point and I really wanted that to change at World Championships! I also wanted a top five in the amateur field which I knew would be a hard one to get. There were a lot of great girls from the states racing and then because it world championships there are the wild cards that I don't know. 
I got everything together and was feeling pretty good and relaxed as a rode over to transition.  I remained relaxed despite the fact that I had no spot in transition and after meandering through all the racks I had to wait while the XTERRA staff went to find out where I was supposed to be.  No big deal, I got a spot. The morning was pretty relaxed I am apparently not a well-known top contender so I fly well under the radar on race morning no talk or expectations on the mic.  I got all ready to go and then decided to get down to the water because I was hot already! This was shaping up to be a long hot day. 

Swim 28:14  -- 4th AG
Boom! Its go time! The gun went off 4 mins after the pros and 2 minutes after all the age-group men.  I tried to stay in the pack and swim on fast feet, only problem is I have a hard time knowing where I am with the other swimmers. I was trying to think about the tips my swim coach, Joan, had been giving me. Get a fast start and then get the pace. It didn't take long before we were catching the age group men and the ocean got pretty crowded.  I found myself a little far inside and needing to swim back out a little to get around the first bouy.  I felt like my swim was pretty good but it really wasn't much improved based on my time comparatively.  I was a couple minutes down to some of my competitors, which is normal but even slightly more.  I am a little disappointed with the swim because I feel like I have been making some improvements in the pool and that really didn't show at all here. However, I know that it takes time so I am optimistic. Transition went smooth but was pretty slow! I guess I was making sure I had everything for a long hot bike ride.  As I was running out I heard the announcer calling in one of my biggest challengers, Maia, so I knew that she would be hot on my heals and I had some work to do to catch the girls ahead of me.

Bike 2:07.54 -- 1st AG
The beginning of the bike is all about controlling myself and going steady. Since we started 2 minutes behind the men that puts me behind a lot of people in the bike. The first 3 miles of the bike course follow the run course and it pretty much just starts climbing and is mostly single track. There are opportunities to pass but I always have to decide whether it is worth it to start burning that much energy that soon. I find it a little better to ride the "train" and give my legs time to get going and then when the course opens I can hit it harder.  That is pretty much what I tried to do. When we got to the top and to the one technical descent on the whole course, everyone was walking when I started coming down! So I had to weave my way through. These are the places where I really start wishing I was a lot better swimmer!  When we popped out onto the road a girl that followed behind me exclaimed "what was that! Must have been all the road bikers!" LOL.  I was able to really let it go on the open descents after that and take some passes on the inside corners.  Finally, I made it to the last section of single track which was about 5 miles. I confess, I found myself actually enjoying this part of the ride a lot more than I expected! The fact that the bike was longer and this single track was at the end played in my favor just a little because I was actually able to catch a few girls toward the end and put some time in on the ones behind.  It had been a long HOT ride and I was really happy that I made the decision to take my Camelbak which I had frozen the night before. Having that icy cold water the whole way was clutch!

Run 57:24 -- 5th AG
This is always the leg I struggle with the most.  However, I kept remembering two years ago here when I had a really good run for me and I was really hoping it would feel like that again!  I started out of transition feeling good, as always, for about 3 minutes and then the legs started cramping. No! I had a flask of EFS that I grabbed and started taking it in to fight off the cramps.  I finally made it to the first water station and grabbed some icy water. At this point the course actually has a little downhill before it continues the 3 mile climb and I had gotten the cramps to go away but I feared they would return as soon as I started to climb again like they did in Ogden.  Thankfully I kept going up and no cramps!  I was running scared as I came to some steep climbs in the middle of the course! This is about halfway through the run and seems to be the "sweet spot" where I always get passed! I just kept telling myself to run hard. "You know that in a race all the runners run, but only one runner gets the prize. So run like that. Run to win!" 1Cor 9:24. Duh :)   I made it to the top and began running down and I just tried to really push on and not relent. I knew I had to lay it all out there to hold on even though I had no idea who was ahead or behind.  I finally made it to the final brutal climb that they put in to demoralize everyone and could see another female ahead. I pushed on and ran the final descent as hard as I could muster. Nearing the bottom I passed a couple of pros just before I hit the beach. This hurt bad!  I kept running scared all the way down the beach and across the sand I was still convinced I was going to get passed before the finish. The race photos of my face tell it all! :) (sorry no photos, $$). 

I finally crossed and they escorted me away to make sure that I could continue to walk.  I was done in many ways! I was pretty out of it and completely spent and then someone told me to go get my time card to see how I did. Oh, yeah, braindead... 
Well, I just about burst into tears and exploded when I got this!!
Pretty excited to see this! This is the text that went to Drew.

Finish 3:37.46 -- 1st Age Group, 8th overall amateur,  29th female.

In my excitement I finally was able to notice my splitting headache and made my way to the med tent. The medical staff where awesome and laid me down and got my temps back down and replenished fluids. After some time there I felt much better! 

I finally did it! I finally got the top spot on the podium at World Championships! 

I am so incredibly thankful to all the people who helped me this whole season and all the people who helped me get here!! I could not have done this without the help of some super people.  I have to mention a few!  Justin Hurd helping me out so much and I think the run will be coming along soon.
Vanessa Carmean and Sian Turner are awesome peeps!!  Joan Marenger super optimistic, encouraging and supportive, thank you and all my CalFit swimming friends! Bayside Adventure Sports, you guys are awesome! Also, many friends and family who made contributions to help me out. I am blessed to know some really great people!

Thank you to my sponsors Folsom Bike helping me get here and keeping my bike running great throughout my spastic last weeks! 
Tom and Monsters of Massage for helping me out and keeping my body running right!
Bolle Eyewear for continuing to keep me seeing clear with awesome shades!
RooEpic keeping me styling through all my hard training sessions.

Thanks to anyone who has read this far! It has a been a great note to end my season on. Now I am happy to have some time to reboot and start thinking about next season!

Goodbye Maui! Until next time...

But, I come home to this! Even better than Maui. Always keep perspective



Kristen Lodge said...

That is an amazing report. Congrats. I would freak out if I saw 1 of 26 on the time.

Melissa Sattler said...

Congratulations! I am so happy for you.