I had goals for Vineman and they roughly translated to
5:30-5:45 – great race
545- 6:00 – good race
6:00+ – meh race
My PR on this course is 5:32 and the last time I did the race I did a 6:45. Pretty big spread. I was very confident about my swim, fairly confident about my run, and very worried about my bike. I just can’t seem to make my bike go fast.
Here are the details if you just want the numbers
The day started out like any normal race day. Up, eat, use the bathroom, get over to the race… As we were walking into transition I realized I had made a HUGE error. I forgot my bike shoes! Not really sure how I managed that but I had a very early wave so I had very little time to fix my mistake. Luckily, we were staying close by and luckily I had my running shoes on! I racked my bike and took off running back to the room, grabbed my shoes, then ran back to the race. About 1.5 miles total with my wetsuit on from the waist down. Warm up done!
I got to my bike, finished setting up, got out to the water and had about 2 minutes to spare! Well it is better than standing around all nervous with the other ladies! I lined up in the water in the front since I swim fairly well. The start was great! I had a lot of clear water and very few issues with people swimming in my way. I just kept it strong and steady. I was really hoping for something speedy like a 30-31 min swim so I was a bit disappointed to see 32:57 (9/141) the on my watch when I exited the water. (The swim did feel a little long and by my Garmin it was actually just over 1.3 miles…) It was very cool to have our friends at the water exit as well as my parents. This was the first Tri they have ever seen me do. (Thanks Jo for snapping this picture)
I made it through transition and got on my bike. This is my weakness so I was very aware of how often I was getting passed. As usual, I got passed a bunch toward the end. Turns out, 41 women in my Age Group passed me. I hate that. I don’t know what to say about the cycling. It isn’t going well right now. I have a good chunk of time to fix this before Ironman Arizona.
I made it into T2 and out to the run course with no issues. Once I started running and got away from the people it was very quiet and kind of peaceful. My goal was to at least run a 9:00 mile average pace but secretly I really wanted to do 8:30s. I clicked off the first mile in 8:20 and I was very encouraged. I managed to stay under 9:00 min miles until mile 8, then the wheels started to fall off. There is very little shade on the course and it is very rolley. It wasn’t until I got out of La Crema that I started walking. I was feeling weak and a little light-headed so I was walking through aid stations and then a little bit more than that. I was drinking as much coke as I could and eating grapes. For the first 8 miles I had picked off a bunch of women in my age group. But once I started walking a few of them passed me back. There was a lot of leapfrog going on for miles 9-12. But once I made it to mile 12 I picked up the pace and did all I could to pass them all again. There was only one I couldn’t pass in the end. By the finish I had passed 15 women on the run to end at 35/141 in my AG. (Thanks Jo for the picture again)
Now, Stuart had started the day 12 minutes after me and we figured after the swim I would have a 25 minute head start on him. There was a very good chance he would catch me on the run. He didn’t catch me so after I finished I waited in the finisher area for him to come in. And I waited… I started to get a little worried. It was a good 30 minutes and he still wasn’t in. I eventually went and checked for his bike and grabbed my phone so I could see his times so far. His bike was there (with his stinky shoes) so I felt a little better. His bike times looked like he must have had a mechanical issue but there were some run times coming back. After using my mad math skills I guessed what time he would finish and waited out on the course with our friends. Finally he came running in; smile on his face and everything! Turns out he had run over a drill bit and had a bit of drama getting it fixed. You can read his blog about that!
This is a fabulous race. I would recommend it to anyone! But for me, I have to be honest at this point; if it wasn’t for the fact that I am signed up for Arizona, I would happily hang up my tri bike and call it a year. I am finding less and less motivation to keep doing these races. They are very complicated and so much work. I will get my act together and get the training done for Arizona, but after that I am not sure how many triathlons will be in my future. Of course, I reserve the right to change my mind!