I went into this race with a very simple plan, I was going to set myself up for a great run. I had no idea what that would look like in overall time nor did I care. I decided for once I would hold back on the bike, way back and see what that would do for my run. I also was committed to following my fueling plan from Jaime over at The Core Diet which ended up being right on, I have never felt as good on a long course as I did Sunday.
I didn’t look at the weather report all week, I tend not to fret about the weather. I’m not that powerful I can’t control race day conditions so I don’t put my energy into worrying about them. To me, that’s just a big waste of time. Before I packed I did get a whiff that it was to be a stormy weekend. In New Hampshire in June that could mean anything. I packed a layer for each body part to help combat the cold and wet conditions that await and made sure I had all the necessities for each sport. In the end, I had the perfect attire for the day – thanks for the ‘no bonk’ socks babe!
Friday came quickly after a challenging week. As far as taper for this race, there was none. Although I did get 2 rest days (almost unheard of at QT2), my on days were action packed between training and treating clients. I was exhausted but knew that I was going to feel great on race day. I knew the weather would be fine and that day would take care of itself. The day before as BJ and I drove around in drenching rain and high winds I said, ‘ok here are the adjectives, I’m going to have a peaceful swim, a safe bike and a great run.’
Carb enhanced and well hydrated I hit the bike early Sunday morning to ride down to the race site. It wasn’t long before I started to feel the utter joy of race morning. West Shore Dr was packed with volunteers, racers, cars, spectators, police; a bustling universe of its own while the rest of the area slept. I just started to smile – the rain had subsided, the clouds were hanging low in a mysterious fashion and I had a knowing (as Meditator Bob says) that I was exactly where I was supposed to be.
Thanks to the 4 angels who took us out of our soaking wet tent and into their beautiful accommdations on Saturday night, I was rested and armed with enough Zip Loc bags to make a dent in the environment. I was not concerned about transition times, this day was about peaceful, safe and great. And so it was.
I took it very easy on the swim, recited a mantra for the entire 1.2 miles timing it in with my strokes – Shivaya Namah – simply translated to I am the divine. I was in a zone, rode the feet of another purple cap for a while (thanks Patty, your toes were so pretty) and decided to just conserve energy for the rest of the day. My swim ended up being my second fastest with a 35:57. Bonus.
Transition was a blast, super muddy, big puddles; a bit of an adventure. I’ve been hearing about some folks who have been complaining quite negatively about the race, location, conditions of transition etc. I guess my only advice to them is to pick another sport or at least another race where everything is guaranteed to be pretty, dry and clean. But maybe another sport because being flexible is huge in triathlon. We’re always given exactly what is meant for us, exactly what we attract. I think adverse conditions only give us an opportunity to grow, to get tougher and further our ability to endure.
The bike course is breathtaking, challenging and includes one awesome 3 mile climb with an Old Stage like finish which you get to do twice. The descent was fast, slick and technical in sections. The mountain stream was running strong, the trees were superbly bright and there was a deafening silence. A magical ride (thanks Todd for the last minute bike fit) but slow, 4:00:03. My heart rate at the finish of the bike was mid Z2 which is actually Z3 to most – QT2 heart rates are different. According to my coach, ideally top of Z2 was where I wanted to be. Probably held back here a little too much.
Headed back into the muddy buddy portion of the race and onto the run. I felt like I had not done anything prior to this, my legs were 100% and I was feeling the benefits of good nutrition (thank you Keith for the last minute Perform race morning). I returned to the use of a mantra and this time used ‘I am in perfect health, there is no pain in my body.’ I recited that over and over and over again, totally zoning out and before I knew it I was at mile 9 and feeling awesome.
I broke the run up into four 5km sections. The first 5k I just decided to get my legs transitioned and not go out too hard. The 2nd 5k was to just hit a consistent groove, feeling really good at this point. The 3rd 5k to start picking it up a bit but I got spooked with a minor cramp at mile 7 and was too conservative on this leg. At mile 9 I was feeling amazing and decided to start going for it. The last 5K was the fastest of the day, I took in a little coke at mile 12 just for fun and gunned on to the finish with a 2:10:15 run. A 22 minute run PR on a 70.3 course. Overall time: 6:54:50.
In hindsight, I held back a little too much. It is now apparent that I have much more endurance than what is necessary for a 70.3 which I should have at this point. In the end I didn’t screw it up, for once I didn’t fall apart on the run. I have felt what it’s like to feel great at the end, I just need to fine tune that a bit. I am pleased with my performance and my ability to let go of my ego in order to try a new approach. I am going to be able to pull great data and insight from this experience and use it to my advantage going into Placid in less than 6 weeks.
And yes honey…I will take that new bike!