GREAT RACE! Before I get into my race report, I have a slight aside…My coach, Jesse Kropelnicki, does an amazing job analyzing my race data on both the bike and run segments of all my races. After analyzing power, HR, cadence, and pace he assigns a letter grade to each discipline based on how I executed according to our plan. Coming from an academic background, I of course loved getting letter grades (maybe a bit too much…inner geek) and became determined to try to get straight “A’s” on my “race report card” after starting the season off on a bit of rough patch (Eagleman). In spirit of his grading scheme, I have decided to recap my race by grading it myself. It will be interesting to see if my letter grades align with my coach's!
PRE RACE: A
I was much calmer and confident in my abilities to race as a "pro" leading into Timberman. This calmer attitude helped me a lot. I was actually joking around with people before the race (South Park impersonations with my number one fan/awesome boyfriend, Rob). I often get way too nervous, and stressed out before races. Hence, being able to laugh and pretend to be Cartman before my race was huge progress for me in terms of channeling my nerves and staying calm.
The swim was just okay. I got a decent warmup in for once which for sure helped as I actually had a good first 200 yards and was with the lead pack, but was swimming BALLS TO THE WALL to be there. Consequently, it quickly became way too fast for me and I was dropped after the first major turn. After that I slowed substantially as my breathing was out of control. I feel like I eventually settled into a steady pace, but it definitely wasn't quite hard enough. I also spent a few minutes getting mad at myself for getting dropped, which wasted mental energy. Needless to say, I swam the remainder of the swim solo, which isn’t good for me as I need work on sighting and swimming straight! I often joke that I think I need a compass for open water swimming as I swim all over the place, without a black line I have a hard time swimming straight. My upcoming QT2 Pro Training camp in Bristol, NH is going to do wonders for my OW swimming!
Although I am not happy with my bike split time wise, I do think I followed my race plan of 208-212 watts pretty well; thus, I am happy with my execution of the plan. A group of 4 girls passed me early on the bike, I was considering trying to go with them, but was concerned I would blow up if I did. The younger, less mature version of me definitely would've gone with them, being unrealistic and just plain competitive. I told myself that it was still early in the race and that if I went too hard too early my whole day could be done. I also told myself a popular line my old track coach use to say, “You can’t win the race in the first kilometer, but you can lose it”. Consequently, I let them go and just kept on my wattage...After half way I saw my split and was like yikes, I am not going to even break 2:40 if I hold this pace, so I decided since I felt pretty good to pick it up a bit. I ended holding 214watts the second half of the race, which was 5 more watts than the first half, so I am happy with that. However, I am left wondering if I could've pushed even harder, and if I went out too easy? I'm not sure what the answer to this is. It is a hard balance between cycling hard and still having enough left for a solid run.
I felt pretty good on the run and feel like I did a good job keeping my heart rate stimulated and on an upward trend. Race plan is to never let my heart rate drop the whole run. With that being said, my heart rate did drop a little on the down hills, but overall it was upward trending, and I finished running the last 1.31 miles as the fastest part of my race and the with the highest average heart rate. I averaged 5:49 pace for the last 1.31 miles. I started the run in 13th and finished 6th, I almost caught 5th place which was a bit disappointing, but I don’t think I could’ve asked more from myself on the run. I had the second fastest run split overall, only 15 seconds slower than the winner and 2013 70.3 World Champ, Melissa Hauschildt.
I am definitely happy to be in the prize money and on the “podium”!