I know I promised a bit of a race report but it is going to be brief - I never get too enthused the day after a race to sit down and write about it - I always feel it is looking backwards whereas in my mind I am already looking towards the next race and how to prepare for that.....anyway a quick run down of the day....... 3.30am wake up for some toast and a bottle of Accelerade - yes that is early and nobodys alarm should ever start with a 3. However it also gave me time for a quick weather check. I had gone to bed with the forecast of likely thunderstorms for race day and possibly severe and when I got up the forecast was the same - in fact the storms were predicted to kick off around 7.15am - right about when we would have been just riding over the dam wall on the bike course! However none of these storms eventuated (until this morning that is!!!) and weather conditions were just about perfect - overcast and not too hot, although quite windy at times (I am positive we had a headwind in every direction on the bike) and then clear skies and hot on the run which then turned to steamy and humid for the post race hang out time at the lake.
I was not at all happy with my swim - it was slow and not at all like I have been training and even swam in my last race. However there was a factor which did not help....I committed a rookie error of not swimming in my wetsuit for a few weeks - I love my wetsuit - it is a Profile Design suit and hands down the fastest suit I have swum in to date and although as a strong swimmer I love non-wetsuit swims, I have also come to love wetsuit swims because I know my suit is fast. However yesterday when I put it on before the start I knew I was in trouble - I guess I must be getting down to race weight because when your suit feels loose and zips up too easily that is not a good sign. Sure enough in the short warm up I did I was taking in buckets of water to create that dreaded heavy sinking feeling. I even contemplated ripping it off on the start line and swimming without a wetsuit. However I was still confident it would be OK given that it is a fast suit and swimming in a wetsuit is always faster than without. So I persevered. Yep it was a tiring swim - by halfway I felt like a had arms of lead and was sitting below the water rather than on top. Lesson number 1 learnt - make sure wetsuit fits properly!!!
So I had a gap out of the water but not really the gap I had expected of myself. But with a long day or racing ahead I just put my head down and concentrated on trying to have the best ride I could. I felt strong on the bike - certainly the new position felt reallly good (thanks again John!!) and I was able to see that I can go a lot faster in a couple of weeks of riding in this position. I do not recommend anyone tries this total change of position though less than 48hrs before a 90km race unless they are being fitted by Mr Cobb. Chrissie flew past on the bike and then flew past again later in the ride after she stopped to change a flat. That girl can ride thats for sure. But the goal is to minimise that gap so a few risks and changes are warranted.
Off the bike and onto the run and I actually expected to feel pretty rotten - I thought I would realy be sore and uncomfortable from the new position on the bike and I also knew I had ridden 90km pretty well as hard as I could on the day. So it was a nice surprise to get off a find my legs staright away and know I would be OK. Amy Marsh had entered T2 2 minutes ahead of me with Chrissie but I thought I had a pretty good chance of picking her up but I also knew I was being chased from behind by Jo Lawn and some other great runners. I fell into a nice rhythm and felt in control, moved into 2nd about 7km in and even took a little time off Chrissie. It was only in the last 5km or so that I really started to hurt but didn't even realise it for a while and then beagn to quickly lose some big time and over the last 2 km or so really had to put the grimace on and get some hurt going (well the hurt was there already in a big way it was more a matter of embracing the aching pain in my legs ) to make sure that firstly I was going to make it to the line and secondly that no one was going to get past me. Thanks goodness for the final turn into the finish shute and the local cheerleader girls there to greet us and put a smile on my face. Congrats to Chrissie and Jo and all the other girls - it was a great race and also a very clean one - a fact I think everyone appreciated and respected and hopefully is a factor in all races going forward. The wave starts definitely helped in this regard so thanks to the race organisers for this consideration (and of course for every other aspect of a great race).
I met so many wonderful, friendly and enthusiastic people over the weekend - both local racers and volunteers and people who had come from all over to Kansas, the Midwest, USA and the World to race. I think it is going to grow in popularity as an event but for me the best thing was being able to feel like it was my home town race. I felt like I had a lot of support - so thank you to all. And yes I have definitely taken advantage of the fact that I have not had to fly/drive anywhere - have already had a nice ride and a swim today as well as plenty of feet up time. No unpacking!! Back to work tomorrow and then next up Iron Girl Atlanta.