Sunday, April 15, 2012

Snake River Triathlon

Odds were this wasn’t going to be the best performance of my season. In fact, I went into Oz Fitness Friday afternoon just hoping I could breathe through my nose long enough to swim 500 yards. I dealt with a cold that left me pretty immobile through much of the first part of the week. Despite being able to get back outside running and swimming by Tuesday, my body just wasn’t up to par. And then Thursday rolled around, and it had to be.

Erica Zeimer and I vying for
position at the start.
That’s because Robin DeRuwe from Fitness Fanatics left a much anticipated text message that told me the one thing I’d been waiting to hear for about a week: My new bike had arrived. Not only was it sitting there in the shop, it was ready to go home. The Quintana Roo Seduza was ready to ride, and my mind—whether my body was ready or not—was eager to take off on top of faster wheels.

They say you shouldn’t try anything different on race day. Having surprised myself with my fastest ever 500yd split time of 7:09 on Friday afternoon (despite the lingering effects of my cold and swimming in a pool everyone kept telling me was incredibly slow) I had no misgivings about trying out my new bike down in Lewiston. Truth be told, I didn’t go down there entirely unprepared, as I put about 50 miles on it beforehand just to get the feel of a brand new bike. A brand new toy.

It’s safe to say my bike was probably what allowed me to shave over a minute and a half off my time from the sprint duathlon just under a month ago. My health certainly couldn’t take the credit. I made it up the steady incline for the first part of the ride and then zoomed all the way to the finish. Incredibly responsive and obviously light, I felt like a feather on the stream of wind. The pain in my legs still existed, and my heart rate proved my effort was race-worthy. Yet my mind couldn’t get over that free-flying sensation.

Compared to last month’s duathlon run split off the bike, this one felt incredibly effortless. Again, another great surprise! As if the fast swim and bike wasn’t enough, my run split was just as fast as my first 2 miles of the duathlon. I remember coming off the bike a month ago and feeling my heart pushing up into my throat, causing a wheezing sound only those with respiratory diseases can explain. This time, I expected the same to happen considering for the last few days I’ve done a great job of simulating an ever-flowing fountain. Ironically, my tired legs were the only things giving me that I’m-barely-moving sensation.

Finally into the finish...
Just two miles. In the grand scheme of things, that’s a walk. At least that’s what I kept telling myself. I reached the turn around after just meeting the Thompson’s on their way back to the finish. Emma’s smile pretty much did me in, and I knew I would make the final mile without a problem. On my way back, I greeted all my fellow teammates—Rene Guerrero hot on my tail, Dave Erickson, Erica Zeimer, Amy Wilcox… The list goes on. There at the finish were the Thompson’s to cheer me in as first female over the line. I took a few minutes to gain some composure, and then I doubled back to cheer in the rest of my Trifusion teammates.

Nothing compares to having the opportunity to finish a race I thought I’d only struggle through, only to succeed. Racing on a faster bike sure helped make it fun, but what made this race so enjoyable was having all the familiar faces to share it with on such a beautiful, sunny day. I have the sunburn to prove it!

Trifusion members and their family to cheer us on. What a great crew!
Ben Greenfield took top male finisher. Congrats!

Thank you to Dave Erickson for putting together this video of the race this weekend. Also, a big thank you to Melissa Skelton for taking the video while we all raced.

A big THANK YOU to Robin DeRuwe and the rest of the Fitness Fanatics crew for building up my new Quintana Roo Seduza and having it ready to race. I couldn't be happier with it!

My run wouldn't have been nearly as smooth-sailing if it weren't for the K-Ona S shoes I wore from K Swiss. Such a sweet run!

The Timex Run Trainer keeps me on track by giving me my heart rate data on the bike and run, as well as my bike and run splits.

Finally, thank you to GU Energy, as the gels and electrolyte drinks provide just the right amount of nutrition I need to get me through each race and every training session.

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