Mistletoe Sprint - Race Report

Ahhh, I feel sooooo much better now! I am officially a triathlete again! Whew! Completed Mistletoe Sprint on Saturday, July 25th - two days after turning 25... oops, I mean 35.

My main feeling after the race was over - contentment
My main feeling before the race started - why am I putting my family through this.

I guess I got my answer - happy mommy = better mommy.

On to the race:
Mistletoe State Park is about 2.5 hours from my house, so we decided to stay overnight close to the race, this way the kids could be there. It is an all3sports sponsored race, so Alex wanted to be there as well to show support. Therefore, we packed up the car (8 bags for 1 night away?!!?!?) and headed east!

Race morning was interesting because, well, I'd never had to get ready for a race, while taking care of two kids (dressing, feeding, nursing, etc.). Alex was awesome because he sat with AJ in the middle of the night for about an hour trying to keep him quiet while I tried to sleep.

The best thing about having the kids there... no time for nervous energy. I got a bit nervous on the way to the race, and I tried to convince myself this was my "comeback" race, if I finish I've succeeded... yeah, right... I wanted to be faster than when I'd "left the sport" 2.5 years ago.

Setting up transition felt awkward. I kept checking out the spots of people around me to make sure that I had everything I needed. Went to put my aero bottle on my bike... I don't have the bracket the holds it to my bike... call Alex "do you have duct tape?"; he fixed it up for me just fine.

I was busy chatting with people pre-race so I really didn't have time to get nervous. It's not like I had to go over a race plan.

My plan? go as hard as you can the entire time, if you aren't in pain, go harder.

Line up for the swim start and go! Wow, that was one aggressive start! I was near my friends at the start, so I was really hoping it wasn't them that I was bumping in to. Finally seemed to pull out of the melee, about halfway through. On the way back in to shore I was able to get into a bit of a rhythm, I just kept trying to focus on my new swim stroke and be as technically correct as I could in the open water. All that rocking about out there was a bit disconcerting. As I sighted I was pleased that I was always where I wanted to be in terms of the buoys, but I was seeing more and more pink caps (the ladies) in front of me.

Swim exit pretty uneventful, although I was excited to Elaine just in front of me at the swim exit. A big run up the hill into transition. Swim time : 13:00 (for 600 m it's really slow, but it includes the big run up the hill into transition so I guess I'll take it)

The transition area was very friendly everyone was greeting each other with "good swim"; that was fun and very cool. My transition area was actually set up fairly well and I was able to quickly get my helmet, shoes, bike and head out. It was quite a run in bike shoes up to the mount/dismount line.

Next the Bike; Got on my bike and just started passing people. The course seemed to be mostly uphill for the first few miles, but I was actually feeling pretty good and tried to relax into it. My friend Lauren (who raced with me at my last race before "maternity leave" Gulf Coast 2007) passed me maybe about 4 miles into it... I thought I would try to hang with her... trying really hard not to draft but still keep her close enough for motivation. The course started to level out after that and I found myself able to really start riding fast, passed Lauren back and tried my best to cheer her on, but didn't have enough mental capacity to say anything coherent. (After the race, she said she knew my intent). All I said was "yeah". I finally hit my stride on the bike around mile 9, this always happens to me in sprints, by the time I settle in on the bike, it's time to run. Flew through the rest of the bike course and got to the dismount line in a think a great time. Then I got off my bike and tried running in my bike shoes back down the hill to my transition spot... I couldn't, felt like I was going to fall. I stopped and took off my shoes. I wish I would have at least passed the mat into transition so I would have a better idea of my bike time, because as it was I dropped my shoes twice trying to carry them and my bike before I crossed the mat into transition. Alex said it was pretty painful to watch and has instructed me to start working on flying dismount. Bike time: 34:39 for 11.8 miles (I'm thinking my lovely lack of dismount skill probably accounts for about 40 seconds of that - Alex says it was more like a minute but I think he exaggerates). I didn't get to put as much time in on the bike as I would have liked before this race, in fact I said before the race that this might be the first time I've ever raced that the bike would be my weakest part. It certainly wasn't was fast as I normally go, but not as bad as I feared. I know that I need to get more bike fitness before tugaloo if I have a hope of averaging 21 mph.

Transition to run ; once I got my damn shoes off it was fine. The best part was my 4 year old yelling "go mommy go" so loudly I think everyone within a 3 mile radius heard him. that was awesome to hear as I headed out on to the run

Run: my goal for the run was to never never give up. I had a tough time catching my breath, the huge hill about .3 miles into the run didn't help much. Once I got out of the trail section and on to the road I found my stride a bit. The run had one out and back section so you could see the folks behind you. The ladies behind me looked pretty strong so I started to get nervous and "running scared" so I just started chanting to myself, run your own race, run your own race... noticed that my left side had tensed up so I concentrated on trying to keep everything as "loose" as possible. At one point I had Viva La Vida in my head, specifically the part about "for some reason I can't explain, I know Saint Peter will call my name". I think it's funny; I guess running is brings out the religion in me. Headed into the next trail section, it was tricky so I just concentrated on not tripping and not giving up... I kept running, eventually getting to the road again. Not much more... just kept running... eventually saw the cars that signaled I was close to the finish. Saw Dan Arnett on the side cheering everyone on, he told me to sprint it in, I tried, but I don't think I got much faster. :-( Crossed the line and was excited to see Alec and Jason there to cheer me in! As they took off my chip I was completely elated! I was officially a triathlete again! and most importantly I never gave up... I really truly gave it my all out there and there haven't been that many races where I felt good about my performance. I'm not the strongest mentally when it comes to racing and I feel like I might have broken through that limiter this race. Run time (25:48) again slow, but hey it was a trail run, I'm not going to sweat it.

So amazingly, my time was really far off what I wanted it to be, by minutes, which would normally have made me really upset... but it didn't because I knew really knew that I couldn't have gone any faster, there wasn't a time in the swim, bike or run where I stopped and slowed down (at least didn't consciously slow down). so that was it, I was happy and bouncy and probably really annoying to everyone I talked to after the race.

We were milling about, waiting with the all3sports folks for the awards ceremony. I was getting my stuff out of transition, changing into some dry clothes for the ride home, chatting with folks, eating cookies (of course). When the posted the results, I wandered over curious of course to see how I'd done... my reaction (inside of course, I didn't yell in front of everyone)


That was really my name there in 2nd place in the 35-39 age group!!! Wow, that's a really nice "to top it all off" to a great day. It was awesome going up to get my medal with AJ on my hip. (I don't have any pictures of that, but see my entry just before this one for the pic of me with the boys post race).

So a week later (as I write this report) I'm still feeling happy about the day. yiippee!!

Now its time to buckle down and get ready for Tugaloo.

Big thanks to Alex for all the love and support; Jason for all the cheering and for loving the kids center at the gym so that I don't feel guilty for working out; AJ for being a great little baby; and all my friends and family for being so supportive. You all don't know how much it means to me that you never, ever hint that I'm being selfish for taking so much time to train for races, and in fact always saying the opposite! I love you guys!!

Thanks to Laura Sophiea, my coach, for whipping me into tri shape in 6 short weeks. Your workouts are awesome and keep me motivated!

It was great to see the all of the all3sports folks out there on Saturday! Thanks for all the support out there on the course and helping calm my nerves before the race. Looking forward to seeing you all out there at future races!

That's probably the longest race report for a sprint race in the history of race reports, but that's how I roll baby. Cheers!


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