Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Lake Stevens 70.3 Race Report 2012

Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better- Pat Riley
Lake Stevens swim course. Photo by Joey Compton.

I ALWAYS try to look at the positives with every race, although, I was quite disappointed in Hawaii.  I could come up with several reasons as to why it was such a low, but I chose to take away from it the improvements.
If every race were perfect we would never learn, never have much more desire and never find that extra little bit that drives us one step further.
I made some changes to my training post-Hawaii. Nothing too big, just more swim focus (frequency, not in volume) and more bike focus.  I had a REAL agenda going into Lake Stevens, quite simply,it looked something like this:
#1 Give the swim everything, from the get go.  Prove to myself that I can swim and RACE.
#2 Give the bike all I got.  Watts higher than Hawaii.
#3 Run with whatever I had left and aim for sub 8’s.
(This is not how I typically race. This was actually thought out and planned as my run fitness would pretty much land me the same no matter how I paced on the bike….it’s the truth J)

TYR Freak of Nature!
I feel this was my best swim race of my ENTIRE triathlon career yet and it was in my all-time favorite wetsuit the TYR Freak of Nature. My plan was to not get punched…yes, I had decided I was going to control this. And to put my head down, swim my heart out and never let up. I changed my normal plan and had my gel 15' (instead of 10') before the start and went without the caffeine, this helped in not making me feel nauseous from the get-go.  I started my watch when the pro men left (2 minutes early) so I had nothing to think about but waiting for the gun. I put my head down for 12 supa-dupa-fast strokes (4 more than normal) and took my first breathe and no one was beside me.  Hallelujah!!!! I went straight for the buoy cable and swam right on top of it. I imagined it as a pool lane line and remained dead-center over it.  Knowing each and every stroke was moving me directly forward.  I would sight every-so-often and decide how many strokes to the next buoy, count them out, site, move to the right and then get right back on the cable.  At the pro meeting they told us that the “direct path” was not to follow the buoys on the way in. So as soon as I could see the finish “arch” I moved over and aimed for it. I knew someone was on my feet around the lake as I would get a few taps on the toes here and there.  With the final few yards to go Tenille Hoogland put the hammer down and came out first (she had an amazing come-back race placing 2nd overall for the day!). I was so happy to really feel like I could swim again!!!!  The biggest highlight was the face plant I did coming out of the water….oops.
T1: Spent forever in trying to get my wetsuit over my garmin….grrr!!!
Photo Courtesy of Kevin Tu
If I pushed my hardest the whole ride I could hold a HR of 158-160.  I did this for the first hour and then my body was FROZEN. I kept aiming for my cadence goal as I watch my HR dip further and further south as my body was becoming an icicle in motion. I started counting down the time to get off the bike.  2 hours, 1:30, 2x30’, 30’….etc. My body stiffening, descending in rain, and thinking I would be pulled from the race was not how I wanted to feel on this ride.  I continued to give it my all, being aware that my hydration was low because I was way too cold to drink.  The conversation between my chattering teeth and my mind were not agreeing. Beth Walsh passed in the final 10’ish miles and it forced me to have a self-talk of a lil’ “suck it up sista”.  Not enough fluid and 6 yummy Powerbar gels later, the dismount line was in site. The ride was a huge improvement, holding 10 watts higher than Hawaii and the highest ever since my return.  The goal was to be stronger and I was!
Photo by Joey Compton
I felt great the first 2 miles but my gut forced me to the port-o-let for a couple minutes at mile 3. From there on I just stuck with my goal of trying to hold sub-8’s which would be a huge improvement over Hawaii. And that I did. My gut was not happy which I normally do not experience as much in a half but with my choice-lack-of-fluids on the bike I couldn't expect perfection.  In the last two miles I tuned out everything and ran my fastest miles of the day.
Soaking up the final stretch!

To say I am happy is the truth, to say I am content….absolutely not.  The flame is burning deep inside, there is more.

I have never, race a local BIG race where we have tons of TNM athletes racing. Choosing to do this one since I had not raced Lake Stevens since 2007 and I really wanted that home-town feel…beyond euphoric. With 23 TNM athletes on the course and a team tent full of amazing supporters I was beaming.  TNM family….you rock!
TNM LOVE!!! Photo by Joey Compton

Striving. Believing.Dreaming.

Thank you to TYR for the amazing gear-goggles to site, a comfy wetsuit, and cozy racing gear- this girl could not ask for anything more!
To Powerbar for keeping me fueled, recovered, and a little less hungry!
To Cyclops for the power to see the power!
To Gerks and Specialized for the bike that is smooth!
To Rudy Project for keeping my head and eyeballs safe!
To Zoot for the non-blister, light, colorful shoes that keep my feet happy!
To Seattle Athletic Club downtown for the massages, the amazing trainers (pilates and Kurt Kinetic) and the healthy enviroment I get to be in all year-round!
To lululemon for the super sporty-girly outfits to keep me running!
To 110% and Recovery boots for keeping my legs from screaming at me!
To all my coaches for just being YOU!
To my TNM-family....you inspire!
To my friends, family, and husband....I love you!


Steve said...

Congrats on progress. Been a tough road for you, but you have a good attitude. :)

Beth said...

Wooo-hooooo!!! Congrats Teresa!! What a day. Great to see progress - that is all we can ask for! Here's to much more in future races!

JC said...

So AWESOME! What a fantastic race. You never fail to inspire. Your drive and determination are amazing! Way to go out there:)

Genevieve said...

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyy!!! Way to go, Coach T!! Proud of you!!

LaVonne said...

Sounds like it was a success, despite the set-backs. So proud of you!

Jen D. said...

Super inspiring! Way to go get it, Teresa-- leadership by example.

Anonymous said...

Great race babe. Lots more to come!!!


mtanner said...

Total success and the burning desire is there! Congrats on feeling better. You are an inspiration to many!!

Nat said...

I yelled for you out on the run course as you were taking your final turn into the finish line, and sadly...I was just finishing my first lap of the run. I'm so thrilled for your successful race! Congratulations on your tremendous strength and will power, and what a great race day plan for you!

I wish I'd had a chance to chat with you and Mark, but I didn't see you after I finished.

Looking forward to more of your future happy race reports :-)

Christie said...

Congrats on an awesome race Teresa. Meeting you was absolutely fabulous over the weekend. Your positive attitude is so inspiring :)

Kiet said...

I must say, I got a bit verklempt reading this race report, must have been the tone you set with the writing, or I'm just a softie. Always a good story when you set out to make changes, work on them, and then execute when it counts. Good on ya TN!