I cannot believe that I am already writing my Loveland race report! What happened to June? My kids are out of school, I am about to have a 3rd grader and a kindergartener....let’s just put the reins on the flying time right now please!
I’ll just start out by saying, I love this race. It has that down-homey feel to it, more of a locals race than a big production. You do get some fast peeps that show up though. I missed this race last season due to a last minute trip to Hawaii to see my sister’s wedding (yeah!) so I really was looking forward to Saturday. Another cool thing this year was that Michael was also racing.....the first time we have done a tri together!
We locked the kids in a closet My parents offered to take the kiddos for a night and Michael and I headed up to Loveland the night before the race.
I ate dinner a bit later than I had planned on and that may have come around to haunt me during the race but it was pretty relaxing getting ready the night before at the hotel. It’s an early race start so Michael and I were out of the hotel a bit before 5 and there was already a line to get into transition when we got to the site 10 minutes later. I racked my bike and tried to pump up my tires. Uh oh. We’ve got a minor mechanical issue here folks. My borrowed front race wheel (yep, I used the back power wheel again) would NOT pump up. Which led to the age-old question, how many triathletes does it take to pump up a tire? In this case it was 4. And none of us could get it. Hmmmm. This could be difficult. OK. Don’t panic. I just pumped this sucker up yesterday??!! A flat last race and a flat starting this race? Fortunately, my new best friend Brian had an extra 404 in his car and went to retrieve it for me.....Thanks for saving the day Brian!!!
A quick warm-up and I headed to the swim start. My only instructions from Coach CV were to EMBRACE THE PAIN. It took me several days to get my head around those instructions, but once I did I couldn’t wait to go for it. My plan was to push hard and when it hurt, push even harder. Laugh in the face of pain. I was ready for it. I had a good start and jumped to the front of the group to the first buoy. But I could tell this was going to be a struggle to just keep the pace. Once again, I was swimming with another blue cap woman and kept her in my sights the entire race. Jeez the swim seemed long. And I was tired, it wasn’t pain at this point just tired.....I wanted to slow down and rest but there was that other blue cap next to me and darnit she was NOT going to beat me out of the water. I don’t care how tired I was. Finally, I got to the beach (first I might add) and started the LOOOOONG run to transition. But the strangest thing happened about 20 seconds into the run. I threw up just a little bit in my mouth. WTF? That’s not good. Slow down, let’s not puke in front of all these wonderful cheering supporters. That would be gross. So I slowed, and the blue cap passed me on the way in to T1. But I saw what she was wearing and I had my bogie.
Somehow I managed to beat her out of transition (my transitions were solid today) and got on the bike. I always take the first mile of the ride just to get my sh*t together and then I start concentrating on the task at hand. She passed me again during this gathering phase and I said to myself Keep her in your sites. Do NOT let her get away. She pedaled off and I kept sight of her. I then pulled closer and closer to her by mile 6. And for a couple of miles I tried to assess whether or not I could make a successful and final pass or if we were going to cat and mouse for the entire ride. I passed her once and she passed me back. I fell back a bit but when Adam passed me like I was standing still I decided to get my act together and pass her again for good. And that’s when I really started embracing the pain. But I was having fun and smiling. I hit 45 on a downhill, smiling all the way. Every time I hurt, I thought of my motto for the day. And I imagined “pain” as a big fluffy cute dog and I would call to the dog....c’mere pain, c’mon....with my arms wide open ready to get a face full of pain/dog lick on my face. Weird? Yes. Did it work for me? Absolutely. Plus it made me giggle. I really do have some strange thoughts that cross through my head when I race....
About 2 miles to go on the bike, Kevin passed me so I knew Sydney would be close behind and sure enough with 1 mile to go she pulled up next to me. Darn it.....it’s going to come down to the run with her. We pulled into transition together talking smack to each other (and laughing), I threw my bike on the rack and got my shoes on as fast as possible and got the heck out of dodge. I beat Syd out of transition but not for long, she came up on me saying that she couldn’t let Kevin beat her. And off she went. I had a breathing cramp that was coming on full force and I needed to breathe through it and manage/embrace the pain and once again, I just kept her in my sight.
The run is an out and back so the first 3 miles I saw so many peeps and they all had encouraging words for me and I was trying to wave back and smile. Anthony told me Tyler was up ahead and as I passed him, I smacked him on the butt and gave him a big BooYah! Everything was going OK and then I hit mile 3.5. And the wheels started coming off. I needed to focus, I could no longer say hi to people. In fact, I really couldn’t even see anyone....I flat out missed Beth. My legs had instantly become lead anchors that were dragging me down. I wanted to take a nap. I had waves of nausea again. But I needed to just get myself to the finish. The last 1.5 miles were a blur, I know I saw Michael but was unable to say anything. I just willed myself to the finish. Even the last 1/4 mile around the lake, I checked to make sure no one was behind me and honestly considered walking in to the finish. But no. That was actually not an option. I ran it in. And was soooo happy to be done!!
At the finish with Kevin, Watson and Sydney
The clock read 2:42 and I started 8 minutes behind so it was a PR by 8 minutes!!! That was good enough for second in my age group and fifth overall!
Best part of the day? Catching up with everyone after the race and cheering Michael in. What a fun race, it’s no wonder I look forward to this one every year. (oh, and a special thanks/shout out to Michelle Orgill - you rock girl and gave me some wonderful motivation on the bike and run - I look forward to seeing you again soon) Trakkers mama bear Carole was out there too and so was teamie Anthony. So proud to be wearing the GREEN this year!