Monday, June 29, 2009

Buffalo Springs Race Report

1st place overall. Wow...still in shock and soaking it in. Very excited about the win and to do it in my 'adopted' home state and 20th Anniversary of the Buffalo Springs event made it even more special.

This is the third time that I have ever raced BSLT. After a disappoing race in 08' where I didn't finish due to foot issues, I was so happy to be able to come back this year and finish what I started in 08'. I would love to say that it was easy and everything felt great. But...no, it was hard and I definitely had some ups and downs during the race. I really dug deep for this win and am pleased that all the hard work is starting to pay off.

The women's pro wave started 2 minutes after the men. I had a good start and was out quick. I couldn't see crap though. It was darker than usual because of the cloud cover but for some reason I had trouble spotting the bouys. I stayed behind one girl but wasn't sure if she knew where she was going. It seemed as though she was all over the place. My swim felt good but my head just wasn't in it. As I was heading back in from the swim I just wanted to be done. Again, I didn't feel bad (I actually felt pretty good) but I think all the racing was finally catching up to me.

I hit T1 about 30 second back from the first two women out of the water. I grabbed my bike and was off. I was excited to ride as I love this bike course and with the wind and rain I knew it would be tough. Just what I like. I took the lead on the bike at about mile 5. I have never been in this position before where I was in the lead on the bike after the first few miles. I was pretty excited and wanted to see if I could hold onto that lead all the way to T2. I pushed hard on the bike but didn't feel the snap in my legs as I did in Florida and Kansas. Maybe I was pushing too hard into the wind and it was affecting me more than I thought. Who knows? On the turnarounds I noticed that I was gaining time on Jo and Kelly but it wasn't much. I just kept trying to push through to the finish and hoped my running legs would be there.

I managed to hold onto first into T2 but I had no idea how much of a lead I had. I blasted out of T2 on a mission. I tried to get into a rhythm right away and was holding 6:40's for the first 5k. I wanted to be steady on the uphills (unfortunately it was more like a shuffle) and really work the downhills and flat sections. After the turnaround I looked at my watch and saw that I was about 2:30 ahead of Kelly and about 3:00 ahead of Jo Lawn. I thought to myself that's not much time so I really need to push and focus the last 6 miles. I didn't want to be leading this race for 60 something miles and get passed in the last couple of miles.

The lead bicycle guy was riding a bit in front of me the last 4 miles. I kept asking him at every mile how far ahead I was. He didn't know and guessed that I was about 600m ahead. He was probably getting annoyed because the last 3 miles I kept asking him how much more until the finish (even though knew) but I just wanted someone to talk to and keep me going. I was hurting...I wanted to be done...and I wanted the win. The last 3 miles is around the lake and I probably had my head turned looking behind me those last 3 miles...which is a no-no but like I said, I was hurting...I wanted to be done...and I wanted the win. I couldn't see anyone but I just kept checking and even asked the bike leader again if he could see anyone. He told me he didn't see anyone either. I asked again...are you sure? I think it was at about mile 12 that I knew I had the win...still looking behind me though.

The last mile was amazing. I had so many emotions going through my head and was excited that I was about to win my first 70.3 race. The spectators were awesome and seeing Brandon at the finish line with a huge smile on his face and arms open wide got me a little teary eyed (geez...I'm even getting a little teary eyed as I write this). It was a big win for both of us. Brandon has been coaching me since 2004 and has believed in me and supported me through the ups and downs over the years. So, it was great to share the win with him. He also had a great race finishing 4th in a strong field. Also, congrats to Kelly and Pat for their top ten finishes!

So, what's next? A break. We will be taking a week or two nice and easy. We may do one more 1/2 in August but the focus will be on Ironman Wisconsin in September. Thank you to everyone for the nice e-mails/facebook/twitter messages this week. Also, thank you to all my sponsors that have been helping me out this year...ATC, Performance Wellness, TYR, Xterra and Pure Sport Recovery Drink.

2 comments:

Charisa said...

Great race - congrats on your win! It was WINDY on the bike :)

Jen said...

You made me cry just reading it!! Congrats...can't wait to see you in Madison.