Friday, August 21, 2009

Hulaman Triathlon

Our trip to Portland, Oregon last weekend for the Hulaman triathlon was great. This was the third year of the Hulaman Triathlon and the first year they offered a pro prize purse. I have to say that this race did not disappoint. It was low key and had a nice hometown feel to it. Just the kind of race we were looking for 4 weeks out from IM Wisconsin.

We arrived Friday evening and were greeted by...once again an amazing homestay. Giovanni and Anne were so generous and made us feel right at home. They had two HUGE dogs that were a little scary (I never grew up with pets), but we became friends once the weekend was over!

Saturday was our usual pre-race routine...short run around the neighborhood, ride part of the bike course, grocery store run, easy swim at a local city pool and then ended the evening relaxing watching t.v.

Sunday morning was CHILLY. I think the temperature at the start was about 50 degrees. The pro men and pro women started the swim together. The swim buoys were being placed in the water just as we were getting in the water (I told you it was laid back). I placed myself right behind B hoping to stay on his feet as long as possible. Unfortunately, I was squeezed out by two other guys and I didn't want to fight it, so I just trailed behind them. The main pack (B's pack) gapped me and the two other guys (the ones that squeezed me out of my spot) quite a bit so the three of us drafted off each other until the finish. I was the first woman out of the water.

The bike course was a challenging 53 miles and kept you honest. Although the bike course was sure did feel long. It was a point to point bike and it started with two hilly loops around Haag Lake. Once you thought the hills were over you continued through a wine country where it was just as hilly and add to that a nice headwind. I loved it though...tough course! However, it was a lonely bike as I never saw anyone in front of me or behind me. I never knew how much of a lead I had because there were no out and backs on the course. A couple of times I forgot I was even racing because I was the only one out on the road...which was mentally tough (good IM practice though!). My legs felt pretty good throughout the ride, and I felt that I was plugging along at a decent pace. I ended up first into T2.

The run course was a straight out and back on mostly flat roads with a few rollers. I started at a pretty quick pace. Maybe too quick for at about mile 5 I had some stomach issues. My pace slowed a bit and I started to feel better. At the turn-around I was about 1 minute ahead of Kelly Couch who looked to be running strong. I picked up the pace again but it wasn't enough. Kelly caught me at about mile 9. I tried to go with her but the pace was again too fast and my stomach issue came back. This time I knew I had to make a pit stop. I stopped at the next port-a-can and felt so much better. I could still see Kelly up ahead and I just tried to settle into my own pace and finish strong. I felt good again and got into a nice rhythm until about mile 12 where I had another stomach issue. I didn't stop this time since I knew I could make it at least one more mile to the finish. I have never had to make any pit-stops while racing before so not sure what happened. Could have been pacing, nutrition, or just one of those days. Ended up 2nd overall with one of my fastest run splits so I'm really pleased.

Kelly Couch put up a fantastic race out there. Don't think I would have been able to hold her off even if I didn't make a pit-stop as she ran really strong. It was fun chatting with her and others at the Luau after the race.

This past week has been a nice recovery week. More of the same this weekend with a long ride/short run on Saturday and a long run/short bike and swim on Sunday.

IM Wisconsin...3 weeks.

1 comment:

Marlawanda said...

Great are so ready for IM WI!