This will be a short recap because there isn't much to report in the way of great results or anything. I am pretty frustrated with how the race went and I really feel like it was a missed opportunity because I was feeling so good going into it. I hit every prep workout almost exactly how I wanted to leading into race day and I can't entirely explain why the race itself did not go well but maybe that just is what it is.
The night before I absolutely could not sleep and was having stomach cramps, headaches and got a bloody nose...I honestly don't know why any of that was happening. I got maybe 3.5 hours of sleep the night before which is not good but morning of all my pre-race stuff went really smoothly and according to plan.
At the swim start the field was anxious and all of them floated five feet past the start line before the gun but I knew I would be following them because of all the strong swimmers any way so I hung back and watched the chaos ensue a the start. I slipped in behind a couple of guys swimming at a good pace for me but a third of the way into the swim I felt like I was being weighed down by bricks and my body was overheating. I really think I should have worn a skinsuit because of how warm the water was so lesson learned.
I came out of the water feeling super sluggish and heavy but had a good, smooth transition and headed out with a couple of guys just up the road to chase. I settled into a comfortable rhythm and began my chase. After a couple of miles the head referee pulled up and asked me where my number was and I immediately realized I had left it in the car. He just told me to check in at the penalty tent at 28 miles and check in. I wasn't racing for money anyway so it didn't bother me that much.
I had told myself I wouldn't hold back so much on the bike like I had at Oceanside 70.3 and I felt like I was holding a strong pace and after a while started to pick up a couple of guys ahead of me. I figured that I needed to make up some time as I would be making a stop on the fastest part of the course so I was glad to feel like I was moving along well. I checked in at the penalty tent in Healdsberg and signed the sheet watching two guys that I had caught pass me while I was there. But I got right back to it and was back up with them in a short while. A couple of stronger guys caught us at this point and went by but I definitely felt like I put in a strong ride. My fluid mixture was a little too sugary and I definitely need to go with a lighter solution in the future.
Just as I made the last turn on the course I felt my rear wheel get a little washy and I realized that the air in it was almost gone. Since it was a straight shot to the finish I rode the flat the rest of the way and just avoided any cracks or potholes. I jumped off the bike a little early so that I would not have to make the last few turns into transition on a rear flat. I figured I would be lucky if I had not ruined the wheel. When I got into transition someone had left their bike on top of my shoes so I had to do some rearranging before placing my bike and getting my shoes.
Out on the run I kept my eye on the watch for the first couple of miles to make sure that I was not going out too hard and the first two miles felt great and were right on pace. As soon as I hit the first small hill my legs felt like I was doing max effort leg press and every little hill I crested stayed with me. My pace slowed to survival mode and I could see my goals for the day going out the window. It was hard to keep going because I knew the result would be lackluster but I figured it would be over quicker if I kept going.
A couple of guys caught me on the run but for the most part I was alone. In the last couple of miles the leaders in the women's race caught me and there was an exciting race on so that was actually kinda cool. At mile 11 Melissa Hauschildt blew by me running like she was being chased like a bear and I realized later that she was making a last ditch effort to gap Meredith Kessler. Meredith caught me about half a mile later running crazy fast and since we were on the long straightaway to the finish I was able to watch them battle it out. Just inside a mile to go I could see Melissa really start to struggle and Meredith was staying so strong that the gap quickly evaporated. Before the turn into the finishing area Meredith was in the lead and not looking back. Melissa made it in for second place but I know she spent some time in the med tent afterwards. To some that kind of suffering might seem crazy but i say kudos to Melissa for battling her crumbling body to hang tough in such a tight race.
My resulting time represented a best time on the course by .5% or .005 so needless to say I am not al that pleased. I know that on a good day I can go far better so a the very lease I have that to keep me motivated.
It was nice to see my parents and our family friends with which we stay for this race each year and as always I was stunned by the beauty of the area especially on race morning...my dad and I watched the moon rise in the Russian River valley at 4:30 am between venus and mercury and it was absolutely breathtaking.
Swim 12,500 yds
Bike 8.75 hrs
Run 24.5 mi