Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Pacific Crest Endurance Duathlon - My Second!

We left Friday morning around 10 AM to drive down to Bend. It's about a 6-7 hour drive, depending on pit-stops. We stopped at my SILs for lunch in Portland and then headed on. We had to check in on Friday, no race day packet pick up so we had to drive 20 min south of Bend to race headquarters. There we found out we had to rack our bikes another 25 min south of us at the lake. Let's just say Robb was not too thrilled with this delay of getting to his Aunt's house. We got to the bike T1 area at 7:55 and they were closing up at 8 so I was told I had 5 min to get in and get out. I couldn't really get my water bottles organized so I threw my bike on a rack and got out of there -- no time to go set up T2 area.

We got to my Aunt's around 9:30 and finally got to bed around 11. LONG day.

Race day: Got up and got ready -- Robb was taking me to the T2 area so I could set up running stuff so he was up and ready as well. Stopped by a grocery store and got some bottled water so I could fill my bike bottles. Got to T2, set running shoes out and Garmin and was off to the lake. I got there around 8 and got the bike prepped and got sooooo nervous. Robb left to go set up a camera area so he could practice getting motion shots with his camera. He told me not to get disappointed if he didn't get any of me because he wanted to follow the lead guys and get some of the faster people. I said fine... no worries. Have fun.

9:00 AM - Cannon goes off. This is a small-ish race but most of the people that come are hardcore. I was literally the fattest girl there. Now, this was okay but most of the time there are many that are "heavy" set.... not this time. We're talking loads of buff bodies and it was extremely intimidating. We left the race area by twos and were off. Most of the course was rolling hills. It was through the high desert - 4700' altitude. About 45 min into the ride I saw a man on the side of the road. Realized it was Robb and waved -- he was SHOCKED Shocked -- he wasn't expecting me at all and frantically grabbed his camera and took a pic. Guess I was riding a little faster than he thought.

At that time I'd been keeping about a 20-22 MPH pace and hadn't really slowed all that much. I was passing men that looked much fitter than me and was having a grand ol' time. Because I didn't have time to get all the water bottles set up on my bike the night before and because I was a bone-head that morning, I didn't have enough water on the bike so I had to attempt the water bottle grab they have set up in two places on the course. The first one came at the crest of a hill and I was completely freaked out about it. This is a hard thing to practice on your own... okay, I can't practice it. The last DU I did I didn't grab any water because I was afraid too. However, it was getting hot (75 degrees) and the altitude was making me really thirsty (think that's why - or maybe I was just peddling my ass off) so I needed to grab. Robb was at that water station and snapped some good pics of me coming in to it. LOL

Came up the hill -- AND, I end up passing the guy in yellow -- hehehe -- missed the first bottle, but got the second

Robb at this point yelled at me and said I was lookin' good and I was in the top section of riders. A lot behind me. Yippee... I'm thinking.

We did the turn around and started heading back on the 20ish mile stretch that would take us to the finish. I was passing people, and of course getting passed by those wickedly fast people that somehow started way behind me... could hear those wheels whoosh whooshing up on me and I'd get over as far as I could to let the Lance-types past me.

Got up to the second and last water stop - mile 35.... I grabbed the first bottle and missed. Grabbed at the second bottle and clipped the guys hand or he didn't release the bottle which threw my right arm back. My left hand was on the horn, but my body twisted and my front tire went completely to the side and BOOM down I went... I was sliding across the pavement and I just remember thinking I was going to suffer my first broken bone. LOL. I got up and didn't even think but whipped my bike up and tossed it off the course so no one would hit me. A couple of the bikers that saw me go down almost stopped but I yelled -- GO GO! I'm such a geek. Anyway, I was pretty shook up and was done. I sat there for probably 2-3 minutes thinking that the water-stop people would come see if I was okay.. Nope -- didn't care, didn't ask if I needed a medic or help in any way. Pretty pathetic in my opinion. Finally I asked the guy if I he had a cell phone so I could call Robb. He said -- In my car. And I not so nicely said... Can I borrow it please? I mean.. come on... I just wrecked, and I'm bleeding all over the place and the least he could have done was see if I was okay and if not that let me have his freakin' phone. I called Robb and told him I went down. He asked if I was okay and I said, I was -- but I was done and to come get me. He asked if my bike was ride-able and I told him I didn't know. I hadn't looked at it but told him to come back to talk me through what I needed to do. He later said it took him about 7 min from them time I called him to the time he got back to me. He got to the site and looked me over and said -- those will hurt... LOL... referring to the road rash down my right side. Before he got back I'd determined the derailleur was pushed back and the bike was unrideable. I sat down at one time and cried about five tears of anger because I'd get no friggin' medal, and my training was all for nothing. LOL. Again, I'm a geek. Anyway, Robb got there and helped me get the derailleur back to where it'd work but was still way out of whack. BIG NO NO in these races - it's a disqualification. It's against the rules to have anyone help you repair your bike. I thought the race officials went by at one time so I wasn't sure if they saw what I was doing. I decided I'd try to finish but didn't know if the bike would make it. I didn't dare use any low gears just because I didn't want to shift too much. I got kind of mad after I'd started back up again and just tried to kick it into gear. Passed a bunch of people the last 21 miles and felt pretty good going in to T2. I hit the bike mat at 3:06:29 -- not too bad for a 56 mile ride with a 10+ minute crash/pit stop. I'd have come in well under 3 hours without that. My official pace was 18.02 MPH but my bike computer had me just over 20 MPH. I think I'm getting better at biking.

Didn't really rush through the transition because I didn't feel like I had that much to lose. Got out of there at 2:47 -- which when looking at the results was a pretty average time. The transition are was a pretty far from the bike finish so one of the fastest times was 1:40 but there were some from 3-6 minutes as well.

The run started off BADLY. I'd eaten on the bike at mile 20 but then was schedule to eat again at mile 40 but didn't due to me being all screwed up by my fall. I'd hydrated okay but could feel my energy waining. Also, my right hip was aching.... the one that hit the pavement. It was just sore and I was wondering if I could make it. My goal for the run was to just average sub-10 min miles. I couldn't do that during my last DU so that was what I was aiming for. My first mile was 9:16 so even though I was hurting I was running okay. They had the water stops stationed every mile or so started about .3 miles from the start of the run. I ran to the water stop and walked through then ran to the mile marker and knew that if I just made it to the next water stop I could walk. I did that the entire run... just walked every mile through the water stops. I felt like I was just running numb. Not sure if I can describe it any other way. My body was tired, it was hot (about 80 at this point) and the altitude (4200') was hard on me -- but not enough to stop and walk more than the aid stations. I kept with my sub-10s the entire way. I kept thinking the next time my garmin chirped I'd see a 10 but the 9s kept popping up. I passed A LOT of people on the run, most walking and complaining about the heat. I didn't have the energy to talk to any of them. I ended up doing a gel at mile 5 and that may have perked me up, or possibly just made me not feel any worse.

I finally saw, or heard, the finish area and was happy to be done but felt really really great at I came in at 5:18:03. My run had taken me 2:08:57 -- so just under a 10 min pace (9:50) and that was my goal.. anything under 2:10. My last endurance du I did in 5:49 so this was a PR by 31 minutes. The courses are quite different though so not sure you can compare the two.

I got my medal and then wandered around for a bit and went to get my drop off bag. One of the really volunteers that helped me get my bag said -- Hey, there... you're pretty banged up. You need to see a medic. I told him I just wanted to go home. He said, No... go see the medic. LOL. He made sure I got down to the tent where they scraped the asphalt out of my elbow and arm and tended to my shin and other owies. He made me feel better as he showed me his road rash from not too long ago when he went down... shoulder and forehead. He was in awesome shape so it somehow made me feel better that it's not just the newbie-ish riders that go down.

Before the race started I told Robb to come to the finish line between 5:30 and 6 hours. I didn't think I could do it any faster than that. I was thinking 3:30 on the bike and 2 for the run. So, he had the girls and his Aunt and Uncle there and guess what? They missed me. I was in 12 min faster than I'd thought I could have done it in. Kind of bummed they missed me, but it was nice to beat my previous thought time too.

Anyway, if you got this far you deserve to be praised. Sorry it was such a long report.