Monday, July 8, 2013

Syracuse 70.3 Race Report

When I originally sat down to write this race recap, the first line read:
"One word describes Syracuse 70.3: Hellish." But in reality, I love racing, I love the atmosphere, I love the camaraderie, and I love the pain, even if the day is more like a battlefield than a triathlon. So no matter how "hellish", I'm always grateful to be able to race.

Maybe it was course, maybe it was the heat, or maybe it was Harpoon B2B still lingering in my legs, but the day was pretty brutal.
I was obsessing with Instavid race morning (ok maybe I should have been focusing a wee bit more on preparing for the race, but it was a good way to keep things light and calm any pre-race jitters).

Ok clearly I was having issues with video:

The water temperature was 70 degrees, so I decided to wear a full length wetsuit because I am always cold. However, half way through the swim, I was thinking I should have opted for the sleeveless as I was heating up a bit. My swim was solid. I latched onto the feet of some girls, but quickly gained some confidence and decided to pass them and bridge up and see if I could stay on the feet of some girls who were faster. Before the race I had decided that I was going to try not to swim as conservatively. This was a success and felt good when I finished the swim. Thirty-five minutes for a wetsuit swim is on the slower side, but after hearing many people including Pros were slower than normal and heard rumbles that the course was longer than 1.2, I was fine with 35 minutes.

Dede Griesbauer's blog sums up the rest of course pretty well in a couple succinct lines.  My favorite line is how she describes the bike course: you climb for the first 15 miles or so, and according to WTC’s “Mickey Mouse topography map”, it’s all downhill from there. Sorry I didn't see it like that."  My second favorite line: "If the bike course in Syracuse was challenging, the run was derived from the mind of Satan himself."

It wasn't the hardest 70.3 I have done, but close. The heat made it rough. I was cursing B2B during the race, knowing that it wasn't doing me any favors at that moment, but in the long run and for the larger goal, it was making me stronger. I just felt like I didn't have any snap in my legs. I was racing as fast as I possibly could, but I just didn't feel like I could hammer through like I normally can. Looking at my run splits, I had to check my ego at the door and just be comfortable with the splits I was running, because any faster was going to lead to blowing up later on. Besides 2 men and 3 Pro women, no one was passing me, so I should have known everyone else was struggling too, but in my head, I thought I was the only one having a rough day. When I got to the aid stations I was grabbing everything. Pouring water, grabbing sponges, taking as much Perform as my body would handle- taking everything and anything. Even coke sounded good to me. That coke at mile 8 was nectar of the gods. And once you get on the coke, you stay on the coke, so I was welcoming it at every aid station. 
This was a QT2 Key race, so it was so great to have so many teammates racing out there on the course with me. Cheering from Tim Snow always give me a huge energy surge, and Matt Curbeau was out there too at one of the turn arounds on the second loop, which was huge. 

I was very happy to cross the line. I ended up with a 5:24:xx with a :35 swim, 2:54 bike and 1:49 run. They were my slowest splits this season, but given the conditions and the course, I'll take it. I was 9th out of the water in my AG, biked my way to 6th then ran my way to the podium to finish in 5th. 
Torrential downpours and thunderstorms led them to cancel the awards ceremony, but here is a glamour shot of my hardware in my kitchen:

Overall, I would do Syracuse again. Nothing like a good challenging course to keep you honest. 
Next Up: Mass State Olympic this weekend. 

1 comment:

  1. Keep yourself fit and healthy. Walk some miles and drinks lots of water. Keep yourself hydrated. You look great, full of energy. Good blog!