After the race in LA, I spend the six days in-between traveling, recovering and getting ready to race the Lifetime Fitness Toyota Cup Finale in Dallas on Oct. 11th. The plan going into these two weekends of racing was to prepare more for Dallas and train a bit harder for LA than usual so that I would have my legs ready to go for the Finale.
The race conditions were tough as temperatures were in the lower fifties, but what made it chilly was the light rain that fell most of the morning. The water however, was still warm since Texas is coming off their hot and humid summers. So, with the water temperature at 70, it was a non-wetsuit swim.
The swim start was a short run into the water (we started with the water at our ankles). I had a solid swim and exited the water in front with Sarah Groff right behind. We had about at 45-60 second lead over the rest of the competitors. The transitions were brutal this race, as my dexterity was not so great with the colder conditions. The parking lot we ran through to get our bikes was a chip seal surface that is NOT fun to run with bare feet. I was almost slowing to a jog as I was approaching my bike as I was worried I was cutting up my feet.
Once out on the bike, I focused on getting into a rhythm. After about five minutes into the bike, I remembered to pull my mouthgaurd off my bike and test it out while racing. The start of the course has some longer gradual climbs, with some steeper pitches. I was feeling pretty good on the bike, not killing it as I was expecting some of the other girls to come up on me and I would work on staying with them. Once we were about two-thirds of the way through the bike, Julie came by and I noticed this week it was much easier to stay with her in Dallas verses LA. I lost a bit of time to her mainly because I was trying to navigate through some rough roads and had to get out of aero position. Towards the end of the bike course, there are sections with lots of pot holes and with the puddles, it made the pot holes difficult to navigate. I was glad to escape through that section without any flats or crashes!
I exited T2 about 15 seconds behind Julie. The big problem in T 2 began when I tried to get my shoes on!! My feet and hands were cold and numb and I had a difficult time putting on my shoes and taking off my helmet. Unfortunately, I lost about 15 seconds in transition to Lisa and we ended up exiting the transition area almost at the same time. Once out on the run, I could not feel my feet for the first mile, but then I began to warm-up and have more feeling. I wanted to start out the run fast, as I noticed Lisa was right with me and I would have to break her before the end of the race if I wanted a chance at the win… We ran neck and neck the entire way, as I tried to surge a couple of times during the 10k. With about 800meters to go, Lisa put in a strong surge that I was not able to match. Lisa took the win for the second straight year, and I finished second, but have to be proud that the race was much closer this year. Last year she finished over a minute in front of me and this year it was 15 seconds. However, I did accomplish my goal of finishing 1st in the Series.
I had a great time in Dallas, as some friends and family came to support me. Lifetime Fitness had a great pre-race dinner and post-race party. They really went above and beyond to treat the athletes well at the event. We saw sun for the first time arriving back to the Springs yesterday----Dallas was cloudy and cool the entire weekend. Fall is here and winter is knocking on the door very early this year!!!
Hard to believe my 2009 season is almost over. I am racing my first 70.3 in Austin in less than two weeks! I am treating this race for “fun” with the main goal of qualifying for the 70.3 2010 World Championships in Florida. This race will mean a lot more focus on my nutrition, as it is over twice as long as an Olympic distance race. I am not specifically training for this race, as I centered my training focus on these last two Olympic races.
We are headed to Minnesota tomorrow for a family wedding! This will mean having to spend a little time on the bike trainer since I am racing the following weekend---but, really looking forward to spending time with family and celebrating!