Sunday, June 7, 2009

Mach Tenn Sprint Relay Race Report

The stats and then the goods:

.6 mile swim - 16 mile bike - 4 miles run
1:34:42 finishing time (seconds matter here)
15:51 swim (me) - 0:51 T1 - 46:48 bike (Ryan) - 0:28 T2 - 30:44 run (me)
4th out of 19 relays (only one overall relay division) - missed third by 11 seconds - 1st mixed/coed team.

Goal Finish Time: <1:39 total, Stretch Goal <1:35 total (YES!)
Weather - looking to be perfect for this race - last year, I melted.

Like most race days, up at crack of dawn. Something like 4am. This was different, though. Normally, Ryan is my ever faithful sherpa and my instructions are usually - get me up at the LAST possible minute. This time, 4am, buzzzzz and he yells - It's race day, let's get t his party started. I don't know WHO this guy is but apparently, this is race day Ryan, not sherpa Ryan. It was good and I knew that his heart was in this.

Made it to the race venue in time to drive most of the ride course. Ryan wanted to get an idea of the hills, mount, dismount line etc. In our drive around the course - We met this friend, along with countless deer.

Warming up - making sure everything works.
Nothing crazy, set up our gear and I was seeded as #44 (seeded start out of 390ish total participants). Perfect. I opted for Speedo with NO wetsuit (along with Foxy there on the right).

Meh, it was an OK swim. I used to have severe open water anxiety so now I just try to swim and not freak out. Oh, especially since this is what we call "Poop Lake" - some months ago, some nearby pumping station had a leak and well, yep, you guessed it, we didn't nickname it poop lake for nothing. I just had to push that out of my mind. 15:51, not great but fair enough.

T1 - I ran up the hill to the relay bike racks. We practiced our chip hand off in the drive way the nite before so we were confident we could manage this quickly. Ripped off my cap and goggles and just ran up the hill as fast as I could, stuck my leg out, Ryan grabbed the chip and he was gone. 0:51, I was glad we practiced, we were pretty quick.

Bike - I can't tell you jack that happened on the bike. But here's what happened while he was gone on the bike...in a seeded start, you just don't know where anyone stands because of their swim start time. #282 might come in after us but still beat us in total time, but you have NO clue. I was the 2nd or 3rd female out of the water, again, not that fast just a seeded start and the 1st relay out of the water. There is something that switches off in the brain when this happens. I'm NEVER at the front, I'm NOT this good. After some general good ribbing and trash talking by the other relay teams, I just said, it doesn't matter, you just have to look fast and people will think you ARE fast. This has never been more true. After about 40 minutes, I'm keeping my eyes pealed. At 45ish something, I can see a roadie turning the corner (the position is SO different that it was easy to pick him out in the crowd). I get to the transition point - 46:48

T2 - I grab the chip from him, slap it on and sprint like a little kid to the run out. -
0.28 seconds. Niceee, I knew it was a good one.

Run - In my Speedo, shoes, glasses, visor, I take off on the run course. There aren't but a handful of people that are even running yet. At some point, I hear, you're the second place female. I yell back, no I'm not. The thought, the mere idea that anyone would even mistake ME for the second place female was a joke (see, if you look fast, they think you are fast). I knew that I would not catch or pass anyone in this footrace. The only people ahead of me were all (very) fast men and one woman. I had my Garmin on and my goal was to pace at ~8/mile. This would be good for me on this rolling course. It's an out and back so you see the superfast types heading back in to the finish. The overall 1st place female caught sight of me when she turned (and I later found) and picked it up a notch. Said she thought I was going to catch her. I laughed out loud when she said this - I'm sure she thinks I'm a freak. Hahaha, I don't catch people, I get passed. Anyway, I just clicked off the miles, got passed by a few men, came to the last .10 mile or so and saw Ryan, he's yelling at me (more than a usual sherpa would) to pick it up, almost there, let's go, you're going to make it (our <1:35 goal). I put it out there and into a fury of cameras - that was weird - hit the run in 30:44!!!! WHAAAAT? Not me, I'm not a sub-8 kinda girl, I don't run in the 7's even for just a plain ole 5K. I did on this day.

Total 1:34:42

What did I learn: Something happens in the brain when you're up front. Since I have never known what that feels like, it was new to me. I was up front, I felt like I had to perform, that was the expectation. Not my expectation but the expectation of everyone around me, of spectators, of Ryan, of the other relay teams. I had to run until I puked or peed on myself (this is what I often tell everyone else but rarely do myself). I had to hold the form of someone who actually looks like they know what they're doing. You have some big shoes to fill when you roll out there in a bathing suit! I'm sure the guys behind me got a little cheeky flash but whatever. I also believe that you will work harder in a relay than you would alone. You have people waiting on you that DO have expectations. It's easier to fold if you're just working for yourself and you start to feel crappy, or whatever. When there's someone's outcome that hinges on what YOU do, it matters (to me anyway). I need to harness that energy for myself in the future. I have no delusions because those chicas are superfast but it felt good to be up front ... even if it was a seeded start.

26 comments:

Molly said...

Congrats on a great race!! I think that's pretty special when you get a chance to be up front and feel that pressure, I'm sure it was good for you! What is next race-wise?

Mae said...

I was at the first water table out on the run (the ice) and we were yelling for everyone... one guy decided it was funny to tell about every 3rd person who came along that they were in second place. It was fun and you rocked it! Way to swim through the pooh and nuclear toxins! :)

TRI-james said...

Well done - way to pick up the pace on the run!

Jill said...

I am SO glad you didn't tell me about poop lake prior to the race.

HA! The deer came out of the woods during my run and I nearly crapped myself. I actually had to stop running or get hit by 3 deer!

You looked so strong on the run, congrats! I loved the Speedo too...yeah, you gotta look the part if you're going to be up front.

And, just so you know...since you didn't pee yourself...I took care of that for you. I think I left more pee at Mach Tenn mile 2-3 than I ever left in my own toilet. Like maybe 1/2 of poop lake's water?? Sucked it all in on my pathetic swim.

kristen said...

I love me a bad ass that swims without a wet suit. Sounds like you pretty much kicked ass there. And the run....damn girl. What's your secret? Amazing. You were smokin'. So cool you guys did this together sounds like he is quite the competitor!

Carly said...

Nice job!!!! What a great feeling to be in front.

Congrats on a great Relay!

Now I am really scared of ever trying a tri....swimming in open water scare me. Fish and poo...gross

Al's CL Reviews said...

Great report and race! Excellent job!

Diana said...

Way to kick some ass!
Congrats on a great time!

KK said...

Awesome report and even awesom-er finish! Congrats! And GREAT running split-I agree it is easier to run faster when you have people counting on you and others that think you're in the lead. Way to smoke that course! And I HATE running in bathing suits too, gag.

Southbay Girl said...

Hell yes! You were up front! How cool is that! I NEVER have known that feeling so I will, without a doubt, live vicariously thru you!! Awesome awesome awesome. And how cool to have your hubs be your partner and cheering you on at the end!

And did I say that you SMOKED the run! Damn woman you are FAST!

Missy said...

I have to add - Ryan did not train for this event. He wanted me to add that disclaimer. He 'just rides.'

Keith said...

I'm impressed! Nice race!

I try not to think about what's in the water, just get'er done. And you and hubby did. Congrats!

Mel-2nd Chances said...

Sweet race! Congrats to you both, definitely a great team effort! You rocked it today! Now you're making me want to do a tri! oh ya, can't run just yet. Ok, but when I can, you've inspired me!

Runner Leana said...

Wow Missy, nice job!! Way to smoke that run! I always used to say that if you say anything with conviction then people will believe. Guess the same is true for racing in triathlon! Believe you are fast and everyone else will believe it too.

Chloe said...

Excellent race report! Congrats on the 4th place finish!

Any race where they have waves or anything like that to tell exactly where you are. But you guys still kicked ass!

Chloe said...

Oh yeah - poop lake? :) Kind of reminds me of IM New Orleans. Gross.

Dave said...

What can I say...my homies got mad skilz. Even if is a seeded race...way to maintain strong...now keep that energy up on a solo....really proud of you guttin it up!

Wes said...

Super job! Fantastic! The next time you do a relay, I want to be the TRANSITION relay member. I am evidently, really getting good at transitions!! I can take 10 seconds off your total time. I swear!!!

Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

CONGRATULATIONS - awesome job on the swim and YOU JUST SMOKED that run! Woo hoo! Interesting perspective on needing to be fast when you're out in front... I liked your ideas on what we feel vs. what we project. Next race I'll keep this in mind. Have a speedy recovery!

Ryan said...

Congrats on a great race....even if it was a relay ;-)

ShirleyPerly said...

WOOHOO, congrats on a great relay performance!!

I've never been on a relay team before but I'll bet it does crank up competitive juices. Great job on those transitions and racing up front!

Carolina John said...

that sounds like you did really well. good job!

you did really well on the run! who gets into the 7's? you do!

theloosemoose said...

You're a freakin' rock star!!!! Nice job!

i can't even imagine running in a bathing suit, especially at that pace. Don't the girls flop all about???
Triathlons intrigue me, but for now I think I'll stick to running.

Marcy said...

Holy sh*t chica! You f*cking rocked that B out!! CONGRATS!! You ARE a speedy one. Dayum!! ;D ;D

I hope you didn't drink the water :P

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Great job and GREAT report, sister!

You and Ryan rocked it!

aron said...

wow amazing job!!! way to beat your stretch goal too :) congratssss!

IronMissy - it's official!

IronMissy - it's official!
A vision in green!