Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Solid Finish!

Thank you guys all for your messages and little notes of support! They were well thought of up in Santa Cruz. First of all, if you haven't had the chance to go to Santa Cruz---GO! It's gorgeous....it has everything from great mom&pop restaurants to a cute boardwalk, laid back and really friendly people. The scenery reminded me almost of Ireland at some points. Allow me to backtrack.

Friday-Julia and I left after I finished work--drove a few hours past the heinous, smoggy and yucky city known as LA...sorry, not an LA fan-it's ok for visiting and and some sight seeing, but it's heinous to drive through. In efforts to keep our nutrition reasonable for our race, Julia and I used her Treo (affectionately called "The Bat Phone") to find a decent restaurant on 5 North to eat at that didn't consist primarily of burgers and fries. She was able to locate a Macaroni Grille and we ate dinner at 9:00 p.m.! Got back on the road and stayed at a Motel 6 in Buttonwillow...where on earth is that you ask?? It's near Bakersfield, a town in which my mother-in-law just chuckles about when you mention it...Bakersfield is hot and boring apparently and Buttonwillow was perfect for a 1 night's stay and super super cheap...Julia did an awesome job at keeping us on a good budget. Our breakfast was a breakfast of champions the next morning at: McDonalds..we rationalized in the middle of nowhere that our Egg McMuffins would serve as adequate protein...however, I beg to differ with all of you out there who think McDonalds serves decent coffee..it was awful! Anyway--we got up to Santa Cruz at 2:00 on Saturday and went to the smallest Expo ever known to man (Expo's are where you pick up your race numbers and misc. other information). It was chilly! A bit windy and about 70 degrees.

We drove the bike course..all the way to the end, mostly because my mouth dropped when I saw the amount of "rollers" in the course. I'm being slightly dramatic, as it turns out, the bike was fine, the downhills evened out the uphills. The climbing wasn't too bad, I just really like flat rides! Grabbed some tasty lunch over looking the ocean and headed to Julia's friends house to unpack and go for a ride/run.

The house we stayed at was adorable and we were super glad to have such comfy beds to crash in! Saturday night ate amazing pasta at a place called Al Dente....highly recommended.

Got up Sunday morning ate a banana and half a bagel with honey and I absolutely couldn't eat anything else. I should have eaten the whole bagel for sheer calories but I couldn't stomach anything else. We got to the race site, it was great, no wind at all..yay! It was a small race which was really nice. Unfortunately due to limited porto potties I ended up online for one before I could get in a warm up. Went down to the start and I did a very short swim warmup---oh my god it was freezing. I came out and I seriously was worried about the water temperatures, something I hadn't really thought too much about. Swim: ended up fine, my arms were fine and I think I was moving right along---the only bad part--the transition was LONG, making my way back to the bike was a small hike from the beach and my feet weren't thawed out from the water so I looked down to make sure I was running on my feet and not with claws! Got on the bike and just really focused on getting settled.

The bike was great--even with the hills, ok, truth be told, I was HIGHLY annoyed at the hills, I realized, I like going into aero and going hard, and hills don't allow me to do that! Anyway, I managed to average about 20 mph overall on the hills, with the ups and downs, so it worked out ok. Ride was gorgeous, all along the ocean and really just gorgeous, I would almost say prettier than any ride i've done in San Diego!

I didn't take in enough water on the bike (took in enough food for sure), but I was dehydrated starting the run. It was so overcast (which was wonderful) and not windy, but I didn't drink as much as I should have. Starting the run my legs felt awesome, but I was really out of it---and I was annoyed again because I knew my legs felt great but my head was somewhere else and I felt slow. I need to work on my mental game, learn how to just push through and work through it.

The run was mostly flat with a few inclines, but nothing dramatic....and it took you on asphalt as well as some trails which were really nice...I didn't move along as much as I had wished but it was still a solid finish.

I finished 9th in my age group out of 65 so I was pleased with how I did....I need to learn to be happy with my finishes and whatever I don't like, suck it up and work it out for next time =0 Thanks for reading.....I had today off and tomorrow I have a 90 minute ride and 60 minute swim, no running until Thursday. Truthfully, it'll be an effort for me to do this workout tomorrow, my knees are aching quite a bit.

I read somewhere this weekend that Ironman training almost works at its best when you're almost at your most tired, that you learn how to push through and become stronger for Ironman when you're tired.....and honestly----i'm SURE I will have to work through some tiredness at Ironman right? =0

My friend Julia and I were talking about my mindset and she was telling me in one of her books, one of the pro's once said that the race is supposed to be the FUN part----like all that pain in the ass training and long hours and tiredness, should be put out of your mind and you should just enjoy the ride......and I think I did that a little this weekend, but I need to learn to enjoy it more! Thanks for reading!!


Mara Rae Rutherford said...

Hey Mer! Awesome job! I'm so proud of you :) Keep up the good work - it's all going to pay off very soon. Love ya!

Kir said...

You are doing so awesome!! I'm so proud of you! Keep up the great work!!!! =)