So much has happened in the last week that I barely had time to sit down at the computer...I am finally getting around to my LAST race report of the 2012 season and luckily its a good one!
The Oilman race is a 70.3 distance race in Conroe, TX. Its a fast swim, hilly bike through the state forest, and flat 3-lap cross country style run. The thing that is so awesome about local productions is 1)they dont cost as much as Ironman and 2) all your friends are there and 3) you get to sleep at home!
The race fell on the night of daylights saving time so lucky me, I got an extra hour of sleep. But of course the night before you can never really sleep that well. Not to mention I was looking at the clock the whole night to make sure my phone actually switched over. Anyway, 4am came before I knew it and I was up making my normal breakfast and getting my coffee cup to go. Lucky for me #2: My friend Kelly offered to "chauffer" me to the race. Awesome!
The Swim: I was in the first wave of swimmers and it was a running/dive start. (YES!) I did a couple butterfly strokes and I was off the front end within 30 seconds. My first initial reaction was, sAweeet no one to punch me..but then I thought about how I had no one to draft off of and it was going to be a long lonely swim. I came around the first buoy and Gooooood Morning! The sun was fierce and blinding. Of course the next turn buoy wasnt for another 1000 meters so I had a long ways to go. Trying to sight into the sun, while you are alone, is REALLY tough. I made it to the half way point and was heading back towards shore. The swim felt like foreverrrrrrrrrr, but probably just because I was alone. I checked my watch and it read 29:20, about a whole 4 minutes ahead of the next girl. Not too bad but not too fast either. A long T1 run back to transition and I was off onto the bike.
The Bike: I got to preview the course a few weeks back so I knew exactly what to expect. I was the first person on the course, and actually stayed the first person on the course for the entire ride (I cant believe it!). Bicycle World sent out a truck to lead me and to actually yell at all the stray dogs throughout the country roads (thank-god). I was very thankful to have this truck leading my way! I had looked at the course map so that I knew how to plan for my nutrition and water stops. I followed as practice and at mile 32 I ditched my two bottles of Gu Roctane and water and grabbed another. I was half way through my First Endurance liquid shot and was feeling strong. The first half of the bike is very hilly so I knew to be conservative. A little after the water station I was on a road where its the one time during the whole bike you could really see where you were. I saw my Coach, Michelle Leblanc, about 2 miles behind me so I knew I had about 6 minutes before she would be on me. This must of played a little mental game with me because I put the pedal to the metal and sky-rocketed back to T2. She never caught me but we entered T2 within 20 seconds of each other. She yelled, "Liz you made me work!". haha Time: 2:35:00
The run: I was trying to transition as fast as possible but could not seem to find my dang sock. I knew there was no way I was going to run 13.1 without a sock on but sprinted out of T2 with high hopes that my shoes wouldnt rub. The first 2 miles was on cross country type terrain and I HATED IT. I thought, how the heck am I going to run this whole race like this? Luckily the next 2 miles went back to concrete and I settled into my pace. Holding 6:35-6;40 and feeling strong. I took a gu (2nd Surge) at mile 3 and was playing a back and forth battle with my coach. It was fun to have a little bit of friendly competition. 4 miles in, I felt the blister forming and I didnt know whether to run back to transition and find my bag where I had an extra sock...or to find myself, Surprisingly, yell at a viewer: "GIVE ME YOUR SOCK!!". They looked at me surprised. Frantically, they began to take off of their shoe, and then their other. "Oh, this one has a hole, let me get the other!" And so, I found my sock, which actually ended up saving my poor foot from obnoxious blistering! It probably cost me about 20 seconds, but it was totally worth it. I took off running with a happy foot, but slowly began to find myself wuthering. Mile 8, I hit a wall. I took another gel, but I just couldnt phase it. Uh one more lap. How can I do this? My pace slowed to what felt like I wasnt even moving. At one point I walked and let out an emotional sigh/cry. Liz, get your act together!! The heat ate me alive, but I knew that I had to just keep shuffling to the finish. Time: 1:40:0
The Finish: 4:50:20. Yep thats a PR. I was exhausted and so happy to finish. I was on pace for 4:40 but just couldnt ring my run together. What went wrong? Honestly, I think it was just heat. My fuel was fine, and everything that I have practiced was executed... minus the last 4 miles. I am not upset with my race but I am very positive and happy to have finished the season healthy with high hopes for next years season. This kind of race is only to be learned from and I cant wait to get out and do it again next year as I start my first year as a professional.
Offseason had officially begun!