Tuesday, April 15, 2014

#4 to start 2014!

It was bound to be a perfect trip because our homestay had lemon trees in their yard and I. LOVE. LEMONS. I eat them like apples and I got to pluck those babies right from the tree. Mike and Pixi were the proud owners of the lemon trees and they welcomed us into their home and were very accommodating. I sincerely apologize that your lemon trees are now naked.

The days leading to Florida 70.3 were hands down the most relaxing and focused to date.  Of course when I say "focused" I'm referring to the fact that Andrew, Ryan and I were goofing off, making each other laugh, and creating some quality you tube videos:

And eating lemons.

Eating more lemons. 

Side Note #1: My friend Andrew Fast (uber-biker- never tapered in his life- hippy) kept us really laughing.  He was totally ready to have an OUTSTANDING race but unfortunately he DNF'd due to a mechanical. All you male pro's better watch out because this guy is ready to take some names (if he can every make peace with a proper taper).

Side Note #2: My friend Ryan Kelly (no hyperlink because he hasn't written a blog in 4 years) had an AHHHHMAZING race and he is bound for a great season. 

SIde Note #3: I have some great training buddies.

Back on track! We ate well, stayed hydrated, stayed out of the sun, and stayed away from caffeine. If you are a coffee lover like me I urge you to try a caffeine taper pre race to help you gain a little speed during the race. Avoid caffeine race week and early on the day of your race. This caffeine "fast" will help keep your sensitivity to caffeine high so that you can maximize its effect come go-time! 

 The process starts painful: life without caffeine turns Crazy Amber into Zombie Amber.

You know what's in that cup?  Herbal tea. BLAH!

  But watch out come mid race because Zombie Amber turns into a blazing ball of fire. 

Andrew and Ryan were surely ticked that I initiated this caffeine-free week but in their newly slug-like stupor there was nothing they could do about it. And to re-iterate what I touched on above, our special friend Andrew had also never completed a proper taper so he was in a world of hurt. We assured him that he was supposed to feel like a heaping pile of dung pre race. He assured us that he was never racing another triathlon again ;)

Three hundred and forty one lemons later and it was race morning. I was happy to be wearing the TYR wetsuit but NOT happy to be boiling in 74 degree water.

I got in a solid warm up and felt ready to GO. When the gun went off I sprinted off the line and found myself leading the chase pack. However, someone kept hitting my feet every stroke which made me crack up under water. That tickles! I moved aside and had a fairly easy swim behind Cait Snow and Jackie Ardent. Fairly easy until of course we made a turn. And this course had SIX, (6), (six!!!) turns. Can someone message me and tell me if there is some kind of secret special trick for making turns? Because EVERY turn they would drop me like a hot potato and then I would be forced to sprint up on their feet again and then promptly get dropped on the next turn. Oh and I was getting hot. Hot dropped potato. Time to get on the bike.

Notice the clothes INDOORS? It's even cold on the trainer in New Hampshire.

I sprinted through transition to my bike. I mean: MY BIKE!!! My Argon E-118!! HOLY MOLY that is a sweet bike. This was my fourth ride outdoors on it and I was psyched nervous to be biking in 85 degree weather. I live in New Hampshire and we had one hell of a winter. Awesome for winter sports but frankly un-awesome for prepping body for hot Ironman. Oddly enough the bike felt amazing out on the hot open roads and even handled the multiple twisty turn-y windy course like a champ.  I was cruising along on the Argon with the ENVE wheels and feeling comfy all day on the Cobb Saddle. Totally the perfect set up.  In all honesty the bike portion was so amazingly fun I (almost) forgot to start into the caffeine.  Napalm bomb!

It was hot and I was slightly nervous to see how I would run due to my lack of heat training. I jumped off the bike and into the ZOOT Kiawes and was determined to chase some girls down. After 1 mile I had moved to 7th and I was feeling controlled and focused. The run course was so hilly and hot with sections of loose dirt. Isn't this entire state flat? Where the heck did these hills come from?  I pushed on and started to pick off some girls and finally with 4 miles to go I heard I was 1 minute down to Laura Bennett (the Olympian!) Time to turn the hurt up. The last 4 miles turned into a semi-controlled train wreck of ice down the shorts, chug the Infinit, water over the head, push, push, push.

I made the pass with 2 miles to go and then it was just a mental test to stay strong to the end.

I crossed the line 4th female PRO and was totally satisfied with the 1st result of the season in HOT conditions.  This result is hugely due to my OUTSTANDING coach. Without him I would just be a lemon-eating-crazy ball of fire.

Congrats to Cait Snow, Margie Shapiro, Lauren Goss and Laura Bennett for rounding out the top 5 and pushing me all day long.