Friday, May 22, 2009
OK in OK - The Oklahoma "Where the Wind Comes Sweeping Down the Plains" Race Report
Heading out on the bike
Last lap of the run - notice all the dirt on my face from the river! Yuck!
Pre-race: It was a 1pm start for the pro women so I was able to sleep in until 9am the day of the race. Those of you who have ever seen me before 9am know that later in the day race starts are definitely a good thing for me!
Swim: We had a pontoon dive start into the crystal clear waters *sarcasm* of the Oklahoma River. I was able to get off to a pretty good start and after jockeying around for position for the first 75 meters or so was able to find some open space to swim in before I rounded the first buoy. As the swim progressed, I pretty much ended up in no man’s land with a group directly in front of me and a group a little bit behind me. I entered the first transition out of the swim with the closest women 22 seconds in front of me and a minute and a half behind me.
Bike: Seeing that I was completely by myself and knowing that a large group was behind me, I decided not to push the pace on the first lap and hydrate as much as possible while I waited for the pack to catch me. They caught me right after the turn to start the second lap and I picked up the pace a little bit to hop on the back of the pack. Because of the intense winds, there was really no set rotation within the pack and a lot of the girls (myself included) sat near the back for a lot of the ride, took pulls for a couple seconds, settled back in the middle of the group and sprinted up to the front for every turn around (which came about every 3 miles). Unfortunately for me, I got caught in the middle of the pack at the turn around with 1.5 laps to go and the girl in front of me overshot the turn and braked (a big no no in draft legal racing). I was forced to brake as well not to crash into her and lost all momentum as the rest of the group surged out of the turn. I tried to sprint to catch back up, but wasn’t able to do so. From that point, I decided I could either push it and have my legs blow up on the run or go as fast as I possibly could while keeping a high cadence. I went for plan b and came into transition about a minute and a half down on the pack that I rode with for most of the bike.
Run: From the time I stepped off the bike, my plan was to hammer, hammer, hammer! I was basically sprinting the first lap, just to see how close I could come to the girls that had over a minute lead on me and then I settled in once I had perspective on who I would be able to chase down. The run was an out-and-back course, similar to the bike, which was very helpful from a mental perspective in that I was able to see my competitors about every 6 minutes or so and kind of gauge how much time I’d gained/lost per ½ lap. I was able to chase down about 12 girls, and ended up with the 5th fastest run of the day and a 14th overall finish.
I'd like to send a huge THANK YOU out to Amanda Jordan, my former teammate and friend from FSU for being my homestay for the weekend! Amanda devoted much of her weekend to showing me around Oklahoma City, driving me to the pre-race meeting, grocery store, ice cream shop, and being cheerleader/photographer for the race. Thanks so much Amanda - you and Pete were great hosts! :)
But although I had a big race this weekend, what I'll probably look back and remember about this weekend for years to come is how I was able to pull off flying to Oklahoma City and back without a photo I.D. to show in security.... whoops! Good thing I was able to locate it when I returned back home to Boulder because I fly out for another race on Saturday! I race again on Memorial Day in Austin, Texas so another update will be coming soon-ish!