Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hard Work is No Match for Bad Luck

The trip had been made from Kansas to Richmond, Virginia. As the evening rolled on, I had checked my bicycle in and headed to Panera for my pre-race ritual of eating a nice big soup in a bread bowl. I placed my order, only to have them tell me they were out of bread bowls... wouldn't say I am superstitious, but I really wanted a bread bowl. So I smiled and threw some charm at them, and they decided they could cut a hole in a loaf of sour dough bread, making me the largest bread bowl in the history of Panera. Success!
Beep... Beep... Beep... my alarm is going off, and I am out of bed ready to race. The race wasn't scheduled to take place until 9:30 a.m., so it wasn't an early morning. I double checked the bike and got everything set up and felt like today was my day.
The race is on, and I am off with the leaders. Knowing that my strength is my running, I wanted to get a little gap from the top cyclists. I came into the first transition at 16:34 feeling really relaxed in a pack of 8 guys. I hopped onto my bike and was rolling... BUMP!!! and my aero water bottle bracket cracked.... BUMP!!! lost my water bottle within the first mile. Hope I don't get thirsty. As the race went on, I was in my first lap still and hit the crease where the bridge comes together and got a squish flat on the front wheel. Hopped off the bike and got it changed in under five minutest and went from 4th place till nearly last. As the race went on, I saw more and more people walking with bikes who were getting flats. I was using so much energy trying to work my way back into the race slowly catching guys. POP! on the third lap, same bridge I got a SECOND flat tire on the front wheel. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!! Luckily I had two tubes and two CO2 canisters. Hopped off and began fixing the second flat knowing I was nearly done. I decided to keep the tube not that it would probably do any good, but who knows with my luck. I finished the bike with a time of 1:12, knowing the flats alone cost around 11 minutes, not counting the effort wasted trying to catch up and just mentally being Destroyed!
Finally, I was off the bike and running again. Running, not really catching anyone, made it very hard to stay competitive. I ran a 18:55 for the last 5k. All I could think about was finishing. As I came to the finish line still with my tube, I held it up praying that this was the last of my bad luck.
All in all, the race was a success. It was my first duathlon national championship. I also learned that without the 11 minutes spent changing tubes, that would have been the difference in qualifying for Worlds in Scotland. I came, I saw, I learned, I gave everything I had, but most importantly I finished! Thanks to Brooks for giving me shoes to rock my run, another special thanks to for hooking me up with the coolest uniform and the most comfortable cycling shorts. One more thanks to everyone who cheered and prayed for me. Without the support of my friends and my brother being here today, I would have most likely walked off the course. Thanks!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Feeling Fit

Yesterday was a fun meet at Tabor Relays! We were able to get the runners who did not qualify for KU Relays into a smaller meet on a Wednesday to get in a solid race. As the 10K approached, it was evident that our top 10K runner was going to be lapping the field and would be all by himself. Luckily I came prepared for this by bringing my Brooks racing singlet and hopped into the race, rabbiting him for the first 10 laps. Although I wanted to race the whole thing, I knew that it was not in my training plan, and I am very close to my biggest race of the season. The 10 laps felt smooth and easy, hitting 80's a lap without a problem into a strong head wind. After dropping off, I was recovered within thirty seconds which shows me I am very fit. Besides feeling fit, I felt like a star wearing the Brooks ID Jersey!! It's easy to stand out in that lime green jersey. Thanks Brooks!!