Somehow the days got away from me and I never posted a race report of Columbia. So I’ll start with that.
Pre-race: I was pretty excited going into this race. Columbia is nice because you rack your bike the day before, and while it’s not necessarily the most convenient to go out there 2 days in a row, it is nice not to have to worry about all of that on race day. This was the first time I’ve ever done more than a 20-30 minute run before a race. Coach Hillary had me doing a little bit of everything (S/B/R) the day before, with my rest day on Friday instead. I think this ended up being a good change for me. It was also going to be my first time racing in the Open/Elite wave instead of age group.
Race morning came and a sweet thing about being in the Open wave was that we’d be the second wave to start – no waiting until 9am like in 2009! The bad thing about the open wave? When the gun went off, everyone took off, and I was left in the dust really quickly. I was comforted by the fact I could still see a couple of people behind me though, and just put my head in and started swimming. I was never able to catch back up to any sort of group, but I still swam my fastest swim ever for an Olympic Distance! I was excited to see a 23:anything on the clock as I came out. Tore the wetsuit off and grabbed my bike.
Bike: I was excited for this part of the race. I headed out and felt all alone for the first 8 miles or so. Then 2 girls came zooming by me. Whoops – not so alone after all! I had to work to reel them back in, and a few others who were faster swimmers as well. By about halfway I was feeling good and there was one other female leap-frogging with me. She’d pull way ahead on the downhills and flats, and I would climb by her on the hills. It helped me to keep her in sight and use it as a way to push myself. I went pretty hard on the final stretch of road and gave myself a 1ish minute advantage over her and the next girl going out on the…
Run: That was very short-lived though as I was caught at the first mile marker. Crap. My legs felt decent – not great, but I would certainly make it through. The Columbia run course keeps you humble. Mike Zero had made it out to watch and was at some crucial parts of the run course which was pretty sweet. Had he not been there with a camera I’m not sure I would have run up all those hills! I hit the home stretch and tried to stretch out the legs and just get home. Unfortunately, 2 more girls were hot on my heels and came by me in the last quarter-mile. I ended up with a 2:29:34, 25th place overall (pro women included!). This was a 10 minute PR for me on the course, so clearly improvements were made.
Initially I was pretty excited, then I was frustrated, but I am back to being pleased with my result. My frustration came mostly from my run time – most of the other girls in the open wave were at least running 45’s, if not 42’s. I don’t like to be passed ever, but especially not in the last quarter-mile. And there just was nothing I could do – they were moving much faster than I could. Hillary reminded me though that this was my first time jumping into an elite wave. It’s a bit of a mind game to go from racing in the age groups where I would consistently be in the top 3, to suddenly being at the back of the pack and hoping to not be dead last. The good part is that I liked racing with the big girls. I liked feeling like I was racing, like I couldn’t relax. And I don’t like feeling like I’m at the back of the pack – which is good motivation to keep getting after it in my workouts. Overall, it was a good race for me to do mentally and physically. Also, big shoutout to the crew that came out to support!! It’s always much appreciated when you take the time to be out there, especially at that hour!!
Looking ahead, Eagleman is coming up pretty quickly. The Columbia/Eagleman double is really well-timed and always fun because a lot of the same people will be out for each one. I didn’t get much of a break before I sensed an increase in training intensity and volume to continue pushing until Eagleman. I’m really looking forward to this one as I think my bike and run will be something to look out for, and I am hoping to make some considerable gains on my previous 5:19 time here.
I am going to have to institute the 2 week rule though – no trail running within 2 weeks of a big race! I finally got out to the trails for my long run last week with Carly, and I bit it pretty hard. Hoping these scrapes don’t mess up my aero position!
It is also getting HOT here. Honestly, it has been such a hot summer so far, I really cannot wait for the cooler months. However, it looks like the heat will be with us for a little while longer so I have decided that I need to get my air conditioning system fixed! I have not used my HVAC system for a few months since it started making a strange noise, but my friend told me that she recently got her HVAC system serviced so I might have to ask her for a recommendation about who to contact. I have already heard that Paul The Plumber and other similar HVAC specialists have some brilliant reviews online so I think I am going to take a look on the internet to track down a plumbing and HVAC specialist in my area. Watch this space!
Also, what music have you been listening to this summer? I have been loving Sean Kingston recently. Listen to Sean Kingston’s jam Hot Like Summer here…..