Friday, January 17, 2014

Lake Hayes Olympic tri, 6th F... and Challenge Wanaka this weekend!

Not staying on top of my race reports, am I? Well I raced Lake Hayes Olympic triathlon. I race this one every year, twice a year if I can manage it (they hold the same race every X-mas and Easter), since I first arrived in New Zealand. I LOVE THIS COURSE, it is honest and hard and crazy talented athletes always show up. For a local race, the competition is phenomenal. You don't often see pros turn up to local races, and here we had 3. So... I definitely wasn't top 3!

I rode to the race the morning of (50-something k's Wanaka to Queenstown going over the Crown Range)
Top of Crown Range on a nicer day. Queenstown is down there somewhere.
And I raced, hard as usual, same story as usual: come out of the water near the front, get passed on the bike (less this time, though!), and nail as many of them back on the run. In the end, 6th girl in, 3rd amateur chick (given top 3 were pros). Faster today by a couple minutes when everyone else was slower than previous attempts at Lake Hayes -- windier conditions than usual. So, improvement is there... and I hope that's a good indication of fitness for this weekend's Challenge Wanaka iron-distance.

This'll be my fifth iron-distance race; I'm psyching myself up to deal with the suffering with grace. In fact, I feel really bloody fit on the swim and run, and... I have definitely improved on the bike, yes, but just NOT ENOUGH and definitely not proportional to my swim and run abilities. So, that's a bit of a 2014 mission and beyond: improve my bike split.

Otherwise, I feel good, I'm looking forward to this race, it even looks like conditions might ACTUALLY be nice for once. When I did this race in 2011, my first iron-distance race, the winds were so severe that the female pros were going under 20kph the last 70k's into the wind from Cromwell to Wanaka, leaving them with 6+ hr bike splits. So, really, any iron-distance with better conditions than that is a blessing. Tomorrow's looks like a calm swim and relatively calm bike with winds and heat picking up on the run: yes, yes, excellent, excellent, let the heavier runners struggle in the heat. I never give myself time goals, I just aim to put together a good race, handle my nutrition well, and mete out my energy perfectly. Onwards! Excited!

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