I was sick this week, but felt like I had recovered enough to race.
This race was in the Columbia Gorge at Cascade Locks. It is an Escape to Alcatraz series race (Alcatraz qualifier) so it is set up just like Escape from Alcatraz, 1.5 mile swim with a ¼ mile run to transition, 18 mile hillier than hell bike, and an 8 mile rolling hill run.
The wind was nasty, 20-30 mph from the east. The swells and chop on the river were pretty bad, and the kayakers refused to go out 1.5 miles, so they ended up taking a mile off the swim making it a half mile and killing a nice advantage for me. We swam downstream and with the wind so it was a nice fast swim regardless of the waves. I was out of the water in under 10 minutes, stripped my wetsuit and made the run to transition put on helmet glasses etc and off on the bike. Total Swim and T1 time 12:57. I was in about 4th position.
I got out quickly on the bike and passed the 3 in front of me, and battled the wind for the first half of the race. There were some ridiculous hills in this race climbing almost 2000 feet, but luckily I have been climbing very well lately. I pushed hard on the bike trying to get as big of a lead as I could because this was now a runner’s race, and a runner I am not. My HR was pretty high, (about 188 climbing) and I was starting to feel the affects of being sick this week. The good thing about steep and long climbs (steep enough that many were walking/running there bikes up hill) is that you have a nice fun downhill. I hit 46.4 mph as my max speed, and stayed aero! This is big for me as high speeds have scared the crap out of me since my crash last year. I took what I thought was a nice lead into t2, although I was not feeling well and was dreading this run. Oh yea they also took 3.5 miles off the bike that was heading dead into the wind (I think this was pretty weak of them) so the total bike was 14.5 miles. Bike time 43:44, 1st off the bike.
As I left transition I had to vomit, so I leaned forward and let it go. Not much to let go, but it did not taste good. Anyway I was not feeling this run as it was constant rolling hills, but kept my pace steady and kept on keeping on. Threw up a bit more at mile 1. At mile 2 I got passed, then passed again at about mile 3. I was not keeping track of my pace, and figured I must have been moving pretty slow to give up my lead that fast. My legs were not tired, but I was breathing pretty hard. Shortly after mile 3 we had to climb 3 flights of stairs and I was passed by two more guys. I was glad to see the turn around at mile 4, and told myself all I have to do is run home. I held my pace and no one else passed me. I was spent at the finish line. I really thought that I had a bad run, but was shocked to see my run split of 51:59, 6:29/mile. This was not slow for me at all, I just got passed by some fast flipping runners, and turns out two of them were on relay teams. So final results show 1:50.30 1st age group, 3rd overall. Got a slot to Alcatraz.
So my race turned out to be pretty good considering I thought I had a bad race. Gives me a lot of confidence in my training as Clearwater nears.