Last year I couldn't get my breakfast down due to nerves, so this year I planned a liquid breakfast and did what a lot of fellow triathletes with early start times do...got up at 3:00 a.m., drank my smoothie and turned on the coffee pot, then went back to bed and "rested" until my 4:00 a.m. wake up call. It worked!
Bruce surprised me the night before by saying he would go with me to the race and not drive down later, which was wonderful. We packed the truck with my bags, poured our coffee and headed out the door by 4:20 to get to the race site by 5:00.
Packet pick up and bike drop off were the day before, so all I had to do when I arrived was set up my transition area. I was on the corner of a large "L" which was awesome because I was able to set up my transition area directly across from where my bike was racked and out of the way. That was a good thing because the racks were packed kind of tight and the other athletes who arrived earlier had spread out a little wide.
Bruce and I met up with fellow racer (and recent training partner) Matthew and his wife, Chelvi, and we headed down to body marking near the beach.
On the beach I met up with several other Maui racers. Having Bruce there and talking with friends before the start was a wonderful change from last year when I didn't know anyone. I was a lot calmer this year and more confident. I watched the men's wave take off and planned my start. Last year I waited toward the back and it cost me a lot of time at the start waiting for the others to wade in and get going. This year I was a lot more confident in my swimming abilities and lined up at the front and to the left, closest to the buoy. A couple people passed me which I expected, but it was a good tactic for the start.
|Watching the men's wave start.|
We were swimming against the incoming current to the first buoy and it was relatively strong, so I just put my head down and pushed. I should have sighted more, however, because I started to get a little off course and ended up inside the first buoy and had to correct and swim around. A dumb mistake that cost me some time.
Around the first buoy and on my way to the second we were swimming parallel to the light swell and the rocking motion was making me feel a little pukey (I get seasick pretty easy) but the swimmers were more evened out now and I just put my head down and tried to refocus on my swim. Thankfully, that worked.
|That's me in the middle with the white/aqua/gray tri suit.|
Around the third buoy and on the way into shore the sun was coming up and the glare was impossible. I knew this from last year, but didn't want to swim with tinted goggles for such an early start. I continued sighting well but this is where the other swimmers around me started breaking down - breaststroking and backstroking, so it was necessary to avoid being kicked and one backstroker even started going sideways across a bunch of swimmers. I picked up my pace and stayed on course and everything was good going into shore.
2010: 40:12 2011: 34:18 PR by almost 6 minutes!
It's quite a run from the beach to the transition area, up a service road behind the hotel to the parking lot. I wanted to improve my time from last year, but ran into the woman next to me in transition who was from Maui and we checked on each other to make sure we each had everything and were ready to go for the ride. Unfortunately, that, coupled with a larger transition area, combined to add to my time from last year. Otherwise, T1 was pretty smooth and I was ready to go.
2010: 5:52 2011: 6:18
A couple of weeks before the race Matthew loaned me one of his road bikes for the race. It fit me quite well, aerobars and all, and I was able to get in a couple of long rides on it prior to the race so it felt good. Last year the course took us through two loops and up "Diamond Hill" a very steep hill, followed by another very steep hill, TWICE. This year, it was once out to Makena, then up the hills to the Piilani Hwy and a long stretch of wonderful, fairly straight, rolling hills. On Matthew's suggestion I took the Makena loop to pretty much just warm up, climbed the hills, then hammered as hard as I could on the straightaways.
This year I passed people on the bike!!! That is SUCH a great feeling! Last year, everyone was passing me on my MTB. This year I passed 15-20 people and it was awesome. I pushed as hard as I could, hit a little bit of a headwind on the return which was also mostly uphill, then cruised the final downhill and back into transition. I was VERY happy with the bike!
2010: 1:50 2011: 1:32 PR by 18 minutes!!
Good. Racked the bike, slipped on my Zoot Ultra racers (look mom, no socks!). Grabbed my hat and race number and off I went. Again, long trek around the side of transition (only one in and one out), so a little longer this year.
2010: 2:22 2011: 3:14
This was my worry. With last year's foot fracture and lengthy recovery, my run mileage has been low this season. I also missed several training runs 3-4 weeks out. My last run off the bike was awful.
I took off at a pretty slow pace, but eventually found my legs and picked up the pace after the first two hills (pretty much right out of the hotel). This race has a very hilly run course and, with the sun rising and the day heating up, can be very hot, humid and difficult. I FELT GOOD! No pain in the foot. I ran the entire way, with the exclusion of the aid stations when I walked. In the last mile I passed two younger guys (one who outwardly groaned when I passed him), and they never caught up.
2010: 1:26 2011: 1:08 PR by 16 minutes!
After hugs and high fives from Bruce, Matthew and Chelvi, had water, an orange and a banana, then a BIG BREAKFAST at Stella's.
Even though I didn't meet my goal of making top five in my AG this year (I placed 11 out of 28), I am still very pleased with the results and looking forward to shaving off another 20 minutes for next year's race, which should place me solidly in the top 3!
|Coming into the home stretch!|