February 25, 2011

Rev3 Costa Rica Race Report

Race day got off to a very EARLY start! I was up and at 'em at 3:37am, did some quick stretching, got some food down, race tattoos on, and was out the door to catch the 4am shuttle. I plugged myself into my Ipod (with my coolio Yurbuds of course!) The morning's tunes included Katy Perry, Eminem, Luke Kauffman, Wiz Khalifa and Bruno Mars.  The 45min shuttle ride when by relatively quickly, but I must say, that is the earliest I've ever arrived at a race site!!!  I got my transition area set up, a quick ride in on my bike to check the gears, a short run with some drills and pickups, and before I knew it, it was time to head down to the water.  I jumped in and out of the water then got the downlow on how the course/buoys worked.  It was a 2-loop swim, where we came out of the water and ran around a red buoy on the beach between laps.  The loop was basically a triangle with RED buoys for the turn buoy and some randomly placed YELLOW buoys for sighting (they werent' lined up with the Red ones) and an extra RED buoy for the 1/2 IM racers.  Okay, pretty simple, right?! 

The gun goes off and I am immediately in the lead and swimming toward the first Red buoy, all is good.  I usually don't have to sight too often, so my head went back down for about 20 strokes and then, I looked up and could not see the red buoy.  Nothing new, but the next time I sighted, and the next, and the next, I could never find the Red buoy.  Uh oh!  So I ended up taking everyone off course.  Finally I saw some splashing up ahead and was relieved, thinking it was the guys and I was on track.  But then the splashing was getting closer and closer, opps, they were headed towards us after already going around the first buoy! (they had a 3min head start.)  So, all of a sudden, I took a hard 90' left turn and eventually got around the first buoy.  I guess the spectators on the beach were getting a kick out of this...they said we totally looked like a 'school of fish' suddenly changing direction in unison.  Rounded the buoy, now find the next one.  Again, for the life of me, I could not find the buoy.  I was blindly swimming towards who knows where??  I even stopped and did a few breastrokes and cleared my googles (on several occasions), I never have to do that, what was wrong with me????!!!  Eventually, a boat comes up and hollars, 'derecho', which means right, so I veer to the right.  Totally off course, again, they finally come catch up to me, and then I see the Red buoy, way off to my left, argh!  Finally make it around there, and YAY, I can see the red buoy on the beach.  Finally, I took a straight line to a buoy and ran around it on the beach.  Dove back in and was ready for lap #2.  I was much more efficient and swam a decently straight line to all the buoys.  Coming around the last one, I passed Kelly, and finally took the lead on the swim, to pop up on beach as the first swimmer.  For the first time in my life, I was actually glad the swim was over :)  
Here's a look at how I swam...Lap #1 I swam the black line.  Lap #2 = much better!

Time to get on my bike!  My speedy Blue Triad SL was ready to go.  I hoped on, manuvered across the gravel section and started climbing.  The start of the course was pretty darn tough and definitely a wake-up call for the legs.  Kelly passed me within a few minutes and Annie Warner came by too, I was going to have my work cut out for me.  After climbing some steep grades, there was some fun (and a bit scary!) decending.  I was able to re-pass Annie, and headed out of the resort onto the main road in second.  I could see Kelly up ahead and just tried to keep her in sight.  My legs weren't responding too well and felt pretty flat, but I kept on pushing.  We did two laps out on the road.  Each lap had some false flats, winds, and 3x180 turns.  Then there was also the herd of cows and random skeleton of some strange but freaky looking animal in the middle of the road.  At the 180 turns I was able to see a group of girls coming up on me which included Bree, Annie, and Kate.  Kelly was having an awesome ride and had put a good gap on me and was riding strong up the road.  As we hit the climbs on the way back to the resort, the group caught me and we all entered T2 together. 

Time for an 'off-road' adventure!  The run was pretty cool, but also tough!  We ran along the beach, then through a small 'town' that was outside cheering like crazy, awesome!  Around a soccer field, and then back on the road for some uphill running, through the resort, then we hoped onto the cart path of the golf course, which brought us back to transition and then did it all again.  I had some trouble getting my legs under me, but just kept saying, "it's only a 10K amanda, Go!"  About 10min in and my stomach started cramping and rumbling...uh oh!  (I think I'd drank some bad water a few days before because I'd had some cyclical rumbling/pain...but was hoping it would stay away during the race...no such luck.)  I tried to suck it up and keep running, as Annie and Kate were just right there and I wanted to keep them in sight.  About 10min later, and no improvement, only worse.  I ended up making a very quick pit-stop and then was on my way.  The gap to Kate and Annie had opened up and I was running in no-man's land.  I kept pushing, reminding myself of the fitness I could gain from the hard effort.  Unfortunatley my legs never came around and my flat legs carried me across the finish line in 4th. 

A huge congrats to all the other girls out there and to Kelly, Kate, and Annie for finishing on the podium.  It was a tough day all around and a great way for us all to kick off our 2011 Season!  Thanks to Rev3 for putting on such an awesome event at a great destination!

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