Racine – Race Report

  1. About 30 minutes before race start they told us not to walk down the beach to the swim start.  We were soon told the race would be delayed until at least 9:30 and to go seek shelter due to an incoming storm.  While this was unfortunate I can say that the storm was intense with torrential downpours and I was happy not to be out on the bike when that rolled in.
  2. The race was changed to a duathlon, completely cutting the swim, a bike shortened to 31.5 miles and the full run and we’d start at 10:20.  I had gone back to my hotel to stay warm and lose so I had to rush back to the race for the start.  Pros would do time trial bike start with someone going off every 30 seconds.
  3. I took off in 10th so I made a goal to pick off as many girls as I could.  When I got out there the winds were insane, biking into the headwind I was putting out a good amount of power and going about 18 mph.  The crosswinds could have knocked you down at any moment so you really had to keep your head up and hold on.
  4. By about halfway I had passed 5 girls in front off me and I wasn’t within a minute or so of the leaders.
  5. I got off the bike feeling solid running out of “T2,” where I actually had the fastest transition of the day, which is shocking since it involves running through transition 🙂
  6. My first mile felt great just thinking about keeping a good cadence as I got my legs under me.
  7. Suddenly I was alone on the path along the Lake Michigan water front, I wanted to admire the beautiful scenery but I started to get a little light headed.  All I could think about is what if I pass out here and no one is here to find me?
  8. I stumbled up the next hill, my heart was pounding, my breathing restricted and I couldn’t catch my breath.  I took my inhaler and slowed the pace down but I still felt like my heart was pounding out of my chest. At this moment I had to make a call to I try and push it?  Do I do a walk/run like Mont Tremblant?  In my head I knew it was NOT worth the risk of messing with my heart and at about 2 miles I called it a day.  I sat on the side of the road as my heart slowed and I caught my breath again.  A golf cart whisked me away.
  9. This was my first DNF ever and was definitely hard to accept especially following Mont Tremblant.  While disappointing I can’t deny that it was the right decision to make, it is not worth risking the health of my heart just to finish a race.
  10. Three disappointing performances in a row definitely left me questioning what the heck I’m doing and whether or not I belong racing in the pro ranks.  After the race I took three days completely off to let my body and maybe more my mind rest.  Workouts and training have been going really well so I struggle to understand why my performances don’t reflect it.  I have to remember that improvement isn’t linear and your body takes time to absorb and adapt to the training.  Consistency is key and I’m good at that, I’m confident things will come around.
Saturday was beautiful 🙂

2 thoughts on “Racine – Race Report

  1. Heather, as always, I enjoy reading your posts and appreciate your spirit.

    I just want you to know, partly inspired by you, I decided to make the move from “just happy to finish” to actually competing. I took some swimming lessons, upgraded the bike, lost some weight and got more serious about the training. We spent two weeks at a lake this summer and I was able to do some open water swimming every day (no comparison to the pool in my opinion). I set a goal of top three in my age group for my three races and ended up taking third in two of the races and fourth in one of the races. I knocked 8-10 minutes off of my time on the two courses that I had done previously. And, I was still happy “just to finish” in the race that I took fourth in.

    Please accept my best wishes for your continued success.

    1. Thanks James! I’m so glad to hear you’ve had some great successes this year, all the little things definitely add up. I love open water swimming for fun but I always get the best workouts in the pool 🙂 Congrats on your top three finishes and serious time drops, pretty soon you may just be on that top step! Hope you’re enjoying a little off season recovery now. Thanks for following and commenting, I appreciate it!

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