Vineman Triathlon 2007 (the tired race)
Vineman is held in Napa and is part of the official Ironman 70.3 Series (Half-Ironman). I had the chance to ride the cycle course a couple times and still fresh in my mind from yesterday. I felt relaxed going into race knowing it was not race, but really just another day of training, albeit with timing chips, competitors and of course photographers.
It was a early start to the day, my wave started at 6:54am, the hotel we were staying was about 45 minute drive away which meant a 4am start to the day (talk about racing tried:). The race begins in Guerneville and the Bike to Run transition is in the town of Windsor about 10 miles away.
After getting my transition area all setup I went down to the water to get warmed up. Unlike other Triathlons where the swim is in a Lake or the Ocean this was in a river, the Russian River to be exact. It was the first time I'd swum in a river before and knew that water would be shallow enough to walk in some places. The race began and as it such such a narrow start it was a crowded swim, I got jostled a bit but no injuries, however I did choke down some water and spent the rest of what turned out to be a slow swim trying to recover. This the first time I can say I actually had to walk some of it :-)
Glad to be out of the water I geared up for the bike, the exit out of transition was a very short but steep hill, I found myself stumbling to get on to my bike and up the hill at the same time, so I did what the smart people were and run it up, then jumped on. The cycle course was mainly flat with only a few hills to be concerned and my goal was the same as on yesterday's ride to keep a consistent pace and my heart rate steady. Of course at the beginning my adrenaline was high and I'll wanted to do was pass people. With the starting Age Group waves being random and my swim being a little slow there were already a large number of people out on the course. I managed to catch up and pass a couple of my teammates who I started the swim with alongside me, with average speed of 21mph this was the best ride I'd ever had on a Triathlon. I managed to keep my heart down as much a possible on the ride, only hit my peak on the final hill. The course was great though a couple tour buses did prove to be an obstacle on a narrow part of the road.
Off the bike a quick transition to run, I took some salt tablets to prevent getting dehydrated on what was becoming a very hot day. As headed out on the run Coach Mike, kindly reminded me to pace myself and not go all out, with that in mind I attempted a 6minute my pace (no not really). At the beginning of the run my pace stayed steady at 8 to 9 minutes per mile and there was thankfully a some good shade for the first 2-3 miles, but as I got further out it was more expose and the hills felt a lot longer. A long the road people written things in chalk to encourage people, one said "Keep going Michelle!" I thought that's close enough I'll take it. At the turn around point we had the chance to run around a scenic Vineyard, the turnaround also meant I go the chance to see my teammates who were heading out and back so we cheer each other on as we passed each other. The run continued to go well though the 80F temperature was starting to takes it toll. As I came into the final mile I picked up my pace again and let it all go as came into the finish :-)