Vineman 70.3 may be one of my favorite 70.3 courses, even though I don't even like wine!
The race starts with the 1.2 mile swim in the Russian River, 56 mile bike course goes thru the hilly, country roads of Sonoma county and the 13.1 mile run takes you out and thru La Creme winery.
This year was my 3rd year racing Vineman. My Tribal teammate, Nick Chase was racing this year as well, nice to know other athletes out there on the course and my boyfriend, Paul made the trip to cheer for us and take some pictures!
Sunday morning was a little foggy but it was beginning to lift off the river by the time the race was starting. Big trees on either side of the river, shallow water and a couple bridges to swim under. As the swim started I stayed with the main group for a couple minutes then we started to break into a couple different groups once the lead pack of girls took off. Vineman having a $50,000 purse prize attracts some of the best pros in the world, I knew better than to try to stay with the lead pack. I swam with 4-5 other girls, felt like I was swimming an alright pace but later looking back at results I was a couple minutes off where I had wanted to be in the swim but onto the next event.
As I started the bike ride my legs didn't feel great but I was in an alright position with a few girls behind me and one I could see ahead of me, I knew I would catch up to quickly. I've felt like I need to adjust my fit on the bike but the week before the race was a little late to do that so I decided to race with how I have been riding. My back and hips started bothering me but nothing you can do about it at the time so forget about it and do the best you can. After about 30 min my legs started warming up, I passed a few girls and was enjoying the scenery. There are some ups and downs on this course but sometimes that seems to break up the ride and keeps you on your toes. The biggest hill, Chalk Hill, came around mile 50, once you get up that you are close to being done with the ride. I was happy I didn't have any flats this time, and I assembled my bike on my own once I was in CA and was happy it didn't fall apart while I was riding. :)
Started the run feeling pretty good, was running the pace coach and I discussed I start out. Fourtunately, I like running up hills because there were quite a few the first 5-6 miles of the run. Around 6 miles I started getting a really bad side ache. I tried ignoring it but it wasn't going anywhere. It started hurting so bad I couldnt breathe well. I finally had to stop and stretch, which I had to do twice. About 2 miles later it started to subside and I picked up the pace again. After the winery there are a couple miles out and back where you can see who is coming up behind you. I saw a couple girls and I decided I had better make the best of the next 5 miles to keep them behind me. I finished in 15th place (4:44). Wasn't what I had hoped to do on the swim and bike but I finished knowing it was the best I could do that day, I had a great time and every race is a learning experience right now.
Thanks to Xterra wetsuits, Flying Fish bikes and my coach for the help so far this season.