Leading up to Santa Rosa I had a good amount of time to recover from Coeur d' Alene 70.3 and put in a few weeks of solid training.
In Coeur d' Alene, I was not feeling great during the race and a few days following the race. I had some stomach issues, most likely a stomach bug which made taking in nutrition during the race hard. I also wasn't very hungry the day before or day of the race and I ended up feeling pretty bad during the entire race. After recovering from that, things started going much better.
I have raced Vineman 70.3 many times and love the Santa Rosa location (who doesn't??). I was unable to race here last year and I was excited to check out the new course.
The day before the race, I went to the lake for a swim, the lake is beautiful and the water is very clean and clear. I think we were all looking forward to this swim! I did notice the fog the day before when I was riding near the lake but I didn't really think about it being foggy on race morning!
At the pro meeting on Friday, they told us they expected the fog to be just as bad on race morning as it had been that morning. In which case, there would be three options; full 1.2 mile swim, if fog wasn't too dense, shortened 1k swim, if it lifts by 7am and if not, then a time trial start on the bikes at 7:15. We all randomly picked our number and start time out of a hat for the TT so we knew in advance when we would be starting and in what order, if we were unable to swim. I was glad it was well organized and we were aware of the situation before race morning but having a shortened or no swim is always a little frustrating. Especially since I have been putting in a lot of time and work into my swim. Not being able to swim was a little disappointing but it happens!
Race morning it looked clear when I woke up but as we started driving towards Lake Sonoma it started getting more foggy. By the time we got up the hill to the lake it was very foggy. I walked down to the lake and standing on shore I could hardly see the swim out arches. There was no way we could swim in that. We wouldn't be able to see the buoys and I'd def get lost! I was pretty sure there wouldn't be a swim.
It was very different having a time trial start. I was set to start in 3rd place. We were all 20 seconds apart. I think we were all pumped to get started after a 45 min delay. Starting out I felt great! The weather was cool and perfect for race day. It was great being near the front of the race during the ride and having others to pace with. I really enjoyed the ride. A lot of the course is the same as the Vineman, hilly with some rough roads! They brought back "Chalk Hill" and we also rode through the old run course in Windsor.
This season I have changed my bike fit a lot. Lowered the front bars, new saddle, new position and it has taken a while for me to adjust. I had to make some more adjustments after Coeur d' Alene and I wouldn't say I am 100% adjusted to it but it is improving and I felt much better during this race on my bike then the passed couple races. It is one of those things that will make you faster in the long run but may slow you down a bit while you are in the process of making those adjustments. I was happy with how much better I felt on the bike ride and my power was closer to where I need to be, not there yet, but it is coming!
Coming off the bike, I tried to make it a quick transition even though someone had tied up my bag of shoes to the rack when we were told we could lay them out the day before. I had them set up for a quick transition. I was a little flustered getting my transition bag open and just grabbed two of my gels, running out of transition I dropped one. I probably should have gone back to get it but I didn't. The run started out good, after the first 3-4 miles I felt like I could use some calories. I took the gel I had but I def could have used another one a few miles down the road. I did fade a little towards the end of the run which costs me a couple finishing spots. I think the ride took a little more out of my legs than I thought!
I do like the new course, I'm not sure if I like it more than Vineman but it has some similarities! It def made it a strange race without the swim but I think we all made the most of it.
I finished this race in 11th place. It was hard to tell where you were with the TT start. You may be in front of someone but they are actually ahead of you with time. It was interesting.
My next race will be Santa Cruz 70.3, Sept 9th. In the meantime, I am going to spend some time training in Boulder.
Thanks to my sponsors, Epixgear, Flying Fish Bikes, First Endurance, ROKA, LaRocca Injury Center for the support and especially to my husband for always being so supportive and encouraging me in this sport. (And for the awesome photos he takes on race day!!)