Sunday, April 5, 2009

CA 70.3 Race Report

The day started cold and windy, but clear. Which meant it warmed up nicely for the race. The swim was fairly uneventful. As typical I swam anything but straight, ran into multiple people and tried unsuccessfully to find feet to draft off. I was never cold.

I worked on my swim stroke over the winter. Apparently I throw it all out the window when I race. Steven captured multiple images where it appears I'm swimming backstroke. Despite this, I came out of the water in decent position.

This is about 30 seconds after I hopped on the bike, and one of the only bike shots Steven got yesterday. The Marines are amazing and let us bike through Camp Pendleton. I wish I could have taken my camera to take pictures of the awesome rolling green, untouched hills. But this probably would have made my bike split longer.

The bike was a combination of feeling awesome and trying to get my heart rate back up where I wanted it. The course is mostly flat in the first half and hilly in the second. With one hill in particular that Mirinda Carfrae (1st place female pro) described yesterday as "leading straight to heaven."

Less than 5 miles into the race a few of the top girls in our age group passed me on the bike. I knew I needed to keep them in sight in order to contend. But my heart rate was already higher than I wanted it, so I held back and eventually watched them ride away from me. Frustrating. Out of the three sports the bike is still my weakest link. I was 9 minutes faster than last year on this course, but would not have to play catch-up nearly as much on the run if I rode faster.

Coming off the bike I knew if I wanted to move into podium and a place for the Kona slot I had my work set out for me. I knew the girl in 1st had a Kona slot because she won our age group in Kona. I was not sure if Rachel would take the slot, but was hoping she might not have been joking when she said she wanted to take a break from Ironman this year. The girl in 3rd was 11 minutes up when I started running.

I had amazing friends out there screaming like crazy who I can not thank enough. This is how the run went down.
Jeffrey: "Charisa, 8 minutes, you can do this!"
Me in my head: "8 MINUTES, good Lord that is HUGE! Maybe I should focus on podium instead. No, don't give up! You never know, maybe I can do this. UGHHHH my legs hurt. Go legs, go legs. Oh hey, there are the guys I ride with!
I run through stupid thick sand (everyone does this 4 times).
Me in my head: "WHO designed this course?? This sucks!!!"
I pass Jeffrey again: "6 minutes Charisa"
Me in my head: "That's IT?! I only took out 2 minutes?! I'm going to run out of race before I catch 3rd!"
With less than two miles to go I pass Jeffrey: "2 minutes, come on, GO!"
At this point I actually remember being angry at Jeff. Not because he was helping me, but because I was already hurting and I knew to pull down two minutes I was really going to have to hurt.
I pass Lisa, Jesse and Cat: "She's right in front of you, you can do it!"
Me in my head: "Seriously?! I can not SEE her!!"
With less than a mile to go and while in the thick sand I moved into 3rd. And I ran scared all the way in, praying she would not come with me. All that chasing earned me fastest female amateur run time of the day!

A huge thanks to Rachel for the Kona slot! And for inspiring me to learn to ride my bike faster so next time I can try to chase the "fast girls" instead of just watching them ride away from me!

Out of my friends racing there were 5 of us that grabbed Kona slots! Above, Patrick snagged a slot, along with Fast Brian. Patrick's wife, Paula PRd the 70.3 distance, on a difficult course!!

Marit and Ian both got their first-ever Kona slots - I could not be happier for them!

So a day where I had hoped to podium and really thought the Kona slot was "a complete long shot" ended up pretty amazing! You know the saying "third time's a charm", we'll find out if it is true in October.

31 comments:

FLATOUT JIM said...

Running into a Kona Slot from 8 minutes down, That's awesome. You could think about changing your name to Bentley!!!

Leah said...

Congrats! Nice work!

D said...

Fantabulous run! Woooo!

beth said...

yeah, that Ross is not so bad, huh? you DESERVE IT!!! how wonderful....can you please teach me how to ride (i know you sitll need work but you're FAST) over the next 8 weeks so I can run for a slot at honu :) ?
seriously, i have spring break the next two weeks...i will come suck your wheel any time of day. all your HR talk makes me think my HR NEVER gets up on the bike. but i don't know how to make it go up.

you are going to crush Kona. now relax and enjoy the next few weeks. oh i am SOOOO Happy for you!

ADC said...

I've said it before but well done - congrats. You were awesome. I saw your run time and that is IMPRESSIVE but considering you beaten Michellie Jones in HM earlier this year I am not surprised. I am so so happy for you.
I remember that hill from last year - that is brutal. Now, enjoy the spot.

Beth said...

I'm so happy for you! Congrats again on a great race, an awesome run and of course, the Kona slot. A great start to the season for sure! Great meeting you!

Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

YYYYEEEEEEAAAAAAAA-HHHAAAAAWWWWWWW! One of the best parts of my post-race was seeing your reaction when you, Rachel, and I were chatting afterwards. I LOVED it! Way to PUSH THAT RUN - I am super impressed and stoked for you! Hoooorrraaayyyyy! :)

GoBigGreen said...

Way to go!! Super awesome that you and Marit can team up and train and support one another thru the summer of training. Twin Six and MN are proud of you. Well i dont know about T6 but I am proud of you!

BreeWee said...

This is so SO so awesome! I am so happy for you, Ian, and Marit! See ya in October!!
GREAT race chica, way to hold back on the bike, that is so hard and it paid off with that smokin' run of yours!!

Bob Almighty said...

Awesome Job...way to chase down that Kona Slot...

Hopefully if all goes well at Providence I'll be joining you.

Cy said...

What a great report, and congrats on such a super performance. Such grit down the line to pull off such a stellar run...and then to get a kona slot for your hard effort is WONDERFUL! You deserve it girl...CONGRATS TO ALL!!

t-odd said...

What an AWESOME race! Way to run down 3rd place, that is incredibly ballsy - you earned that slot for sure. And in my comment a couple of posts ago I said you will have to do something about RR - LIKE GIVE HER A BIG HUG! Way to go!

Alili said...

Yay!!!! Congrats on a fantastic race and your slot!

Evan said...

Congrats!! Way to dig deep during the run.

It looks like a fun experience and it seems you keep progressing each time out on the course. That is awesome.

Was my ultra bro David Goggins out there on the course?? I know he lives in that area but is currently training for the RAAM.

Kim said...

Wow wow wow! What a race! So excited for you and way to hang in there when the chips were down and times were tough. YOu never gave up and it really paid off big time! Way to get that slot (now you won't need it for Buffalo Springs :)Great race! Amazing!!! I want to run like Charisa. So excited for Marit too..isn't that the best.

Kiet said...

Congrats Charisa, 8 minutes down and you still went for it, very commendable, makes the spot and story so much sweeter. Rather than training harder, I think I will just live vicariously through you, Ian, et. al. this year. I've got my first ART appointment this Tuesday, wish me luck, I hear it's PAINFUL.

Jennifer Harrison said...

Sorry I didn't meet you out there, but I was walking away from Marit when you guys hugged (I didn't realize it was you at the time!)...SO congrats!! RR told me after the race about the Kona slot, so I knew you were going! CONGRATS on a great race AND that 30-34 AG is a TOUGHIE....thankfully I am on the top end of 35-39! :) congrats again!

Shan said...

You rocked Charisa! You looked SO strong on the run, and it was fun watching you kick a$$ out there :) Congrats on a well-deserved Kona slot!!!

Maijaleena said...

Congrats on your Kona slot and great race! It was killer competition in 30-34 there! Great pics.

Teresa said...

Huge smile in that photo. love it! :)
tn.

Heather Figueiredo said...

Congratulations! All that hard work paid off! I am super impressed with your race report! Catching those girls on the run course was AWESOME!

Kathleen @ ForgingAhead said...

Woot! Charisa, you are such a rock star. Big hug for your amazing race. I'm super duper happy for you!!!

Maggs said...

Congrats again! I swim with a woman who kicks my ass swimming back stroke when I'm swimming free style. Maybe you're just faster that way ;-) I'm glad I'm not the only one who makes use of the ENTIRE swim course!

Silvi said...

WOW, great race and congratulations for the Kona Slot!!! Well dann! Ciao Silv

kera said...

You're awesome girl!!!! I felt like I was with you in the race reading your story!! I love the picture of you holding the paper...I couldn't make it bigger but maybe it's your "ticket" into the Kona slot! Your face shows all your happy emotions!!

Runner Leana said...

Wow, way to make up those 8 minutes! Congratulation on your race and on your Kona slot!

Tawnee said...

I totally saw you whiz by me on the bike! Congrats on an amazing race. You're run story is truly inspiring!!

solarpowered said...

Wow. Awesome! After my frustrations recently with my own running, this was a hugely inspirational post to read. Way to fight through to the very end. Congratulations!!!

Snakebite said...

Congratulations!

Eileen Swanson said...

YOU ARE AWESOME! CONGRATULATIONS!! I am super stoked for you. What an impressive run, amazing ;-) Enjoy your well deserved Kona slot, celebrate for sure....

Steve Stenzel said...

Man, you are "crazy good!" Way to go!!! The only pic I needed to see (and was waiting for) was the one of you holding up the piece of paper!! CONGRATS!!