Thursday, January 20, 2022

Malaekahana TT Race Report + More - June 6, 2020 and June 7/8, 2020

We were lucky enough to still have this individual TT still take place on the island of Oahu amid COVID.  It was originally scheduled as the Hawaii State Championship, but with limited and difficult inter-island travel it lost that designation.  The course was changed in the days leading up to the race, making it a point to point race instead of an out and back - major bonus! Pulling U-turns in any race are a pain, especially a TT.

Andrew and I debated about taking the trainer with us in the AM or warming up at home before driving over toward the race start. We ultimately decided to try and get there early enough to just warm up on the roads.  We only had 1 dumb trainer at the time and with out start times only 2 minutes apart it would have been difficult for both of us to get in a good trainer workout.  Turns out we were running late, took us a bit to find somewhere to park, and our warmups consisted of a few out and backs with pick ups and about a 5 minute spin over to the start line. 

I had a few goals going into this race - go sub 1-hour, catch Andrew (he was starting 2 min before me with only 1 other athlete between our starts), and finish with a power average of at least 230w.  I had been feel off at times going into this race, shortness of breath and clamy/feverish, symptoms weren't very consistent and would come and go.  I couldn't for the life of me figure out if it was allergies or what. Some workouts were cut short, some were skipped but I asked my body for one more big effort for this race and then promised to back off a bit since all other races were postponed and we had a big move looming and lots of island adventures to have before we left.

I gave Andrew a good luck kiss and watched as he put his head down and had a great start (no bike holders due to COVID - this was a foot flat start).   He'd been training hard and well for Hawaii 70.3 and since COVID hit he'd been doing a good amount of riding with me.   I knew I had my work cutout for me if I was going to attempt to catch him.  I waited patiently as the athlete between us took off and then I was on the line.  I knew I had a couple very strong ladies coming up right behind me, so it was important to get out fast and strong and be out of their sight line by the time they started.

I was off and the watts came easily.  I had Osmo in my Torpedo bottle and a few caffeinated gels stashed in my bento box.  I had taken some espresso gel shots right before my start so the engine was caffeinated and ready to work.   I had to dial back the effort as 260w was feeling fine and easy in the early minutes but I knew if I held that effort I'd pay for it near the end.  I backed it down to a more realistic 240ish and stayed as aero as possible.  I began passing other athletes pretty early on.  As I made it passed the half way point and the finish line of the youth race things became a bit more desolate. There were a couple stop lights we would be riding through with spotters and volunteers positioned to help us make it through safely.  I love working hard on my bike, and the chance to do it on the road with legit competition was awesome.  I was in the zone, pushing watts and holding watts that I doubted with the up and downs of the lead up to the race.  

As I neared the 24.9 mile mark (40k) there was no sign of the finish line.  That last bit of digging and pushing to the line (only a 1/4 mile down the road) was mentally tough but Andrew was in my sights at that point and I knew I wouldn't physically pass him - I was running out of course - but I had definitely made up the time and beat him.  This was of utmost importance because he got me by a few seconds at the 12 mile TT earlier in the year.   I crossed the line in 59:12, over 25.1 miles with an average power of 240w and normalized power of 241w.  Biggest goal was going sub 1 hour for 40k, and I had gone sub 58:xx for 40k, I was thrilled and surpassed my own power goal (it was one of those racing out of your mind experiences - my body just did what I trained it to do).  I was 1st OA female and 10th OA finisher including some very fast men. 

As I coasted around after crossing the finish line I was just following Andrew, when he slowed to pull a U-turn he was shocked that I was right there behind him :P Success!  We pulled off by some friends and waited for other friends to finish their TT before heading over to the only resort on that side of the island to refill water.  Once we were all refilled Nick graciously decided to pull us the 25 miles home.  I was more than happy to suck wheel on the way home.  We did eventually fall into a rotating pace line to give him some help.  Just a few miles from the cars I lost by big ring - and was stuck in my small ring.  Loved that bike (the Felt IA FRD) but good gracious we had a lot of mechanical issues together.

Andrew and I loaded up the bikes and headed over to pick up a take-out breakfast order from a place we'd been wanting to try.  We took it easy and napped before heading over to Kailua Beach Park for a little 1 mile open water recovery swim.   My legs and body were tired but I felt good.  Sunday was an off day before getting back to the grind on Monday.  I had a bit over an hour run scheduled for Monday.  I knew going into it that may legs may feel fatigued from the race on Saturday but just listen to the body and do what I can.   I held back the first half of the run, planning to pick it up the 2nd half as long as I felt good.  We let me tell you after the first 30 minutes or so my legs were shutting down.  My notes in TrainingPeaks stated that I felt like I was at the end of an Ironman.  My hamstrings and glutes were not working in any coordinated manner and my adductors were trying to help way too much.  I didn't have pain, running just felt disorganized, physically uncoordinated and like it was taking a ton more effort than it should.  I dodged my way back toward home as I passed the District Park and saw some friends meeting up pre/post run.  I was frustrated, I had tears in my eyes and I just wanted to get home. 

Over the next couple of weeks deep hip and groin pain set in to the point I could barely move without pain.  Standing up after sitting was excruciating and attempting to run was a joke.  I took it easy, we'd try going for walks but even that was painful.  I was diagnosed with athletic pubalgia, and at the time I went with it because that would heal, that would get better and I could get back to where I was just a month before at the fittest and fastest I'd ever been.   I knew deep down it was likely more but I had to give myself the chance to rehab myself out of it.

Up Next: My first pro race at the PTO's 1/3 Distance Race at Great Floridian (after a cross country move and working hard on a return to run program)

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