Monday, June 15, 2009

DragonFly Race Report

It was a rough start to the DragonFly. There had been some interesting weather up near Memphis. Apparently much of the area was without power. As we got closer to the Greater Sardis area the wind picked up and these clouds were moving east at a rapid pace.

We arrived at the cabin – really more like a house – located at Lake Enid. There were trees downed and debris was all over the place. The cabin was without power. The storm had lowered the air temperature dramatically. As night neared we all sat on the screened in front porch and had a beer or two. Later it was noticed that we did not have power or water. The water for the area is pump driven. Not the best preparation for a race with no water or Gatorade or anything. We would manage.

Thankfully the temperature was nice because it could have been miserable without power. Early the next morning I was waken by thunder and lightning. There was no way that this race was going to take place.

We still prepped our bikes and took of towards the race site. There was less debris as we drove north. We arrived at the race site and it was a go even though there was no power in this area also. They also anounced that the race would be wet suit legal. With the Heat Wave the previous week I was would not be burned again - I had brought my wetsuit.

I lubed my ankles with body glide to help me exit my wet suit. I had another good swim! The wet suit helped. I swam my won race and just – not sure how to describe it – but swan without any of the panic or over heating issues – the wet suit helped. The swim was a horseshoe shape and I took one of the buoys pretty wide. I felt like I was way out in the lake. I finished the ½ mile swim in 13:34 (about 4 minutes faster than the Heat Wave swim last weekend – the Heat Wave swim was a little long and I did not have my wet suit). My swim was 5th in my age group of 31 - I never rank that high!

I had to sit down in the grass to get the wet suit off of my ankles – even with the body glide. T1 took 1:26. Everything still went smooth in the transition. Off on the bike I was pushing pretty hard. I had my heart rate monitor on but the heart rate portion of the watch was taped over (I would peak a few times during the race). I was slowly picking off riders and no one was passing me. I did get passed by two riders at about mile 5 – they looked like they were working as a team. I’m sure that they were in a legal draft some of time but other times it looked pretty bad. Just before the turnaround is where you hit the two hills – the only hills on the course. They were daunting – not long but steep . I dropped into my lowest crank and my lowest gear – I was not going to take any chances. I spun up the hills and I did get passed by one person. It took me two minutes to crest both hills.

After the turn around I was flying on the decents and passed the one person that had passed going up the hills. I was still pushing a hard effort and managed to slowly pass a few more people. I clocked a 49:55 for the bike with an average of 21.9 for the 18.x miles. I am sure that the hills factored into the slower MPH. I pulled into transition and grabbed my running gear. T2 was just under a minute at 59 seconds.

Off to the run. I got passed by someone shortly out of T2. I was already running at a hard effort. This is where I was going to really try and step it up. We ran out of T2 along a paved road – the same road that we biked out of. I was running at a hard effort and I took a peak at my heart rate monitor to prove it – my heart rate was where it needed to be. There was a water stop at the 1 mile mark and even though I did not want to I slowed to a walk and took a drink – it was only a few steps but it cost me time. The run then turned off of the road onto the trail. It was wet and slick. The trail was like single track straight up muddy hills. On several occasions I thought that I would fall. It was a precarious run. I was running hard but careful up the hills and I was not able to fully exploit the downhills for fear of falling – and losing lots of time. Back off of the trail in this out and back run I pushed the intensity on the pavement. I clocked the 4ish mile run in 30:55 with an indicated 7:21 pace. That was faster than the Heat Wave the previous week with a much more challenging run. I would have liked for it to be faster but I was pleased with the effort. In addition I knew that I had pushed harder because I was sore that night and the next day.

On Sunday I did get a long slow easy run – well, everything except the easy part. As soon as I started to run my legs were aching. I just started slow and kept it slow – there was no going fast. My heart rate was in a recovery zone and I just SLOWLY churned out the miles. I ran 7 miles out and had to walk a little bit after mile 10. It was HOT. I did the 14 miles in 2:14 – much slower than normal!

I had a good friend in for Sunday and we wandered around the Pine Belt looking for geo caches – it was a lot of fun and the Beer Club met that evening. It was a full weekend.


Jennifer said...

You killed that course!!! Congrats on a great race!

Ulyana said...

You don't get such views in a city, that's for sure!

Awesome race! and a week after Heat Wave. Now, that's an accomplishment!

Missy said...

Great race report! You were smokin. You have to be happy about that!