So far I have been to Minneapolis for the Lifetime race twice and both times there has been a bit of an issue, which is most definitely not to say anything bad about the race because I actually really like the race. Last year I went there as my first race back from a stress fracture in my foot and I was on course record pace until the run, which I hadn’t done in 6 weeks and, needless to say didn’t go well. This year was a bit of a different story as going in I was running better than ever, riding and swimming well and really looking forward to a great race!
Race morning started well, good breakfast of EFS and oatmeal, hopped on the bus and got to the Lake plenty early for a good warm up. I actually didn’t feel good during the warm up but from past experiences with swim meet and races, feeling bad during warm up is almost a good thing for the race. The weather was cool and windy and it rained a bit right before the swim start, just enough to get the oil to the surface of the roads and make the the rough roads that much trickier.
Lifetime brought back the equalizer this year so the men started 10:43 behind the women and on the horn I ran into the water and jumped right on Andy’s feet. I had a good swim exiting right with him and we had put about 30 sec into the the other guys which is a solid effort. Once on the bikes I slammed some Hulk Juice (remember 1 EFS vanilla gel, 1 EFS lemon lime scoop, 1/2 scoop pre race) and took off. I got away from Andy pretty quickly and by the half was point had a decent lead. When you race in urban areas there are lots of cops stopping traffic for you but some times they aren’t paying attention. My first incident was coming up to a crossing I had to start screaming at a cop to get him to stop the cars, and luckily he did, first crash avoided!
Then about 1/2 way through the bike a dude out for a ride got an ear full from me as he came to a screetching halt just shy of T-boning me at another intersection, 2nd crash avoided.
I hammered out a good pace for the second half although I was a bit cautious around some turns because of the wet which I know cost me a bunch of time. I had passed a few more girls and was heading back into T2 in the lead, feet were on the pedals, 100 yds from the dismount and then incident number 3. An age grouper came out of transition and tried to do a flying mount onto his bike, however, from lack of practice or body control he began to go through the line of cones and into my lane. I slammed on my breaks and road over to the left as far as I could to avoid him but my C75 met the curb and I did a slow motion flip over the bars and onto said curb. 3rd crash NOT avoided!!!
I jumped up looked at the bike, seemed to be ok. Felt for issues with my limbs, seemed to be ok so I jumped back on the bike only to find the chain off. So I hopped off and ran the last 100yds into T2. To add insult to my injury Matty rode by me during my jog. Mentally I was absolutely pissed and physically so jacked on adrenaline that I could have fought Tyson. Racked my bike and started running with Matty and a couple girls. As we exited T2 I could feel I had bashed my hip pretty good but running didn’t seem to make it worse so I kept going. I ran well for about 2 mi and then slowly the hip started to hurt more and the boys began to get closer behind me and my mind started to fight me as to whether it was worth it to continue. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other and trying to focus on my running form.
Half way through the 2nd lap I realized I was still in 5th and there was no one really that close behind so it was time to shut up and finish. I got home with no more incident and headed straight to the med tent. Pulled my suit down a bit and had a personal best strawberry on my hip and a pretty awesome bruised feeling in my ribs. I tried to stay calm and luckily no one ever told me who had wrecked me. I am guessing that exchange would not have been good for anyone.
After a bit of time to cool off, and a change of clothes I was over it, or at least a little less pissed. The race director and the Toyota Cup people both sincerely apologized, which after the incidents already this year at Cap Tex was greatly appreciated. I am still young and I tried to take something away from the accident for future use. Here is what I have so far:
– #$%& happens when racing. Control what you can, hope for the best.
– If you can physically finish, DO. One DNF can lead to a lot, not a habit I want to start.
– At least I fall well, my helmet has no scratches and the body could def be way worse!
Not sure if the USAT officials ever found out who hit me but to all the age groupers out there please, please stay on your side of the road. You are out there competing and racing and I love that, but as someone who does it for a living and needs to be in one piece these kinds of incidents are scary!
Now its time for a road trip with Natalie, luckily had planned an easy week for this one so letting the ribs and hip heal will fit right into the plan. Next up Chicago and Hy-Vee…the big ones are about to start!!!