Monday, September 24, 2012

Mighty Merrimack 1 MI Swim- 1st Place Female!

I don't get many just swim races in a year so last year when they cancelled the Mighty Merrimack swim at the last minute because of bacteria levels I was bummed. But I did get automatic entry into this years race! So this one was on the schedule for a while. I convinced my friend Jen that had done Timberman with me to join me. And D was still on the fence about racing, even on race morning.

2 years ago when I did this race I didn't wear a wet suit, bad idea. A ton of local high school and college kids show up to swim this wetsuitless. They are so fast! So I went wetsuit this year learning my lesson and for competition purposes. D decided at the last minute to join us and race. It was going to be his first swim only race! A great way to see how that half iron swim would go.

As usual, with this race director, the race started late! Which always throws off my fuel plans. This is one of the HUGE downfalls of local races, start times are kind of suggestions. The race has a 2mile option, eventually I would like to try that. So the turn around point is supposed to be a half mile out for the one mile swim. It was a mass start, I seed myself toward the front but let those young kids GO! I found smooth water and felt pretty good. Before I hit the turn around my tummy was grumbling.  I had breakfast and a gel but it was a bit too long between.

My 1st place award
I hit the turn around at about 15min. Schweet- on track for about 30min. I had hoped to be like 25 but given that half way point I thought 30 was a good call. I saw a woman out of the corner of my eye with a yellow- 1MI cap and a wetsuit. OH HELL NO! I drafted off her for a bit. Then her sighting was AWFUL so I just stuck to my own and kept an eye on her.

I made sure I came out of the water before she did- she ended up finishing 30 seconds after me! I got out of the water and did the short beach run with a time of 31: 38. Like I said I had hoped for a 25ish but when I looked at the results I was the 2nd person out of water and 1st place Female! I was so excited! I have never WON a race! It was an exciting day- I won, Jen took 1st in our AG and D finished his first 1MI swim race in 38 min, totally proving he can finish the half iron swim before the cut off!!!

Jen and I after the race with our awards
Note: not just because my time was off but I think the 1MI swim course was long. Considering no one had a time less than 28. And it really didn't make sense when the 2mi times were almost all sub 1 hour?! That math doesn't compute for me. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Timberman 2012- 70.3 NUMBER 3!

Post Race with my Medal
Timberman was set to be 70.3 Number 3. I had rode the course about 5 times before getting up to NH to race. I knew the swim, I knew every turn on the bike, and I knew that run course. Last year I just barely finished before the course was closed for weather, timberman 2011 recap. This year after doing Quassy in June and getting myself ready to do 70.3 number 3 at Timberman I felt really ready. I had a great pre race plan in place and AMAZING prep talk with my coach, Olivia. I had time marks to hit the turn bouys on the swim. The bike plan was to take the hilly start and hilly finish easy and HAMMER the flats! The run plan- aim for a 10:30 pace and if I was falling off it take a 2 min walk break compose myself then go again.

We drove up to NH Friday. D decided to sign up for the Timberman Sprint on Saturday. He had a great race and it was so much fun to be support there for him. I really liked the double race weekend as a couple. After race support duties were done I got the bike ready and headed out for my pre race spin she rode great and I racked her up. We got in a good pre race meal with my parents and headed to bed early. I kept saying I had this eerie calm. I felt really ready. Coach said it was the calm before the storm. That I was ready to go!
The Game Face was on

Race Day: We got up and hit the parking lot EARLY- by 4:30 and got a great spot. Transition didn't open till 5 so just hung out a bit- kinda slept. Got everything ready in transition. It was really nice one of my oldest friends, Jen, was 512 and I was 513. Pretty awesome to have a friendly face right across from you in the morning. I told her as I walked away from my set up transition "Hey- don't EFF with my stuff and make a mess!" Her response "I can't make any promises." and I walked away. Then I quickly realized no one around us knew I knew her, I am sure everyone was like WOW what a BIATCH! haha :) Whatever. The calm continued I felt great.
Okay maybe a Smile haha :)

Swim: Timberman 2011: 36:52 Goal: 35 min Timberman 2012: 35:14 
I felt great in the water. I got myself out in front and hit my comfy stroke pace with no problem. I was passing the waves before me. I love passing previous waves cap colors! I got out of the water in 8th in my AG. Swimming really is my thing. And a new half iron swim split PR!!

T1: Timberman 2011: 3:16 Timberman 2012: 3:19
 I had forgot Everstride before the swim. I luckily set up petroleum jelly in my transition and SLATHERED it on before heading out on the bike. BTW- LOVE WETSUIT STRIPPERS!!!

Bike: Timberman 2011:3:35:26 Goal: 3:15-3:30 Timberman 2012: 3:18:20
Heading out of T1
I went with the plan- easy up the hills at the start. I took the nasty hill at 11 nice and comfortable. I felt good. I took water at each aid station to fill my aero bottle and stuck to the salt tab plan (~1 every 20min it was warm) ate every 45min or so. I hit the flats on RT106 and I started hammering. I mean I was hitting 20+mph with ease. I hit the turn around with a 18+mph pace. I  felt good. But I knew the course was hilly on the way back but I hit the turn around close to my half way time goal. I knew I would be close to the lower end of my bike goal time. This was such a great improvement from last years ride and felt so much better than Quassy. I really worked the bike this season and in the winter training and I felt it paid big time. It was really nice to get off the bike knowing I worked hard and got the results I was hoping for. Last year I was around 15mph this year avg 17mph- that my friends is some hard work paying off. That is a nice shiny new bike split PR!! 

T2:  Timberman 2011: 3:27 Timberman 2012: 3:15
Fairly uneventful T2. Psyched I got to see D in the transition and didn't feel like I wanted to quit like at Quassy. Grabbed my stuff and headed out :)

Run: Timberman 2011: 2:51:54 Goal: 2:17-2:30 Timberman 2012: 2:36:37
Coming down the finish chute
I really wanted to stay on my goal pace. I wanted to have a great run. I focused on trying to stay on the target pace and when it got off took my 2 min to walk then got back on the wagon. I think this paid off - tho I didn't end up with the 10:30 pace I had hoped I didn't have that just deteriorate and degenerate the whole run pace. It was really nice to see my friend Jen out on the run course. I really wanted to run the whole thing but I had walk breaks. This is def going to be my focus for next season- get that running down be in RUN shape! I can't fight with the fact that I was only 6 min off the goal time I had set and almost 20 min faster than last year. The last mile was tough. I was having bad cramping across my core. I had a hard time catching my breath and even had to walk about a half mile out. I gave myself the suck it up you are so close you can fight thru this and run thru the finish talk. And I did. I ran through that finish chute. So happy to see D right there smiling and cheering.

UGLIEST post race photo- I'm Crying and I gave it my all!
As I crossed the cramps across my abs got worse. I got really short of breath. I was having a hard time catching my breath and it didn't help that I was crying a bit because I worked so hard and gave it my all and the result showed. My mom tried to convince me to go to medical. I just knew I needed to calm down and get some air. D worked on getting me to calm down and walk a bit. Man that is what putting it all out for 6+ hrs feels like. I finally calmed enough to give D a hug and get out my "I DID IT! I hit my goal and I did it! My hard work paid off!"

When Jen crossed I had finally gathered myself. I went over to give her a hug and I started to cry AGAIN! It really is a great thing to have someone you have known since childhood, went to HS together then trained together for the race. I hope next season we can race again together.

Overall: Timberman 2011: 7:10:55 Goal: Sub 7 hrs Timberman 2012: 6:36:34
Recovery Margaritas with Jen and her friend Jackie with our Medals OF COURSE
I had a great race day! The hard work I put in from last year shows in each leg. I PRd not only for a 70.3 but on the same course! I had a PR for each leg of the race- swim, bike and run! Really there isn't much more you can ask for. I want to work on my run this winter and that is the plan with my coach but I really can't be more proud that I took 35min off my time! I can't be more proud of the fact that I worked hard all season and all day long. I finally crossed the finish line at a 70.3 with nothing left in the tank and can say I gave it all I had today and that paid off to a 35min PR!