Thursday, September 26, 2013

Lobsterman Tri- A Tri Bucket List Item DONE!

So let's start this off with I HATE CAMPING! I never did it as a kid- my mom despised it so I think that is where I get my hatred from. When a friend asked to have D and I join a bunch of them camping and racing at Lobsterman, with a little convincing we decided to go along. Now I might hate camping but D hates it more than me! And when we arrived in Maine to find out that most of the people had bailed on the camp/race weekend and it was pouring rain I was looking up hotel rates!

Anyway we survived a night in a tent. Luckily I happen to have a very nice tent- I know strange for someone who hates camping. It has come in handy at other races too. After a not so decent night sleep on the hard ground we got up early. There was something nice about literally rolling my bike 200ft to transition- so one plus to camping! So from the pouring rain transition was literally a swamp. GROSS! Luckily I didn't have to set up in a puddle or mud.

Honestly coming off the high of the previous weekend  performance and this being the 5th week in a row of racing for me I was pretty much going through the motions before the race. To be honest I was done. I knew this was it for the season so I wanted to finish strong but part of me thought of leaving on the high note of Hero's the weekend before. My shoulder had now gotten to the point that I was taped up and was getting pain down into my hand from the season of swimming and the 4 previous races taking their toll.

Swim- 31:41
This was a mess! Freezing cold ocean water! The caps of previous waves were the same color as the bouys. And look at that time, it is 2 min off my usual half iron swim time. That might give you an indication of how the course wasn't well marked. There weren't enough bouys and the finish arch was black and in the shade. It was so hard to sight this course. I had to have swam long. I was really disappointed with this portion of the race. Which stinks since it is usually my strong part.

T1- 2:00
Run up a hill which was super muddy and grassy. Lovely with your freezing cold feet from the water. My hands weren't working when I got to my bike to take off my cap goggles and wetsuit. I tried to move as fast as I could but it was hard with such cold hands to even buckle my helmet.

Bike- 40k- 1:22- 18mph
Who starts a bike course when you are on tri bikes on a dirt road?! The course was hilly. Don't let anyone tell you its rollers. It was flat out hilly. Like wish I had my road bike not my tri bike hilly. There was little places along the course to even get down in aero and hammer. That being said I still managed to pull out 18mph. D went by at some point where I told him how much I was hating the race and he agreed.

T2- 1:37
Maybe I should call this the slow transition race?! Same hill from the swim into transition to rack the bike. This time it was even worse. My foot with my cycling shoe fell in to my mid shin a huge mud spot! ARE YOU KIDDING ME???!!!! Actually there may have been a couple cuss words in there too. Okay just grab stuff let's finish this.

Run-10k- 1:02- 10 min pace (URGH!)

So something I didn't mention yet is my family has a
house in this area of Maine. So I know these roads pretty well. I had a good idea where the run course was going and I knew where I was pretty much the whole time. I knew going out how hilly the run was going to be. So the thought was just finish strong. As I went out I saw Lisa and John. Lisa asked How I was doing? I told her not so great. She said I looked awesome! I told her SHE WAS A LIAR!! I just wanted to be done. I saw D and we did the nod, not much was said we were both pretty cooked.

I finished in 3:00 exactly. Not a bad time just not really what I think I am capable of, but I think after 5 races in a row it was all I had left. And to be honest the swim was a mess, the bike was pretty good, and the run was horrible. Transition times were slow but transition was HUGE and the grass was a mess! The big draw for this race is the lobster bake after, they don't tell you until you register you have to pay another 25 a person to eat it! Well I knew we could get lobster cheaper close to there. So we hung out for a bit packed up and headed down the road and had lobster at a spot we have eaten at before. Honestly- I don't really think the race is worth the cost and the big thing of the lobster bake after is not what they make it out to be since you have to pay so much extra for it. Well anyway- I took this one off my bucket list!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hero's Tri Olympic Distance Race Recap

Following Timberman and OOB, D received a note from the Race Director for Streamline events asking if he wanted to do Hero's Tri. Since it wasn't the same weekend as the other events we were already registered for we figured why not. After everything that happen at Timberman it was going to be an interesting come back for D, read about it here . In order to save us a bit of time on Sunday morning we booked a close by hotel to the race on the Cape. Turned out to be a fairly decent place for the night. We drove in to the race location, sadly had to park a couple miles away and ride our bikes into transition.

I laid out my transition surrounded by lots of newbies. I kid you not some of these layouts were for full clothing changes. Eh to each their own. I kept my spot skinny like usual. I am generally okay with whoever is around me as long as they don't creep into my space. We bumped into friends and headed down to feel the water out. It was chilly I was happy to be wearing a wetsuit. Kim told me she was going wetsuit less good for her! I am not into that anymore!

Swim- 20:59
The race was broken into fairly large waves. Honestly that doesn't bother me too much I am a comfortable swimmer. I seeded myself right near Kim and knew if I timed it right I might be able to catch a ride for a bit on her feet. Which I did for a little while then we started quickly hitting the wave in front of us. I felt great in the water. I was starting to think this might be good. As we came out of the water I was shocked to see the time on my watch. And Kim was half way up the beach in front of me. It was nice to have someone to chase in the water! THANK YOU KIM! I joked with her as we ran into transition

T1- 1:02
Ripped off the wetsuit and Kim didn't wear hers so she was flying through transition. I tried to get my shoes on fast and helmet. As I put the helmet on I heard a crunch in the ear piece?! OH crap lets just go it will still work. We hit the mount line at the same time and Kim told me to go she wasn't going to keep up anyway. I was like aw come on what fun is that?!

Bike- 21mi- 1:08:09 18.5mph
The course was a ride out to the Joint Base, a little bit of rollers to get there, and once you were there flat glory. And while you were out there almost exclusively cyclists on the road. There was little to no road traffic. It was nice to ride along side the runways. Only problem was you were exposed along those parts and there was a bid of a headwind.  D came flying by on the end of the first loop. Said that I was up in front and that I needed to keep it up. I kept my head down and tried to keep pushing. You did 2 loops of the base than hit the little rollers back to transition.

I came into transition to a lot of cheers from the spectators and the relay teams waiting on their team mates.  Generally this is what happens when you are toward the front. Ok guess I am doin okay.

Run- 6mi- 53:32 8:50 min /mi
My thoughts were just push as hard as you can. See what you can maintain. Don't hold back just go all out. I had a few woman get by me some I knew were on relays and others flew by me at like 7 min pace I knew I wasn't going to be able to do that. As I saw D on one of the out and back's he gestured 8th. I waved him off. He told me I better keep it up. I was able to as much as I could. As I came into the finish he was in his usual spot SCREAMING pick it up! Your out in front. Every second counts!

I crossed the line as the 9th Female in the race! A top 10 Female finish! I took home 2nd in my Age Group! Finish time 2:24:29. I was psyched. The other great thing was when we asked a guy to take a pic of us at the finish. He admitted to me he paced his bike off me while we were out on the base riding. A guy! Not bad! I am starting to think my cycling is coming along well time to get a faster run!!!

The night before I had laid out some numbers for myself in hopes that I would have some good goals for the race. I was happy to write down the results next to the goals and see I shattered what I thought i would be able to do that day!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

My First Triathlon Relay- Team Pace Booty

After an epic weekend at Timberman we spent the week staycationing at home. Mostly just watching movies and rubbing neosporin on D's road rash. The road rash and rest of the injuries seemed to be healing nicely. I had planned to be a part of a relay at Old Orchard Beach in Maine the weekend after Timberman. The original plan was to be on vacation in NH and ME for the week though we did end up spending Friday, Saturday and Sunday in ME. As usual when we are in ME we attempted to eat our weight in lobster.

Old Orchard Beach is a Rev3 event, both 70.3 and Olympic distance. I was starting to get really bummed I wouldn't be racing the 70.3 myself. D was really bummed he was too banged up to consider signing up for the Olympic when extra spots opened up. We did get a nice ride on most of the Olympic course in on Saturday followed by a short run. Then Team Pace Booty checked in, race ready!

Sunday early wake up (AGAIN!) 3am is too early for anyone! Had to pay to park- URGH! But we were right by transition. After helping out the team biker, Kellie, with some forgotten items, bottle cage, bottle and fuel, I put on my full sleeve wetsuit and headed to the water. Come on now of course I was doing the swim leg! As I hopped in to get some water in the wetsuit and try to get used to the freezing temps- my timing chip slid right off my ankle. MUTHER! I raced to the start to see if I could find someone to get me a new one. WHEW crisis averted and without the knowledge of the team runner!

I placed myself out in the front of the wave and I was the first one to dolphin dive my way through the surf. The waves were tough on the way out but that meant current to ride on the way in. I found a guy I was going to draft off figuring if he was in the relay wave he had to be a legit swimmer. Well he may have been a legit pool swimmer but he was ALL over the place. Well forget that let's go!

I put my head down and tried to bury myself in my swim. I was going to finish 1.2mi get to transition and I was done. I had a goal for a 30 min swim or even better day sub 30. I pushed as much as I could even to the point of fighting back getting sick in the water. As I came out of the surf I looked at my watch- you have to be EFFIN kidding me! 34?!? How am I slower than last week and I pushed harder? This has to be a joke!

Oh well RUN. There was a .3 mi run to transition. ARE YOU KIDDING?! And stupid me- didn't think ahead with that kind of run and put on a sports bra and tri kit I just went bathing suit with wetsuit. ROOKIE relay move! I ran as hard as I could. And got the chip to Kellie to rock the bike.

After I thought I might puke but a nice big burp helped! I was done for the day so I changed up and hung out. It was strange to be sitting around. I am so used to this all being mine! It was strange to have other people to depend on. I watched some pros come and go in the Olympic and saw some friends come and go on their 70.3s. Then we sent off our runner, Sara, that little girl is a piston! Kellie and I hung out and got to cross the finish with our team. It was fun but a totally different tri experience than I am used to.

Come to find out from friends after the swim course was measured incorrectly and people had anywhere from 1.4-1.45mi swim. So if that was the case- I'll take my 34min swim. This is what my wrist looked like as I headed back to the real world for a week worth of meetings- 70.3 Make-A-Wish racer bracelet and my Rev3 bracelet!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Review Lululemon Booby Bracer

I am so thankful for the Lululemon at Natick Collection for thinking of me for the opportunity to test out their new bra. The new Booby Bracer is advertised to provide a higher level of support from the former highest level support they offered called Tata Tamer. When I was asked to be a tester I was given a video that described a new bra that provided a high level of support, without the infamous uni-boob. The material that the bra is made of is supposed to mold to you as it warms up with your body heat.

When I went in for the fitting Jen provided a couple sizes to find the best fit. I am a 36DD in my regular bras and the 38D fit best to provide a level of support, and still able to breathe. I also tried on the original Lululemon maximum support Tata Tamer and was surprised that this was what was considered a high level of support. My quick test in a fit room is to grab the straps on either side of a bra and using my hands bounce the bra up and down. I figure this gives a pretty good feel for the amount of bounce I will deal with running. I let Jen know that the Tata Tamer would definitely work for cycling, yoga and other lower impact events but wouldn’t be a running bra for me.
For those of you that don’t know I am a NO BOUNCE kind of woman. I don’t want my boobs to move at all when I am running- which is no small feat when you are trying to support double Ds. My bra of choice that I brought along to my fitting was Moving Comfort Fiona, it is what I swear by. Jen was surprised by the fit of the Fiona being so tight. As I explained it is the only way I know to keep them from bouncing.  I know it seems silly but when you have 10+lbs on your chest any movement feels amplified. So I generally go with the strap ‘em down theory! 

I was impressed with the fit of the Booby Bracer when I tried it on in the store. The band felt snug and laid flat (something I have an issue with sometimes with the Fiona). I loved the adjustable straps- they have a hook to them which laid flat and didn’t irritate my shoulders. I have to say I really do appreciate the separate boob idea; it would be nice to have them look like 2 instead of one flattened blob. I was really excited to take the bra for a test run. When I got out there I felt a bit of bounce, assuming I may have left the straps a little too lose I tightened them up. It helped a bit but I still had bounce. The strap around the bottom stayed flat and comfortable for every run. The straps didn’t dig into my shoulders or cause irritation at all. I didn’t experience any chafe at all from the material. It was really nice to have my boobs separated and not in one blob. Though the cups didn’t provide enough support to keep them from bouncing. I really like the concepts of this bra and its comfortable materials; I just wish the cups provided me the support I needed to keep my boobs in place while running.

For another user’s take on the bra and the Booby Bracer video see the Lululemon site:

Friday, September 6, 2013

Timberman Report- New Half Iron PR

Sorry all, it has taken a while to try to figure out what to do about a Timberman Race Recap. Well I figure I should put up how the day went- this one is going to be a memory that will last a lifetime. It took me a while to come up with a good way to say this... I hope this doesn't fall apart before I get to the end. Its long with a good amount of pictures and if you just want the short version: I ended up with a PR.

We got up to NH Friday. Checked into the race and hung out got in an easy swim. I decided the water temp was low enough to go full sleeve wetsuit. Saturday was kind of a blur. Highlights included meeting and getting to talk to Andy Potts. I have always wanted to pick his brain about swimmers transitioning into triathlon and how much swim training he does. It was pretty awesome to get a little one on one time with a pro. He gave a fantastic speech about Hope overcoming Doubt on Race Day. I have to say he was one of those triathlete pros I have always wanted to meet. It was pretty awesome to get to pick his brain on swim stuff and hear him speak.

Saturday night dinner was the usual GF pasta with Mom's pasta sauce. Attempted to head to bed early and alarms were ringing at 3am! Up and at it! Parked early by 415 and set up transition. Everything was set and even got to say Hi to friends. Now nothing left to do but wait... well in the waiting is where my nerves kicked in. I hadn't been nervous really at all until this point. I started feeling like I was going to puke and I knew I couldn't stand to lose the calories I had eaten. Before I knew it it was time to head to the water. I tried to take deep breaths and when we saw my parents I think the look on my face said it all- they knew how nervous I had gotten.

I said my good luck to D and we headed to our waves. He was going to be doing this one with me the first 70.3 we both were racing in. His wave was right behind me. I figured I'd have him out of the water but somewhere in 56mi he would catch me on the bike. Unless I had a stellar day and he had a rough day.  The goals were on my hand- time plans and last years' times and the simple overall goal: RUN

Swim- 33:29 (new 1.2mi PR by just under 2min)

Had a great swim. Felt great. I guess the Quassy time wasn't a fluke. Dropped 2 min from last year. Hopefully next season I can get down closer to 30. (That my friends to the right is a face of nerves)

T1- 2:56 

Not great but it is what it is there. Transition is big there is a length of transition run from the swim. Getting faster just gotta move a little faster!

Bike- 3:07:34 (new bike PR by 12min) Avg 18mph

I know this course well. So I settled in fast. Grabbed a bonk breaker to get something solid in my stomach early. My watch didn't pick up so I was playing the math game. I am actually starting to like playing the math game. I knew I wanted to hit the turn around 1:30ish. The start out hills were okay- I hammered through the flats by the speedway (like last year). I stuck to the nutrition plan. Drank water from the aero bottle and topped it off at every water station. Tried to drink my bottles between my legs but one of them wasn't tasting right, decided to swap em up so I could at least get one full bottle of calories down. I tried to make sure I was eating every hour but mostly just listened to my body. If I was hungry I knew that was the best indicator to eat!

The first half of the ride (30mi split) was 1:29 avg pace 20.12mph. HOLY!  I can't complain! The back half of Timberman always gets me. I guess I just think the hills won't suck too bad coming back? Not really sure what it is? I also really had to pee. I couldn't push and I couldn't get comfortable down in aero. I tried to get myself to relax and pee but I only managed to let a little out. Maybe this is what slowed me down? Trying to get myself to relax and get comfortable? But the 26mi split was 1:38 avg pace 16mph. Not horrible. Giving me a overall bike avg of 18mph. Solid gain on the bike after last year. Need to work on the back half speed. Took 12 min off.

My parents were staying at a hotel about a mile from transition. I saw them as I crested the last hill. I had to even yell to them for them to know it was me. I asked if D had passed me and I might have missed it. They said they hadn't seen him. I was so excited. That meant my ride was going well. But soon that excitement turned into CRAP! I am not having that good of a day. Something happen. Maybe he is just having an off day with fuel again.

T2- 2:59 

No land speed record but faster than last year. Grab and go theory works. As I left transition I saw D coming in off the bike. Okay now I know where he is.

Run- 2:36:40 (almost EXACTLY last year's time)

I hit the first porta potty knowing I wasn't going to be able to run much with a full bladder. I felt so much better. As I saw my parents again- I asked and figured D had passed while I stopped to pee. They said he hadn't been by, now I started to get really nervous. "Ok focus on the run. He'll catch ya soon."

He did. As he came by he could only get out a few words before I saw the horrible road rash on his shoulder. "I crashed" "what? how?" "A **** (insert choice word here) woman cut my front wheel at 28mph." I wanted to stop dead in my tracks and fix it. But he motored off. I figured it must not have been too bad. And knowing his cycling handling skills he might have taken a fall well. 

My head started turning. Okay- we'll go to the ER after we finish. Yes, I already knew there was no way he wasn't going to not finish. Mom and Dad can probably bring us some food. I can call and cancel the hotel for our vacation this week. Crap the race next weekend. Well I have a team depending on me, I can figure that part out. Plan set. Our friend Greg flew by and I told him to go get D he had crashed.

I stuck to my plan and ran. I took a couple (max 5 walking steps) at the aid station to get down my coke, dumped the water on my head. Grabbed ice for down my shirt when I could and kept running. I was feeling good. I hit the first 5k split on a 10:14- awesome I am going to KILL my run time. I hit the first hill coming back and took it easy but didn't walk. Then there is the shorter steeper one. I kept my head down and started doing the visor down and sing to yourself. I saw D up ahead walking up the hill. I knew he was hurting- I could see it. But before I got to the crest he had taken off again.

I guess he is okay. I kept focused on my run. Then I caught him. This time he was walking, this time on a flatter section. I knew the adrenaline was starting to wear off. He told me to go. I didn't listen. I AM STUBBORN. We saw my parents again I explained what happen. And we headed back into transition, I told everyone we knew as we went by. At this point D was running clinging to his jersey tight. The shoulder was getting deeper shades of purple. He couldn't take deep breaths. I couldn't leave him like this. He kept telling me to go. Saying he didn't want to ruin my great race day. Yes I was having a great race. Yes I was sticking with my goal of running the whole half marathon until I caught him and we started run/walking together. But as I told him- he didn't plan on crashing. He didn't plan for this to happen and sometimes there are more important things in life. He is more important to me than my goal was at that point. What was I going to do run to the finish and sit there waiting and worrying about him? I also realized that a lot of the aid station folks were asking to get him medical and he kept telling them politely no. I knew if one didn't believe him his day would be over- I figured I could intervene and say "I'm staying with him. He will be okay." So that is what I did against his wishes I stayed with him. I tried to play cheerleader but also knew the typical BS wouldn't be helpful for him. We just needed to finish. As we turned the last mile or so to head to the finish we came up with the plan. I was going to go ahead and get my finisher photo. He wanted a good finish photo after what happen with Syracuse. He wanted to have someone get pictures with our medals at the finish and a picture of his shoulders. Then we would head for medical. That was the deal I agreed to.

Finish time 6:23:38 (13min PR)  
We crossed the finish line. I can't believe it but I have finisher photos with D behind me (this will NEVER again happen in a race that involves anything other than swimming). We crossed to find Andy Potts passing out medals. He put mine on my neck and I pushed a guy out of the way to have Andy put one on D. D talked to him for a minute. We grabbed some photos. And found our way to medical.

I had to be a little bit of a B**ch and push us into medical past the guy with his blisters on his feet. Medical for blisters?  We got him looked at by a doctor. He had cracked and bruised his ribs. Really bad road rash. The doc sent us away with some bandages and sling.

Honestly, I don't know what else to say. D keeps telling me I should have left him. I should have run my race. As I told him while I was racing it was more important to me to be with him. It is one hell of a memory and it is what you do to support each other. I'd like to think if I was in that rough of shape he would stick by me- he said he would have.  I don't know if I could have kept up my pace and run the whole half marathon. Who knows? It could have fallen apart and me by myself I could have crashed and burned and ended up walking and with a slower time than last year. With him I even ended up with a run time almost exactly what it was the year before. No one will ever know what could have happen that day on the run for me. I will just have to see if I have the run I want at the next one! Which is enough to drive me to train and race again! So it all works out!

And yes I did cancel the hotel and we went home for the week to recover. But he was doing better and I was able to be a part of my race team the following weekend in my first ever tri relay.

For D's take on the race and the pictures (not for those with a weak stomach) check out his blog:

The picture to the left is one of my favorites of the day- it was before the race we were laughing about something relaxed about to go race :)