Thursday, July 31, 2014

Harbor View Island 5k

In early spring my friend Lisa on the LUNA chic with me asked if I would join her on a 5k on an island in Boston Harbor. One of her really nice clients offered to pay for our registration. Thank god b/c it was one EXPENSIVE 5k.  We hopped on a boat in Boston Harbor and headed off to the island with the other runners. I quickly started to realize this was more of a corporate challenge events than a real hard core race. The race was to raise money for a camp for inner city kids. As we got off the bus the camp councilors were giving us all high 5's. Yea not really a hard core race.

There was a party environment folks are chugging beers before hand. I couldn't find a spot to warm up so I decided I would just run it with Lisa and see how it goes. I should have let the whole party thing not throw off the fact that I was there to race but I couldn't get myself to focus with everything around me.STUPID I know.

So Lisa and I ran and had fun and she pushed me a bit up the hills. Silly trail runners have good hill work. We still finished in a 26:56. With cartwheels over the finish line :-P As much as I am a bit upset we didn't race it I am happy we had fun.

They had a great post race spread of food. And I even had a hard cider. Just as we were eating the sun was setting over the Boston skyline it was really pretty. I will probably never run this race again but it was a great opportunity and the views of the city were GORGEOUS! Not to mention it is kinda crazy that my not pushing it and just enjoying a run speed is a 26 now... not bad!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Mill City Race Recap

So it seems every year this race comes up and I can't help but sign up. The race is rather small and local but there is something really nice about knowing all the logistics of a race with no new variables. I mean I know this one so well that I know the race director is going to start about 5 min late because something will come up at the last minute. I know there will always be a USAT official at the race. There will always be homemade awards for the overall winners and top age group winners. And if it is sunny the run course will suck!

We headed out to the race not so stressed about logistics which was nice, not having to rush since we knew most variables and didn't have to control them. Checked in race morning. Got marked. Strangely no age on your calf this year. No one could explain why only they though it was strange too.

Layout was pretty good.The transition area could have stood to have been swept. HOLY ROCKS! I did a little shake out run and headed back to the car with the rest of my stuff. The weather was holding at a cool temp, thankfully.  We headed over to the swim start across the street. There weren't a ton of people participating this year but that doesn't matter to me.

Swim- 28:21- There is always a current in this river- I was 17 min to the turn around and 11 min back - hello current. It is always a bit long too 1.25 mi. A bit faster than the year before so can't fight with that.

T1- Long run across the street. 2:00 and ouch those rocks! Got our fairly quickly. D came running in from his sprint swim as I was heading out on the bike.

Bike- 1:19:53- I knew as I headed out on the bike I was toward the front. The plan was to keep it around 19mph. I pushed when I could. The course is fairly flat in spots so I used that to my advantage. The road was rough in spots so I tried hard to avoid a flat. D went by me in the first 5 mi. then he had some sort of bike issue and I passed him but not for long :-P. I had a few women get by me on the bike so I figured I was in 3rd or 4th. Bike is 26 mi and last year I did 1:24 so some good gains!

T2- 0:59- love when my T2 is sub 1 min! D had finished his race and was there yelling for me. Focus was to RUNNNNNN!

Run- 53:32- It started to get warm as I hit the run course but just dig in and get through. I was hoping to stay around 8-8:30 pace. 8:38 was the final pace- not too shabby. Last year I was 1:00 so big gain here. I had one more woman pass me on the run. I figured that meant I was out of the contention for overall. But I tried to keep my focus on my gains in this race.  As I came into the finish D was screaming!!!

I ended up finishing 19th OA, 4th female OA and 1st in my AG. Last year this was the first race I went sub 3 at 2:59. This year 2:44:46. I am so happy with the improvements! I made huge improvements on the run. A little on the bike and swim. This was great to see going into Nationals in a month. It is great to see some of the hard work I did paying off.

Friday, July 11, 2014


I have a terrible habit. I know how to work really hard, train, beat myself in sessions all to actually achieve pretty great results but somehow I can tear those results to shreds. I can sit and rip apart every detail of a race and the little things I didn't do in training, or didn't do in the days leading up to the race or didn't do in the race that lead to the not exactly perfect performance. My new coach is about setting big goals. Like those big scary goals that you only want to tell a few people because they even scare you to say out loud. Yes I have a new one and NO I will not be saying it out loud in public because it scares the crap out of me.

As I got ready for Patriot I came to the decision if I were to achieve the goals of a sub 6 and running the whole half marathon (or either I would think) I was going to get myself something. I started to think and I don't really need any new tri gear. Ya I needed running shoes but that is just part of training not really a reward.... what to do what to do?!

I started thinking a piece of jewelry might be nice. And I found stackable rings. I thought hey I can start with one. As I achieve new goals I can add to the stack. So I did a little research before the race. Enough to know that was what I was going to get myself. I told D and my coach the plan. Race day went well. I didn't do 5:39 to 5:49. And in my typical fashion I wasn't going to get my reward since I didn't get the A goal. But my coach messaged me and said after the race time to get shopping for my ring. I realized she was right. I may not have gotten the exact high goal I wanted but I achieved 2 big goals after a lot of hard work. It was time to get something to remind me of all the hard work paying off.  So this is what I got...... I wear it everyday to remind me of all the hard work pays off! And it is hard work that will get me to achieve the next goal.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Summer Solstice Sprint- Friday Night Racing

Just as I was finishing my taper for Patriot Half I found a race the Friday night after. Yes I know- Saturday 70.3 then the following Friday do a sprint?! But the race looked like fun. How often do you get to do a tri on a Friday night? I mean Saturday tris are rare here never mind a week night. I figure whatever lets do it for fun and my coach gave me the green light on a fun race. It was so strange to get ready for work pack my tri bag and my bike for after work. But that was the point of this- do something different and fun.

Parking was a bit of a distance from the race site- luckily I had a bike to ride. Poor D was on race support and hoofed it down to the race site. Check in process was really smooth. Lots of volunteers around to answer questions. I racked up and did a little recon. The T1 was going to be long run from the bottom of the hill where the lake was up to the transition area. I started to do the its just for fun no I want to race this... D and I chatted and he was like have fun but GO FOR IT! I knew my body was going to be tired from racing 70.3 miles but why not see what can happen?!

Swim- 1/4mi- 6:45 I decided to go wetsuit less- I figured it was another thing to deal with in transition  and I don't really need the wetsuit. Another race with the strange wave start. This time they went with 3 seconds. I guess it works- but as soon as I hit the water I was running into the men who put themselves toward the back of the male wave. Usually I can get some clean water. It was really choppy with the amount of people. But I just decided block it out and swim HARD its a sprint SWIM SWIM SWIM!

T1- 1:41 long up hill run! I knew I was out in front when I came up the hill. There was one woman right with me but I passed her up the hill. As I went out of transition I thought I was either 1 or 2 woman. Nice DON'T LET THEM PASS!

 Bike- 10mi- 31:14 Just went with pedal to the medal. I would say it was a flat course. I think I got out of my saddle once to climb. I pushed as hard as I could. I figured if I stuck close to 20mph I would fend off most women. Just as I came to the final turn. I heard a car come up next to the riders behind me. Tell her her pace. Tell her how she was doing. I was like really- motor pacing?! What?! So just as I turned 2 women got by me. Okay still in top group. Let's see how I can run.

T2- 0:56 Shoes off, shoes on, grab and go. As I came out of transition I tripped on a cone and took a good fall. Even got some road rash on an elbow and hand- luckily I rolled onto my side.

Run- 5k- 26:59 Just tired to get my legs to go as hard as I could. The 70.3 started to catch up with me.  It was a little rolling but not too tough. I think without the 70.3 the weekend before I would have had no problem with the run course. I tried to focus on cheering for folks as they went by and I had I saw the top girl go by then the 2 women who had passed me on the bike. 2 more women got by me  and I saw one more getting close as I took the last turn but pushed it to make sure to not let her get by.

Finish 1:07:17 Good enough for 6th OA Female. Which is my highest finish yet. 1st in my Age Group! And a 8 min PR for the same distance (on a different course). Had a good day even with being tired from a 70.3!

This race director had an AWESOME BBQ at the finish. Hamburgers hot dogs cook out style. It was great. Just as they were doing the awards the sun was setting. They do a really cool award. You get 50% off another race with them. Not a bad deal! I finally looked at the race bag too- instead of the usual t-shirt there was an awesome visor that has some really nice reflective on it. I will definitely try to work this one in next season's plans! I highly recommend it!!!

*NOTE: As for the woman who had the car pacing her- I told the USAT official on site. She said she can't penalize for what she doesn't see but- that it was a first for someone reporting that! haha