Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Rev3 Half Iron Race Report

Saturday we drove the 4 hours down to Connecticut in time to pick up our packets, get in a quick (30 minute) bike ride and then drop our bikes off.  The race transition and packet pickup is in a little amusement park.  Later that night, we went out to dinner with a bunch of people on BTT.  I finished off the evening with some foam rolling, icing my knees and getting my stuff ready for the morning.

4am came and off goes the alarm.  I did some extra foam rolling to make sure my legs were nice and loose (or as much as they’ll ever be).  After breakfast, we packed up our stuff and headed over to the amusement park.  I was one of the later swim waves so once they kicked everyone out of transition we went down to the beach to watch the pros go off.  There were a lot of world-class pros doing this race and it was great to see them swim (wish I could swim that fast).

After a quick warm up and a last minute port-a-potty stop it was time to race.  Usually the beginning of the swim is basically a frantic mess that I try to survive.  This race was weird in that I had some clean water right at the start and the frantic mess came later in the swim.  The swim felt surprisingly good and I was hoping to at least PR that part of the race.  No luck!  It turns out the swim was a little slower than my Timberman one which I definitely didn’t expect since it felt so good.  Oh well…need to work on that this winter. 

This transition went a lot better than my T1 at Timberman in that I could actually see this time.  It’s always sad seeing so many bikes off the rack when I get out of the swim but it just makes me work my butt off on the bike.  This race was no different so I went straight to work pushing as hard as I could.  I knew coming into the race that the bike course was pretty hilly.  I was feeling pretty good about this though considering all of my rides lately (since moving to VT) have been hilly and my last 60 mile ride had over 1,000 feet of more climbing than the Quassy course. 

About halfway through the bike course there was a pretty long hill but at least the pitch wasn’t too bad.  I actually enjoyed this bike course (I guess Keith is wearing off on me).  The one thing I did not like which always seems to happen is the excessive amount of slow people that feel the need to hog the lane.  People seriously need to stay to the side of the road and not on the yellow line.  Needless to say I was saying, “On your left!” way too much. 

T2 was uneventful and off I went for the half marathon.  Around mile 2, I stopped to use the port-a-potty since I’d been holding it the last half hour or so on the bike.  The guy that was in there took FOREVER!  I started banging on the door and was really close to yelling at the guy to get out of there (since there was only one).  After about a 3 minute delay, I was ready to tackle the rest of the run.  This run course was brutally hilly!  There was hardly any flat; just up, up and away or doooown.  I was way more worried about the downhill and I was just praying my knees would hold up.  My other goal during the run was to try to hold back a bit so I didn’t mess up my knees for Lake Placid.  This was really tough as I wanted to push myself on the run and go faster but I knew that would be a mistake in the long run (no pun intended).  Maybe one day my knees will cooperate and I’ll actually become a runner! 

The last couple miles were pretty painful and I was ready to be done.  The add insult to injury, there was another hill close to the last mile.  Everyone else around me started walking up the hill but I refused to start walking (even if my run pace may have been close to a walking pace).  The person who designed this course must have been an amazing runner with about 1/2 dozen screws loose!  I'm surprised they didn't just pick one super large hill and make us do repeats up and down it for 1/2 marathon.  Aaanyways I was very happy to see the amusement park again and the finish line!  

Aaaand done!

Wrap up:
-This course was extremely challenging and I’d definitely like to take another crack at it.
-Rev3 runs a really good race and I enjoyed the atmosphere more than a WTC race.
-My body has recovered fairly well from the race and I’m surprisingly not very sore (gasp!).
-More sunscreen is needed on the shoulder / forearm area as I definitely got sunburnt.
-Quassy is NOT a PR kind of race (although maybe with the help of some VT mountains it could be).

Post race

Swim time:  40:47 (17th out of 25 in AG)
Bike time:  3:05:19 (3rd out of 25 in AG)
Run time: 1:59:06 (Tied for 15th out of 25 in AG)
Total time:  5:49:04 (7th out of 25 in AG)

“We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.”  ~Kenji Miyazawa

Season Opener Du Race Report

This race report is a bit belated but better late than never.  This race was on Mother’s Day  (nice and early in the season).  Last year we did this race but the triathlon version.  The water was cold, the air was colder and it was windy (making the water choppy) so we decided to give the Du a go this year.  I had no idea how this was going to go since my knee had been bothering me a lot and I hadn’t been getting much running or even biking in.  My main goal coming into this race was to try to not aggravate my knee any more than it has been.

Transition bag ready to go

1st race on BTT!!

My friend Laura also decided to do the race.  We were transition rack buddies so I chatted with her while getting my transition ready.  During this time I realized I had forgotten to put elastic laces in my running shoes.  Being unprepared for this race was an understatement!  I popped some Ibuprofen to try to prevent any inflammation and pain during the race.  It started with a 2 mile run consisting of one mile out and back.  I held back a bit on the run to try to save my knee for the rest of the race.

Me & Keith pre-race

Me & Laura pre-race

In transition, I untied my shoes (thanks to no elastic laces) and hopped on my bike for the short 10 mile ride.  The ride was pretty uneventful with some small hills and some pothole to maneuver.  Again I tried to hold back a little so my knee would be ok to run the last 5K.

Back in transition I had the joy of retying my shoes and then I was off on the 5K (praying my knee held up).  Luckily for me the run was mostly on dirt or grass to which I was very thankful.  At the beginning of the 5K I heard someone say something about me being the female leader.  That was at a turn around so I caught a glimpse of the 2nd place female fairly close behind.  I really wanted to race it and make sure I beat her but decided that it was in my best interest to keep my current pace (which my knee felt ok with).   

I spent the next 2+ miles repeating ‘Quassy’ or ‘Lake Placid’ in my head to remind myself to hold back so I don’t mess up my knee for my half or full Ironman coming up soon.  With about ½ mile to go, one of my shoelaces came untied (too rushed in transition to tie them right).  I decided to just keep running and hope I didn’t trip.  I spent the next ½ mile looking directly down to make sure I wasn’t going to step on the lace.  I thought for sure I’d trip on it right before the finish line.  Wouldn’t that make a great finish photo (a nice little face-plant)?

Towards the end of the run I was still in the lead but I knew the 2nd place female was still pretty close behind.  I told myself not to try to keep up with her if she made a push at the end but rather keep my pace.  This ended up working out and I held her off to finish 1st overall female and 19th overall!  I was thrilled to win and even more thrilled that my knee didn’t act up too much.  A pint glass, gift certificate and elastic laces (ironically) were my prizes for the win.

Finishing the race

Getting my 1st place award!

Keith getting his award!

Awards ceremony again

Run part 1 time:  14:09
Bike time: 31:42
Run part 2 time: 22:08
Overall time: 1:09:49 (1st overall female)

Our hardware!

“Winning isn’t everything, but the will to win is everything.”  ~Vince Lombardi

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Yup the title says where I’ve been lately.  There are a few reasons excuses behind it.  I applied and was accepted into a graduate physical therapy program…at the University of Vermont which = moving to VT! We decided that and Ironman training wasn’t enough to keep us busy so we bought our first home (see below).  Phew busy spring!  

New Home!

I think the real reason I’ve been MIA is the fact that my knee started bothering me over a month ago so my training has been really spotty.  After getting up to around 14 miles running and 80 miles biking, the all too familiar knee pain came back.  It’s always the same cause: tight muscles and weak hips.  I had to severely cut back my running and biking, even leaving me to only swim and water jog for one week.  Those of you who know me well know that this was complete torture!

Around Easter, it dawned on me that my half ironman (Rev3 Quassy) was right around the corner and Lake Placid wasn't too far behind.  I had a minor major freak out that I wouldn’t be ready followed by what I can only assume was an endorphin deficit mini depression.  The weather finally turned and I was stuck inside swimming or not doing a workout.  Seeing people posting about going on runs and bike rides seemed mean and made me jealous. 

Well after lots of foam rolling, stretching, taping, clamshells, bandwalks and the like I’m finally back to biking and running (working my way back to the mileage I was at before) and it feels amazing!  The knee still isn’t 100% and I am still super careful about not putting too much pressure on it since the half ironman is this weekend followed by LP in a little over a month and a half!!

Needless to say…I’m back (hopefully until the end of the season).  

"There's bound to be rough waters and I know I'll take some falls." ~The River by Garth Brooks