Let me start with a little background on this race and my training:
This race is 4 weeks before my planned A race of the season. So, I was planning on peaking for that race. Rev3 Maine, I decided, would be race to find my limits. I tapered a little, but a week before the race, I did my longest training ride ever. I felt undertrained, though my bike mileage for 2012 up to this point was about the same as my total bike mileage for all of 2011. My run training wasn’t up to par, but I ran a marathon in my off-season, and I think that really helped. For swimming, I started up at Masters again and was seeing some small improvements, which was awesome.
I decided to swim at a comfortable pace, but with more focus and less sighting/stopping for any adjustments. I decided to not bike conservatively. I decided to start my run hard.
Go hard or go home!
First, I must say that Natalie is an amazing Sherpa. She likes to watch the race, and when she is bored, she just goes running! We got up and out of the house quickly, and we were off to the race site. We got there just before transition opened, and parked nearby. I got set up, and we went back to the car for a snooze! We strolled up to the beach just in time for the National Anthem. I threw on my Blueseventy Fusion, lubed up the back of my neck with TriSlide, threw on my goggles that I had treated with Foggle, and headed towards the beach. The sun was coming up and the beach was absolutely beautiful!!
I was SO EXCITED for an ocean swim. Temps were perfect for a wetsuit. I lined up right in front, and we were off! I took a few dolphin dives to get me through the shallow water, and hopped on the feet of the girl just in front of me. I stayed there until the first buoy, and then I lost her. I just tried to mentally stay in the water. No stopping to sight. No stopping to fix my goggle lens that felt a little funny. No stopping to fix the back of my wetsuit that I had not velcroed properly – it was rubbing, not flapping open in the ocean. Swim, swim, swim past the guide buoys. I started coming up to the wave in front of me and tried not to swim over anyone. I’m sorry, I swim with my head down, and I probably touched plenty of butts out there. I hope you enjoyed it! I rounded the final buoy in a little bit of congestion, but found clear water all the way into shore.
Pace: 01:44 /100m
Age Group: 2 / 22
Women: 14 / 159
Holy crap it was a long run. Estimates run from .3 to .5, so we’ll say it was a .4 mile run. But, we had to get across the Amtrak tracks so they wouldn’t interfere with the rest of the race. I found Natalie, and she ran with me for a bit. Someone told me I was the 11th woman out of the water – ego boost! T1 was pretty smooth once I got to my spot, but it could have been a little faster. I threw on my Pearl Izumi Tri Fly shoes, my helmet, my shades, and stuffed a handful of Powerbar Gels into my top, and I was off! Mounted my rental Quintana Roo, and I was off!
I was first in my Age Group out of T1, so I guess I did something right!
The first thing I hear is Charlie yell that Alyssa was right behind me. I’m not sure if you know Alyssa, but she got second Overall at Rev3 Wisconsin. No way was I staying in front of her for long! After a short, steep hill out of transition, we were off! The route was awesome. The first 10 or so miles I spent settling in to a strong pace. On a scale of Olympic pace to Last Year’s Half pace, I was pretty much right in the middle. I wanted it to hurt! The first climb came around mile 12 or 13, and Jen came screaming by on her way up, complimenting my butt! I could already feel my quads, and figured I was on the right track for a sufferfest.
A few more roller-style type climbs brought me up to mile 25(ish) and the highest point on the elevation chart! I kept telling myself it was all downhill from there! Ok, that wasn’t true, and a few of these roller’s had me standing on my climbs. Not the smartest move for a long race, but, hey, I haven’t ridden anything with this little elevation since I moved to Tucson.
It was mostly downhill until around mile 38 or so. A few short, steep climbs lie in that section. I hadn’t pre-ridden the course, but I did my research on Ryan and Jen’s course previews. Mile 42 (or something) brought the harshest climb of the day, and was followed by the only section of crappy road. I was over it. I wanted off the bike. I spent about a mile or two feeling bad for myself and trying to cushion my bum from the road. I was bummed that I had not passed a single athlete on the bike (ok, yes, that is what happens when you’re quick out of the water, but still. It sucks!). Then I remembered – it’s supposed to be tough! This is what it’s all about! I put myself back in the game mentally – and physically. I counted off the final miles.
I thought about how awesome the run was going to be. I even thought I was in the realm of a sub-6 finish. I sprinted up the bridge over I-95. I took my final PowerBar gel (I took one about every 10 miles) I went in a slightly easier gear, but still pushed it for the final miles back into town.
Pace: 16.66 mph
Age Group: 14 / 22
Women: 82 / 159
Quick, simple easy… except for the face that someone else racked their bike in my spot. Grr. Off with the bike gear, on with the Swiftwick socks and Pearl Izumi Kissakis. Grab the visor, number, and more PowerBar stuff (Gels and Chews) and GO!
Ok, here we go. Find the limit! RUN!
I was moving along going sub-9s, and feeling pretty darn good. I found a running buddy and told her we’d go sub-6 if we kept this pace. It was all good, until she decided to walk a hill. I was off on my own. I was feeling fine. Let’s keep in mind that my 13.1 stand-alone PR is 1:57. Holding sub-9s would be totally epic. I went into kill mode and started picking off runners in front of me.
First Split: 3.10 mi , 26:58, 08:42 /mi
I was absolutely loving the run course. A paramedic pointed out that I was smiling, and I told him that if you smile, it hurts less! I totally fell into my I love running groove. I wanted to run forever… at least until mile 5. Holy cow. I hit a wall. I braved the shadeless stretch and was determined to keep up with the person in front of me. I wanted to walk so badly, but would not let myself until I hit an aid station. I hit the next timing mat at the turn-around. Someone mentioned beer. I perked up!
Second Split at 3.40 miles, 31:15, 09:11 /mi
I got a mental boost from turning around (and the mention of beer!) and heading back towards the finish line. I thought sub-6 was still in my grasp, but I allowed myself to walk a few aid stations. I was determined to give it everything. I found a running buddy – who again started to walk! This time, it was when we hit the sunny stretch! I kept running. I’d feel like I was doing great, and look down and see a 10:40 pace on my watch. Mind and body fell out of sync.
Third Split at 3.40 miles 33:44, 09:55 /mi
Just GO. Leave everything on the course. I knew I had slowed down, but I wanted to badly to give it everything I had. I pushed. I tried to find new gears. I tried to revive my attitude that I was out there to pick off other runners one by one. Slowly, the mental message made it to my legs. I hurt so bad from the waist down. Around mile 11, I found the pain cave. Every single step hurt – and I felt proud. I was doing it right! I kept telling myself that I’d be so mad if I backed off and missed my best possible time on the course because of it. I wanted to finish – sub-6 or not – knowing that the time on the clock was the best time I could produce. A girl in my age group passed me with about a mile and a half left. She was flying. I tried to speed up to her pace, and I just couldn’t. I kept her in sight though. The last mile seemed incredibly long, and I was so happy to see the finish line!
Fourth Split: 3.20 miles, 30:08, 09:25 /mi
I crossed the finish line, and didn’t even try to check my time. I was proud. I drank some Muscle Milk and water. I changed into flip flops. Eventually, we checked out the final time.
Run Time: 2:02:05
Pace: 9:18 /mi
Age Group: 11 / 22
Women: 54 / 159
Finishing Time: 06:02:10
Holy cow. Where did that run come from?!?!
First, I’m glad the time wasn’t 6:00:XX. For real. I’d be beating myself up thinking about where I could have found those few seconds. I know I didn’t leave two full minutes out there anywhere. I’m completely certain of that.
Second, this time is a TWENTY MINUTE PR. 20 minutes faster!!! I took 17 minutes off of my bike time from Austin last October. I dropped 5 minutes from my run time. My swim was a touch slower, but with course measurements and conditions, it’s generally not a completely accurate number.
Third, training for this distance can be overwhelming at times, but racing it is SO fun!