Monday, July 16, 2012

Ironman Muncie 70.3 um 37.2? 2012

I am glad I waited a bit to do this post.  It is less upsetting now.  From the title, you can see that the race was shortened due to the extreme heat.    What????  Here is pretty much how everything went down.

Friday we packed and the whole family was ready to come with me to do my A race of the year.  I felt super ready.  I had a little cough, but nothing that should interfere with me racing.  I was getting really tired of the heat, though.  It was getting old training in it, and I was sort of dreading racing in it.  We are just about to Muncie, IN, driving around in the middle of no where when we get a call from Big Daddy Diesel.  He asks me if I had heard the news.  What news?  The news they shortened the race from a 70.3 to a modified Olympic.  WHAT???  Are you serious?  I thought I was being punked!  I couldn't think straight.  Right about now, my kids started beating on each other in the car, so I had to abruptly end the call so Ryan could focus on driving while I got the kids straightend out.  I didn't want to believe it.  Then, about 3 minutes later, Kari calls, to say the same thing.  Wow, I was super mad!  Then, Cristina starts to call while I am on the phone with Kari.  I ask her, is Cristina near you?  Yeah, but she is on the phone.  Well, she is trying to call me.  Tell her you are talking to me and give her your phone when we are done.  All the same bad news.  It was true.  1 mi swim, 30 mi bike, 6.2mi run.  I get off the phone and cry.  Ryan is mad.  Why the heck did we come all the way out to MUNCIE, IN to do an Olympic????  I hate the Oly distance.  Too much swimming for me, not enough running.  I was little miss negative the whole expo.  I didn't take any pictures or do any sampling because I was just mad.  I cried to the lady at the "solutions" desk because I NEEDED to have a good half IM this weekend.  It was all part of my master plan that I had been working on for this summer.  I dragged my whole family out here, spent a ton of money for a distance I hated, and this was not what I wanted.  Boston was a different experience than I wanted due to the heat, and now this!!  Mother nature hates me!

We attended the pre-race meeting.  One of the more interesting questions that was able to be answered was why were the distances so strange?  Why wasn't it going to be a real OLY?  Basically, that was because it was easier to modify the bike course to be 30 miles than do less based on where the interesections and turn around could be done safely.  Why we had to swim 1 mile instead of 1500m is beyond me.  No one asked that.  I mean, really, why was the swim cut at all?  I struggle with swimming, so I am glad it was cut a little, but really mad that the run was cut so much, by over half!

Ryan got sick of me moping around, and told me to deal with it.  I just felt really terrible for Cristina and Kari because I had convinced them to do this race.  It is super far, and supposed to be Kari's first 70.3.  BDD was in the same boat.  Cristina needed the miles and training for IMLOU coming up.  She didn't need to spend $300 on an OLY though, not including travel expenses.  This was one expensive race for a lot of people! We went out to dinner at Noodles, with just our family, and then hit Dairy Queen.  Not my typical pre-race dessert, but I figured what the heck.  This was a strange distance that I would never do again, so finishing would be a PR, right?  After dinner, we headed back to the hotel to get things situated.  I finally got all my stuff sorted out and packed. 

Then it was time to head over to Cristina and Kari's room.  Cristina looked like a triathlon exploded on her bed!

Kari had her things under control.

We didn't stay long, but took a few pictures.  It was going to be an early morning for sure!

I slept misearably that night.  I think it was my worst pre-race sleep I have ever had.  I maybe slept for 2 hours, from 11:30-1:30.  I laid in bed a couple hours awake, not able to sleep, on either side of that.  I got up and out the door quietly, and met up with Cristina and Kari to ride over.  They drove me so Ryan could hang back with the kids. 

We got to transition and it was really dark still, but already muggy. It was so humid! I got everything set up and then we had a lot of time to kill before transition closed, and even more until the race started. 

I ran into my friend, Bree, who moved to Nashville.  We haven't seen each other in a while!

We also played around with the extra penalty tent signs we found.  Since the course was shortened, they didn't have one on the course anymore.  It was just at transition.

I was also able to find Erin, Jen, and Chris before the start.  It was fun to introduce them to Cristina and Kari.  I found BDD right before my start, as well as my pool buddy, Quentin.  There were tons of people I knew, and that was really fun for me.

The swim went really well.  I was able to sight OK, and I finished a few seconds after Kari.  I could see her ahead of me on the LONG run up to transistion from the beach.
 above photo from  Below is from Kari's husband, Gary.

I got on the bike, and hauled.  My Garmin wasn't working AGAIN.  It said low battery when I turned it on in transistion, so I wasn't sure how fast I was going.  I had looked at my watch when I exited the water, and hit the 20mi marker in around an hour, if I had estimated my T1 properly.  I was really excited.  Since the course was shortened, I didn't worry about using any of the aide stations, and just relied on my own stuff.  My left leg started to hurt, pretty badly, during those last 10 miles on the bike.  I had to slow down a little bit.  Jen, my neighbor, passed me in those final few miles.  I made an attack to pass her back, but she got me and stayed ahead.  I tried to keep her in sight, but couldn't do it.   I was really happy to be off the bike.  I biked faster than I thought I would.

As a result of my hammerfest on the bike, I got off and my left leg was KILLING me.  I was concerned about how I would run, since walking was a struggled and I had a hard time getting my stuff situated in T2.  I walked out of transistion instead of running, and that helped my leg.  Sure enough, I was able to run once I got on the official "run" course.  Then, the heat set in.  It was hot!  You felt like you were being cooked in the sun.  I just didn't push very hard.  I felt super slow on the run, and sure enough, I was.  Whenever there was shade, I tried to run harder, and I walked the aid stations.  I did a bit too much walking, though, and not enough running.  It got hot enough that I forgot that my leg hurt, so it didn't bother me anymore.  I really wished I had my garmin to keep an eye on my pace (which was all over the place) and the distance.  I felt like the mile markers were really poorly placed.  They said they would have aid stations every half mile, and I just tried to keep track of where I was from counting those, but it was hard.  I am glad I like running, because if I didn't this would have been miserable.    I tried to pretend I was running on the bypass, which is all uphill to my house for 1.5 miles.  I finished up in 3:14:06. 

This was pretty much exactly what I told Ryan I would do.  I said 3:15.  Although, I thought my bike would be 10 mins slower and my run 10 mins faster.  I'll take it.  It was so hot.  We got a few pictures afterwards, but then headed home right after.
Dan (who DNF due to being in a bike accident and injured his leg prior, but gave it a shot), Erin (who I like to run with), Me, Chris- lives down the street from us in KY
Soren wanted in.
Me and the kids.  The sun was shining through the back, showing all the scaffolding holding up this sign.
My neighor, Jen,  Chris's wife, and me.
Jen and Chris
Me, Cristina, and Kari (above and below)
So, what happens when you shorten a race like this?  There were lots of upset people.  A lot of people weren't upset anymore after finishing.  Kari was.  I had given everything on the course, so at the paces I was going, I couldn't have gone any faster (hello, 20.4mph on the bike, a PR for speed!), and my run was alright.  I think I had a 9:31 pace on the run, which isn't terrible, and my swim was a 41:04.  It was really funny how the swim panned out.  2 of my friends who passed me on the bike and finished ahead of me had slower swim times than me, but faster bike and run times.  Um, maybe my swimming isn't as terrible as I think it is?  What was really crazy was that Kari and Cristina drove back to MI and then finished up the distance at Island Lake.  I wish I could have gone with them.  The WTC offered us a discounted entry to one of 4 70.3 races, one of which is steelhead.  I thought that was a funny choice since they might cancel the swim, and then people STILL don't get the 70.3 experience they are seeking.  I guess they had to go with the less popular ones that still had slots available.  They also offered discounted entry to Muncie for next year as an additional option.  So, I could do Steelhead and Munice.  I think I will take the Muncie for next year.  Not so sure about Steelhead.  It isn't super easy to do since Keira will be back in school already, and it is pretty far from here, but doable.  Additionally, I spent the entire last week in bed with pneumonia.  I ran today, but it was hard.  I might be out of commission for a but while I get my health back, and then my strength back.  I ran today, so that was a good sign.  I am still coughing a ton, but I am at least feeling like a human again.  Basically, any races that I have not yet signed up to do this year are off the table at this point, except a mini tri.  I am going to get my running back, and then worry about everything else later.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Super behind! Triceratops Tri Race Recap

I am REALLY behind on blogging and reading blogs.  Now I have pneumonia, so I have a lot of time to sit around, but I feel pretty lousy, so trying to figure out where I am on the blog front has made my head hurt even worse.  That said, here goes nothing at trying to do a race recap, almost a month late!

After finishing up the MMM, I had left my bike in Canton, MI, because it was not shifting properly and I had taken a chunk out of the carbon frame with my chain.  Thankfully, it was just cosmetic.  Since I have had issues before getting into town the day of a tri, I opted to drive up to MI the day before so that I would have time to pick up my bike, race packet, take the kids to the beach, and then out to dinner at Noodles & Co, my favorite pre race restaurant.

Here are a few pics from the beach the night before the tri:

With the race not until 6pm, it was a long day leading up to it.  When you live out of town and don't come back very often, there are lots of people you need to see.  The day included going to a splash park, playground, neighborhood pool, and slip n slide at my in laws.  Crazy day considering I had to race still, but whatever.  I was going to be super hot again, so my expectations were more to just have fun.  Here are a few pictures of the day of the race, before the race.

I finally felt like I could leave the kids to head over to the race site.  I got there, and it just didn't feel the same without a lot of my former TIA buddies.  Cristina was not there, because she was on vacation.  I found Robbie and Kari, and got ready for the start.  I was racing AG instead of elite, because I am now in Kari's AG (35-39), and would rather start with her than by myself.  I am really glad I did.

My swim was OK.  Nothing fabulous, because it was a non wetsuit swim.  My time was better than my pool times, which was a boost, and I came out just a few seconds after Kari.  I passed Kari on the bike right out of transitition, but we were back and forth a lot. We were super close to the same pace, and I finally had to back off a bit.  I didn't want to get caught for drafting, and keeping up with her was just a bit overtaxing.  I kept her in sight, and we ended up with nearly  identical bike splits. This race reminded me of when I used to race in the same AG as Colleen K.  Kari really pushed me like Colleen did.   And similar to Colleen, I was able to catch Kari on the run.  I didn't quite have a PR, because it was hot, and my run speed wasn't there (and my swim on the race where I had my PR was a wetsuit and SUPER fast -meaning short).  However, I was close, and finished fast enough to be considered "elite" still.  Nice. 

The funniest thing is that since I had a last minute wave change out of elite, they had me in the wrong wave when I checked the results.  They had me starting 20 minutes later than the first gun, not 15, and so my swim time was a BLAZING 14 minutes!  Yes, that was totally wrong!  It looked nice up there, and put me in 3rd place!  It was funny because had I not said anything or noticed, no one else would have.  It is not uncommon for someone with my run and bike times to have a swim time like that!  I got it corrected, and dropped down to 6th.  Not too shabby for my first race in this new AG.  I looked at the other results, and had I not moved up, I would have been 4th, if you count the other person who was also 35 that was ahead of me in my own age group and drop the 30 year old who just moved up too, as if none of us has changed.  Oh well.  It was fun, though!  My official time was 1:23:57.  That is something to be happy about, though.  Especially because my PR had a fast swim time and was not nearly as hot out.  I had a bike PR too.

I'll try to get my Muncie recap up shortly.  I am also working on a guest post that is pretty inspirational.  I'm hoping it will help me as I try to recover from this illness.