Monday, October 22, 2012

Beach2Battleship: The Return Trip

So here is the thing...  You all know there is no way to make this short.  You have been warned. 

The weird thing about this race and Augusta for that matter is I really did not feel as prepared as last year.  It probably was just one of those mental things.  I had trained more with groups this year and less on my own.  Last year I followed "the plan" a little more rigidly out of fear and this year I let go on that a bit.  I still put in the work but was more flexible in how that work was completed (i.e. group training camps and rides versus taking the whole thing solo or with a training partner).  In the end, whatever I did must have been just fine so I really did not need to spend last week obsessing over what had or had not been done and whether there was enough hay in my barn.  :)

Thursday, CR and I headed out on our road trip to Wilmington.  We stopped at South of the Border in South Carolina where you can pick up the latest in Mexican Souvenirs.  It makes no sense to me.  It is quite the complex of restaurants and touristy stores all with the South of the Border theme.  CR said they used to stop here back in the day when he would visit NC from FL with his parents.  Apparently Highway 301 was the best way to get there back then... 


If you remember, last year CR wasn't able to come up until the night before the race so it was nice to have him along from start to finish. We arrived later Saturday afternoon and went straight to packet pick up.

I got to meet the fabulous Tonia manning the Tough Chik booth, picked up a few race shirts and treats from the expo and was on my way.  We went to a Facebook meetup for dinner so it was a quick check in at the hotel and off to check out the swim start then head to dinner.  

It was nice to meet so many people in person who I had been chatting with on facebook for the past several months.  I think CR soaked up a few tips here and there as after the dinner he was offering me tidbits on things he had heard that might help me on race day.  (You know, peeing on the bike and that sort of thing...).

All packed and ready!

Race day nutrition.  I used about 3/4 of this.  I overestimated on the bike because I wasn't sure of my time. 
I took in everything except for the energy blasts and a couple of bonk breakers for the all three legs.

Friday was the usual whirlwind.  You think you are going to have all this time to relax but somehow the day ends up being a constant stream of dropping off this and that.  Thursday night I had transferred my gear into the various swim to bike, bike to run and special needs bag so those were ready to drop on Friday.  The biggest tip I have to offer for anyone who is doing their first iron distance is this...  separate all your gear and pack it up in bags at home.  When you get to the hotel, all you have to do is transfer the things from your bag to the official race bags.  It saves A LOT of stress.   

Friday we met up with Sarah and Kristi at the noon pre-race meeting.  There was some explanation of the changed run course.  I remembered at the time thinking it sounded confusing and hoped there would be signage.  *ahem* 

We parted ways with Sarah and Kristi to go get some lunch and drop off my bike.

... and a couple of hours later met back up with them for dinner.  Sarah likes pre-race sushi so we went to a Hibachi type restaurant so those of us who prefer our prerace meals to be cooked could eat as well. 

Back to the hotel to try and get some sleep....  I think I went to bed about 9:00 and then my eyes popped open again at 1:30.  There was no going back to sleep so I laid there and waited for the 4 AM alarm.  UGH.

CR drove me out to T1 where I dropped my gear, pumped tires and then left him as I got on the trolley to the swim start.  I don't know why but that part choked me up last year and did this year as well.  Sort of the final farewell I suppose.  Spectators can't get to the swim start easily so there are a lot of good byes and last minute good lucks at the trolley stop. 

As you get off the trolley everyone just sort of gathers outside the beach entrance since it is still dark.  I chatted with people around me until it was time to put on my wetsuit.  I finally saw Sarah right as we were ready to head to the start.  She hung to the back of the pack for the start and I made my way more to the middle.  I found myself starting right in front of a guy who had both arms amputated.  I later found out his name, Hector Picard (  I am told he finished the swim in 1:09.  It was one of those "what is your excuse" moments.

They played Eminem and we were off.  My swim wasn't the greatest in terms of sighting.  My goggles fogged up as usual so between that and the grey caps, I was having a hard time figuring out where we were going.  I was so far right at one point, the paddleboarders had to corral me back in as I was about to miss the left hand turn.  I only got caught up in a pack for a few minutes here and there, got kicked once in the face and had my feet grabbed about 500 times (but who is counting).  Got stuck by a guy with the most awkward stroke ever and was thinking he might pull me under with that thing for a few seconds.  Finally broke free of that and could see the dock.  Ah - freedom from the water!

Swim:    57:42 (I should say the race is known for fast swim times - there is a current much like Augusta)  4th in AG

Got the wetsuit stripped and rinsed off in the heated showers.  So awesome.  As I was doing the quick rinse, some guy who was also racing looked at me and said "that was a fast swim for you".  I assume meaning because I am a girl.  (the race is 70% men, 30% women).  Uh, what?  I think he meant it to be a compliment but what a weird thing to say...

Ran across the road to T1.  I decided not to change this year.  It was warm enough that dry clothes probably wouldn't help one way or the other with the temperature so I just pulled on my garmin, helmet, and shoes and headed to the bike.     

T1:    6:03

Grabbed the bike and ran the 10 feet to bike out.  (I was blessed with a super close spot!). 

See that aero bottle?  Yeah, I lost it on a bump about a half mile down the road.  Stopped to retrieve it and realized the bracket was broken so left it on the road.  I was down to the one bottle I had on the down tube.  Thankfully, there were frequent water stops.  I was using skratch mix and didn't think I could manage mixing it up on the go so ended up having to stop at almost every aid station to mix my skratch in the bottle.  Overall I don't think it added all that much time but did have me off my nutrition plan a bit.  It also didn't help that my bag of salt tabs flew out of my hand around mile 20.  Luckily the aid stations had enduralytes... 

The ride was so much better than last year.  All I can remember of last year's ride was hunkering down and trying to stay warm and not blow over sideways.  This year it was a little windy but nothing like last year.  The route was different this year too so am not sure how much of a difference that made in the wind.  I actually got to enjoy the ride which was a nice change.  I made my way from one aid station to the other.  Passing cotton fields, farms and a lot of highway riding.  I even passed a huge turkey coop at one point.  Thousands of turkeys were gobbling away looking out the window as we rode by. 

Bike:  6:52:33 (this is definitely the weak(er) of my legs - I dropped from 4th in AG to 18th in AG here to give you an idea of how I stacked up)

I headed into T2 and the volunteers took my bike.  I made my way through the convention center to get my bag and change for the run.  The T2 location was new for this year so I wasn't sure where to go although the volunteers did a decent job of directing us.  I did a full change out of my bike gear for the run.  Toweled off with my Shower Pill (LOVE these things by the way... they are like wet wipes but thicker and larger).  We also had the luxury of real bathrooms and running water so took advantage of that while I was changing.  Handed my bag off to the volunteer and I was out...

T2:  9:09

... on to the run.  The run course was different this year.  Mostly for the good but there were also some confusing parts.  To the good - we no longer had to run over the two bridges at the beginning and end of each loop (WOO HOO!).  To the bad - there was a new section that proved to be kind of confusing.  It would seem I needed to study the map a little more.

To be honest I had heard in the meeting that I needed to run a triangle section twice but the way it was laid out and the directions that were being given just didn't make sense to me when I got to that section.  I have since heard a lot of people screwed up this part of the run so at least I wasn't the only one who didn't "get it".  

Basically what was supposed to happen was this... you run this triangle once then at the fork bear to the left for an out and back section of 3ish miles.  You come back run the triangle again and then bear to the right to head back to the finish area (or special needs to begin the second lap). 

What I did was this...  I ran the triangle once then was told to go to the right (back to special needs) meaning I missed about 4 miles.  I was confused at the time but was even more confused when I started seeing the mileage signs that were about 4 miles off.  (for example, I knew I was on mile 8 but the sign was showing mile 12).  I just kept running and tried to figure out how I came to be so far off.  Were the signs off?  Did I miss something? How can I fix this without having to scratch this race as a learning experience?  I rolled up on special needs when I was on mile 9, grabbed 2 gels out of the bag and kept going.  

At this point, I kept thinking about the people who were tracking me at home and CR who was keeping up with me here.  I had crossed the mat at the turn around but had only gone 9 miles.  How can I fix this and not mess up this whole race?  If I couldn't figure out what I missed or fix it easily was I going to have to cross the finish without having really done the miles?  It was a little stressful but I guess it was good as it gave me something to occcupy my mind for 8 or so miles (ha ha not...).  It also got me off my refuel plan a bit as my mileage was all jacked up at that point.  I just kept going.  By the time I got to the triangle again, it became apparent what I needed to do to make up the missing mileage.  I ended up running the triangle three times on the last loop (to make 4 times total) and the out and back twice.  Again, I was thinking about the people tracking wondering what they must be thinking.  I was worried that CR wouldn't know where I was as I had not seen him since the first mile.  I was thankful it was a double loop course.  If had not been, there would have been no easy way to fix the missed mileage. 

On the last loop, I saw Kristi on her bike and she sent a text to CR to let him know where I was on the course.  Immediate relief because I was thinking he might be worried at this point.  On my last triangle loop, Kristi gave me a shout out and she took off for the finish.  Three miles to go! 

This year the course finished in downtown Wilmington which was SO MUCH BETTER than last year.  I made that final right hand turn and ran for a third of a mile or so past crowds of cheering people along the cobblestone road.  There was a wedding party on the left side of the road, a huge crowd of bar patrons on the right, they all cheered for me and I cheered back at them finally making my way to the finish line.  I had done the math in my head along the way but wasn't sure exactly where I stood.  I don't have one watch that holds charge long enough for the whole race meaning I have to change watches between the bike and the run.  I estimate my times and add them all together which at the end of a race can be harder to do than you might think.  I was hoping for sub-13 but didn't think it was possible.  When I came into view of the clock showing 12:46 I started choking up.  The crowd was cheering, the announcer was calling my name and I was trying to not hyperventilate from choking back the tears.  I pulled it together and sprinted across the line to meet CR and Kristi the super sherpas on the other side.  

Run:    4:41:18  (4th AG - see what I mean about the bike being the weak link?)

FINISH:  12:46:44 (7th AG)

It was such a great day.  I love this race so much.  I was worried that maybe I had such fond memories of it because it was my first but this time it was just as great.  They have some work to do on the run course in terms of signage or maybe training volunteers better on directing traffic but even with those hiccups it was so much better than running those bridges.  The finish was also much better than last year.  Did I mention they had XS race shirts?  BONUS!  Unisex tech race shirts in size small never fit, XS was perfect!

Post race, CR had already gathered my bike and changing bags.  He even had a cherry coke waiting for me in the cooler on ice.  The best sherpa ever!  I ordered a hamburger from room service (they had post race food but none of it was appealing to me at that time).  Only ate about half of the hamburger but it was the best thing ever.  I didn't really feel hungry until the next morning.

On the way home, we stopped by the post race brunch.  It was such a nice day, I am glad we made the time to do this last thing.  One guy who won his AG had a time of 10:00:01.  Can you imagine?  ONE SECOND to bust the 10 hour mark.  UGH.

Thanks for following along with me.  It was such a great day!


Friday, October 19, 2012

Race Day Tracking!

Tomorrow I will be rocking and rolling towards that finish line!  If you are interested in tracking, follow this link 
and enter my race number (425).  See you in 140.6 miles :)


Monday, October 15, 2012

Join the team...

Today was the "last" bit of hay to go in the barn.  I feel like I have been saying that all week.  The "last" this or that before B2B.  All my friends are probably thinking, "yeah we get it, you are tapering... stop talking about it, go eat a cupcake and watch some TV".

My friend Robin is racing the same day as I am only she is doing the Aqua Bike at the Great Floridian.  If you are thinking about dipping your toes in the iron distance water but aren't sure you want to commit to the whole thing, aqua bike is a great way to try it out.  I know some of the races around here offer an aqua bike division for some of the half iron and iron distance races.  If you haven't heard of it before, aqua bike is just what it sounds like, the swim and bike legs of a triathlon. You do the 2.4 mile swim and 112 mile bike and you are done!

She and I basically have the same training schedule as far as the bike goes so we met up today at Stone Mountain for our LAST ride.  There I go again...

Last year, I hauled my gear across town to the Silver Comet trail thinking that since my race was on a flat course, why kill myself training on hills.  This year I decided to just stick close to home, suck it up and ride the hills.  I feel like I am slowly getting to be a stronger rider so maybe all that hill work is paying off!  We'll see what my splits are at B2B.  :)

Post-ride I headed over to meet with my swim coach, Mari, and a group of friends to talk about the 2013 racing season.  Mari has some exciting things cooking!  She is starting up a training group and they are targeting two of the Rev3 races next year.  I am super excited because those races were among the ones I had on my radar.  I am thinking about joining the group and leaving my solo training ways behind next season.  Still mulling it over but like the idea of everyone working towards the same target races.  If you are in the Atlanta area and have an interest in joining the group, check out Blue Iron Coaching.  

... and on that note, we have 5 more days until Beach 2 Battleship!  


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Six More Days!

Or as my friend Sarah posted on facebook...
the hay is in the barn

...and now it is on fire.

Since we last talked, the race directors released our bib numbers so from here on out you may refer to me as  four-two-five.  There is supposed to be live tracking so if you want to follow along, check out next Saturday.  

This week's workouts were on the lighter side but haven't really felt like I had any extra free time until today. This morning I did a 5 mile run and 10 mile bike.  Tomorrow is a 40 mile ride and 4 mile run. The last few workouts I have done felt really strong which I am thinking is a good sign.  Maybe all this training is actually helping do something other than burn off a few extra cupcakes.  :)  


I started assembling all my gear for the trip today.  I had to clear a mountain of laundry out of the way first.  Funny how much workout gear accumulates in the final weeks.  It feels like a never ending cycle of washing clothes.  

It would appear that all the sunshiney weather thoughts might be working.  Depending on which forecast you trust, the weather looks like it will be between a high of 70 and 74ish on race day.  This will make it so much easier to decide what to wear this time around.  Last year I changed clothes between the swim and the bike just because it was so cold I thought it would be better to ride in dry clothes.  This time it might be easier to skip the full change.  I haven't 100% committed to that line of thinking but it is what I am leaning towards right now.  It might be a game day decision...  

Really getting excited to pack up the car and get the race underway!  I got the all important pre-race pedicure today and I am all set.  Bring it on!


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tuesday Taper Madness ...

I don't remember much "madness" last year. This year I have already had a mental breakdown in which I question my preparedness and other strange events. Clearly I have lost my mind...

1. As CR and I were waiting on my bike to be tuned up at All3sports, the subject of timing came up. CR was curious how I timed each leg to which I mentioned that I have two Garmin 305s. One I use for the bike, one for the run. (The battery life isn't long enough for a full to wear one watch the whole time). To which CR says, "isn't there a watch that has a longer battery life" and immediately offered to get me the latest greatest Garmin to save me some time in transition swapping watches.  I couldn't bring myself to take him up on the offer - clearly I am insane. I blame taper madness. (Side note, the tune up at All3 was FREE - I love that place!)

2. On the way home from taking CR to the eye doctor, we stopped for ice cream. They were a little short handed and it took a while to get to us. I decided I would rather go home than wait. Again, crazy talk. Who gets out of line at the ice cream store? Taper madness...

3.  I decided tonight was the night to find the little clip on light for my hat.  I can see it clearly in my mind, I just can't remember where I put it.  Dang it!  Must. find. light.  Gave up on it and ordered another one from REI.  Of course the old one will surface on Monday when the new one arrives in the mail.  Oh well, at least I got some REI dividends for the purchase :)

Hope you all have a great Tuesday! My 13.1 was pretty great Sunday. I missed bumping into Colleen and Matt but heard they had an awesome race as well.

Counting down the days ... 11 more days! Accuweather shows 84 on race day as of right now. I think I will pray for something a bit cooler,  My friend Sarah wants to wear her new cute arm warmers so we must have cooler weather :)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Saturday Ramblings...

I guess I am officially in the two week taper which means it is time to start rambling more in blog posts about how prepared/unprepared/excited/scared I am on any given day leading up to the big event.  October 20th isn't quite on the 10 day forecast yet but that doesn't keep me from looking at the days leading up to it.  Last year was cold...and windy....and did I say cold?  Yes.  This year I would love a sunshine-y day.  Not so much that I sweat a lot but enough so I can look around and enjoy the sights without worry about the wind freezing my face off.  Is that too much to ask?

and let the rambling post begin...

A few weeks back I started boot camp again.  I took about a year off and recently decided to give it another go.  Admittedly no ideal timing but I am only going twice a week and I figure some strength training probably is a good thing.  I have really been enjoying it and didn't realize how much I missed it.  Funny story, the first day I went someone asked if I had just gotten out of the military.  I believe they were serious.  LOL.  I guess the "new kids" usually come in there and die on day one.  Not that I am "all that" (with or without a bag of chips) but we were doing some running drills and I do run a lot so....  

Add to that another thing that is probably not ideal timing...  I signed up for a 50k.  It is towards the end of November and a road course (as opposed to a trail which seems to be most of the 50k races I have seen advertised).  It is a loop course (hello, me & looped courses are besties!) and is supposedly a good first timer course.  Excited/nervous.  What is another 5 more miles on top of a marathon?  (cough, cough... famous last words... ha)

So what else...  rode this afternoon, have a weird issue with my back tire.  I can pump air into it one time (think one push on the pump) and then after that it sounds like I am pumping all the air out.  So very odd.  Have never had that issue before.  I am secretly blaming the guy at Augusta who was the last to put air in it before the race.  (and they call themselves professionals...  I kid...)  I need to take it for a look-over on Monday at the bike shop anyhow so maybe they can give me some Tire Pumping 101.  Hopefully the nice guy is there at All3 because I feel like the other one thinks I am annoying.  Can't imagine why...  (see previous sentence about not being able to put air in my tires...).

I am running the Allstate 13.1 tomorrow as a training run.  I am much less likely to blow off this training run since there are post race treats involved AND I get to see Colleen :)   If I were left to my own devices, it might be a little more difficult getting this run in since it is one of my last pre-B2B.

Hope you guys have a great weekend!


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Augusta 70.3 Re-cap...

Clearly I need to trust my training more...  I went into this race feeling good but not expecting to improve anything over last year.  This was after all supposed to be a "normal" training day.  Ummm yeah.

I loaded up and hit the road to Augusta on Friday.  My packing method was throw everything on the checklist in a big box and sort it out when I get there.  I had some extra time on Saturday so this worked out well.  For B2B, I prefer to have everything sorted in bags before hand so I just transfer items from my bags to the official bags but for this race, the "toss it in a box" was the way to go for me.  Augusta is about a two hour drive from home so I was easily there in time to check in on Friday.  A great call as there were NO LINES.  I got all signed in and bought the obligatory shirt with my name on the back.  I ran into Summer as she was buying her merch and hung with her for a minute then sought out Jennifer and J.C. as they were waiting for the athlete's meeting.  Summer and I ditched the meeting before it started (we apparently are too cool for school).

Earlier that day, I had seen a cool print on FB painted by another athlete.  She had made up some prints and was selling them on Broad Street so I went to pick one up. 

Let's pretend this is not sideways. I tried to fix, I don't have the energy. Tilt your head please :)

It really is pretty awesome, when I get more organized (someday...maybe 20 years from now...), I would like to frame it and hang it with my medals. 

Spoiler alert.  I got a medal.  Here it is proudly displayed with the others in my nightstand drawer.  
I seriously need a rack of some sort to display them all.

Saturday involved a whole lot of nothing other than dropping off my bike.  I was so glad I opted to get there on Friday as it was so much more relaxed this year as opposed to last when I did it all on Saturday.  I rolled through the expo again and picked up a couple of shirts that were marked down and spent the rest of the day chillaxing.

I didn't get to sleep until what felt like way too late and then woke up way too early.  For some reason my eyes popped open at 3:30 way before the 4:15 alarm and that was all I needed to get the race day thoughts going through my head.  Got up, ate, loaded up the car, checked out of the hotel and made my way to the shuttle.  I felt like I was getting there way too early but if I was then so was everyone else as there were hundreds there already when I arrived.  I rolled through body marking, aired up the tires, loaded up the bento with snacks, laid out my transition area and set off to find friends.

See previous note about tilting your head. Hi Meredith!

I knew Summer and Meredith were right next to each other so located them easily and just ended up attaching myself to them for the rest of the morning.  My friend Charlie was kind enough to fold himself up in the cargo area of Meredith's car so I could ride with them to the start.  We talked about time goals on the way over.  I had mentioned that I had a 6:07 last year and would like to at least get 5:59:59 but I really didn't think that was possible.  I really was planning to just go out there, finish the race and hope for the best but had no plans to PR.  The expert found a spot to park in the field and we all piled out of the car.  Meredith gave her parents last minute helpful hints for spectating and we made our way to the portopotties at the start. We ran into so many people that we knew at that point.  I got to meet Meredith's coach, finally saw Beth and her crew along with Summer again for one last good luck before we hit the water.

Summer, me and Beth.

The waves for this year's swim were set up so that the over 40 crowd went off in the first 13 waves with the 18-24 women being the last wave before the relays.  I was in wave 13 and behind me we various waves of 18-39 year old men.  I wasn't worried about it on the swim but I knew before too long on the bike, waves of guys were going to be flying past me.

but first things first...  the swim.  As the groups of waves started to form, I left Meredith and the Expert and got in line.  As luck would have it, I knew one of the racers (she is my triathlon idol from my Swim Atlanta days) so we chatted the whole time we were waiting.  We walked down the ramp to the dock and got in.  The water was chilly and I immediately remembered how much I loved the extra float you get from the wetsuit.  We bobbed around in the water for about a minute and we were off!  I am not sure why but both years at Augusta I have never felt overwhelmed by people around me.  Within 30 seconds, it seemed like everyone kind of found their space and I was on my own.  Those weeds and plants seemed a little higher than last year as I swam over the top of them.  My wetsuit felt like it was choking me, my goggles were fogged up as always and I kept swimming.  The swim seemed to go on forever.  Last year it felt like it went so fast I think I had high expections for it to seem as fast this year.  It did not.  I kept seeing orange buoys thinking they were exit markers.  They were not.  My foggy goggles weren't really helping the situation.  Eventually they funneled us off to the right.  It was odd because it didn't click that this was the swim exit, I just thought they were trying to get us to swim further over to the side of the river.... until people started standing up.  DUH.  Oh look we are getting out.  It didn't feel faster than last year but apparently it was faster.  I happened to notice the clock coming out and I realized my swim was in the 28 minute range.  I 'll take it.

Swim 28:06  (last year was 28:30)
I shut my eyes a lot in pictures.  Or maybe I am just watching my step.

Ran up the ramp, unzipped the wetsuit, got rid of the cap and goggles and plopped down in front of the wetsuit strippers.  I don't know why this always make me nervous but it has to be faster than me doing it myself.  I parked myself in front of the only guy there (yes, I am picky about my strippers...) That wetsuit came flying off in less than a second - clearly they had been practicing!  Wetsuit in hand, I took off running up to my bike rack.  My rack was 2nd row from Bike Out which made me extremely happy - less time to run with the bike!

Garmin, helmet, shoes, sunglasses, go!

T1:   4:34 (last year was 6:09)

I felt good immediately on the bike.  I was a little worried that I might be going too fast.  The first part of the course is flat which can bite you when you get to the back half which is a little more rolling.  I was passing people and being passed and just enjoying the ride.  This was my 5th time in the last 2 years riding the course so I was extremely comfortable.  I alternated 1/4 of a bonk breaker or two shot blocks every 15 minutes with Skratch labs to drink and every hour I took a salt tablet.  I drank 40 ounces of the Skratch Labs mix from T1 to the 2nd water stop.  At the 2nd water stop around mile 38 or so I grabbed water and dumped it in my aero bottle for the ride back to the finish.  I feel like I nailed the nutrition on the bike for the first time ever.  It was easily 15-20 degrees cooler this year as compared to last.  Had the temperatures been higher, I would have needed to take in more fluids.

I kept leap frogging with a girl named Stef on the ride, I would pass her, she would pass me.  It was good to see a familiar face throughout the course even if I just met her that day as we were riding.  Another bit of randomness - there were sunglasses all over the course.  The day was misty so people were sticking them in their helmet and they would fall out.  I saw a couple of nice pair and was tempted more than once to stop and pick them up.  If I host a giveaway for sunglasses on this blog, you will know where they came from :)

Bike:    3:01:07 18.55 mph (last year was 3:12:29 17.45 mph)

... hallelujah I get to stand up!  That is what I think my butt said as I rolled up to the dismount line ...  Again, can I tell you how awesome it was to be on the 2nd bike rack???  A short jog from dismount with my bike and I was slipping on shoes and my hat.  I shoved a couple of gels in my pocket, stopped at the portopotties (I did consume 60 ounces of fluids after all...) and I was out of there!

T2:   3:45  (last year was 4:57)

Just like last year, rounding that corner out of the transition area onto the road felt great!  My run plan for the races has been to run a mile walk a minute.  I have been doing that since late 2010.  It seems to work for me and for this race especially I didn't want to use up everything I had as I do have a 140.6 on the 20th to think about.  I got to mile one and was feeling pretty good so just kept running until I got to the first waterstop, took water and walked through it.  Got to mile 3 and was still feeling good so decided to walk for 30 seconds just in case I did blow up at the end I wouldn't look back on this decision not to walk and be irritated at myself.  I kept that up for most of the race, walking the water stops and the occasional mile markers for 30 - 45 seconds.

I wish I could remember the mile markers specifically because the miles that were on Broad Street were the best miles on the road.  There were people cheering from one end to the other.  You couldn't help but gain energy from their enthusiasm.  Miles 7 - 8 were a little quiet but once you rounded that corner were the runners were coming back out of T2 it was game on with spectators again.

I kept looking at my watch and my pace and really just couldn't believe how good I was feeling.  I was doing the math in my head.  Let's see, 28 minute swim plus a 3 hour bike...   I knew if I could do the run in 2ish hours I would definitely be under 6 hours.  I could not have been happier at that point.  The miles are ticking off.  A little before mile 11, I saw Meredith running along and remember thinking she must be having a great race too because she was about an hour behind me (her wave started 45 minutes to an hour behind mine).  I gave her a big cheer across the divided highway.  I made the turn at the end of Broad and knew this was the last stretch to the finish.  It was also the stretch last year where my dehydration caught up with me.  I was nervous for what this last stretch might hold but was feeling good.  I soaked up the energy from the crowds and kept running.  I saw Dave from Decatur Bikes, Meredith's parents and tons of people from Atlanta Triathlon Club.  As I neared the split where you turn off to the finish, I caught with Meredith again and we gave each other a cheer.  I wanted to chat and see how her race was going but had tunnel vision since I was so close to the end and wasn't exactly sure how close I was to that six hour mark.  I mean I figured I had not take 30 minutes in transition but one never knows....

I snaked my way to the finish and spotted Jess the Superstah Sherpa (Beth's sherpa, I'll have to get my own).  The next bit is a blur as I ran like a maniac to the finish.  Done and done solidly under six hours!

Jess the Superstah Sideways Sherpa 

Run:  2:04:53 (last year 2:15:52)

I might have been a little excited.

Overall:  5:42:25 (last year 6:07:57)

I have a habit of passing out after races.  It seems like a dehydration issue but could be low blood pressure too or a combination of both.  Either way, I think I got it right this time which was a HUGE relief going into Beach 2 Battleship in a little over two weeks.  My blood pressure is pretty darn low normally so my theory is the dehydration makes it that much lower which leads to Karen on the pavement.  Anyhoo....  so I had promised CR I would go the medical tent after the race for a few minutes.  They weren't super busy so they were glad to check my BP and chat with me as I drank some Perform.  My blood pressure was actually higher than normal (guess it was all that salt I had been taking) so after I drank down the perform I checked out of the tent and went to grab my clothes bag.

I was anxious to get to my bag because I wanted to check my race time.  I don't have the latest greatest Garmin so I can only piece together what I think happened by extrapolation of the times I had throughout the day.  I really wanted to see it from the source.  I didn't have to look far as the minute I turned on my phone, there was a congratulatory text from CR with the time.  CR doesn't spend a ton of time on the PC so I didn't even bother to show him how to track my progress.  Dude googled it all up that morning and tracked me throughout the day at work.  I was quite impressed!



Over the moon about the PR!  The cooler weather played a huge part and I am oh so thankful for those overcast skies! I loved seeing so many people I knew at the race.  Some had great days, some struggled but all finished with smiles on their faces.  You really are just battling yourself out there.  I am not racing to stand on a podium.  I am racing to prove to myself that I am capable of anything.  Training takes a whole lot of determination but nothing is better then that sweet dash to the finish line known as race day.    



Monday, October 1, 2012

Give your sole winner...

Hey friends! Had an awesome weekend in Augusta that went so much better than I had hoped! Of course I will give the moment by moment account later. Final time was 5:42 which was a 25 minute improvement over last year. Thanks for all the happy thoughts and well wishes, I could not be happier!

Next weekend is the Allstate Atlanta 13.1 half marathon. I was lucky enough to have a free entry to give courtesy of the Give Your Sole program. If you are at the race this weekend, please bring your old running shoes to donate. A name was drawn at random and the entry goes to.... Smitty of Go Smitty Go!. Congrats,  I'll email you with the specifics.

** in case you read this earlier, there was another winner who could not use the entry after all, Smitty is my lucky runner up :)