Work Hard, Race Hard, Play Hard

Work Hard, Race Hard, Play Hard

Friday, July 20, 2012

Racing in Racine

Sooo, it appears I haven't blogged in almost 2 months, no surprise there though. To be honest, this whole blogging thing is really tough for me for a number of reasons, but mostly its just not my thing to talk about myself, my training and racing. So, I'll try to keep this short and sweet and just give you the highlights of what's been going on the last couple months and a quick update on my recent race.

The season got a little thrown out of whack after the hip injury forced me to drop out of the Boston marathon and I didn't run for 8 weeks. I was forced to skip a bunch of races and rearrange my schedule a bit. Its never fun to be injured, but I tried to just keep it in perspective and focus on getting healthy so I would be good to go in time for Kona training. I have been injured many times before and I guess you could say I'm getting a little more used to it, and I also realize it could always be worse! I believe everything happens for a reason, as cliché as that is. And the reason why I think this injury helped me was bc I needed the break and now I'm feeling much more fresh to take on the ironman training for Kona and IMAZ!

Of course, I didn't do as much swim training as I thought I would do, since this would have been a good time for me to focus on my weakness.. Argh! Why do I find it so hard to get to the pool??!

I did have some fun things going on the last few months, despite being injured! I went on an amazing trip to Turks & Caicos with my Mom, Grandmother, Aunts/uncles & cousins for five days, I attended (drank a lot of vino) a bachelorette party at the Vineyards on Eastern Long Island for one of my oldest and best friends from middle school/high school and also had a blast at her weekend wedding festivities. There were a few missed workouts as a result :(

I finally started running again sometime in the middle of June and realized I needed to start putting some other races on my schedule since I had nothing until Kona in October. This is a difficult task since most of these races sell out so far in advance. Sissy was racing Vineman 70.3 on July 15 and it would have been great to do that, but unfortunately it was sold out. Racine 70.3 was on the same day and it was still Racine it was! I wasn't sure if I'd be ready to race by then so I asked Coach "will I be ready to race in 3 weeks?" and he told me yes.. So I signed up and had 3 weeks to get some of my run fitness back!

This race report will be brief because I'm also not one to spend too much time analyzing my race once its over, and now that I'm 5 days post race my memory of it all is fading :)

I did have a little bike stress leading into the race. When I dropped "Teddy" at the bike shop to be shipped to Racine, they discovered a crack in the frame. Teddy is my brand new Trek SC that I have only been riding a couple of months. When I arrived in Milwaukee for the race, I realized the bike tech guys for the race were from Trek - PERFECT! I brought Teddy over and had them take a look to be certain the frame wasn't cracked - the Good News- they confirmed it was just the paint. (still annoying to have the paint chipped on my brand new bike, but at least it was rideable). The bad news - they discovered that something on the aero bars broke off during shipping. Again, still rideable, so as annoying as it is having to deal with bike issues on a brand new bike, I was actually pretty surprised how calm I was about it all.

Ok back to the race!

Usually when I go to 70.3s I leave after work on Friday, which gets us to our hotel really late Friday night. I always feel so rushed and tired on Saturday, not the best way to feel the day before a race! For Racine we decided to leave during the day on Friday, we arrived at our hotel at was still daylight! It was so nice to relax, get organized, go to dinner and get a good night sleep. Since I felt so organized already, Saturday AM was very relaxing. Mom, pups and I had our tea, I did my nails (in of course the race color of the year - Tour de Finance) and then I did Moms nails in the same color! I went for a quick 2 mile run, while mom went to the gym, then I took the pups for a long walk. Of course we made our way to the Lululemon store in Milwaukee and I did some more damage on the CC! I love that store!! Good thing the morning was so pleasant, the rest of the afternoon felt a bit hectic, not really sure why though?!

Race morning went pretty smooth. I was definitely feeling nervous as I always do pre race, but it seemed worse because I hadn't raced in so long. But as always, having my mom there to keep me calm is the best. Oh and my pups P&R flew to Milwaukee with us too, so its always fun to have them there race morning :) My wave wasn’t until 7:59am (UGH - so late!), so I had plenty of time to get to transition, get everything set up and make my way to the swim start. I actually don’t like being around the swim start too early, I prefer to keep to myself until its time to line up. So mom and I found a gas station with a little store and I used that as my pre race bathroom! I put my wetsuit on there and just relaxed until about 7:30. We were allowed to get in the water before the swim, so I took advantage of that for a few minutes. Then it was time to line up!


I actually surprised myself with a Swim PR of 32 min. I did some "cramming" before the race. And of course on Friday morning before the race I swam 1.2 miles straight to remind myself that I can actually swim the distance. I do the same thing before Ironmans too (but 2.4 miles obvs ;) ) I honestly swam 10 times since April, so I was pretty happy about this swim. Lake Michigan was awesome, I really enjoyed the swim. But that T1 was tough! One of the hardest transitions I have ever experienced. It’s a pretty long run from the water to T1 and it was through sand...the type of sand that when it gets wet feels like quick sand! To make things worse, the bike mount was on an uphill, I HATE clipping in on an uphill...actually I'm really bad at it. Ha - you would think I could do it no problem by now ! And I don’t start races with my shoes already clipped in...maybe I should finally work on that?!


I debuted Teddy at his first race and I am in LOVE. We had a great day together! My bike time was a little disappointing, but I also made some stupid mistakes that cost me a few minutes. I didn’t stick to my routine the day before the race and that cost me. I race with the Garmin 910xt and Teddy is 'Bike 3' on the watch. But bc I didn’t get everything set up and tested out the day before - when I got out on to the bike I had no power, cadence etc...i debated just riding without it, but I like seeing all that info when I race, so I decided to figure out what was wrong. Watch was still set to 'Bike 1' which is Oscar (Orbea). There were a few other mistakes I made by not sticking to my own routine the day before the race, but I wont bore you with that!

Teddy is fast and super comfy! And he got sooo many compliments...gotta love pink ;)

Run: I ran a 1:32 on a hot day with just 4 weeks of running, so I was really happy with this time. I have not done any speed/tempo work since before the Boston Marathon so I really had no idea what to expect out there. Three weeks ago when I first started running again, I felt soooo out of shape and slow, and I didn't' think it was possible to get back to where I was. Now after pulling that off, I know I can get back to where I was in March with a few more weeks of training under my belt.

During the race I was just so happy to be back out there and racing again. It was probably one of only races where I didn't focus on who was in front of me, trying to run people down or what place I was in. I just wanted to focus on my own race and putting together a solid effort after a disappointing race in Texas and being sidelined with an injury for months. When I crossed the finish line I said to my Mom that I didn't think I had placed in my AG, but that it was ok, I was happy with my race and happy to have been able to run well so soon after being injured and in the Heat! Did I mention it was hot? But, at Mom's urging we went to take a look at the results, and I realized I had finished 1st in 30-34 AG, and I was sooo excited!! This was my first 70.3 AG win after many 2nd place finishes and to have it happen after a crappy few months, made me appreciate the win that much more!



I still have a lot of work to do before Kona, but this race gave me the confidence that I'm on the right track and I'm even more focused, hungry and ready to begin the Ironman training. Next up is Rev 3 Maine on Aug. 26. No Vegas for me this year, though I would like to redeem myself after last years terrible race, but Coach and I decided earlier in the season that I wouldn't take a slot if I did qualify. As tempted as I was to take my slot on Sunday, I passed..its also the same weekend that I already have Madonna tickets (cant wait, haha!) and my sister in laws baby shower,

I really liked Racine 70.3 and I would recommend this race! I guess this blog and race report ended up longer than I thought it would -- good thing I don’t blog often ;)

 And here are some more pics from the weekend :)


                                                           Peanut loves spectating!
                                              And so does Riley..or rather probably eating sand!

                                                        Peanut Loves Newtons too :)
                                                   Loving our rental car!

                                                     Cutest and BEST Mom ever :)

Thanks for reading!