Work Hard, Race Hard, Play Hard

Work Hard, Race Hard, Play Hard

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Rev 3 Maine and Back to Reality

Wow...I can't believe August is over, Kona is less than 6 weeks away!  I am sad to say goodbye to summer but the only positive is that my weekend schedule will be a little less hectic now that I am not trying to fit in a full beach day on top of trying to train for an Ironman :)  Add the extra running around on the weekend to my already ridiculous work schedule during the week and trying to fit in training when I can makes for an extremely exhausted "Me"!  I had been sooo looking forward to August -two weeks of a much needed vacation, Sissy was coming home from San Diego for almost 4 weeks (yay!!) and I was racing my first Rev 3 race in Maine.
Sissy arrived home on Aug. 15 and my last day of work was Aug. 17.  We spent the first few days catching up over some vino, getting in some light training, and of course lounging on the beach! I also had to take care of the usual pre race stuff which always causes a little bit of added stress. Sissy and I (and the pups, P&R) headed up to Maine on Thurs., Aug. 23 (Mom arrived on Friday) and the race was on Sunday, Aug. 26. The race was held in Old Orchard Beach, but since I was on vacation and have never been to Maine, I decided to make a mini trip out of it and we stayed in Kennebunkport for the week. I absolutely loved it, Kennebunkport is such a cute little town and the R&R with my mom, sis & pups pre-race was just what I needed.


I typically don't race in August. In previous years, I would race a lot early in the season and after a July race, I would take a little break, then in August re-focus for my fall Ironman. However, with my early season injury I didn't get in much racing, so I really wanted to get in one more race before Kona. I wasn't racing Vegas this year since Coach and I had decided at the beginning of the season I would skip it this year so I had turned down my slot at Racine. And it is also my sister in laws baby shower - I can't wait to be an aunt!!  I had never done a Rev 3 race, and with the addition of the race in Maine this year, I thought this would be a great August race, just a 5 hour drive from home, and it didn't disappoint.
Ok...onto the deets of the race. On Friday morning before the race I woke up feeling like I was getting sick (Ugh). It wasn't one of those things where I couldn't get myself out of bed, but I just didn't feel right, everything I did seemed to just take a little more effort than normal and I got very winded and wasn't feeling great during my pre-race shakeout workouts. But I tried to just ignore it and hope that on race day it would miraculously go away. Well, not so much. I woke up on Sunday feeling exactly the same way. Again, not so bad that I would skip the race, but I definitely wasn't feeling 100%. I tried to put it out of my head and focus on the race.  I stuck to my normal pre race routine and everything went smoothly and before I knew it I was in the water and off we went.
The swim was an ocean swim and I typically don't have great swims in the ocean. I guess not being a very strong swimmer (and one who doesn't train for the swim much) I have a tougher time than in a nice calm lake, so I knew regardless of how I felt I wasn't going to be setting any records on this swim. A few hundred meters in I was already realizing this little "sickness" was going to cause me some issues -I was having a really tough time breathing and at one point had to turn over and float on my back to catch my breath. I did contemplate if I should call it a day, but I turned back over and continued on with my swim. I came out of the water in 37:26, not a great swim for me but was to be expected. I saw Mom, Sis & the pups as I ran into T1 and there was no smile or wave for them like I usually do. I knew this was going to be a tough day for me.

The Bike...I honestly can't even tell you much about the bike course. I was just focused on getting through the 56 felt like one of the longest rides of my life. I didn't feel great and I couldn't wait for it to be over. My heart rate was very high for the effort and watts I was putting out, and I was still having trouble breathing. Going into the race, I was really excited to see what kind of bike time I could put up. I am loving my new Trek SC (Teddy), my bike training has been going well and was hoping for a solid bike time. I know my bike time was totally not reflective of my current bike fitness and I was bummed not to have the ride I am capable of. But I'm hopeful that I'll have a good ride sooner rather than later :) Kona, would be a good time for my bike fitness to make an appearance!
Entering T2, I saw my fam and again I couldn't muster a smile for them. I knew when I set out on this run, it was all going to come down to a mental battle for me. I was clearly not having the race I was hoping for with a crappy swim and bike (according to my own expectations for myself on this day) and as the day progressed, the worse I felt. My body was screaming at me to get back to bed!  I slipped on my pink Newtons, ran out of T2 and was hoping for some magic on this run. At about 1/4 mile, I saw my great support team again cheering for me, at this point I yelled to them that I wasn't feeling well and for about the first mile I can't lie I was battling the negative thoughts of just calling it a day. But then I realized that a DNF in my last race before Kona would not be the mental confidence builder I wanted going into that race. I had no idea how where I was in relation to the other girls in the race or what place I was in.  I just had to focus my energy on trying to pass as many girls as I could and within the first few miles I passed a bunch of girls which helped motivate me to continue plugging along.  As I approached the finish line I noticed one more girl ahead of me who seemed within reach.  I told myself 'you will pass her, you will pass her or you will pass out trying.'   Turns out, it was a matter of 4th place overall vs. 5th place overall.  I had no idea if it was for 10th overall or 3rd overall, but I was really happy that after such a tough day mentally (and physically of course) I still had it in me to make that last push.

                                 If you look close at finish line photos, Riley made the jumbo tron pic with me :)

Once I crossed the finish line, I completely let go of any negative thoughts about this race.  No, I didn't have the race I wanted or knew I was capable of, but not every race can be our perfect race. With Kona 6 weeks away, I chose to focus only on the positives:
1. On a day where I felt like total crap and wanted to quit during the swim and bike, I dug deep and didn't fall apart on the run, I managed to finish stronger than I started.
2. I ran my way from about 15th off the bike to 4th overall with the fastest female run split of the day.
3. Even on a bad day, I was able to eek out a sub 5 hour finish and finish in the top 5 overall and top 3 in AG.
4. I am incredibly proud of my ability to stay mentally strong and run my way through the field on a day when I was feeling less than 100%. I know this mental strength will serve me well in Ironman.
As soon as I crossed the finish, I went over to the Normatec booth to try out the recovery boots..and things ever - I totally felt a difference in my recovery after this race. I. MUST. GET. A. PAIR. 
I can't say enough great things about this race...Rev 3 puts on a fantastic race and I can't wait for next year...I'll be back.  The volunteers were amazing and Old Orchard Beach really seemed to welcome us with open arms!  I'm also excited that I won a free entry to a Rev 3 race of my choice next year for my 1st in AG finish (yes, technically was 2nd, but Rev 3 has top 3 overall awards, so a girl in my AG was top 3 which moved me to 1st in AG for awards).  
Now, I'm back to work and the next 6 weeks will be super busy, work gets chaotic (think loooong days in the office) again between now and the holidays.  I need to get focused for Kona, so its time to put my head down and do my very best to fit in good solid training (quality over quantity!) around work. Its back to getting to bed at midnight and up at 4:30 am.  There are no 20+ hour training weeks for this girl.  Literally, I am lucky if I get in 15 hours, and a typical week is more like 12 hours of training and I rarely am able to fit in everything my coach has on my schedule.  Yup, its those swims that most often get missed, and many many workouts getting rearranged to fit in whenever I can.   Feeling stressed already and I'm just back from 2 weeks vaca!!  In 2 weeks I'm heading to San Diego to visit sissy and get in some training in sunny SoCal.  Followed by a local sprint race where I'll attempt to defend my title from last year, and then its off to Kona.
Thanks everyone for your support, especially the super fast girls at Rev 3 Maine that motivated me to push my limits and keep fighting on a tough day, my Mom, Sissy and P&R for being the best cheerleaders, and my Coach and Sponsors for their continued support on this journey.


                                     The Candy lover in me couldn't wait for post race to visit "The Sugar Shack"