My first 140.6 :) Pre-race report here: in which I freak out, a lot.
Swim: 1:16:15 (1:58/100m)
So happy with this! No waves, no glare from the sun, easy rectangle course, and very little contact. I did get jostled a few times, but for the most part I was swimming with people my speed and my biggest concern was finding nice feet. Very uneventful.
I actually kind of missed the swim being a little more difficult – current! weird turns! lots of craziness! I got a little bored toward the end there. But on a 2.4 mile swim I guess that’s to be expected.
I had experienced the time trial start at Rev3 Half Full last year and loved it, so I was glad to see the same format here. It really does spread people out more, especially with a seeded start time.
I love the transition tent volunteers! I was helped by a MMTC friend and I was just so happy to see someone I knew. The biggest mistake I saw in transition last year when volunteering was people bringing too much stuff with them, and having too many decisions to make, so I only packed one ”maybe” item, my rain jacket, which I opted not to wear. Everything else
came with me.
I had used TriSlide under my wetsuit to prevent chafing – last race I got a pretty bad spot on my neck because I forgot – and it was awesome! Literally zero chafing the whole race. The combo of Pearl Izumi tri kit + tri slide to prevent wetsuit rubbing = no worries.
Bike: 7:04:00 (15.85mph)
I have never biked 112 miles that fast in my life. I had planned to average 15 on the first loop… and did 16… Which worried me a bit, I wanted to take it easy on the bike to have legs left for the run, but I felt that my effort level was at the right level, even if my speed was higher than I thought it would be.
The hands down coolest part of the bike was going up the three bears on the first loop. I felt like I was winning the Tour de France based on the spectator support out there. Thank you MMTC for putting up an amazing showing there! I also loved that I got to see my dad at the end of both loops :)
I was very worried about the descent into Keene, and was glad that it was so much less scary when we had 1-1.5 lanes and no car traffic to worry about. The out and backs were flat and fast, and the hills didn’t seem so bad after the Shenandoah ride.
One thing I’m really proud of on this bike was that my splits were so close together. 3:28 for the first loop and 3:36 for the second. Not bad! I used Powerbar Blasts on the bike, and they did great. I like how easy they are to eat – I can pop a bunch of them in my bento box and not have to worry about unwrapping them or whatever. Plus, you can ‘t beat cola flavor.
As much fun as the bike ride was I was pretty glad to get off. At that point I felt like the probability of DNFing had gone down significantly. I had been so worried about a mechanical or a crash knocking me out of the race that it was a relief to get off the bike with no problems at all!
Tri club friend to the rescue again! I felt like I was being disassembled and reassembled by some sort of amazing volunteer machine. Before I knew it I had my run stuff on and was heading out on the run course.
Run: 5:30:50 (12:37/mi)
Pretty much what I expected here. I’ve never done a marathon, so I had no idea what its like to run more than 20 miles, much less 26.2 after a long bike ride. My strategy was to take it slow and steady, and finish feeling happy. There will be other races where I can push myself (Rev3 Cedar Point 2014?!?!??!), but you only have one first time and I wanted it to be a good experience :)
The run was definitely a “survival” game. The first 6 miles flew by (they’re kind of down hill and I always feel fast – too fast – coming off the bike). I saw my dad at the turnaround and told him the second loop might be slow…
There was a lot of walking that second loop. I wish I could say I was as mentally tough and didn’t break my plan to only walk the water stops but I did walk between stops, up hills mostly. I thought the turn around on River Road would NEVER come! I didn’t like that section of the course – out in the middle of nowhere with very little crowd support. But I was doing math the whole time, figuring out what my finish time would be. I realized that a sub-15 would be doable! And that made me ecstatic.
I kind of got into a groove of “get to the next aid station, fix whatever went wrong in the in-between, and then worry about the next mile” which worked pretty well for me. I wanted to push it and keep running, but I wasn’t sure how my stomach was going to do in the late miles and didn’t want to set myself up for a bad experience by going too fast. Looking back, I could have maybe pushed myself harder and been okay, but I’m glad I played it safe.
As I got back into town I could not stop smiling. Pretty sure everyone on the hill back into town thought I was manic. That out and back on mirror lake drive is evil, and never-ending. I looked down at my watch with 1 mile to go and saw “13:50″… hmm, can I run 1 mile in under 10 minutes in order to maybe go sub-14? The answer to that question was “no. not even close.” :P
I saw the turn where they send the 1st loopers to the left and the 2nd loopers to the right to finish and that’s when it hit me. I was finishing! I picked up my speed and ran through the oval and heard my name announced – And then I saw my dad who I think may have climbed over other catchers to get to me first. He put my medal on :) And it was a happy moment.
Finish: 14:03. Totally crushed that 14:25 “best case scenario” :D
I spent some time at the finish post-race talking to my dad and other racers, but eventually I just got too darn cold and had to go home. I watched the finish from my computer back at the house and got to sleep sometime around 1. At 4am I was awake again – Lizzy and I were texting at 4 because we both couldn’t sleep!
The next day was the awards ceremonies. Where they showed the video with me crying through my interview THREE times. :P Anyway, this was entirely unexpected – if I had finished with 14:03 in last year’s field, I would have been so far off the podium I couldn’t even see it. I guess it just depends on who shows up! I ended up taking 2nd place in my AG, which was pretty freakin cool.
I want to thank a ton of people. My parents, for supporting me through my training – my mom who always seemed to invite me over for dinner on days where I had long crazy workouts and didn’t feel like cooking or myself, and my dad who always made an effort to join me for parts of my long rides and runs so I wouldn’t be too lonely. And who also was the world’s best sherpa during race week.
Thanks to my MidMaryland friends for getting me to do this, and all our awesome training together. Thank you to all of the MMTC family who came out and volunteered or spectated at the race, it was great to see you guys on the course! Thank you to my coach Jeff Kline who got me to the start line injury free, just like he promised a year ago :)
And thank you to Rev3 for all the amazing support this year – I loved reading tweets and fb posts from my teammates cheering me on! Although I have to say I’m getting pretty spoiled doing all these Rev3 events, I missed all the touches that make Rev3 so awesome.
Which brings me to… I want to do another one of these! Cedar Point 2014?!?!