Monday, July 28, 2014

Top Gun Sprint Triathlon Race Report 2014

Happy tri-versary to me! Top Gun Sprint Triathlon is always my anniversary into the madcap world of triathlon. This is my fifth year competing and this race holds a special place in my heart. Every year I love racing at Ft. De Soto and seeing so many friends. I also love adding my times to my Top Gun annual race spreadsheet. Nerd alert!
Going into Saturday's race I really wanted to PR and run low to sub eight minute miles. I also wanted a faster bike split because in my brain I thought since I've been cycling so much it would be faster for sure, right? Eh.....
Pre race with the S.O. and some pink cap buddies.
The Swim
Upon arriving at the race I had a couple of thoughts on my mind about the swim. First off, my wave of pink capped women was ages 20-39. Holy moly, that's a lot of ladies starting a swim together - for only 440 yards. Second, transition had been moved farther away due to the construction of the parking lot it was normally held in. It was going to be a long run to T1.
I lined up in the front and figured if any faster ladies were behind me, they'd just have to swim over me cause there was no way I was getting caught in the back this year.
As the horn sounded, we took off en masse and it was a cluster. There were arms, legs, feet, and bodies everywhere. It was the most chaotic swim start I've ever had to deal with. I usually tell people that the swim isn't as bad as they make it out to be. Well, this one was. I fought to find clean water and I don't think I hit any until I was half way into the swim. As soon as I got some breathing room, I saw gold caps from the wave in front of us. I had to weave around them and one gentleman in particular was breast stroking and I got his toenail right to my face. Ew. That's a first. Fortunately, there wasn't a scrape or anything, it just made me laugh.
I didn't PR the swim, but it was a solid effort and I'm happy with where I got out of the water amongst my age group. Top ten is pretty standard for me at this point.
Swim Time: 8:39 (7/53)
As I mentioned earlier, the run to our bikes was longer than previous years so I really tried to hustle. I PR'd this somehow over last year so I assume that means I only made mini-sandwiches. Yay!
T1 Time: 3:47
The Bike
I was pumping hard when I first got going on the bike and I think we had a tailwind heading toward the turn around. This bike course is roughly 9.6 miles, even though they say it's a "ten mile" bike ride. It's a long, flat out and back with a large U-turn.
My legs were burning the entire ride. I tried to keep it above 19 and felt that I should be going faster but my legs were not having it. Not one tiny bit. I am going to assume that since I've been riding long and slower I just wasn't warmed up. Who knows really. I passed a lot of people but got passed by at least three women in my age group. I was only 37 seconds slower than my time last year so that's not too bad.
Coming into T2.
Bike Time: 28:38 (17/53)
9.6 miles at 20.1 MPH
I'm really happy with this time. I used my running shoes with regular laces versus the fast laces but otherwise I think I did good (for me) hustling out of T2.
T2 Time: 1:36
The Run
For some reason I had big plans for this run. I really wanted to PR this course and run sub 8's or close to. Unfortunately, the course was long so while it was a pace PR it wasn't a course PR. I had messed up my Garmin so I had to re-set it as I ran along out of transition. I started really feeling the warmth of the day around the second mile. Fortunately, it was overcast so that helped a ton! I was hoping I could catch some more women from my age group on the run, but man these ladies are fast! I only passed one woman from my age group and that was around mile two.
As I was running toward the finish, I heard people cheering for a friend named Jessica in my age group who was behind me. I sprinted that final stretch because I had no clue how close she was behind me. This woman is so fast, I was being cautious by killing myself. Haha. (She beat my run time by three minutes!) It was a good reminder to me that I need to kick it in at the end regardless, cause man she was close!
Run Time: 26:19 (12/53)
3.26 miles at 8:04 per mile
Overall Time: 1:08:56
11/53 in Age Group
First tri for Cheryl! So proud of her!

Me & Keara, speedy girl got 7th in our AG!
Overall Thoughts and spreadsheet!
I have mixed feelings about Saturday. On the one hand, I'm happy I raced almost identically to last year with a run PR. On the other hand, I sorta feel like I should have been faster and really wanted to go top ten. On the third hand (uh, what?), I know that I'm tired from all of the extra training I've been doing and this more than likely played a part in my results. I did have a fantastic time post race with all my friends and I will be back next year for that top ten spot! I'm coming for it Top Gun!
I should make 1:08 my lucky number.
Thanks for reading! Hope you all hade great weekends!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

What training for an ironman looks like in gifs








What I hope finishing looks like!


Monday, July 21, 2014

Weekend Recap - 100 miles done!

Well hello friends. I hope you all great weekends! I am sure you will shocked to hear that I worked out. A lot. Did you know that triathlon clothing is trying to kill me?
Let me back up a bit, before I get into that story.
Friday night was a girl's night out that took place at a tri shop and ended by 8:30 pm. My kind of Friday! We got to chat, eat some snacks, drink some wine, and check out all the goodies Top Gun Triathlon store has to offer. It was a super fun night!
Thanks for hosting us Keara!
Saturday morning was a glorious six mile run, since I did my long run during the week, followed by a mile and a half open water swim. Both the swim and run felt great and it was so nice to get home before noon. The S.O. and I went to see the new monkey movie (Planet of the Apes something or other) and it was surprisingly good. Who'd have known?
Saturday's run and swim group.
On Sunday, I was ready to tackle my first 100 miler of my training plan. I had hit 90 miles on a ride last month so I knew I could do it, but I was still pretty nervous on Sunday morning. I planned my nutrition out so that I ate as much as I will eat during the ironman. My coach and I estimated the standard 250 calories per hour. I had a combo of gels, blocks, bars, and liquid calories. My friend Hugo was in for the full 100 with me and we had Tori and Patrick for 75 of it, plus quite a few others for about 30-50 based on where they headed back on the trail.
Pringles made an awesome late-ride treat!
I wound up having a really great century ride. I ate all my calories and didn't have any tummy issues. We had to stop a few times due to a flat tire and refilling water bottles and whatnot but I am happy to report that this ride felt good for the duration. Sure I was ready to be done toward the end but my rear end and legs seemed to hold up fine. The only issue was (see first paragraph) that my bike shorts gave me a rash along the rubber around the bottom of the leg. You know the part that keeps them from riding up?
After we finished riding, I told Hugo I thought I had some 3rd degree burns or something and he let me know that it was a rash from the bike shorts and he gets it too. I've worn these shorts countless times and this is the first time this has ever happened with them. However, this is the second skin rash I've gotten from triathlon clothing. I got a really bad rash from a swimsuit a few months ago. Oy. Triathlon clothing is trying to kill me.
Huge thanks to Hugo for sticking with me for the whole 100! He helped add on the 10 miles I needed when I wasn't quite sure how to get those in on the trail. It worked out perfectly and I got to see a whole new section I've never ridden before. (And thanks to Team Kool-Aid and the A-Train for joining and coordinating!)
Post ride delirium with Hugo.
I'm feeling really happy about my training right now. I have a sprint tri on Saturday so my long run may get a bit stunted but I'm ok with that for this week. Saturday's race is my yearly sprint tri that marks my tri-versary. I can't believe this will be my 5th year of triathlon!
I have a question for you ironman finishers about race day clothing. For those of you who completed the 140.6 in the same outfit, how did it go? Where did you hold all of your nutrition? I'm still debating the clothing change thing. I want to be comfortable and I don't really care about time loss in transitions, but the girly-girl in me wants to wear my cute kit. What say you all?
Happy Monday! 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

It's just emotion...

Training for any race can be emotional. I have trained for countless races and I've hit some rough patches here and there. I'm emotional, what can I say? So, I suppose I should have realized that in training for an ironman, which is eleven thousand more miles than anything else I've ever trained for, I'd be kind of a mess.
I always put pressure on myself to perform at certain paces or speeds during workouts and when I can't hit those paces I get pretty upset. I'm learning to let that go, now more than ever. I've had some low days where I don't want to get up and I am so tired I forget to bring a towel to the pool. I have also suffered through a long runs that have left me miserable and whiny. And I have ridden my bike into the wind while cursing like a merchant marine.
I am out there. I am running. I am swimming. I am biking. I am still putting in the mileage and doing work. I may not be the Flash, but that's the thing about ironman training, it's really hard. It's harder than I think I realized and I'm really understanding what my friends who paved this path before me went through. It's hard to empathize until you are there. I am finally feeling like I'm more in a groove and I'm enjoying seeing just how far I can push myself. I'm also still wrapping my brain around 2.4, 112, and 26.2. How will I do that?
I work full time. I am a girlfriend, a sister, a daughter, and a friend. And I forget to give myself credit for trying to do all of this and be all of this when I am also working out 10 to 14 hours per week. I place humility very high on things I respect in others, but I know now that a good self congratulatory pat on the back is needed on those days when it's a real effort to get in a post work training session.
The other thing is that I've been training with blinders on and just going day by day without thinking about the end goal. Meghan, reminded me of this today when she talked about how amazing it will be to see our friends and family along the course. She is SO right. The end goal is that finish line. When I hear my name called, added by YOU ARE AN IRONMAN, all the work will be more than worth it.