Saturday, July 23, 2011

Three Races in a Month...Yikes!

So it has been a couple months since my last blog. Guess I better get on it! Ironman training has taken up a lot of my time and in full effect! I went home to Iowa for ten days to visit my family and friends the end of May/beginning of June. It’s always nice to get home and I got a lot of family time. There still never seems to be enough time to see all my friends I’d love to see! My mom and I got some good shopping in, got to catch up with my brother and take him out to eat for graduating from Iowa State University (way to go Ty!), lots of movies were watched with family , wine night with one of my best friends, Marci, and just some nice relaxation time with everyone. Our good friends from Texas were even in town so it was perfect timing and we got to hang out with them for an afternoon.
My mom and I w/the Thompson's

My dad and I after our 95 mile ride.
 Since I was going to have some more free time to get in some training in the mornings, Mackenzie put some extra workouts on my schedule. While I was back I got in over 200 miles on my bike! I had such a great time riding with my dad and some of his friends. I sent our friend Kendall my training plans and he put together some great routes. He even did my intervals with me! My dad got to show off his new bike and would all of a sudden go all out passing us all every now and then. I guess I know where I get my competitive side from! 

My dad’s 60th birthday was on June 5th so I planned a surprise party for him the evening before at Jax, a restaurant in Marshalltown. So many of my dad’s friends and family showed up. My brother had helped me decorate the party room and then we went and got my dad. Right as we were pulling up in the parking lot he started pointing out cars that he recognized and was saying, “Oh so and so must be eating here.” I was so worried the surprise was blown but when he walked in and saw everyone, he was totally shocked! He had absolutely no idea….success! :) The evening was spent having some good food and a few beers hanging out with everyone. The next day I had a sprint triathlon, Pigman, which was an hour and a half away outside of Cedar Rapids. My dad had told me he wanted to come watch me race, but he didn’t know anything about his party. So, I couldn’t say anything and just told him that night that he didn’t have to come if he was going to be too tired. He was a trooper though and we both set off for the race at 4:30am!

My dad's 60th bday party.

This was my first sprint triathlon ever! I had heard that it’s pretty much a suffer fest the whole time if you are racing all out so was a bit worried what it would feel like. Especially, after putting in over 200 miles on the bike that week. I decided to sign up for this race since I’d have my bike while I was back and there were some great cash prizes for the overall top five winners. I decided to try racing in the elite amateur category. I knew I’d definitely be the last one out of the water but thought it would be fun to try. There ended up only being five women in this category. It was really cool to be the only five starting out in the swim wave. It was also funny to me to see the swim turn around just 250 meters out. Ha I’ve never seen that before! I may not be a super fast swimmer, but I sure as heck like just swimming 500 meters! No time to even get freaked out in the open water in this race. ;) There was a guy taking pictures at the start, so I finally have some really cool swim start pictures.

The gun went off and we’re off! As expected, I was the last one out but that’s ok. It was such a fun start and wonderful not getting knocked around in the swim! I passed one of the elite women after about five miles and then I just couldn’t get the power to reel the other four in. They were phenomenal at all three disciplines. My legs just wouldn’t go on the few uphills and I had a lot of lactic acid buildup. The run went great! I felt really good and ended up keeping a 6:48 ave. (My Garmin read – 6:41 pace for 3.23 miles but guess some of that was through transition. Shucks!) I ended up 4/5 for the elite amateur category and had thought I was 4th overall to win $150. When my dad and I came back out to read the results we saw that two age groupers had beat me. So, that bumped me out of the prize money. I was hoping to win at least $100 to pay for putting my bike on the plane. ;) (Which by the way ended up costing me $200 on United because my case was a little over 50 lbs. What a rip!)

After the race
This ended up being a fun first sprint race and was great having my dad out there cheering me on! The sprint distance is definitely not my race but I’m happy with 6th overall. My dad and I stopped and got a delicious Maid Rite and chocolate shake on the ride home. Thanks for spending your 60th bday cheering me on at my race dad!!  (side note…since my dad has turned 60 he has won his age group at three 5k’s and was 3rd overall at one of them. He has a few more on the schedule and this time he’s not going to ride 20 miles to get to it and save his legs a bit.)

The weekend after Pigman, I had Eagleman 70.3 on the schedule. Many of my friends asked me, “Why in the world would you want to sign up for this race again?!)  It was over 100 degrees last year with the heat index and a really long swim. This race pissed me off so I wanted revenge. ;) Well, after doing this race again, I will not be going back for quite some time. I never have a good swim in the Choptank and once again no wetsuits were allowed. I think the current threw me off because I had a slower time than what I had anticipated based on my time at Kinetic. The bike went alright but was hoping for a little bit faster split than last year since my biking has improved. My run was definitely better than the previous year, but not where I wanted to be. After I got out of the swim, I was mentally let down and I think this followed me through the rest of the race. I felt like I was having to play catch up the whole time and just didn’t have the mental toughness in me. The run is in the sun on black top the whole 13.1 miles and during the second half, I started walking through the water stops. I think I was consuming too much water and Gatorade because I got side stitches with two miles to go. My left hamstring was also starting to really hurt…probably from grinding away on the flat bike course. That seems to always bother it. I knew I wasn’t setting a PR and figured I’d still be able to get in by 5:15:00. So, I slowed to a walk with one mile to go to try to shake the side stitch and hammy pain.  I just wanted to see that finish line so pushed it in the last half mile and ended up finishing in 5:12:54. Not bad, but signed up for this race with the hopes of breaking five hours. I will not go back for revenge next year though!

Race #3 the following weekend, DC Triathlon! Yes, that’s right you read correctly, three races in a row. Some might say that’s ambitious, others may say it’s stupid and a little crazy. I’m going with the latter. I had already signed up for Eagleman last year before knowing I was going to be on the DC Tri Team. The DC Triathlon is one of the team’s key races so I decided to see how it would go even after such crazy training and racing the past several weeks. My race report can be found on the DC Tri site with this link:

Crazy ass HEAT!!
It is now less than six weeks out from Ironman Louisville! I will be blogging again in the next few days about how the long training has been going and a few things I have had to do to keep my body trekking along (dry needling at Sports & Spinal PT, my wonderful chiropractor, Dr. Beck and massages!) We have been having record breaking heat the past few days with the temperature hitting 115-120 with the heat index. This has made training a bit difficult to say the least!

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