Race Report: PolarBear Sprint Tri

On Saturday I completed my first tri of the season! Last week I was going to write a goals post for the PolarBear, but then I realized I didn’t even train for this race and thus I had no real goals. This race really just snuck up on me. I registered for it back in December when it first opened for registration, and then I forgot about it until about two weeks ago.

I hadn’t swam in almost two months, I rode my bike outside for the first time this year a week ago and also did my first and only brick prior to this race then as well. Nothing like being super prepared for this race! I raced the PolarBear last year and had a decent race, even with my knee injury. Last year I thought I was going to DNF because I could barely run. This year at least my knee was fine. I was just worried about my severe lack of fitness.

Before the masses hit the pool

Before the masses hit the pool

The Swim

Since this is a pool swim there were 10 waves of swimmers that spanned from 8:30-10:30am. I racked my bike around 7:45am and then had to wait until 10:30 to swim, because I was so lucky and was assigned the last swim wave. Urgh! Most people were done with the race even before I started. Reason number one I hate pool swim tris. I swam for the first time in about 2 months on Wednesday night. I knew going into the PolarBear that was swim was going to bad. That is was. I shared a lane with another girl who totally lapped me. At least I flip-turned the entire 525 yards! I’m the type of swimmer that needs a lot of warm-up time before I can settled in and find my groove. I’m a much better open-water swimmer as well, since I suck at kicking. I felt like drowning throughout the swim, but managed to muscle my way through it. I was never out of breath so I could have pushed it a bit more, but I just wanted to survive in one piece. Last year I swam a 9:20 or 1:47/100 yard pace. This year I was definitely slower.

Swim: 9:54 (1:53/100 yds) 5/15 AG; 114/253 OA

The Bike

The only bike that I have ridden in 2 months was a spin bike. I was doing super good building back my power from December to mid-February and then I stopped. I rode my bike for the first time outside (and in 2 months) last Sunday. I had no expectations for this bike leg. I just didn’t want to embarrass myself too much. I made a quick transition. On the way out of transition I lost the straw to my water bottle and thus had no way to drink any water on my bike. I was super thirsty too, so this was not a pleasant situation. It was only 11 miles and I could get water at mile 1 of the run. I survived. There was quite a headwind on the bike course. I don’t remember it being this bad last year, but maybe it was. At least it had warmed up a bit during my 3 hour wait! A few guys passed me on the bike and I played cat-and-mouse with another woman racked next to me in transition. She passed me and then I quickly passed her again. She passed me again about half way through the course. As she rode by me she commented that I was tough to catch. I later caught up to her in T2 so she didn’t finish much before me. I had a decent bike considering very little training. Last year I finished the bike in 36:06 and this year I finished in 36:47. I was only about 40 seconds slower this year so I’ll take it! And as a bonus, I averaged 142 watts with a VI of 1.05. That’s really good for me!

Bike: 36:47 (18.8mph) 2/15 AG; 126/253 OA

The Run

Last year I wasn’t even sure if I would be able to run. This year I knew I could, but it would be slower than molasses! I’ve been running a few times a week lately, but focused on slow, MAF training style to build my aerobic base. I haven’t done any speed work since 2012. I felt okay on the run. I was in a comfortable pace. I wasn’t out of breath, but it was work. I could have pushed it more, but I just went with it. I passed some people and a few guys passed me. For the most part I was running alone. There were no age group marking on the legs this year, which I did not like. I could not tell who was in my age group. I passed the woman who I played cat-and-mouse with on the bike. I chatted with her for a minute or two and then finally passed her for good. Most of the run course is on trails and grass. It’s not my favorite footing. I’d much rather run on pavement. Last year I managed to hobble a 28:04 run with my knee injury. This year I was slower at 28:36, but I’m pretty sure it was long this year. My Garmin read 3.2 miles instead of the supposed 3 miles.

Run: 28:36 (9:32/mile) 6/15 AG; 146/253 OA

Overall, it was an okay race. I didn’t have high expectations for this race since I didn’t train for it. Honestly, I thought about skipping it, but decided to use it to “brush off the dust” and perhaps motivate myself to begin training more seriously for Timberman 70.3 in August. But, right now, my focus is on my upcoming vacation to Belize and Guatemala in a week! I ended up placing 3rd in my age group and finishing in 1:17:47. Last year I finished in 1:15:44. I was within a minute of the 2nd place girl as well. Next race is most likely the Norway Tri in July. Maybe I’ll actually traing for this one…

My "trophy"

My “trophy”

Finish: 1:17:47; 3/15 AG; 41/119 W; 132/253 OA

~ Happy Training!


A Year in Review: 2013 – Part I

Since today is the last day of 2013 I should probably start my Year in Review posts. Hmm… I’ll keep this one to more of the highlights and photos. But, 2013 was a good year. It started off a bit rough, but ended with many good things happening. I can’t complain.



January was a month of ups and downs. I just finished my MPH degree in December and began my job search. Some decisions made by my boss at work made me extremely stressed since I wasn’t sure I was going to have a job. This caused me become sick often, which hindered a lot of my tri training, which began on the 1st of the year. Things at the gym were also unusually slow so professionally and financially I was stressed. However, I got my degree in the mail so it made things more real!


Picking the pace up!

Picking the pace up!

I ran the annual Mid-Winter Classic 10-Miler again. It went way better than my disaster of 2012 race where I ran sick and came really close to DNFing. However, I still treated the day more of a training run than anything because I was learning I lost all my running aerobic fitness over my Fall running hiatus due to plantar fasciitis. I also learned important lessons in time management. Working three jobs and training for an Ironman is not fun or easy to do.


My mother, my sister and I (1989)

My mother, my sister and I (1989)

Azul and I celebrated our One Year anniversary. I love that bike! I also celebrated the 4 year anniversary of my mother passing, which is never easy to do. I miss her everyday.




I started April off with a bang! I ran the Race the Runways Half-Marathon again, this time as a training run. It was insanely cold and windy, but I had great company throughout the race. The next day I developed a 102 fever and was out for a couple of days. Go figure! Towards the end of the month I began to develop a bit of a twinge in my right knee. I also went to the USAT Level One Coaching clinic and became a certified coach!


Tammy, Myself, Marisa, and Beth - all taking home hardware after a great race!

Tammy, Myself, Marisa, and Beth – all taking home hardware after a great race!

That twinge in my right knee developed into full-fledge IT-Band issues that plagued me for the rest of the summer. I managed to race the PolarBear Tri… barely. Miraculously, I placed 3rd in my age group.


Okay, not from my rides this week... but from the Patriot Hald Aquabike

Patriot Half Aquabike

My run training was extremely limited. I saw my chiropractor at least once a week to help heal my IT-Band issues. I dropped down from the Half-Ironman to the Half Aqua Bike at the Patriot Half. I had a good day, pacing myself like I would at Lake Placid. However, I almost ran over both turkeys and geese on the bike.



I became an Ironman! I celebrated yet another epic 4th of July with my favorite family and began my final build to the big day. My Ironman day went as planned. My knee held out to mile 18ish of the run before I was forced to walk the rest of the way, but I finished my goal, and that was to become an Ironman.


Enjoying a day at the beach

Enjoying a day at the beach

August was a recovery month. I spent a lot of time with friends and family. Towards the end of the month I began running again slowly just to rebuild my horrible running fitness. I had several promising job interviews. I also left my job at the gym I was working at to go off on my own to start my own business.


An example of pubis symphysis seperation - clearly an extreme case (Source)

An example of pubis symphysis separation – clearly an extreme case (Source)

I finally got offered a job! A great deal of stress was lifted off of me. I continued running easily until my pelvis decided to twist itself again. Awesome. I then began another running hiatus and began my yoga addiction.



Hot Yoga Time!

I became addicted to hot yoga and it was fabulous. I saw my chiropractor at least once a week to convince my pelvis not to split into two. I was happy as a clam at my new job and I joined the Junior League of Portland, Maine.


One of my favorite quotes of the year!

One of my favorite quotes of the year!

I continued with my yoga binge, loving every minute of it. I was slowly cleared to return to “normal” training. I mostly rode my bike, but ran a few times. It hurt.


Skiing at Shawnee Peak

Skiing at Shawnee Peak

I skied for the first time since my mother died almost five years ago with a friend. More to come of this in the next week or so. I’ve slowly been building my aerobic base again, mostly through cycling.

~ Happy Training and Happy 2014!!

Year in Triathlon – 2013

I always enjoy writing yearly recaps. It think it’s fun to look back and see what I have or have not accomplished over the year. I plan to do a longer and more involved post next week about my year, since some pretty big life events occurred. In the meantime, here is a fun running/triathlon related year review questionnaire from Miss Zippy.

Best race experience?


Hands down, it was Ironman Lake Placid. Even though my race day expectations weren’t quite as I imagined at the beginning of 2013 (thank you IT Band/knee!), I went into the day with the goal of just finishing and enjoying the day. You can catch up on my race reports and reflections here:

IMLP Race Report I

IMLP Race Report II

Ironman Lake Placid: The Why, The Data, and The Photo I Carried

Lesson from Yoga: Just Breathe…

Best run?

This one is hard to pick since I wasn’t able to run a lot due to my IT Band problems all year. The one I remember the most was the 3 mile run of the PolarBear Tri in May. My IT Band/knee went right before the race so I honestly went into the race expecting to DNF. I hobbled out on T2 with intense pain in my right knee, but somehow managed to ignore the pain and run through it to finish 3rd in my age group. In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have run and just taken the DNF, but my ego got the best of me.

Race Report: PolarBear Tri

My best runs probably occurred the end of August into September where I was finally able to resume running relatively pain-free. I just focused on slow, steady HR-based runs to regain my aerobic fitness, then my hip decided to revolt and I was laid up with hip issues again. Overall, not the year for running for me!

Best Bike?

Okay, not from my rides this week... but from the Patriot Hald Aquabike

Patriot Half Aquabike

Hmmm… once again, none really stand out to me this year. I did log a lot of miles on my bike this year. There was one 3+ hour ride the first weekend of June, where it was 90+ degrees, and I succeed to get a nasty sunburn on my back. Ouch! The bike leg of the Patriot Half AquaBike was a fun course and I really nailed my race plan for IMLP. I also got attacked by turkeys and geese in the middle of the road!

Race Report: Patriot Half AquaBike

I rode to New Hampshire one day for an 90+ mile ride. It’s always fun to say that I rode to another state. My first 100+ mile training ride was another decent ride. I rode from my house in Gorham up the coast to Bath and back. I think I went through at least 7-8 water bottles that day.

Oh yea, I rode my bike 109 miles on Sunday...

Oh yea, I rode my bike 109 miles on Sunday…

Best swim?

I think my IMLP swim was my best swim of the year. I swam conservatively and outside the cable line in attempt to not get punched and/or swam over. It caused me to swim a little extra distance, but I met my goals and was comfortable the entire time. Plus, I got to swim with my closet 3000 friends! 🙂

Excited to swim in Sebago Lake

Excited to swim in Sebago Lake

Best new piece of gear?

My Garmin 910XT! I still suck at using it during races. Hello 112 mile T1! Ha! But, in all seriousness, I really love it, especially the swim function.

Happy birthday to me!

Happy birthday to me!

Best piece of running advice you received?

The best piece of advice I received this year was just prior to IMLP when a friend told me to enjoy the moment. You only get one first Ironman and it worth it to step back and suck the moment in. I wrote about that experience HERE.

Most inspirational runner?

I read Kilian Jornet’s book this year and he is a remarkable runner and adventurer. You can read my book review here on Run or Die. I am also a big fan of Lauren Fleshmen. Not only is she a superfast runner, a new mom, wife to pro triathlete Jesse Thomas, but she wrote this awesome piece on bodyweight perception and the media in her piece called Keeping it Real.

If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be?

Accomplishing, challenging, and thought-provoking

How was your 2013? Did you meet all your goals? What was the most memorable moment for you?

~ Happy Training!

Race Report – Ironman Lake Placid – Part II

If you missed part I of my race report then click HERE so you can read about my pre-race and swim!

The Bike

During the final lap of the swim it had started to rain a bit. Not crazy downpour rain, but enough to wet the roads. As I ran through transition a volunteer had my bike ready to go for me. I grabbed Azul from the volunteer and ran to the bike out. The mount line was a bit scary. It’s very narrow and there were a lot of people. I was nervous that I was going to run into someone or someone was going to run into me, but luckily everything was fine. The first half mile of the course is narrow with multiple sharp turns and steep hills to navigate before embarking on the actual 112 mile journey. Soon enough I found myself riding by the horse show grounds about a mile from town. It is around here that you begin climbing out of Lake Placid.

My goal for the first loop was to take it stupid-easy. The climb out of the town of Lake Placid is no joke. Once you think you get to the top and begin the descend down to Keene, you hit rollers and climb some more. The bike route was quite congested because everyone and their mother was on the bike by now! Everyone was in everyone else’s drafting zone, but how could you not be! I was getting passed on the right by impatient men. I took my time spinning up the hills. I absolutely did not want to be stupid and go out too hard and blow up later on the second lap like a lot of people tend to do.

Finally I made it to the top of the hills and began the crazy 10k descend into Keene. The roads were wet from the shower and the road conditions themself were not that great on this section of the road. I stayed to the right, sat up, and rode my damn brakes down the hills! Large men barreled by me going about mach 10 in aero. Go for it dude! But, I prefer my skin on my body if you ask me. I coasted down the hills hitting in the 30 mph and when I could I would pedal to push myself over the little rollers in the middle of the descend.

Next thing I know, I’m in Keene and making the sharp left turn towards Jay. This is the flat-ish section with nice wide shoulders. I made sure to push it here to make up for time because I knew the slow part was yet to come on the backside of the course. I stayed aero and did a lot of eating and drinking during this section. I hit the out-and-back to Ausable Forks. The road was super crowded. I passed a lot of people and was passed by a lot of people. I swear for every women in the race there had to be at least 15 men! I saw a couple of TriMoxie athletes zoom by in the other direction looking strong!

After the out-and-back section to Ausable Forks you take a sharp right up Route 86 to begin the climb into Wilmington. This is the real meat and bones of the course. As soon as you make the turn you begin a long climb. I believe it’s a cat 4 climb, but I could be wrong. This is actually my favorite climb of the whole course. I know, I’m weird. A lot of the local people who live on the route were out and cheering us on. One guy was sitting on his ATV with a cooler and sign that said “free beer.” It made me giggle.

After we climb into Wilmington and could see Whiteface Mountain in the distance we make a right-hand turn onto Hazelton Road for a 2 mile out-and-back. I made a pit-stop at this aid station to pee. As soon as I dismounted my bike and handed it to a volunteer they asked me what I needed. Just the bathroom I said. In and out and back on my bike. I looked down at one point to take a sip from my aero bottle and a volunteer had stuck a purple smiley face sticker on my bottle. It made me smile! 🙂

I reached the 4-way intersection and made the left-hand turn to begin the long climb back into town. This is the slow section of the course. Everyone’s split for the second half of the course is much, much slower than the first since you have to climb a couple thousand feet (okay, maybe not that much…) back into Lake Placid. I took my time. The wind had picked up, but I made sure to keep spinning and stay patient. That’s all you really can do. I passed our hotel on the way. Looked at it and kept going. As hard as this section of the course is, it is absolutely stunning in scenery. Lots of river and waterfall views with Whiteface mountain looming in the background.

After a long while of climbing I passed Riverside Road and knew the famous Bears were coming shortly! Almost done with the first loop! I climbed Mama Papa and Baby Papa and approached Papa Bear. People were lined up cheering you on! It was seriously like it was right out of the Tour de France. There was a guy in a bright pink speedo jumping around and with another guy holding a sign saying “smile if you wet yourself.” As I crested the hill I heard people yelling my name! I saw Pattie and Pam, friends from camp last year and TriMoxie coach Ange! I was pumped! As I made the turn by the golf course a guy rode by me saying I had quite the fan-base. Why yes sir, I do enjoy travelling with my entourage! Ha! 🙂

Top of Papa Bear (Photo Credit: Jodi Turner)

Top of Papa Bear (crooked helmet and all) (Photo Credit: Jodi Turner)

I made my way through town and stopped quickly at special needs to grab new bottles and nutrition. I forgot to put on chamois butter, which I paid for at about mile 100. The energy in town was unreal. People were screaming and cheering like we were all rock stars. I couldn’t help but smile! Just like that I was out-of-town and climbing out of Placid again. I could begin to feel the fatigue build in my legs knowing I had another 56 miles to go. Half way at least. The wind had picked up a bit. To stay focused and keep both my power and heart rate from spiking I began counting to 10 over and over again on the climbs. It helped. My power and heart rate stayed low and I felt good and strong. I began the crazy descend into Keene again this time more confident. The roads were dry and less crowded. I definitely let Azul fly more this time topping out in the low 40s before riding my brakes. The flat sections of Jay were uneventful. The second time around on the out-and-back to Ausable Forks was boring. At least it has pretty views again. I ate and drank a lot. Pissed again at an aid station.

I was playing cat and mouse with quite a few men at this point and occasionally we would chat. At one point a guy told me to go and he wasn’t afraid to be “chicked.” I noticed a lot of people on the side of the roads with flats. One guy had a broken derauiller. That sucks! Finally I hit mile 100. My crotch was killing me at this point. I couldn’t wait to get off my bike! I ran into another TriMoxie athlete Leigh around this time and we chatted a bit. She actually lives next door to my cousin. I passed and was soon climbing the bears again. Fewer people this time cheering and Papa Bear seemed to have gotten a bit bigger this time around.

Finally I rode through town again and made my way to the transition area. YES! I could get off my bike. I gave Azul to a volunteer and began running to the changing tent. A volunteer asked me if I wanted to take me shoes off. No. I’ll run with them on. A woman yelled at me to take my helmet off. Okay, but I’m pretty sure I’m not going to run a marathon with my space helmet on!

Bike: 7:11:48 (15.56 mph)

The Run

I surprisingly felt awesome coming off the bike. I was really worried prior to the race how I would feel off the bike. I knew my major limiter for the race was going to be my knee. It wasn’t going to be a question of “if“, but “when” my knee was going to give out. My knee was a bit sore during the bike portion of the race and would sometimes shoot a sharp pain up to my hip, but I generally ignored it on the bike. I changed in the women’s changing tent and made sure to grab my salt sticks this time. I forgot them on the bike and felt a bit foggy at the end. Perhaps it was from being in the same or similar position for 7+ hours!

I put my shoes on and headed out for a short 26.2 miles! My legs felt great! I kept the pace easy because I knew it was going to be a long day. I chewed on a salt stick for a bit. I don’t advise that to anyone, but I felt I needed one that badly. I ran through the mile one aid station and saw my coach and her daughter! She said I looked good. I felt good! I ran through the second water station at the horse show grounds and soon began my descend and turn onto Riverside Road. I hit the 3 mile mark quite fast. My pace was good. I kept focusing on moving forward. Mentally I was in great shape. I just kept counting the miles. 4 miles down. 5 miles down. Holy cow, this thing is going by quicker than I thought! I would run to each aid station and then walked through each one getting hydration and nutrition in at each one. I would stop and piss at a couple of the aid stations.

Around mile 5 or 6 my glutes were on fire! I guess I used them to during the bike leg to climb! My pace was slowing a bit, but I still was moving way faster than I had predicted. I walked the giant hill back up towards the horse show grounds and headed back into town. The crowds were picking up and the energy was insane. I could hit Mark Reilly announcing people as they crossed the finish line. I walked the big steep hill into town. There was a guy holding a sign saying “how does your taint feel?” I looked at him and said not good. We both laughed. I jogged through town to the out-and-back by Mirror Lake. I crossed the half-way mark and began my second loop. I still felt good.

Around mile 14 my knee started hurting. It also marked the furthest that I have EVER run in my life. This was all new territory for me. I began a run/walk method. I was hoping to run the flats and downhills and then walk the uphills. Unfortunately, I couldn’t run the big downhill over the bridge to Riverside Road. My quad was on fire and my knee did not like it. So I walked and then began jogging at the bottom. The walk/jog method worked until mile 18. At mile 18 my knee was done. I have a high pain tolerance and generally can and have run through the pain. However, at mile 18 it was a different pain. It was sharp and almost a weakness feeling, like my knee was going to give-out feeling and I was going to crumble to the floor. I began walking. I was content with this. I knew it was going to happen, but I didn’t know when. I was impressed that my knee lasted until mile 18. I was hoping for mile 20, but I’ll take 18! I could have probably have pushed through it if I really, really wanted to, but I wanted to be smart. I wasn’t going for a specific time for this race. I know that I want to be in this sport for the long-haul and I didn’t want to do permanent damage to my body.

The walk wasn’t bad. A lot of people at this point were walking. What did suck for me, was that every fiber of my body, except my knee of course, wanted to run. I probably averaged between a 14-15 minute mile moving pace. I eventually made it into town where the crowds were even larger. It was starting to get dark and I vowed that I would not finish with a glow stick in hand. I tried running a bit through town but every time I tried I would wince in pain from my knee. Finally I made it to the last turn-around and headed for my last mile through town. People were screaming my name and encouraging me to run. With about three-quarters of a mile left, I decided to suck it up and run. The pain in my knee made me wince and cry at times, but I sucked it up and ran.

The Finish

Honestly, it’s challenging to come up with words to describe my emotions as I approached the finish line. Let me start by setting up the scene for you. Lake Placid has one of the best finish lines out of all the Ironman races. You finish on the Olympic oval where they did the speed skating races during the winter olympics. The crowds of spectators and volunteers are amazing. They are lined up several people deep, all screaming your name and cheering you on. The music is blaring and you can hear Mike Reilly, the voice of Ironman, yelling “YOU ARE AN IRONMAN” as people cross the finish line. Mary and another TriMoxie athlete and soon-to-be husband of another TriMoxie athlete both told me to step back and remember the finish of your first Ironman. It’s tough to do.


 As soon as I made the turn onto the Olympic oval I knew I was almost there. A volunteer told me I was there. I was an Ironman. It hit me like a ton of bricks. People were yelling my name and cheering me on. They told me I was an Ironman. I started to choke up. I smiled. I told myself not to cry. I was in excruciating pain from my knee but I kept moving forward. I rounded the last bend and could see people crossing the line. One man in front of me did the Blazeman roll and the crowd went wild. I looked behind me to see if anyone was coming. I wanted to cross that line alone. I wanted that moment to myself. Ten feet from the line I threw my arms in the arm. I was crying. I was smiling. I honestly didn’t know what was happening. I was in a daze. I couldn’t believe that I just swam, biked, and ran 140.6 miles through the breathtaking Adirondack Mountains. Mike Reilly said those magic little words that I have been waiting to hear for the past 7 months… YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!

Two volunteers quickly grabbed me. They offered to take my timing chip, asked me how I was and what I wanted. They gave me my medal. I wanted food. I was hungry. They sat me down and got me pizza and fruit. They asked me if I wanted chocolate milk. I said “no” and secretly giggled thinking about what Vinnie Tortorich would have said about that. I sat around for a bit and then got my finisher picture taken and the wandered around a bit to find Mary and Jordan. Everyone around me kept saying “congratulations.” It.was.awesome.


Run: 5:31:54 (12:40/mile)

Total: 14:13:33 (43/68 AG; 1674/2536 OA)

 ~ Happy Training!

Race Report: Ironman Lake Placid – Part I

 Spoiler Alert: I AM AN IRONMAN!

Okay, please don’t be mad, but I’m breaking this race report into two posts since it’s going to be a long one! 140.6 miles is a long way and thus leading to a lot of my ramblings of the day.


Packing for the big day!

Packing for the big day!

 I headed to Lake Placid on Friday. I made the long drive solo listening to books on tape to make the drive go by faster. I arrived in Lake Placid about 2pm. As I drove into town I could already feel the energy of the town as more and more athletes arrived. The energy prior to an Ironman event is amazing. Lake Placid is such a magical place during Ironman week!

I immediately found a parking spot on a top of a giant hill and succeeded to head down to athlete check-in. I showed my ID, signed my life away to WTC and the State of New York, got weighed in (totally should have peed first!), got my numbers and my wrist band. I was officially checked in! Ahhh! I then headed down to the Ironman store tent to pick up my backpack. Funny how WTC placed the backpack pick up in the store tent… not like they make enough money off of us or anything….


 I quickly walked back up the giant hill to grab my wetsuit and walked down to Mirror Lake for a quick swim. The water was the perfect temperature! And completely wetsuit legal! I got in a quick 25 minute shake-out swim and felt good. I passed a bunch of guys out there on the swim who started before me so I felt pretty confident that I would have a decent swim.

After the swim I headed down to Wilmington where our hotel was located, The Hungry Trout Resort. I wouldn’t say it was a resort, more like motel, but it was decent. The beds were actually super comfortable and it was kind of nice to stay outside of town. Mary, my coach, and her daughter Jordan showed up shortly afterwards. We all settled in and then headed back to town for me to attend the Mandatory Athlete Meeting in the ice arena. It was super cool to be in the same ice arena where the 198o “miracle on ice ” occurred when the USA hockey team beat Russia to take the gold medal! I arrived a bit early and listen to some of the welcome dinner inspiration prior to the meeting. When I arrived there was a group of athletes up with Mike Reilly talking about their Ironman journeys. One young girl was from Newtown, CT and said that this race for her was for all the victims of the shooting. I teared up.

The ice arena!

The ice arena!

We had dinner at The Dancing Bear. It was fun to look around to see who had little blue bracelets indicating they were athletes. So many super fit and lean people around on expensive bikes! A bit intimating at times! Saturday morning I slept in to 7:30. I got up and started organizing my bags and getting my bike ready for bike check-in. I had organized my various bags prior to leaving home on Friday. I put items in their own paper bag so all I had to do is dump the items into their corresponding transition bags. We then headed into town for a giant breakfast. It was certainly the highlight of my week! Pancakes and a breakfast sandwich. Yummy! I dropped Azul off in transition for the night. She got a professional photo shoot prior to her entrance into the Olympic oval. I guess WTC wants to make sure everyone goes home with their correct bikes or something.

After check-in, it was back to the hotel for bed rest until dinner. We had an early dinner at the “resort” and then an early bed time. I was in bed by 7:30. I didn’t sleep too good that night. I spent a lot of it tossing and turning, but I figured this would happen so I made sure to get a lot of sleep the week before the race.

Race Morning

My first alarm went off at 2am! Yikes! I got up. Drank an Ensure and had a few handfuls of pretzels. Back to bed. More tossing and turning. Second alarm went off at 3:40am. This time it was put contacts in, put on race kit, eat more food, prepare race nutrition and bottles, and get ready to leave. Mary dropped me off at transition at 4:30am when it first opened. I saw Marisa, another TriMoxie athlete and got myself body marked. I added my race nutrition to Azul and got her tires pumped back up to psi. Next was a walk to run special needs to drop that bag off and then a walk to bike special needs to drop that bag off. Then a long wait. I got in line for a porta-pottie and then made my way down to Mirror Lake. I sat down on the grass near the warm-up area to wait about 30 minutes until warm-up time began. As I was sitting there a woman sat down next to me and asked me who my coach was because she saw my TriMoxie top. Turned out it was Mandy, Caratuck Girl! We chatted a bit and then I met another TriMoxie athlete, Robin. Soon enough it was warm-up time and then time to line-up in our appropriate time corral for the rolling start! I got in the water to get wet and get a few quick strokes in.

The Swim

I lined up in the 1:11 to 1:20 group. I estimated based on training times that I should be about the 1:15 mark. We waited a while in line. I was surrounded by a group of Aussie men joking around. Good day mate! 🙂 Finally the cannon for the age groupers went off and we slowly made our way to the start line. Finally, the volunteer’s arms dropped and it was turn to hit the water!

I quickly ran across the timer mat and hit the start button on my Garmin. I ran into the water until it was deep enough for me to dive in and start swimming. I immediately had lots of open water space. I decided to stay wide of the cable. I didn’t feel like getting punched in the face or swam over just to shave a few seconds off my time. I settled into my swim quickly and felt good. Occasionally I would run into people or feel people tapping my feet, but for the most part I had open water. There were 9 buoys out to the turn-around buoy. I definitely stayed wide of the turn buoy. Mary said that the turn buoy can be a very scary place if you’re not careful. Like the possibility of drowning scary. Yikes! Throughout the swim I keep telling myself “just keep swimming” and “to stay in the present.” I tried not to thinking about the 112 miles that I had to bike next or even the 26.2 miles I had to run later after that!

On the way back towards the beach I started to get a small cramp on the left side of my lower back. This was completely new, but I kept swimming hoping that it would disappear. It did eventually. The beach began to appear larger in the horizon and I knew I was almost done with the first lap! Things started to bottle-neck a bit at this point and I was making a bit more contact with swimmers around, but no boxing match type punches. I swam until my hand hit sand and I stood up, ran across the beach over the timing mat and jumped back into the water for my second loop.

This time I felt a bit more confident and I positioned myself closer to the cable, but still a few feet out from it. I felt a bit more contact here and managed to find some feet periodically to draft off of for a bit. I’ll take any free speed at this point! Once again, I kept telling myself to keeping swimming. I was so close to being done with the swim. It was my warm-up for everything to come. Mary told me that the real race is with the bike and run. I made it around the turn buoys again and headed for the homestretch! I picked the speed up a bit. At one point I swam into a group of about 5 large men who succeeded to sandwich me and push me a top of one of the guys. I survived and kept swimming. Finally, the beach was in sight again and I was done!

I stood up, torn my swim cap and goggles off, unzipped my wetsuit and ran to one of the wetsuit strippers to have them rip my suit off! I stood up, grabbed my suit, and started jogging the 800 meters or so to T1. My right ear was full or water and I kept trying to get it out. Into T1, grabbed my bike gear bag and ran to the women’s changing tent. I put on bike shorts, threw on my helmet, shoes, stuffed my pockets with gels and was off to grab my waiting steed.

Swim: 1:16:09 (1:58/100 meters)

 Next up: The Bike, Run, and Finish!

~ Happy Training!

Race Report: The PolarBear Sprint Tri


2013 PolarBear Tri (www.tri-maine.com)

Going into this race I wasn’t sure what to expect. Honestly, I was about 90% sure I was going to DNF after the bike due to the major knee pain that I have been having. I saw my chiropractor on Thursday and she worked things out a bit and then taped up my knee to help with the patella tracking. I woke up Friday feeling great. After work I did my quick 20 minute bike and then 10 min run. Knee felt pretty good and towards the end a bit sore. I iced and rolled before hitting the sack.

Sweet Taping Job

Sweet Taping Job

Race Morning

Woke up with a stiff knee. Awesome. Ate my breakfast and threw all my stuff into the car for the 1+ hour drive to Brunswick. The race is a pool swim and thus only 32 swimmers could be in a wave at a time. I had to be there and set up in transition but 8:10am, but my swim wave didn’t start till 10am. Lots of sitting around and chatting time. My knee was definitely sore and I was visibly limping to and from my car to get my stuff. Not a good way to start a race morning. I met up with my fellow TriMoxie athletes and also saw some other athletes mingling about all waiting for their respective wave starts.

This was my first PolarBear Tri. It is considered to be the season opener for us Mainers who have to ride our trainers all winter long and swim in the pool until June when the lake water becomes tolerable (with wetsuits of course!). This race tends to bring out the big guns in the sport too so I was excited to see how I would do in a very competitive field. I was not expecting much at all due to my recent knee issue and the fact that my general fitness, and especially my speed, is pretty poor this year. My coach wanted me to race this race and I really wanted to. Of course, this was given to me before the knee became kind of a limiter. I told her before the race that if I felt good then I would race. If my knee was okay then I would just turn it into more of a training day. If the knee was causing a lot of pain then I was going to DNF after the bike. I was completely okay with a potential DNF too. It’s not ideal, but my ultimate goal this year is Lake Placid. A little sprint tri in Maine is not going to derail me from that goal.

The Swim

The swim is a 525-yard pool swim. I didn’t bother to warm-up because I would have just sat around from 90 minutes waiting for my turn. This definitely put me at a bit of disadvantage because I am the type of swimmer that needs a lot of time to warm-up to truly find my groove. I chose a lane in the middle of the pool and luckily ended up having the lane to myself. The whistle went off and I found a comfortable pace and settled in a bit. My intention was to keep track of my laps, but somehow I managed to forget after the first 125 or so. Typical. About what I estimated to be the 300 mark I tried picking up the pace a bit. I felt okay. It wasn’t my best swim, but it was not bad. I tried not to kick too hard because of the knee. I finally got the “last lap” sign and I pushed it to the last wall. I struggled a little bit getting out of the water trying not to somehow tweak my knee getting out. I hit what I thought was the correct button on my Garmin 910XT, but turns out it wasn’t. Opps. From looking at my data afterwards it appears I hit the 525 mark at about 8:42. I then set out on a half jog/ half jumping on one foot to the transition area. My knee was definitely sore, but tolerable. The swim time (I’m pretty sure) includes the run from the pool to the TA so my time is a bit slower due to my inability to “run” like a normal person. I can’t imagine what I looked like when the Capstone Photography person took my picture leaving the building…

Swim: 9:20 (1:47/ 100 yards)

The Bike

Transition went by quickly. I made sure not to dilly-dally around too much. I grabbed my bike and headed out on the long run to the mount/dismount line again with my awkward little attempt at running. I hopped on my bike and headed out on the 11-mile bike course. I hadn’t ridden the course before, but from what I was told that it was pretty flat with a few rollers. I had my Garmin Edge on my bike so I had turned that on in TA. The satellites took forever to find. I checked my watch to see my bike time, but didn’t realize that the watch was still set in swim mode. The course was relatively flat so I kept my power up and pushed it. The course was pretty empty, which was nice. I got passed by one speedy woman on a road bike and tried to keep her in my sight the entire time. I then got passed by some big guys flying on their tri bikes. I let them go since I had absolutely no hope in catching them. There were some upgrades at times so I ended up doing a lot of shifting to keep my power consistent and my cadence in a good range. My Power VI was 1.08, which is pretty damn good for me! 🙂 Even though the course is pretty flat, it has a lot of sharp corners. I’ve always been pretty timid going around corners, especially sharp ones, but I have made a good effort to get over my fears. I did super good today not slamming on my brakes and really riding the corners and then accelerating hard out of them. I’m quite happy with my bike performance. I was second in my age group for the bike split. I missed the top slot by 5 seconds. I probably lost those by trying to go the wrong way into the TA after dismounting. Opps! Knee felt good on the bike so I made the decision to run.

Bike: 36:06 (18.3 mph; 133 watts, 1.08 VI)

The Run

Transition went fairly quickly. I found my rack quickly, hung Azul up and grabbed my running shoes and headed out. The first 300 yards or so were very painful. I thought about just throwing in the towel, but made the decision to keep going. I made it this far and after having a great bike split I knew that I could be on my way to a podium finish in my age group. I just needed to keep my legs moving. The first part of the run was on the baseball field. My legs definitely did not like the long grass. I focused on taking short steps and moving forward. Then it was a quick jaunt on the trails and then onto the road. The further I got the better my knee began to feel so I kept moving. I passed a few people and a couple of people passed me. Finally I came to the first aid station and ran through it. I knew the first mile was almost done. During transition I realized that my watch was messed up so I was able to set it in run mode. Because of the pool swim I had no satellite data. Luckily I knew this would be a problem and put my foot pod on my shoes before the race. I hit mile one around 9:50ish. Not my fastest at all, but I was okay with it. I was running and that was what mattered. A 54-year-old woman cruised by me at this point so I picked up my pace. Funny thing was the faster I seemed to run the better my knee felt. Around the 1.5 mile mark we turned onto dirt trails. There wasn’t many people on the course so it was a bit lonely. I hit the second mile at a 9:11/mile pace so I know I doing better. My goal at this point was to negative split the run and also not get passed by Tammy, a super fast TriMoxie athlete who started about 20 minutes behind me in the pool waves. I knew since she was super fast that she might pass me in the run so I wanted to make sure that didn’t happen. Plus it kept me motivated to keep moving. The third mile was a bit mentally tough. We looped back on the same dirt trail again and I could feel my knee pain again. I just knew I needed to make it to the finish. I passed a 65-year-old man in the final yards of the run. I crossed the finish line and limped my way over to the Med Tent to get ice for my knee.

Run: 28:04 (9:22/mile)

Race Bling

Race Bling

Total: 1:15:44; 3/12 AG; 32/133 W; 111/257 OA

Tammy, Myself, Marisa, and Beth - all taking home hardware after a great race!

Tammy, Myself, Marisa, and Beth – all taking home hardware after a great race!


Overall, I’m pleased with the result. Obviously, I wished my knee would not have been an issue so I could have pushed it more, but it is what it is. I know my speed isn’t there and my general fitness is lacking. However, I had a good first race. My transitions were good. I didn’t stand in TA and play with my watch forever like the Y for the Tri race last year. I went in, did my business and left. I had a great bike split and I did manage to pull off a decent run split. My knee was definitely sore Saturday after the race and I spent a long time icing it. Hopefully, we can get this knee issue figured out so I can start running again without pain. Ironman Lake Placid is in less than 3 months! Yikes!

~ Happy Training!

“Race” Report: Race the Runways Half Marathon

First off, please forgive any major typos in the post. I’m currently sitting here with a fever of 102. Seriously, the plague that doesn’t end

Anyway, when I registered for the Race the Runways a couple of months ago I was hoping to race it again. Last year I had a great race and finally broke the 2 hour mark with a huge PR. However, my coach decided it was just going to be a zone 2 training run. I was definitely disappointed when I read my TrainingPeaks, but when I woke on Saturday morning I was definitely excited not to be racing because the weather was not ideal.

Saturday’s weather was rather horrendous. I considered staying home. I barely slept Thursday and Friday night plus my tummy was all upset (probably the beginning stages of my fever?) but I had my pre-race oatmeal and got into my car for the hour drive to Brunswick. I picked up my race packet and then bee-lined to my car for some warmth until the race started an hour later.

I met up with Jen, who I’ll be travelling with down to Jersey in a couple of weeks for the Level 1 Triathlon coaching clinic and who was also running the race as a training run too. We decided that if our paces and heart rate zones matched then we’d run the race together. It was definitely nice to run the race with someone since the conditions were so crappy at least we could laugh about it!

Hiding out in the car!

Hiding out in the car!

We chatted in the car for a while then pissed behind some big water tank and headed to the start line. No warm-up. Just hovered in the cold wind for 10 minutes or so until the cannon went off. Then we were off! First couple of miles were relatively easy and a lot faster than I thought I was going to be able to run. With all my sickness in the past month my running hasn’t been fast at all, but I felt good. Of course it helps that it’s a flat course. This year the race directors changed the course to try to reduce the wind, but I don’t think they predicted steady wind of 20+ mph with gusts up to 50 mph! You’d be running along at a good clip and all the sudden a huge wind gust would come and pretty much stop you in place.

The out and back by the golf course was uneventful. We hit the first and only hill on the course. My heart rate spiked a bit on the hill but that would be expected. I skipped over the aid station because I wasn’t thirsty and then we made the left-hand turn onto the runway for the longest, coldest, and windiest mile of my life. Holy cow was it windy. Last year mile 12 was on the runway and it was windy, but this year’s wind didn’t even compare to last year’s! The wind pretty much ate my heart rate up and spit it out. Our pace dropped from a low-9 minute mile to an almost 10-minute mile pace. I felt like I was barely moving. Eventually we made a right-hand turn off the runway and finally (and I think the only time) got a tailwind! Jen and I joked that we needed a parachute and some roller blades! The middle miles were a two loop out and back route. The wind would come and go. I swear no matter what direction we were going the wind was always a headwind! Mile signs were getting blown over and I’m pretty sure at times people were too!

I finally grabbed some water and attempted to eat a gel around mile 6. I only managed about a quarter of my gel. I’m pretty sure it was frozen! I was surprised how many people were wearing shorts too! Crazy I tell you! Our pace at slowed a bit at this point. Heart rate was pretty good. A little higher than it probably should have been, however, now that I have a fever I have a feeling my heart rate was already elevated by the fact my body was trying to fight something.

Finish line smile! Thanks to Maine Running Photos!

Finish line smile! Thanks to Maine Running Photos!

Finally we hit mile 10. Only a 5k left! At this point I was mentally getting bored with the run. The conditions sucked and I just wanted a hot shower. This was my longest run to date this year so my body was starting to feel fatigued. Luckily I had Jen by my side and she kept me in good spirits and moving. We started to head back towards the finish line. The last few miles are through the neighborhoods. The area is fairly well protected with trees and houses so the wind wasn’t too bad. I commented to Jen that it appeared that the wind had died a bit. Yup, I totally jinxed us! Soon after I said that, the wind picked up again. Crap! I got multiple compliments on my sushi hat! Finally, the home stretch. The last two-tenths of a mile were cold and windy! I could see the finish line, but I felt like I was crawling across the finish line! Finally, I crossed the damn line! unfortunately the second shipment of medals didn’t arrive in time for race day so I volunteered to have them mail my medal to me once the shipment arrive. But I did grab a whoopie-pie!



After the race I semi-quickly made it back to my car where it was warm and headed home! Overall, it was a good training day. I finished in 2:07. It’s about 10 minutes slower than my PR last year, but that would be expected as my run fitness is lacking lately, it was a training day and not a race day, and the conditions were rough. I guess porta-potties were blowing across the parking lot! I think the day was good for mental prep. It was definitely a tough one and thank goodness for Jen to keep me moving! There were a few moments when I considered bailing, but I prevailed! And now I have the aftermath of a fever to deal with.

~ Happy Training!

Race Report: Mid-Winter 10 Mile Classic

Yesterday I woke up at the late hour of 7:30am to run the 2013 Mid-Winter 10 Mile Classic in Cape Elizabeth. There was definitely a moment getting out of bed this morning where I contemplated whether just to stay in bed or actually go run 10 miles in the chilly 24 degrees. I had told my coach a couple of weeks ago while I battling a nasty cold that I wasn’t planning on racing the race, but rather treating it as a long training run. She agreed that  my fitness isn’t there to race it so I was content with that. Although, I really hate treating races as training events. My chiropractor asked me this week if I would really be able to not try to race it once I got going. I guess in the end I did semi-race it by trying to pass as many people as I could, but I know that I could run a lot faster than I did. But, atlas, my run fitness (and general fitness) suck at the moment.

I ran the race last year while sick and was one of the worst decisions I made. I thought I was going to pass out in a ditch half way through the race. You can read about that lovely race HERE. Luckily, this year I had my annual cold earlier than last year so I was feeling pretty darn good going into the race. However, I was running on a lack of sleep. I went out with some friends Friday night so that night involved lots of beer and going to bed at 2am only to get up by 7am and go teach my core class at the gym. I then worked one of my other jobs from 4-9:30pm so sleep was a bit lacking. I must say, I think my massive bout of carbo loading Friday night helped with my running on Sunday! 🙂

Now back to the race. It was cold and bit windy with snow flurries. I dressed warmly and prepared for the worst. I met up with Coach Ange and a few other TriMoxie athletes and also caught up with some lovely SheJAMs ladies.

Kristin, myself, and Beth getting ready to run this thing!

Kristin, myself, and Beth getting ready to run this thing!

At 9:45am the cannon went off and we were off. The first mile is mostly downhill and a bit bottlenecky. It was my second fastest mile of the day. Ha! Second mile is rather uneventful and then the hills start! I forgot how hilly this course really is! The Spurwink hills suck. There are about three of them all in a row and then you turn down a side street that is rather crappy. I survived the hills. Took little steps up and then pushed it on the downhills to make up time. I didn’t walk at all this year! I actually felt pretty light going up the hills, which is extremely unusual for me. Around mile 4 we hit the marsh and the wind picked up a bit. I was averaging around a 9:15-9:20 mile at this point and tried to rein it in slightly so I wouldn’t blow up later on in the race like the previously year. Right around the half way mile we hit the nasty little steep hill and I muscled my way up it and passed some people on my way. I hit the mile 5 water station and took my gel.

First mile (in the PVC jacket)!

First mile (in the PVC jacket)!

The rest of the course is rather flat-ish and with some up grades and some down grades. However, this is where the wind picks up and gets cold on 77. I decided to start picking up speed and negative split the course. I started focusing on people a head of me to pass. I managed to pass a bunch of people in the last few miles of the race. Right around mile 7-8 I started to feel slightly fatigued and my pace slowed. However, I checked my watch and decided that I wanted to make it under 1:35 so I picked up speed and pushed my little legs harder. Mile 9 is a long gradual up grade and then downhill to the finish line. I pushed it up the uphill portion and passed a lot of people and then finally hit the high school driveway and really pushed it the last 200 yards or so for a sprint finish.

The half way point!

The half way point!

Picking the pace up!

Picking the pace up!

Overall, I finished in 1:35:37. Didn’t quite make it sub-1:35, but I had almost a 10-minute PR from last year. I finished 459/611 overall, 195/298 women and 16/26 AG. I’ll take it. Certainly if I didn’t have to take 3+ months off from running this past fall then I think I could have fallen in the 1:25-1:30 area. But, it is what it is at the end of the day.

Did I mention it was cold?

Did I mention it was cold?

I finished my day by being semi-productive. I picked up a new trainer at my bike shop and then succeeded to pass out on the couch in front of the fire for a couple of hours.

photo (1)

~ Happy Training!

Race Report: Rev3 Maine Half

This will probably be a long post so be fore warned! 🙂 And probably a gross one…

I had about a 10 day taper after my final 2 week build. The first week went well. I slept really good and nailed all my workouts. The Friday before the race I woke up extremely anxious. I was getting super nervous about the race. I had a lot of pressure on me, all of which was mostly self induced. Several people kept telling me that the only race is against myself. Yes, that is true to extent. I always race my race and race for a PR, but it’s a race. This was my third 70.3 race. My goal is no longer just to finish. I was racing for time and place and I knew that I would be racing outside my comfort zone and that was really the reason I was so nervous. I spent a lot of money and time training for this race (and race season in general) and I wanted to perform at the best of my abilities to prove to myself that I have improved and all that time and money was worth it.
I was also a bit anxious because of the lack of communication from Rev3. The athlete guide was sent out late and when they did send it, the link was broken for several hours. Once the link was fixed and you could open the guide, it was well over 77MB and took forever to load. It was super annoying and frustrating. A lot of athletes were frustrated including myself. I understand that it’s a new race, but Rev3 has been around for awhile and should know better. So, I was a bit nervous about how things might run on race day. So on Friday I picked up my race packet to help ease my nerves a bit.

Saturday I woke up early, despite my attempts to sleep in. Had a good solid carbo strong breakfast. Went out and completed my 30 min brick (20 min bike, 10 min run) in the fog. I put my race numbers on my bike and ate a second breakfast. I headed back to OOB to rack my bike, hit up the mandatory meeting, and met up with a friend for a quick swim. I have never swum at OOB before so I wanted to get at least a feel for the water there before race morning. I ended up running into a couple TriMoxie athletes and chatted with them for a bit, although for the most part I kept to myself to stay focused and in race mode. There were a lot of nice bikes in transition. I saw a lot of Scott Plasmas too! One guy even had the same bike as me, but I had better wheels (even if they are really not mine). 🙂 Another girl in my AG had the Plasma Premium, which is the top dog version of my bike that costs $10,000+. And, yes, I was slightly jealous.

Azul all racked and ready for race day
A Q&A with some of the Pro athletes

I looked through the Rev3 store tent and came across a tube valve extender. I was told by my bike mechanic that I shouldn’t need one because Bike Shop Boy already had one on his wheels. Well, he didn’t. So I sent him a panicked text asking about it. We bickered a bit about it, he doesn’t want them used. I purchased one anyway and put it on my spare tube. I was super paranoid that I was going to flat out during this race because I was using borrowed wheels. After my mild panic attack, I hit the water for a quick swim. It was in the afternoon and it was a bit windy and rough. It definitely made for an interesting practice swim. If the conditions were anything like the practice swim on Saturday, we were in for a real treat on race morning!

Race Day

I slept pretty good till about 2am then tossed and turned for a couple hours before getting up. My dog just looked at me and continued to sleep. I ate my breakfast of a bagel and chocolate Ensure (I really don’t like Ensure, but it’s a good way to get down some calories if you tend not to bode well with solids pre-race). I got everything down the hatch for once! I sipped on some sports drink and packed all my stuff into my father’s truck. My car’s check engine light came on the previous day and I was super paranoid that my car was going to break down en route to the race and I would miss it. (Can you see a pattern yet? I was definitely nervous about this race! More so than I let on to a lot of people.)

I made it to transition by 5:30 and set up the rest of my gear. The girl next to me took up her fair share of room and I kindly asked her if she could consolidate some of it so I won’t step all over to get my bike. She had no problem with that and I really didn’t want to step on her stuff and break something. If that happened to me I would be upset. I got in line for the porta potty to do a number two and then wetsuit on and down to the swim start. I was halfway down the beach when the first wave of athletes went off. Opps, I started jogging the rest of the way. I ran into a few TriMoxie athletes and chatted with them for a couple of seconds. But, again, I kept to myself all morning. I was in race mode and was trying to calm my nerves. Then hit the water to get adjusted to it and then got in line before I missed my wave.

The Swim

Oh, what to say about this! It did not go well and I’m not pleased with my time. The start wasn’t bad. It was my first beach start so I was a little nervous. I decided to start in the front and towards the right and just go for it. I had clean water as I dolphin dived my way till I could swim. I didn’t get kicked in the face at all, but was grabbed by a few arms at the beginning. There were two courses set up in the water. The first turn buoys were for the Olympic course and the far buoys were the Half course. I made it to the first red buoy (the Olympic buoy) no problem and started spotting the Half turn buoy. I thought I was doing pretty good and then I looked up again and realized some how managed to swim to the left inside of the buoy and had to start swimming to the right back on course. I made it around that buoy with minimal contact. Passed a few men from the previous wave that started 4 minutes in front of us. I started heading towards the far turn buoy. I found open water quickly and found my groove. I was swimming quite strong and felt good with my pace. I looked up again and realized that I was far inside of the final turn buoy. Part of the problem was the current pushing me towards the beach slightly, but the biggest problem was my pathetic attempt at spotting. Usually I’m really good at spotting and staying on course, but I was seriously all over the place today and my swim time reflects that. Rumor on the street is that the course was 0.1 miles longer than it should have been. I’m pretty sure that I added at least another 0.2 miles with my Tour de OOB swim. I finished in 38:27. I really should have gone sub-35. I came out 9th out of 22 in my AG, 28 out of 88 in wave, and 45 out of 159 women. I finished in the top third, but still very far from my true swim potential and I am disappointed by that. But, you don’t win triathlons in the swim.

Swim: 38:27            9/22 AG        45/159 Females          173/444 OA

The Swim


The run from the beach to transition was long. I think I heard them say about 0.3 miles. I jogged it. I didn’t sprint. I wanted to get my bearings. Kristin, another TriMoxie athlete, slap my ass as she ran by me. Jen ran by me without a wetsuit (Did you swim without a wetsuit? I still haven’t figured that one out!) I got to my bike and managed to get out of my wetsuit in a decent time. On went the socks, shoes, sunglasses, and helmet. Turn on Garmin, grab bike, and run. Both Kristin and Jen were long gone and I decided to make it my goal to try and catch them. Ha, both of them are extremely fast and strong cyclists and totally crushed the course! I knew it was a long stretch to catch them, but it kept me motivated. Thanks ladies!

T1: 5:59

The Bike

I had ridden the course five times previously on long training rides since it was literally 3 miles from work for me. I knew the course extremely well; however, I do think I might have over ridden it because I definitely a bit bored with it. My goal for the ride was to ride within my HIM wattage throughout the ride and aim for the perfect VI so my coach can give me an A+ for the day! I saw Kurt pretty early in the ride and he yelled for me to get into my bars. So I did. Then I started working on passing people. I saw mostly men. I looked down at my Garmin quickly and realized that I was pushing too hard and backed off a bit. After crossing Route One and started the “meat” of the course I started to settle in and focus on my nutrition. I had my nutrition plan laid out and I knew what I had to do to ensure a good run. For the most part, I nailed my nutrition plan. I also successfully and rather quickly was able to refill my aero bottle without dropping a bottle or falling over reaching back to my rear bottle cage! Small victories are important too! 🙂 I raced within my zones, but also made every attempt to forcefully pass anyone I could. Early on two girls in my AG blew by me on the bike. That lit a fire under my butt to keep pedaling and I also knew there were a few strong girls behind that I had to worry about. We approached the hilly section of the course on South Waterboro Road and I rode that portion very strong and smart. I’m super proud of myself for that because it a couple of previous training rides I had ridden it poorly. I passed a lot of people on this section, including two girls in my AG.

Around mile 40 I started to get a bit bored and my crotch was really hurting. I started having a bit of a mental pity party for myself. I started to think about how I need to find new, more comfortable tri shorts that match my tri top and how in less than a year I have to race ride 112 miles! My coach has numerous times not to think about that, but I still do. I know I’m perfectly capable of doing it, but it stems from my fear of the unknown. At one point I ran over a snake on the side of the road. I’m pretty sure it was dead already but let out a yelp because it startled the hell out of me. Finally, there was the turn onto Simpson Road. I was dreading this section all day because the road conditions are pretty bad. Luckily, people were pretty spread out so I had space to weave through potholes if needed. Then came the one lane bridge and up a big hill. I crossed over the bridge only to find two guys walking up the hill with their bikes and dropped chains. I felt bad for them because that really sucks. I made it up the hill with no problem. I was good with the hills all day. No hammering out of the saddle up them, just a slow-ish spin up to not kill my legs for the run.

The final miles of the course zig-zags through a few local rural neighbors. I was plodding along when all the sudden Plasma Premium chick in my AG zooms by me! It was a very “OH NO SHE DIDN’T” moment and it gave me the kick in the butt I needed at this point. My goal time for the bike was 2:50-3:00 and all my training rides had both me in good shape to finish in that time. Unfortunately, the headwind had picked up and slowed things down a bit. I started doing some calculations in my head and I knew that if I picked things up a bit then I could probably make my sub-3 hour goal. The Plasma Premium chick gave me that extra motivation to go go go! So I did, I sent the last six miles chasing her down and passing every possible person I could. I ended up rolling into T2 in 3:02, just shy of my goal time. I’m bummed definitely. Rumor on the street is that the course was at least a half mile long so perhaps I could have done it, but I know that I should have pushed harder at times during the course, especially around mile 40. There were several timer mats across the course. I started the bike in 10th in my AG, moved into 12th, and finally moved up to finish in 8th. I also moved up from 49th woman starting the bike to 46th.

Bike: 3:02                         8/22 AG           46/159 Females            253/444 OA


I got off my bike and ran quickly into T2. I saw Plasma Premium chick racking her bike. She beat me, but I was hot on her heels. I also saw and heard my coach yelling and cheering me on. I smiled, but I stayed focused on the task of putting on the running shoes, race number, visor, and Garmin. And off I ran!

T2: 1:48

The Run

I started the run knowing the girl was hot on my heels so I put my head down and focused on running. I’m pretty sure I slapped some friends hands right out on transition, but I honestly don’t remember. I heard people yelling my name too, but I was so focused on running that I didn’t really look up (but I do appreciate it). I was very focused on this run. My goal was to run a sub-2 hour half. I knew it was going to be very tough so I was very focused and kept my head in the forward direction and not getting distracted by my environment. I knew if I did then I would lose focus. I looked down at my Garmin within the first half mile and saw that I was running at an 8:23/mile pace. Not good. WAY too fast so I tried slowing down. Weird thing was, I couldn’t. My legs wanted to go, so I just went with it and as I started mile 2 I did start to slow to my goal pace. It was going to be a long 13.1 miles so I didn’t want to go out too hard. My goal was to negative split the run. The first half go hard, but keep it reined in slightly. Second half was to push it more and really push it the last 5k. I started getting fluids in at water stations and took a gel at 40 minutes. It was starting to get hot out so I grabbed ice and dumped it down my sports bra to try to stay cool at the mile 3 water station. At one point I threw water over my head and some drops hit my Garmin causing it to spaz out and I couldn’t get it to tell me my current pace and time! I started freaking out and had to run on feel for a mile or so! Finally, it corrected itself and I calmed down.

The Run

We merged off the pavement and onto the trail just before mile 3. I hit the turn-around mat for the Olympic people at a 9:13/mile pace. It was a little slower than I wanted, but I knew that I was still okay in meeting my goal time. Right after the timing mat, Plasma Premium chick passed me, but was not far a head. I kept her in my sight the entire time. We crossed over Route 9 and headed up the trail in the Scarborough Marsh. I really hate this section of the trail. It’s exposed and always hot. I have also run it numerous times because I can get to the trail from my work. We continued another 1.5-2 miles until we hit the turn-around mat. I looked down at my watch as it hit 6 miles and in my head I thought “oh, we’ll hit the timing mat in 0.2 miles and it’s half way!). Because I’m super awesome at math while running, in all my brilliance, thought that the half marathon was just two 10ks. Yes, 6.2 miles plus 6.2 miles equals 13.1 miles! Wrong! We hit the turn-around close to 7 miles. Shortly after the turn-around we hit a water station. I actually stopped and walked at this one because I had to pee. Here’s the super gross part…. I peed while walking and drinking water! Yes, gross, but I’m not stopping in a middle of a race to pee in the porta-potty. Shit, yes. Pee, no.

Plasma Premium chick stopped too and started stretching her calf. I took off! And not fast. My pace had slowed to about 9:30-9:40 at this point. I was starting to feel the heat and the long day already. I passed some friends coming in the other direction looking super strong. I was completely miserable at this point and not sure if I managed to muster much of a smile or “good job.” Over the bridge, over Route 9, and back onto the final stretch of the trail. I walked through the remaining two water stations on the trail to drink and pee. Once we hit pavement again I knew we had less than 3 miles left and I started running faster. I was really starting to lose it at this point though. My stomach started grumbling and I knew that it could be an issue, but luckily nothing happened. I hit the last water station and knew it was less than 1.5 miles to the finish. At this point two woman behind me passed me and started picking up the pace and chatting. We passed a guy who made a comment “Oh, great! There is enough of you to carry me now!” I chuckled a bit. I made the turn and headed towards the finish. I tried picking up my pace, but my legs were toast. Honestly, I don’t remember much of the last mile because it was a fuzzy blur. As I approached the finish I heard several people yell my name. Then I see this shirtless guy walk up towards me and high-fived me. I remember thinking “Who is this dude? And do I know him?” I actually considered stopping and asking him. I was a bit out of it if you couldn’t tell. Finally I made the right hand turn into the finishing shoot and crossed the line. No sprint finish. No hands in the air. I was done! I saw my father waving in the distance, but honestly I didn’t make the connection that it was my father. The volunteers took off my timing chip and I collapsed into a chair. I sat there for a few minutes with a cold towel around my shoulders until the world stopped spinning. Then I hobbled out of the chute and my coach came running down to congratulate me. I chatted with her for a few minutes and then my father.

Run: 2:04            8/22 AG              43/159 Females               226/444 OA

Total Time: 5:53:04         8/22 AG        43/159 Females          226/444 OA


I got a got a crappy Amatos sandwich and sat down to eat it with Jen C. I watched the SheJAMs Olympic and Rev3 Olympic awards from a far. Lots of great performances done by all. I saw Kristin and she told me my lips were blue, which probably explained why I felt so cold and was shivering a little. I had a little ART done on my right hip since it had been bothering me throughout the race and then headed to transition to gather my stuff. At this point I was quite cold and ended up putting on my sweatpants, sweatshirt, and down vest that I had wore in the morning even though it was 80+ degrees and sunny. I probably shouldn’t have driven home, but I did and survived.


I’m happy with my race, but not satisfied. My goal of the season was to finish a half sub-6 hours, which I did. But, talking with my coach a few weeks before the race, I thought I could probably do sub-5:40 if race conditions were good. She agreed I probably could, but it was really hard to predict a time because it was a new race and also swim courses are always unpredictable. The course could be set long (like it was), short, or the conditions could have been bad. There was also a headwind and it was hot. I knew with those environmental factors I was going to be a little slower. I really wanted to go sub-3 hours on the bike. My training rides had me set for going between 2:50-3:00. I definitely had a strong bike leg, but it does reassure me that I need to work on improving my bike fitness over the winter months. Clearly, I’m not pleased with my swim. I’m actually rather pissed off with myself about it. But, it is what it is at this point. I’m slightly disappointed with my run, but I did run pretty strong and I did leave everything out there on the course. I’m proud of that because that was my goal for the day.

This was my first attempt at actually racing a 70.3 race. Pumpkinman last year was to finish the race, and Mooseman was honestly a day to survive due to the difficulty of the course and the weather conditions. I think I did well. I’m completely guilty of stalking scoping out my competition beforehand. I like to know who is in my AG and who I will be chasing all day. Some people have told me it shouldn’t matter and just race my best race. But knowing people in my AG helps motivate me. The two girls who placed one-two in my AG both finished Top 5 overall females and were both sub-11 hour Kona finishers last year! The other girls who placed before me all were very fast cyclist and again tells me that I need to work more on my bike fitness. I’m happy with my placing. Obviously, a podium spot would have been a sweet deal, but I knew the level of competition at this race was going to be strong and fast. I’m happy that I was able to finish the top third-ish (36%). It shows that I am improving in my fitness, but I still have A LOT of work if I want to be able to compete with the best. Overall, it was a good day and everything ran smoothly! Rev3 definitely can put on a show and the volunteers and staff really were top notch! Hats off to you!

~ Happy Training!

Race Report: Beach to Beacon 10K

The Beach to Beacon is Maine’s largest road race with over 7000 runners registered. It is a premier race that began 15 years ago by Olympian Joan Benoit Samuelson, who won the first gold medal in the Women’s Marathon event at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. The race attracts a slew of elite runners from around the world. This year’s race was won by two Kenyans – Stanley Biwott in 28:00 and Margaret Wangari-Mariuki in 31:52. The course starts in Cape Elizabeth by Crescent Beach, heads down Route 77, bears right onto Old Ocean House Rd, back onto Route 77, and then the final stretch down a hilly Shore Rd to Fort Williams Park.

The race opens for registration in March and literally sells out within minutes. I tried to get into the race a few years back when I was moonlighting as a “runner,” but failed. Probably a good thing though. This year I was ready to go at 7am with my credit card in hand and my “fast” typing skills. The registration day happened to fall this year on Bike Shop Boy’s 30th birthday and he just loves to run (that’s sarcasm if you can’t pick that up). And, of course, me being the total ass that I am, thought it would be really funny to sign him up to for the race. I sent him a text later along the lines of: “Happy birthday old man! Guess what? You’re running the B2B in August! You can thank me later :-)”

I totally had visions in my head of him chasing me around with a pedal wrench….

But, he was actually kind of excited to run the race. Apparently he has always wanted to run the race. Fast forward to June. Now, Bike Shop Boy claims to not be a runner. He doesn’t like it, but he’s really quite fast when he does it. Bastard. So, I decided that he was actually going to train for this race, since I paid the $45 for him to do the damn race! I spent quite a bit of time coming up with his training plan based on previous races race paces he has done and his current hectic work schedule. I wasn’t worried that he wouldn’t finish the race. He has an extremely good cardiovascular fitness from living riding his bike all the time. I was more or less worried about his feet since he has had plantar fasciitis in the past. So I sent him the plan and he told me he was really going to follow it. I believe he actually promised me he would… yeah, totally should have seen that one coming…

Anyway, let’s fast forward to race day. Saturday was hot and humid, but totally bearable if you have been training in the heat and raced smart. I was a bit nervous about the race going into it because I honestly wasn’t sure if I could hit my coach’s rather aggressive pace plan for me. I have never run a 10K before or the B2B race course before so this was a completely new experience. Bike Shop Boy and I got there early and sat around for a bit. I had to hit the porta-potties about a half an hour before the start, which took forever. So, we didn’t really get a good warm up in, which I think would have helped my legs a bit during the run. We lined up in the 8 minute mile corral where my coach told me to line up. It wasn’t pleasant being cramped up like a can of sardines waiting over 20 minutes for the gun to go out. I’m claustrophobic, he was cranky.

Finally the gun went off, but it took us over a minute to cross the start line. The beginning of the course starts with a downgrade and then flattens out for a while. My Garmin was hitting in the 7’s so I knew we had to back off. Bike Shop Boy and I decided pre-race that we would run together or at least until he wanted to take off. It worked out nicely. I kept him from going out too fast and then blowing up later in the race and he kept me motivated to run faster. The first mile was fast, but I felt like I was running in slow motion. People around us kept passing us, but we ended up passing many of them again later around mile 5. We kept chugging along and then made the turn onto Old Ocean House Rd. I completely forgot we ran down this road so I was a bit worried about what the road may bring. I hadn’t been on this road for a very long time so I couldn’t remember the conditions. Things were good. At the end of the road is a small climb back onto Route 77 and then onto Shore Rd. We hit the half way point around here.

I made sure to take at least one cup of water at every aid station. A little water in the mouth and the rest over the head to cool my body off. Some people were nice enough to set up a hose and sprayer to run under. I made sure to hit everyone I could to keep my body cool as possible. I ran through every aid station too! That’s pretty good for me. I have yet to master the whole run and drink at the same time. Usually it ends up my nose. Shore Rd has some lovely little climbs during mile 5. On the last climb Bike Shop Boy saw someone and just shot off and up the hill. I let him go and just trudged along at my own pace. This was by far my slowest mile, but my coach said it’s every one’s slowest mile so don’t worry about it.

Race Mile Splits

Finally we turned into the entrance of Fort Williams took a sharp right, up a little steep hill and then around the barracks and screaming spectators towards the finish. My coach told me to wait till I hit the mile 6 marker to kick it up. I hit that sign and picked up my pace. Within two hundreds I found even more of a kick for an awesome sprint finish! It felt so good to be done and completely satisfied with the race. I hit every target mile pace my coach gave me and finished in a great time. If you would have asked me if I could have run the pace I did even a few months ago, I would have laughed in your face! Overall time was 52:05.6 for a 8:24/mile average. I finished 94 out of 421 in my 25-29 age group (Top 22%) and 1857 out of 6106 finishers (Top 30%). Bike Shop Boy finished 51:20 for a 8:16/mile pace. After the race the truth came out. He only ran once before the race. I was rather impressed he managed a superb time for no run training, but I was a bit annoyed because I spent so much time and effort making a reasonable training plan for him.

~ Happy Training!