Race Report Highlights
- Strong Swim
- Mixed up shoes in transition
- Missing Mile Markers on the Run
- Post race Dunkin Donuts
We headed up to Central Massachusetts on Saturday afternoon. We checked into our hotel and headed to the race site for packet pick-up. I liked being able to pick up the packets early and check out the race site before the big day. Here is a shot of transition (excuse the crappy iPhone pic, I left my camera at the hotel).
After we picked up our packets we drove the bike course. It was a 10 mile loop that we would do two times. Max Performance, the race organizers, had posted a video of the bike course online so I already had an idea of what to expect. I have to say, I loved being able to both watch the video and drive the course first. There was a long 3/4 mile climb at mile 4 & 14 which was actually steeper in person than it looked on the video. The second half of the loop had some rough roads that had me a bit worried too. I haven't gotten a flat yet and I really didn't want to deal with this on race day.
After we drove the course we headed over to the local YMCA for a pre-race pasta charity fundraiser and we filled up on pasta, pizza and salad.
The alarm went off at 5:30. And then my cell phone was buzzing at 5:35. And then the phone rang at 5:40. You can never be too careful. The first thing I did was look out the window to discover it was raining. By the time we packed up the car and headed to the race site it was pouring. We started to wonder if they might have to cancel the race...
By the time we got to the race the rain had all but stopped but it was still pretty cloudy and I wondered how long the rain would hold out. Here is my transition set up. The bike racks had a rear wheel placement set-up. The rows were numbered but the slots were not so I set up close to the end of my row. I kept my running shoes in a plastic bag in case it started raining again later. The idea of putting on soaking wet shoes was less than exciting.
We took a pre-race picture and then it was time to head down to the beach.
I was in the last wave so I had to wait about 25 minutes to start the race. That is one thing I didn't like about having a larger race - lots of waiting to start. But, I've heard of people waiting 2 hours to start their wave so 25 minutes isn't so bad. By the time it was our turn to go I had to pee but I figured I would just go in the water before the swim started. Unfortunately, we didn't have much time in the water between waves and I didn't have time to pee! I ended up holding it for the entire race!
Swim - 1500 Meters
44 of 253 Overall / 3 of 16 Age Group (25-29)
The swim went well. Since I'm a strong swimmer I got out in front of my group and held a steady pace and stayed to the outside to avoid getting kicked or hit. The water temp was a comfortable 73 degrees. By the time I got to the second buoy I was starting to pass people in the waves in front of me. Sam had started 8 minutes ahead of me and he was pretty worried about the swim distance so every time I saw a blue hat I looked to see if it was him. By the time the swim finished I still hadn't seen him. Either he did really well or he had drowned.
183 of 253 Overall / 16 of 16 Age Group
I was really hoping to have faster transitions in this race. I ran out of the swim and into transition and grabbed my bike shoes. I put the first shoe on and I noticed it felt big but I didn't think too much about it. Then I heard Sam yell my name from across transition. My first thought - "He's not dead!" Then I heard, "YOU HAVE MY SHOE!" Well, that's why it felt big!! We have the same bike shoes, but different sizes of course, and we had gotten our shoes mixed up. Oops! Note to self: for fast transitions make sure you don't have your husband's gear. We ran across transition, switched shoes, and then took off on our bikes.
Bike - 20 Miles
1:10:07 / 17mph average*
188 of 253 Overall / 9 of 16 Age Group
*My bike computer read 19 miles which would average 16.2mph
I saw three people with flats in the first couple miles and I was getting worried (can you tell I worry a lot?). I really really didn't want to get a flat. I tried to stay focused on the bike and push it hard. The hill was painful but not unbearable. At the bottom was a sign that said "Crush this Hill!" The worst part was about half way up there was another sign that said "Almost There." I was glad to see it until I realized I wasn't really almost there at all. I still had a ways to go. On the second loops I cursed the hill and just tried to keep my breathing steady and keep even pedal strokes. With a mile to go I breathed a sigh of relief because I figured if I got a flat I could slowly bike or walk back to transition.
132 of 253 Overall / 6 of 16 Age Group
Uneventful. Switched bike shoes for running shoes, grabbed my energy jelly beans and booked it out of transition.
Run - 6.2 miles
1:04:11 / 10:21 min/mile
211 of 253 Overall / 11 of 16 Age Group
I felt okay at the beginning of the run. I ate my jelly beans and tried to pickup my feet. After awhile I was starting to get annoyed that they hadn't put mile markers on the course. Seriously, it would be nice to know how far I've gone. And then I saw it. The one mile maker. Ah! I hadn't even gone a mile yet. This was going to be a long run. After about 2 miles I fell into a better pace and I felt strong-ish. At mile 3 I accidentally took Gatorade instead of water and I almost threw up. At mile 4 I started thinking that I should have cut my toenails. At mile 5 I was getting hot and thirsty and I was really wanting it to be over. With about a half mile left I saw Sam jogging towards me. Again, he went the extra mile for the blog :) At mile 6 I wondered why I was still running and realized I had to go the extra .2 miles!
My mother-in-law came to watch the race - our first spectator!
Strong finish! When I finally saw the finishers chute I gave it everything I had. I was so glad it was over!
A running picture of me with both feet off the ground!
171 of 253 Overall
11 of 16 Age Group
8 of 20 Newbie Females
Post-race shot! Proud of our accomplishment and finishing our first Olympic distance race!
The sun had started to come out at the end of the race.
After lunch we headed back down to NYC. On the way home we stopped at Dunkin Donuts for a Coolatta. I like this race tradition!