Monday, March 9, 2009

Week in Review- March 6

This past weekend brought us the first annual Boston Triathlon Team Time Trial. It was a huge success...thanks in part to all of our members who volunteered and raced. A special thanks must go out to Ali Winslow who showed up at Landrys on Saturday night....and (I think) didn't leave until Monday morning! Ali gives us a writeup of her day:

When I brought the idea for an indoor time trial to Mark at Landry's, I had no idea what we were getting ourselves into... Months of preparation, emails, phone calls and finally the day arrived. We were certainly nervous, as this was the first time any of us had put this type of event together. Mark and Meredith spent the time figuring out where to put everyone, the beer (very important), the food (pretty important), Jeff and I put together the course (just a few days before, neither one of us had ridden it) and so we were ready to go. On Saturday night, we set up all the computrainers, moved all of the bikes and clothing and left the store feeling confident that we had a recipe for success. I have to say that Jeff and Tammy were so super calm and organized, it made me feel much better about the computer aspect of this event, and they had all the spreadsheets already set up (I think Jeff is an excel whiz). I think having experience with the computrainer multirider system is key for this type of event. 5am the alarm goes off on Sunday morning. I dragged myself out of bed, grabbed my clothes and headed out in the dark over to Landry's. I pulled into the garage and wasn't surprised that Meredith, Mark, Tammy and Jeff were already there doing the final setups. Grady and his crew set up all the warm up trainers in the garage and Vic and I added the music element, as I knew people needed some motivation to get going out there! I barely had time to get 1 sip of coffee in, when athletes started showing up for the first heat. The start was smooth, Richard Fries, our MC was going already with the fantastic music and wisecracks to keep everyone entertained, and our first heat produced some impressive results! It only took us a few minutes into the second heat to realize that one of our computrainers was reading a strange wattage number, in fact it was almost 80 watts off! We quickly changed it out and kept on rolling...The second heat featured several BTT athletes, BPC Coach Vic Brown and the competition was definitely out there! The leader board showed current results, and the competitive athletes were certainly checking it out to see what times and wattages were being posted by the top athletes in each heat. I was super busy getting all the athletes set up on their bikes on the computrainers, making sure that all trainers were calibrated correctly and that the trainers were all reading correctly on the computer. Jeff and Tammy were busy getting the athletes weights inputed into their computers and the BTT volunteers were guiding folks to the appropriate areas to either warm up, get food or just watch. Suddenly I realized that if I wanted to warm up, I needed to get out to the garage and hop on my bike! I set up next to Amy Robinson and Liz Kennedy, two of my competitors for the 9:20 heat. We looked around at the warmup area and realized that we were also competing against the MIT cycling team and several of the BPC athletes as well. Excellent! Bring it On! I thought to myself...I am not sure Liz and Amy felt the same... we did our warmups, some spin ups, single leg drills, "light and fast" I told them, so that they would feel ready to start the race. I had raced the Harpoon event a few weeks back, so I had an idea of what to expect, but Liz and Amy had never done an event like this, so I gave them some coaching advice about the start and how to look at their heart rates and wattage. I knew that I could sustain about 230 watts and still have some room to work, but I also was suffering from bronchitis, so I was a bit worried about what I could accomplish for the race. 9:20am, our heat started without a hitch. I strategically placed myself in the front row, so that I didn't have to look at anything but the screen. I wanted to focus on my wattage and not worry what anyone else in the race was doing, or how far back or front I was. I was conservative for the first few minutes, something that really helped me out in the end. I think people always start out too hard and they pay for it in the end. All was going smooth, I felt like I was holding a strong watts and knew I had some room to go, we hit the final hills and as I tried to shift, my chain dropped....ugh! That definitely caused me to lose time- certainly because poor Jeff had to get it back on for me, and then I had to sprint as hard as possible to get back! Thankfully I didn't have much more to go, about a mile, but it caused my HR to jump about 5 beats too early, something I wasn't really ready for! Oh well, that's what happens when you race- be prepared for anything and deal with whatever happens...I was happy with my second place finish in my heat, good enough for 5th women overall on the day. Our heat was over and it was back to business- setting up bikes, calibrating trainers, directing people to the appropriate areas. Woody was great with his strong hands to help get the bikes on and off the trainers (man those things got tight!). BTT volunteers were awesome, helping anytime I needed anything, and I think people had a fantastic time. It was great to see so many athletes racing in one day, especially on a Sunday! Thanks to everyone who contributed, we couldn't have done this without you. BTT was an integral part of this event and I know it showed the community what a fantastic team we have. Thanks to BVHP, Jeff and Tammy Godin, who not only provided the computrainers, but also the multirider system and the computers to run the event. Thanks to Woody for getting us those screens from BU, to Landrys and their staff for providing us with not only the space, but the great give aways, the bike support , and the organization! Thanks to Brian Quigley, Michael Yenke, Nancy Arena, Jeff Kreher, Ron Ulich, Trisha Kelly for your computrainers! Thanks to BPC athletes who stayed all day to volunteer and provide support. We had a great day, even if I lost my voice for several days after. I can't wait to do it again next year!
Krista Schepanovsky and Terry Reagan opted for the run rather than the bike and headed out to Clinton, Mass to tackle Stu's 30K. Krista, never shy to talk about her race, reports:

Stu's 30km is a race named after, well some guy named 'Stu', who thought it'd be 'fun' in a twisted way to organize a race that goes around the Wachussett Reservoir, an area maybe familiar to you if you'd ridden up to Mt. Wachussett. As this race has lots of long LONG up and downhills and the length and timing make it a perfect training run for Boston, but it being the first weekend in March in New England it is notorious for some crazy weather, and this year was no exception. Lucky it got a bit colder than expected so it snowed, rather than the freezing rain called for, which is just awful to run in. Still, it was very windy and chilly and around the 15km mark I was already thinking of the hot showers and clam chowder that would be waiting at the end. We were both a little slower, well ok a lot slower, than we wanted, but it was satisfying to get a long tough run in as we are both doing the Boston Marathon. I was a half hour slower than last year, and it felt twice as hard. Back in the fall I had thyroid surgery and did not run much for a few months, and it sure is hard and discouraging at times to try and come back, and I've had to remember I am just fortunate to keep on running and not worry so much about times and PRs, I am hoping that will come again...someday. But Stu's is a great race and one you'll feel super satisfied about finishing and I recommend it if you are doing a spring marathon next year.

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