Friday, December 17, 2010
I saw an ad for this race in a freebie magazine back in spring and thought, “Wow, what a great excuse to go to Key West in December!!” And it was.
Having never been to Key West before, I imagined that it would have non-stop gorgeous beaches and warm water-wrong on both counts!! Basically, Key West is a rock surrounded by shallow rocky water with lots of sea grass. This presented a challenge for the swim venue. Fortunately (??) there is a 20-foot wide drainage canal just off shore that is deep enough for swimming, provided you don’t stray too far to either side. It was a point-to-point swim starting from a floating dock and following the sea wall on the right and a string of kayakers and bright buoys to the left- perfect for those who can’t swim straight. The swim waves were small-20 or so people to a wave. The water was a tad cool (72 degrees) but not frigid and not having to site made the swim seem effortless (and judging from my split, my swim was really effortless…). The swim ended at a 10-foot wide “beach” where there were wetsuit strippers-unusual for an Olympic distance race.
There was a ¼ mile run through deep sand and a brick parking lot to the bike racks (in the unlit dark parking garage – sure was glad my bike was on the rack nearest the entrance). This gave me enough time to peel the sea grass off my goggles and swim cap.
The course started off on a major road, against traffic (yes it was coned off but still a bit unnerving with cars coming at you at 50+ mph), then onto a side road, then onto a 4-lane highway complete with a continuous raised rumble strip marking the shoulder. I hit that puppy at 19+ mph and thought my filings were going to fall out. After about 2 miles the course did two loops of a Naval Air Station station. This part of the course was flat but very very windy and featured 22 turns (including 2 U-turns). Oh, and the Olympic and Sprint course crossed each other in the middle which got a little dicey, especially since half the entrants were first-timers. Next we exited the Air Base, went up a cloverleaf on-ramp to the 4-lane highway and traced our path back to transition. This part was the most crowded since the Sprint and Olympic racers merged here, had the most uphills, and the most newbies who were riding all over the place!!
We got to ride our bikes almost to the parking garage/bike racks which made for fast transitions.
Running is always my worst event and this race was no different except that this time it wasn’t solely my total lack of running ability that held me back. Instead, there was the added factor of a 100% concrete course. The course was an out-and-back that started by crossing over a major road (with police presence), then going onto the cement sidewalk next to another sea wall. There was zero shade. It was really pretty but not pretty enough to override the fact that my knees were killing me. Around mile 5, a very fit looking woman on a mountain bike cheered me on and told me I was doing great - turned out to be Leanda Cave (Thanks Leanda, I’ve really been working on my walk and I’ve gotten so much faster…). The course ended with crossing over the major road again (I can now say that I stopped traffic!!), then looped a bit on a bike path and back to the hotel/finish.
For an inaugural event, this was a good race. It was well organized, the volunteers were enthusiastic, friendly and well-informed, the venue is beautiful, and the swag (t-shirt, finishers medal) was good. Also, Leanda Cave handed out the awards (conch shell tiles-I got 2nd in the old lady category). There are a few things that can be improved like emphasizing at the athlete meeting what “keeping to the right” means (it was a USAT-sanctioned race but there were no course marshals), having timing mats at the end of each bike loop (some people missed the turn into the second loop) and the run turn-around, and have the run on something other than concrete.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Get ready for the 3rd annual BTT Indoor Time Trial is happening on February 20, 2011 at Landrys in Boston.
Everyone is welcome! There will be competitors of all abilities and we'd love to see you there. The event will fill up fast, to so sign up now and learn all the details go to:
Where: Landry's Boston, 890 Commonwealth Ave
When: Sunday, February 20th. Waves begin at 7:20am
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
This was my 2nd time running the NYC Marathon, having run it in 2006, and honestly it all seemed new to me again…except for the waiting.
With over 45000 runners, you kind of have an idea of what to expect, starting with the Expo, so I literally got down to NYC on Saturday afternoon, off to the expo, got my registration and headed back to the hotel.
The race is a point to point race, that starts on Staten Island, goes though Brooklyn, Queens (woohooo for Ira and Audrey), Manhattan, Bronx, and then back onto Manhattan ending in Central Park.
This means that they need to get you to the start by bus or Ferry, prior to your race start, which for me meant that I had to take the bus from Manhattan at 5.30am. The bus ride is about 40 mins over to the staging area on Staten Island, and once you get there, it is a lot of waiting around. They take the phrase of “Hurry Up and Wait” to a whole new level. They do have a number of tents setup for people to sit in, but these were already full up by the time I got there. Luckily this was something that I had remembered from last time, and I brought a lot of extra clothes to try and stay warm while sitting on my ass for 3 hours.
The start was broken down into 3 waves (9.40am, 10.10 am and 10.40 am start times), with me being in the 10.10 am start. They also break each wave start into 3 different sections, with one group starting going over the top of the Verrazano Bridge, the other 2 groups going on the bottom section of the bridge, and then they split them all again at the end of the bridge with the one group only joining the rest of the field around Mile 8. Back in 2006, I was on the bottom section of the bridge, and this year I was on the top section which was great.
Eventually…it was Go Time!...or so I thought… I was in Coral 26 of my section, which took me about 8 minutes to get to the start, but it did not get any better after the start, as you automatically have a 1mile climb of the bridge, and because of the immense amount of people it was really hard to get going, with people walking / stopping for photos, looking at the scenery etc. so for the 1st mile I had already lost my pacing. At the top of the bridge, I actually went over on my ankle tripping on a water bottle that somebody had dumped, but I was able to run it out, and by Mile 4, it was feeling fine again.
Running through Brooklyn is beautiful, as you go through so many diverse neighborhoods, and spectators are everywhere. You are in Brooklyn until the halfway mark, and then head into Queens for a few miles, before crossing into Manhattan. This bridge was a real killer, which was at Mile 15-16 and it sucked, But you knew that you had Manhattan on the other end of it. When you get into Manhattan, it is really a great experience, with thousands of screaming people. Pretty close to the experience when you get to Wellesley College in the Boston Marathon, but certainly the fans are not all as pretty, and none are offering kisses!
You get onto Manhattan at 59th street, and this is the first real time that the course opens up, as you are running down a very wide road. This was one of my favorite places on the run, because as far as the eye can see, you just see runners. The other nice thing is the you get to “knock off the blocks”…starting at 59th, and knowing that you need to get to 125th to get to the Bronx and only have a 10 k left to do. The problem with this is that you have to train your mind to forget about the fact that you need to run all the way back down the other side.
Up until Mile 22/23, my timing was good, and I was happy where I was at, with a good ½ time. Unfortunately at this point, you are on 5th ave going up towards the park, and then into the park, and it is all uphill.
Again the crowds along this section , and all the way to the finish were phenomenal, with people standing 5 – 10 deep at places. By the time I got to 25, my legs were sore, but I still felt good, and I had 9 minutes to break 3.39.59 (my initial goal). One problem was that I was telling myself that I only had 1 mile to go…but neglected to tell my mind about the other .2. I really started running hard that last mile, and was passing a lot of people, but whenever I looked down at my legs, they just didn’t seem to be going as fast as I thought they were. They have a fantastic finishing area once you enter the park again, and they have it marked at each 100m, starting at 1000m going down, so it really gives you something extra to push towards.
It really felt like I was sprinting the last 1000m, but am sure that if there was video of me, I was probably dragging my ass.
I was happy to cross the finish line and happy with my time, although I did not hit my initial goal. (Whenever I race, I usually have 3 goals, with one being a specific time, then 2 (if I miss 1) being a PR, and the 3(If I miss 1 and 2) to finish.)
Time: 3h41.00 (1m01s short of my goal 1…BUT still a 12 min PR)…. Goal 2 Done!
After the race, you feel like cattle being herded as they try and filter people through, and back to the trucks to collect your belongings that you handed in at the start. This actually turned out well, as it gave you a good 10-15 minute walk after the race to prevent you from totally seizing up. Then it was off to my favorite part of any race…the BAR!
Recommend it: Yes Absolutely!
Best Sign/s: Sign 1: Don’t Stop…… Sign 2 (The next Girl over): That’s what she said!
What to Bring to the start: Lots of throw away clothes to hang out in at the start.
Expectations: Expect a lot of people…congestion..people running with camcorders.. people stopping to take pictures.
Don’t: Get frustrated
For those that want to see the route and my data, here is the link to my Garmin info from race day.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
|Mass Swim Start|
|Still feeling decent coming off the bike|
|Tim Tapply starting the run|
|Starting the run and still feeling good|
|Heading back on Alii Drive....still cruising|
|Finishing up with the "Nothing I could do" gesture to Jenn.|
|Mexican food and beers post race|
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Swim: 33:58 [1:36.5 /100 yd]
Start was rough, didn't have time to properly warm up, sighting was tough due to sun & fog. Put myself mid/right about 3 rows back... in hindsight, maybe that was unnecessarily aggressive considering that I was not warmed up! 2 loop course, first loop was tough all the way around fighting for position. Right goggle leaked, cleared it once right at start. Second loop much better, got into a good rhythm. Was looking for Laurie D. doing a relay swim as I was sure she would swim over me... not that I would have recognized her among the 500 other swimmers trying to drown me. Run to T1 was up a STEEP hill to transition... timed hill climb challenge... interesting, but decided not to race
up that hill, kinda pointless for the my overall race I figured. Props to Jess D. who gets fastest BTT'er up the hill (and yes, she also beat me like a piñata in the swim for her relay!)
Bike 2:34:37 (my Garmin had distance of 54.56 mi. giving an avg. of 21.2mph)
Felt good starting out the bike, noticed right away that my HR strap was not transmitting and after fiddling with it a bit, just decided to use RPE. Not that I had another choice... but I didn't want to waste time trying to maybe reset the computer or stop and mess with it! So I figured if I have a good race, great... even better since I've never raced by RPE. If I don't, and completely blow up... then I have an excuse! I very quickly caught up (or he caught me, I forget) with Will Bruce who I know had a very similar time at Timberman and we are generally pretty similar pace. That was good news so I thought if I pretty much stick with him I won't over pace... maybe... still wanted to beat him though (duh!)... was gonna save that for the end.
on the run.
Legs felt pretty heavy right off the bike and running out of T2... thought I maybe pushed it bit too hard on the bike, I don't remember my legs feeling like that after Tman. That went away almost immediately though after about 2 minutes or less... the first .5 to 1 mile was a decent downhill so pace was very fast but I kept it under control. Was basically shooting for 7:30's for first 5k. My knee felt fine for first 20 minutes and then that low grade pain started just like during training... since this was a race, I figured things are supposed to hurt so F*&% it!
Will's official time reflects that he was 3 minutes behind me but in reality he beat me by 1:36 and I'll give it to him... so now we are sort of even, since I beat him by 6 seconds at Timberman! At some point early on when he was a little ahead of me I saw the bike marshals ride up along and stay next to him for a while. From what I could see he didn’t appear do be drafting but things got a bit bunched up at the base of a hill and apparently they gave him a drafting penalty. Totally undeserved in my opinion!
The race turned out to be incredibly fun and the post race turkey dinner was amazing, BTT closed down the beer tent, making sure to uphold our reputation, and stuck around to cheer for the last finisher, which was nice! Surprisingly, no BTT'ers podium... I'll try to make sure that doesn’t happen next year... though Esprit in Montreal is the same weekend and looks like a lot of fun.
So to sum it all up, yesterday I peed on myself twice... and got a medal and a
turkey dinner for it. I'm ready for a break now!
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Race morning was beautiful, but COLD. I asked Andy Schacht the temp during the middle of the bike, and he told me it was 55 degrees. Plus it was windy, and looked like it might rain. Thankfully, since I had forgotten mine at home, Sue had some arm warmers for me to borrow, even though it meant that Noah would be making fun of me for the rest of the day. Not being used to waiting around so much to start a race, I occupied myself taking pictures of BTT and FOBTT – although some of them were not that happy to see my camera at the top of that hill climb! It was very cool to see Jess charging up the hill, giving it her all after her first swim this season! Although, both Ira and I appreciated you not puking on us J I exchanged the chip to Ira’s ankle, and he was off. Which meant more waiting…
Thursday, September 16, 2010
By Jason Soules
Date: September 12, 2010
First a thank you and congrats to Regina. Regina is now a two-time Survivor. The thank you is for reminding us all of this cool little race and the congrats is for her 2nd place overall female finish!
So, are you getting tired of the swim, bike, run routine? Are you looking to run off road? Do you like running in wet shoes? Well, if yes to any of those, then SOS is a fun, different, and challenging event to look at for your Fall race schedule next year. This was the 25th year of this race and it is small and very well run; well supported, well marked, safe, and terrific food post-race.
The race is an eight stage event. I will quickly describe each section of the race and then give a few comments on my experience(s).
Stage 1: 30 mile road cycle - The bike starts in an age group, 1-minute interval, time-trial start. The course is mostly flat for the first 25 miles. Nice, pastoral country roads. Lots of corn. It is noted at the start that the distant tower, looming over the valley is the race finish. So, for the last 5 miles of the bike, you head straight up for a nearly 1,200 foot climb. Not too bad at any one point, but quite consistent. At the top you hand off your bike to a support crew (Carolyn was there with FLIP camera and a smile). The race is totally a point to point so Carolyn had set up my transition area – very neatly done I might add!
Stage 2: 4.5 mile run - At this point I should note that when you leave the transition area, you have to bring everything that you need for the rest of the race, except gels/fluid and you cannot get rid of anything from that point on (garbage is of fine). The run is mostly uphill for the first half and then flat to the start of the swim, stage 3. The terrain is dirt/gravel and in some places lumpy stones that you have to navigate through – pretty much the condition of all of the run stages.
Stage 3: 1.1 mile swim - So shoes in hand, or somewhere, you jump in the water and swim from one end of the first lake to the other end. Crystal clear, beautiful cool (~70degree F water). Instead of waiting on this topic, I will share my approach to the swim. The swim/shoe issue is a major component of “surviving.” I had a tip from Regina and my approach was the wear compression socks the whole race to have a very fitted sock on my foot for my wet shoes, in hopes of avoiding bad chaffing/blisters/etc.
I wore a one-piece tri suit and at each swim, rolled the suit down to my waist and put one shoe in my pants in the front and one in back (not to uncomfortable if you put the shoes the right way), then rolled the suit back up. Goggles and cap on (had been in by tri suit pockets). Off I went. At the swim exit, reversed the process at the water’s edge, put the shoes on in the water and trudged out and started running. I put the shoes on in the water to avoid getting lots of crap stuck to my wet socks – also worked quite well.
Stage 4: 5.5 mile run - More of the same, but mostly flat with a gentle down hill
Stage 5: .5 mile swim - Same as the other swim
Stage 6: 8 mile run - More of the same but the last 1.5 miles or so pitch back up a lot to the last swim
Stage 7: .5 mile swim - Same but with a beautiful view of Mohonk Mountain House near the swim exit – really a spectacular place
Stage 8: .7 mile scramble up a narrow trail with steps to the lookout point and the finish
I found the swimming technique worked very well. One last note, I had a great experience with a new brand of shoes. I used the K-Swiss K-Ona shoe for this race because it is a tri specific shoe, very light, with lots of mesh and holes in the sole. My feet felt dry after only a few minutes of running.
The combined 18 miles of running felt less difficult I think because it was broken up. That said, the trail running felt different than how I was trained.
The swimming was great but the second and third swims were harder than I thought – my arms felt heavy. I think that this had something to do with swimming after biking and running, which again, I was not really trained for.
Support crews were very friendly and all over the course. Unlike the Nubble Light Swim, I never really felt that I was all alone in the race (Nubble Light – that is a whole separate report).
Post event party was incredible. Biggest spread I have ever seen. The awards ceremony took about an hour longer than I thought necessary, but the tradition has been to wait to do awards until after the last person “survives.” At over 8 hours, that person survived a lot!
In summary, I would recommend this race. If you want to do, mark your calendar for the registration date and stay up until midnight because that is the only way you will get in. It sold out in 15 minutes this year.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
August 29, 2010
0.5 mi swim, 17 mi bike, 3.5 mi run
Journey for Sight is a Firm race in my hometown of
The race was at
Here are the specifics of the race:
Swim: It was a beach start for the ½ mile swim (triangle). Only two waves – most of the men went first and then 4 minutes later off went the ladies, clydesdales and relays. The race was delayed only by 2 minutes as the announcer stated that they had to wait for the state police. The water temperature in the pond was in the low 70’s. The swim was uneventful but probably a little short.
Transition 1: A challenging transition so it deserved its own section. Racers exit from the water then run up a paved hill with about 10 stairs to climb at the top. The stairs should have been covered as they were wooden and really not great for bare feet.
Bike: Racers rode out of the park about 3 miles and then the bike starts a loop which you do twice. On the ride out of the park, there is a huge speed bump and there should have been a volunteer or big sign warning about the bump. Other than the speed bump, I thought the bike course was great. It had wide shoulders, well paved roads (except for one small section) and very little traffic. Troopers and volunteers were at several intersections and very attentive and a few of the Troopers were cheering (this was a first for me). The course had a few climbs but I’m guessing I really would not have thought anything of them had I not just raced a ½ Ironman the week before.
Run: The 3.5 mile run was on a paved trail inside the park and it was completely shaded. Regardless of racing Timberman, the run course was challenging. The run begins on flat trail for about ¾ mile then you start a long climb which is also the start the first of two loops. I gave a shout out to Mark as I was starting my first loop and he was heading into his second and then I blinked and he was gone.
I thought the race venue was great and really enjoyed the morning. I think this race just became my new favorite tri and I’m hoping that a few more of us can get out to western mass next year and maybe I’ll give you the hometown tour.
Cyclocross: We then traveled to Palmer to cheer Christina on for her race and she placed second under really tough weather conditions since it had to be over 90 degrees by the time her race started. Mark and I noticed that a few folks who raced the triathlon traveled to Palmer and raced in that event as well so there is a nice challenge for folks next year.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
By Noah Manacas
A few short recovery weeks after the Boston Marathon (my first) I resumed my tri training with a focus on Timberman 70.3 as my A race and first Half Iron, along with a few others for fun. My training varied between 12-16 hrs/ week of swim, bike, run and strength workouts and I got all of them in except a swim here and there. Early in the season I did my first century ride and a fun Kancamangus Climb in NH with some BTT friends and then I stuck to the plan of shorter rides & run on weekdays and long bricks and runs on weekends. I tried to use my planned race nutrition on my long bricks and did them all outside despite the heat or rain. We got lucky this year as the weather until now has been great! A little rain or heat beats a 4 hr trainer ride any day!!
By mid-August, I was ready for taper and feeling good! On race morning I was calm and focused, in transition by 5:30 and ready for my 7:55 wave start... after tracking down some extra gels (thanks Jorge)... yes, I meticulously planned my nutrition and packed my bags the night before but didn’t bring my gels for the run, or any cash... dohhhh!
Swim: It was fun to watch the pros go off, and dream of someday being able to swim like that! With 20' to my start I hopped in for a quick swim warm up. The water was warm but the air was chilly and I was glad to have the Sleeveless wet suit. The swim sure did look loooong... I could barely see the last red turn buoy even though they were about 8 feet tall... and are those white caps? Maybe I shouldn’t have skipped those swims! One buoy at a time, that’s all I have to do, and I was actually looking forward to it.
I started on the outside, maybe a little too far out... I kept a steady effort and tried to stay long and efficient and before I knew it I was around that last turn and heading to the water exit arch. I did pass a lot of people on that last few hundred yards so that made me feel good. Having breast/side stroked my first 1/4 mile sprint swim two years ago, I'm pretty satisfied with my swim time... though I know much improvement is possible.
Swim Results: 36:36 (1:54/100) Division: 124/283, Overall: 696/2141
Bike: I felt great coming out of the water and through T1 in 2:24 and ready to kill the bike. My longest bike distance in a race had been 25 miles, so I was not sure what it would feel like to put out a high Z3 effort for that amount of time. I stuck to the plan, mostly, after a good spike at the beginning... the excitement and the early hills got to me! The cool weather helped and by the time I got to the turn around and saw that my average speed was almost 22mph and I was still feeling great, I knew it was going to be a good day, all I had to do was push it through the false flats on the way back and I had it made.
I could have done without the rain on the last long downhill; hitting 44mph in the rain is a little scary! Tip: when it's wet out, check and ride your brakes a little to dry them out BEFORE you need them! I was taking my feet out of the shoes before I knew it and rolling (a bit too fast) up to the dismount line. I could hardly believe how good I felt and I was ready to tackle the run.
Bike Results: 2:38:51 (21.2mph) Bike Division: 72/283 Bike Overall: 350/2141
Run: The run started out great after a 2:24 T2. I could hardly keep myself from running sub 7's even though my HR was not climbing very high and my legs felt pretty fresh... much more so than any of my long bricks... but then again those rides were 75-80 miles in the heat! So I slowed myself down for the first 5k and then things got a little tough. The course is quite hilly and the last 3 miles where a challenge... but by mile 12 I was hunting down my AG'rs and I passed at least a handful.
One more to pass at the finish line and I almost sprinted right past Chrissie Wellington who was handing out medals. She stopped me and handed me a medal and I gave her a big hug and told her she was awesome! That was the only thing I could think to say, at some point rounding loop one on the run I had heard the announcer say that she won the race! It was a great end to an amazing day.
Run Results: 1:38:43 (7:33) Run Division: 48/283 Run Overall: 229/2141
I didn't even realize until later on that I broke 5 hrs!! One thought that went through my head several times during the day was something I heard from Coach Vic "focus on the execution and results will follow". I did... and it worked! Thanks to everyone who cheered and helped my get there!!
Overall Results: 4:59:02 Division place 60/283 Overall Place 288/2141 (M35-39)
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Last year was my first year in triathlon, and doing a half iron was never the plan. But I did it, and when I crossed the finish line of Timberman 70.3 2009, I was determined to train hard and break 6 hours in 2010. So for a year that has been my main goal. However, life always has a way of stepping in!
For the last few months I have been struggling with serious depression. Things have gotten very bleak at times, and as a consequence, I've missed entire weeks of training as I sometimes was unable to even get out of bed in the morning. I came back from cheering on teammates at IMLP injured and out of sorts. The last month has been very hard, and leading up to the race, I'd barely spoken to anyone or left my house, had only done short workouts, and not enough of them, and had been trying to decide if I should even go through with the race. I did not feel prepared at all.
After much debate, I finally decided to at least start the race, but that it would be one of my last races. After Timberman, I am signed up for Cranberry sprint relay, Pumpkinman relay, Lobsterman olympic, and Mohawk-Hudson marathon. That's more races than I've done the entire rest of the tri season! My plan is to finish out these races (if I can get healthy) and then pack it in. After 3 years or so of trying to be an athlete after a lifetime of being an overweight couch potato, I still feel like a fraud most of the time. Like that Sesame Street song, "which one of these is not like the others? Which one of these just doesn't belong?"
Anyway, back to Timberman. After a fun time Friday night camping, and watching the sprint race on Saturday, we relaxed by the fire on Saturday night, and then went to sleep early. Only to be woken up at ~2AM by the sound of POURING rain. I was very nervous, since it was my first time using my tent, so I wasn't sure how waterproof it was. I slept fitfully after that, finally getting up at 4:30. Brett, Nicole, Nikki and I took the shuttle from Gunstock to Ellacoya, and proceeded to transition. I tried to distract myself by taking pictures of teammates and friends, which slightly backfired when I lost my camera! 2 days after buying a camera, and I lose it! After freaking out, luckily a volunteer had found it. Phew, but my nerves were pretty shot after that.
I went down to the water to the swim start, and realized that I had forgotten the Gu that I usually take before the swim at home, and chamois butter at the BTT tent instead of transition. All my self doubts took over at that point, and I melted down. BQ happened to come by, and his "geez, this isn't the Olympics!" at least got me moving again. LOL, thanks Brian :)
I warmed up in the water with Kim for a bit, and then we ran to the start since our wave was next. Huddling with Nikki, Kim, Lauren, and Nicole, I just tried to breathe normally and was trying to decide if I was swimming or running out at the beginning, since it was shallow for quite awhile. I decided it would keep my heart rate down and use less energy (plus, I'm short, so my arms wouldn't hit the ground the way others were) to swim right from the get go. As soon as everyone finally started to swim, I got kicked - hard - in the face. Luckily, it just pushed my goggles further into my face instead of off.
Since I have contacts, this has always been my biggest fear in triathlon. Since it happened right at the start of the race, it actually relaxed me, and I ended up having one of my best swims ever. The water was very rough, I was a little worried about getting seasick, and felt like I was body surfing at times. After the last turn, I started to get a little tired, and my shoulder was burning. In December, I had shoulder surgery, and could not get in a pool until March, and have had some setbacks with building up my strength.
So my mind started to wander a bit as I tired, and I suddenly realized that I was slowing down, and I had been forgetting to sight! I snapped back to the race, pushed hard, swam over a few guys that were also heading in the wrong direction, and got back on the path to the swim finish. Not only was it (barely) my fastest swim, but I was able to bilaterally breathe almost the whole time, and did not stop when someone hit me or swam over me, both of which are major improvements in conserving my energy.
Swim time - 39:39 (Mooseman '10, 43:07; Tman '09, 39:47)
As I got out of the water and pulled off my swim cap, I dropped my Garmin. So I had to jump off the ledge to get it back, and I felt my quad pull as I climbed back up. I grabbed a water, got 'stripped' and headed to transition. Heard my name called, and there was Shaun with my chamois butter. Thank you so much! In transition, I looked around, and saw Kim, Nicole, Brett, and Jay around me. It was comforting to see teammates; I just wish I had less time to see them, as I couldn't get my helmet on, and had a 4.5 minute T1! Finally got it on, and was off! Mounted the bike right in front of the tent, so got to hear everyone cheering as I headed out for a 3 hour ride.
The bike was fairly uneventful, except for getting screamed at by some guy from NY that I tried to pass, because he was riding his brakes down a fairly shallow hill, and losing my water bottle because my race belt was interfering with my ability to get into my pockets (luckily I didn't take anyone out!). I can't have a water bottle cage on my bike frame because it's a Y Foil, so I carry one in my back. pocket. I’ve avoided using the saddle-mounted cages because I’ve had bottles eject in front of me. Ironic, I know. I also was disappointed that I was always in big packs of people riding their brakes in the middle of the road on ALL of the major downhills. I was forced to go a lot slower than I wanted to. But I really enjoyed the bike, even though I wished there were a few more chances to come out of aero, as my shoulder was killing me!
The injuries that I've been struggling with are my L glute and my R hamstring. Last week, I was barely walking. The glute was actually feeling better after a deep tissue massage by Lauren S on Monday. But the hamstring, while better, was still really sore. It started to bother me towards the end of the bike, and since the way back was a little more uphill, and I knew I still had to run (which I was very nervous about), I decided to dial it back a little to save some legs. Pulling into T2, I was worried I had very little in reserve.
Bike time - 3:02:31 (Mooseman 3:29:45; Tman '09 3:11:26)
I thought my T2 was fairly quick, but it was actually 3:33. I'm not sure what I did for 3 minutes. I debated about using the portapotty, decided not to, and headed out on the run. I wanted to run ~10 min/miles, which should have gotten me in at right about 6 hours. I was supposed to start out slow and then pick it up if I felt better. I managed to stay pretty steady, and averaged ~9:50 on the first loop. I held that for 2 more miles, and then it all fell apart. My R knee no longer felt like it was attached to the rest of my leg!
And my hamstring was just excruciating. I started to walk more and more. It got to the point where I was only able to run the downhills, where gravity was helping out. I had "One Foot in Front of the Other" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9jeh4mA5us) in my head (yes, clearly, I watched too much TV as a kid, lol).
I saw lots of teammates out on the run (and was very jealous of those that were finishing!). It helped a lot to look for the blue & green, and try to offer encouragement in turn. Only one mishap when I called Joe, Cory (yeah, I know, they look so much alike, right?!). I also got to take my mind off my painful legs for a mile or so as I tried to figure out who the mystery BTT photographer was (that I now know was Pat). And I got a laugh when Sue told me I was 'almost finished' after the first loop! I really do love being a part of this team. I also saw quite a few friends from Dreamfar, BPC, Zoom, SRR, which was great, since I was focused on everyone else, and not the bad voice in my head that was telling me I wasn't cut out for this.
FINALLY, I turned down into the finisher chute. I was excited to see that Chrissie Wellington was at the finish line again handing out medals. My friend Lisa was also there, waiting for her boyfriend to finish, and she took a picture of me with Chrissie. That was awesome!
Run time - 2:20:05 (Mooseman 2:10:20; Tman 2:21:08)
Final time - 6:10:16 (Mooseman 6:30:07; Tman '09 6:22:24)
All in all, I guess I'm happy. Can't quite get past the disappointment of being that close to hitting my goal, and not being able to hang on. But I followed my nutrition plan this time, and didn't have the stomach/dehydration problems that I had at Mooseman. I had a PR on the swim and the bike, and could have broken 3 hours on the bike if I hadn't dialed it back so much the last 15 miles. I felt strong overall, I just didn't have that last little bit I needed.