Monday, August 20, 2007

Arkansas 70.3

Well, well, well.....yes, I have raced in Arkansas. And I wanted to give a full report. Now I realize that some of you out there might not be so keen on the Triathlon thing. But I say, read play by play will give you much joy. And if it doesn't, just lie to me and say that it did.

FRIDAY- August 17th, 7:00 AM Maggie, Amber and Colleen throw three bikes on the back of a SUV and hit the road for Arkadelphia, Arkansas where the Iron Mountain Half Ironman will take place the following day. To prepare for this 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run (yes, all in one day) it has been about 5 months of hard work, some injury along the way and MUCH perseverance!! We begin the 7 hour drive to our destination and there is much chatter in the car of anxiety, nervousness, fear of really hot weather, constant potty breaks because we are trying to stay hydrated, and outright laughter ...well the list could go on.

Music was key in the trip out as we had several different artists to entertain us and each person was responsible for ONE Arkansas mix. Mine consisted of Brandi Carlile, Ryan Adams, Salt -n- Peppa, Jeff Tweedy, The Ditty Bops, Five For Fighting, Rachel Yamagata, Citizen other words good stuff.

As we got closer....a thought occurred to me. In my rush that morning, I forgot to take my racing shorts OFF the drying rack and put them in my bag. At our next potty break, I open my race bag and find that yes folks....I have no shorts. My next hope is that the Expo at Packet Pick-up will have shorts. So, I have 3 hours to wait and see. We get to the Expo, no Women's Shorts my size, so I buy a pair of Men's Tri shorts which are virtually the same except they are longer than I would like. So, I begin to talk about the "man pants" I will have to wear in my race the next day.

next stop....Cabin Fever! I had reserved a cabin right near the race start, that sleeps 5 people (we had two others joining us later that day, Tina & Naomi) This cabin was SWEET! We had the upper level of a cabin home, complete with a deck, grill and retro furniture. We got settled in, waited for Tina & Naomi to arrive and left to go drive the bike course.

As we started to drive, I made notes in my binder of where the difficult climbs were, where the aid stations and bottle swaps would be and I began to visualize myself ROCKING this course from mile 1 to 56!!! We finished that, went back to the cabin, cleaned up, made dinner, got our bikes and gear ready for race day and were in bed by 930!

SATURDAY, AUGUST 18th 5:00 AM, RACE DAY!!!!- My alarm went off at 5 am, got up started the hot water for oatmeal, started the coffee maker and changed into my race top and "man pants" Ate my race morning meal of oatmeal, banana and coffee, loaded up the bikes, used el bano one more time and we are OFF to set up our transitions!


Swim: The swim began at 7:08 AM for All Women in the Half Iron. I took off, just trying to think about my method of swimming. Swimming is what I have had to work on the most and it is my least favorite. I am NOT competitive in the water, I just want to get through and then my race begins!! I popped out of the water at 46:01 (I took off 2.5 minutes from my Half in October 48:25) I was happy and took off for my bike.

Bike: The weather was kind to us as we had TOTAL cloud cover and no high temps for the majority of the bike. I was so glad we had driven the course the day before. I knew where each difficult hill came up, I was shifting as if I had ridden this course 10 times. I was confident on the flats and I rode the course in 3:05 (my time from October 3:12) I had kept an 18.5 mph average on this course, and with two 5 mile climbs in the course and some random steep climbs along the way, I knew I had gotten stronger and was had ROCKED the bike.

Run: Now 13.1 miles. This course was tougher than I had anticipated. A lot of difficult climbs, and they were long endurance on hill work was key. I have started to work on this, but I am not rockstar YET. My goal was to watch my heart rate and stay in the 75-80% of my max. Not pushing it until I hit the last 3 miles. I really stayed true to this and when I hit mile 10, I had a lot of juice let in me to really run hard. My final run time 2:21. (October's time, 2:29) I only took off 8 minutes but this course was tougher and I raced smarter finishing with a smile on my face and a first place finish in my division!! My final time October I raced 6:36...I am happy with 15 minutes off on a tougher course)

We opened up our celebratory beers...oh because Maggie and Amber had placed SECOND & FIRST in their divisions!! We fired up the grill for our Buffalo Burgers and sat out on the deck talking about our day, what we had learned and how we can't WAIT until our next race.

Austin Tri- Labor Day, Olympic Distance
Longhorn Tri- October 7, Half Ironman

In this race I learned that I am stronger than I give myself credit and I was reminded of how much this sport ignites me!! I am thankful for fun girls to race with that are encouraging and so completely supportive! It was a great day of racing....

Until next time.

C-C Nay Nay (that is what Maggie calls me)


islego said...

I am tired just reading never said how the man-pants affected your performance. Call my wife...we have a new grandson, Miles Monroe Alderman!

SLO-Diggity said...

Some of the music you listed sounds familiar! Glad it entertained you through another road trip. You and your man pants crack me up.

maggie said...

it's spelled CC Nenee.

cbobb said...

Good Job Girl!!!!

I miss my training partner and now I have to beat a 6:16. Clermont will count right?

Brian said...

what an awesome & encouraging story. so it's true, we do get better with time - well at least you do!

i never realized how analytical you were. taking notes of where the hills are on the ride. i have a thing or two to learn from you.

man shorts... so you are the chic that posted "man shorts - only worn once (by a women) - $1,000" on craigslist.

congrats on taking your division!