I arrived in Connecticut last Wednesday and was lucky enough to be staying with a fantastic homestay that was only a short ride to the race start. Thanks to the Mackenzie family of Middlebury for all the great hospitality!!
Now, the race. It went well. It was a strong field of women, multiple Ironman winners, 70.3 World Champions, strong girls!! It was a beautiful venue and a great day for a race. The Rev 3 crew, Charlie and Carol with Trakkers did a great job with the new race! I had a solid swim, on Leanda Cave's feet the whole way, enjoying the draft, although we swam off course after the first turn buoy--just to get a little extra mileage in! Did I mention that I love the Half Ironman swim starts, so civilized and pleasant...ahhh!
Onto the bike, Coach and I have been working on the cycling for the last few weeks, my power is finally coming back-all part of the plan! It was a tough hilly tree-lined course, the worst hill was 7 miles long and the hills just kept coming, you never really had time to get into a rhythm. It truly was a beautiful ride!! Natasha Badmann rode by me up the hill in her areobars and shouted something nice with a smile on her face...man that girl can ride! I managed to come off the bike in 5th place and only a few minutes down (with a 'pack' of girls behind me...that is all I will say about that...), I was psyched, ready to make my move on the run! A side note; I wasn't able to grab any water at the last aid station on the bike and ran out of fluids on the last 14 miles...I had been a little worried about this starting the run.
Onto the run, I tried to push is hard the first 2 miles. My legs were not liking me but they usually come around. I noticed my HR was lower than I usually race at, so I tried to pick it up. I just couldn't get going, even on the hills, my HR stayed fairly low....I tried everything Coach Paul always tells me to do; I focused on technique, I gave myself lots of love and positive self talk, I knocked back a few Power Gels, I drank at the aid stations, I pushed hard and was aggressive...mentally I was in the right spot but the legs (and my HR) wanted no part of it! I felt like I was stuck in a jog pace and couldn't do anything about it, very frustrating! I finished off in 6th place and still managed to slug out a sub-1:30 half marathon but was pretty disappointed knowing that I can run much better! Just need to tweak the race plan and training a bit before the next half.....but I think it's all coming together! Richard and I are going to have an aid-station-water-bottle-grabbing training session before the next half!!
My race poster below; how cool is that? The Rev 3 crew made them up for us and had them at our transition spot! Since the Timex HQ is only 1 mile from the lake, I did a tour of the building and picked up some more great Team Timex gear! My AquaSphere wetsuit, shiny silver Bontrager cycling shoes (so cool!) and a few Timex hats (including the pink be-dazzled one for Richard)!
Post race Bree, my Timex teammate AC, and I went into the lake to 'ice' our legs (it really wasn't cold enough, especially after being in the ocean around Victoria!). Here were are displaying all the 'treasures' we found in the lake! It really was a nice lake despite having all sorts of beach treasures!
For our 'cooldown' we hit the Quassy amusement park that the race site was on! This is the 'Mad Mouse'...we found it terrifying....old and rickety! Getting soft in my old age!
Now back at home, the focus has switched back to the ITU Olympic distance races (Maddy is excited, it's her turn--Frank needs a rest after the last few weeks!), so I need to recover well from the race. In Victoria after the Shawnigan race we had a great recovery session at the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence (PISE), where they have 3 baths filled with hot or cold water, showers and stationary bikes which we alternated on to flush our legs after racing. I felt great after I did the hot/cold session there, so I decided to reproduce at home--I found this giant Rubbermaid 110L container at Walmart for $19--I tested it out in the store! Worked like a charm! Below is the Mountain Institute for Sport Excellence (MISE) facility. If you're curious, my protocol for today was 12x90sec alternating between the hot and cold. Unfortunately it's best to end on the cold--brrrr! Does wonders for the legs.
Now what? I'll be dailing-in my race plan for the Calgary 70.3 in August but for now it's time for some speed work! I'm off to Washington DC on the 17th to kick off a month of ITU Olympic distance racing. Pulling Maddy out tomorrow for a spin, putting the cleats onto my shiny new shoes....exciting! Watching hockey, hopefully the Pens can hang on for game 6...I'm actually home to watch now!
Thanks for all the pre/post race wishes from everyone! Hope all is well!