My training going into this race was not what I would call stellar. With the boys home for summer I just didn't have the motivation or desire to stress myself out with trying to figure out how to get my training in during the week and keep them happy. I also had zero desire to hop on the trainer when it was beautiful outside, so my training for the 6 weeks leading up to this race was pretty much 1 long ride, 1 long run and maybe a swim.
I actually considered dropping down to the aquabike, but then I felt like I would always wonder what would happen, and I do have to admit I was curious to know what racing on this small amount of training would feel like. (How sick is that?)
I headed out to Ohio on Friday with a car full of bikes, gear and triathletes. I left my men at home and picked up one of my athletes and a friend of his on the way. It was a fun drive out. We arrived at the Team Rev3 Tiki House (the best accommodations in Cedar Point if you ask me) and I headed down to the expo. I was so excited to finally get to meet some of my long-distance team mates in real life!! Lots of hugs and smiles for sure!!
Last minute I decided to run the 5k Glow Run since I found a couple of takers on the "let's just go slow and have fun" idea. It was great...even the 2 miles we had to run on the sand!! The sunset was perfection!
|There might have been stopping for picture taking...|
Saturday was an early morning as I reported to the expo at 6 to help with the kids tri race, which was a ton of fun. I know I've said it before, but Rev3 just does such a good job in creating a race experience for the entire family, and it is something I am very proud to be a part of!
The rest of the day was spent eating, hanging out with friends, doing a bit of expo work, checking my stuff in and checking in with my two athletes who were racing on Sunday as well. One of them was doing the Full and the other decided to do the full at the last minute (I KNOW!!). This did add a little bit of stress onto me as a coach, but ultimately athletes have to make decisions for themselves. This was this particular athlete's 3rd full of the year, so I wasn't too worried. He ended up doing pretty well...5th overall ain't bad for an unplanned full! My other athlete also raced really well (congrats, Tom!!) resulting in a PR for the full distance and 3rd in his Age Group!!
It felt a little weird to not be racing the full, and with my, ahem, lack of training it almost seemed like it was just a half. (Note to self...there is no such thing as just a half.)
Race day dawned early and windy. The swim was changed to an alternate site since Lake Erie looked like the Pacific Ocean with huge waves! This made the run to transition a little over half a mile, which turned my T1 time from it's usual just under 2 min to almost 9 minutes!
It was a good call though, and when I saw the waves over where we would have been swimming I was very thankful we got to swim at all! My swim time was slower than usual at just over 39 minutes. I tried to blame it on a long course, but I'm pretty sure that swimming 2 times in six weeks was the culprit!
Onto the bike which I was excited about. The wind certainly was a factor and I would love to see what I could do on this course without it, but I was still able to pull off a bike PR for this distance at 3:02:22. I have to admit I think the wind added an element of daring and excitement that made the time just fly. I also had decided to race without my HR monitor, so I was flying on feel alone which ultimately was a very good call for me. I tend to overthink and over analyze on race day, so it felt really good to just go and trust my experience to get me through.
I knew the run was probably not going to feel great, but I really decided to just leave it all out there. I was really hoping to finally go under 6 hours, but knew that a six week taper was probably not the best plan to be successful in that! Having said that though, I pushed pretty darn hard on that run and laid down my fastest run split of the season for a half at 2:11. Not blazing I know, but I'm pretty sure the flat course played a huge role in that. Still, I ran the whole way and was really pleased with my effort. One of my goals during any race is to have fun and encourage those around me, and I nailed it! I love this picture above because it shows exactly how I feel about racing. It just makes me happy.
My final time ended up being 6:03:05. Minus the super long transition run it totally would have been under 6, but I have to take full responsibility for not hitting that because of my lack of training. Here's a picture of me realizing that, yet again, I am just a few minutes to slow.
|At least I can smile about it.|
The rest of the day and into the night, I cheered my athletes and my team mates and every one else on. My cheeks hurt from smiling so much. I got some of the best sweaty hugs ever. I high-fived and danced and laughed and just let loose.
|The Rev3 Age Group Team at the finish line. So proud to be a part of this family.|
Best race ever.