Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Rev 3 Florida Du Race Report.. Roll With The Punches!

 One of my favorite parts about triathlon is getting to know other athletes well and seeing each other at races.  You feel a bit calmer to see a friendly face, share war stories and just be out there together.  I've really enjoyed getting to know Erin Spitler this year as a fellow professional and she's become such a good friend!

After watching the weather almost the entire day on Saturday and constantly seeing reports of "high winds this and rip tides that" I knew there was a chance we wouldn't swim on Sunday.  Of course, I always want all of the athletes to be safe (and of course I want to be as well), but man do you hope somehow you'll be able to do a real triathlon like we all spend countless hours in the pool for all year! The Age Group call was made when I woke up at 5:00am but the call on the swim for the pro's wouldn't be made until 7:00am.  My Mother was all of about crawling out of her skin for those 1.5 hours until we heard the final word when we arrived - No swim for the pro's either.  Ok.. it is what it is.  A big part of triathlon is being able to accept the things you cannot change and stay positive regardless.  It's easier said than done sometimes, but you have to do it this way because the mental plays such a role in the physical outcomes of the day.
 I arrived to find my poster waiting for me again and I seriously said out loud "Where do they GET these pictures!"  Well, I've started to deduce that they go to my Facebook page and pull what they like.  This definitely is an older picture that Kyle took for a photo shoot audition.  It's really cool how Rev 3 does this for us and it really does make you feel special.  I love taking them home so thank you to Rev 3!
 Once I heard we would be running 1.5 miles, biking 56 and then running 13.1, I texted my coach about how fast to go out on the first run and then just relaxed and watched the action until the gun would go off at 8:12am.

 They think of some really neat things to get into the feel of the race venue and this race didn't disappoint as Jim belted out Jimmy Buffet and other great songs like "Sweet Caroline (duh duh duuuhhh)" while we all got ready to race the duathlon.  The winds were so strong my Mom and I chilled behind a bathroom because they were really whipping.  I knew it would be a tough bike, especially with my new 808's, but I just trusted that no matter what came up I would be able to handle it.

 Finally it was time to line up with twenty other pro women in my first start of this type!  The goal was to go out at 6:15 pace.  Ha ha.. with these girls.. not so much.
 When that gun went off I went back into the days of Penn State track.  I was running the 3000 meters and it felt just like coming home.  We were with the wind on the way down.  As soon as we would turn back we would be fighting a head wind and I wanted to be tucked in a pack after that turn around so I was forced to run whatever pace the middle group was running.  That turned out to be 5:45.. oh yeah, this was going to hurt later :)

1.5 mile run: 8:48

A large pack of us came into together and it was crazy in T1.  I did NOT do such a great job of making a quick turn around and a few girls beat me right out even though they were a few seconds behind me.  I have to do better and I probably need to start putting my shoes on my bike.  I promise I will next year!

Out on the bike I was dialing in my power right away and the Rev 3 Bike Course was a bit loop which would undoubtedly have the strongest wind of the day during the last 20 miles heading back to T2.

The girls I came out onto the bike course seemed to be pulling away right away and although before the race I felt very confident in the power numbers my coach had given me as goals for the first & second 28 miles my legs didn't seem to want to participate.  I was trying to push push push but I didn't seem to be getting my average up there and it definitely wasn't easy (at all).  None the less, I know from years of racing that sometimes you have patches where you feel like el crapo.  When that happens you just stick to your plan as best as you can, attempt to not let the demons creep in and wait for it to pass.

The cool part was I could still SEE the other girls in those first 15-25 miles and that kept me interested.  The wind was at our back and I could feel certain sections I was flying, but power doesn't lie so you have to keep pushing!  That's just what I did!

FINALLY, right after my first 28 miles turned over on the garmin it reset to give me a new chance to meet the second half power goals and I was feeling BETTER!  That was the great news.  The not so great news is the winds were coming and it was going to be ugly!  I felt good and it was time to push!  Within 15 mins I was starting to pass the girls who seemed to be pulling away for the first half and things were coming around!  Erin and Jacqui were in that mix and we encouraged each other and stayed legal since we had a draft marshal with us almost the entire bike.

Around 53 I started to really feel those miles and miles into the wind.  I thought I had decently well with my drinking my bottles and almost had 3.5 -24 oz bottles down the hatch but it was really hard to drink when the wind was pushing us around so much those last miles.  I definitely started to get worried because I hadn't even had the URGE to pee.. not even one bit.  NOT a good sign for me.

Bike Time: 2:25:08
When I finally pulled into T2 I was just hoping I got enough fluid in to execute the run at the paces I was capable of if my legs showed up.  We headed out and down with the wind and I was flying. If I felt this good the whole time I thought "WATCH OUT!"  I tried to stay level headed but my pace was almost scaring me - 6:15-6:30.. oh boy.  

We made a turn after the first 1.5 miles along a lake and the wind at the back turned to no wind and all and it was HOT.  Feeling ok I started looking for girls coming the other way at the 3 mile turn around.  I calculated I was in 7th place.  Ok! I can work with that!  

I wasn't making too much ground on the other girls and I was really starting to worry about my hydration level.  My heart rate seemed pegged but my pace around mile 5 was already slowing.  Yikes.. can you say mini-Galveston 70.3.  When we came back in toward T2 I saw my Mom, Marni and had lots of cheers so that lifted my spirits a bit!  Right after I passed the 6.5 mile mark Lauren came flying by me like I was standing still.  Ugh.. this was not going like I had hoped!  It was time to just grit my teeth and dig in one mile at a time!  I iced down, drank and tried not to lose any more ground.  Nope, Miss Zoot passed me like I'm standing still again.. oh man. Not liking getting passed on that run.  At 8 miles I passed another girl and trying not to look like I was dying. 

The last 1.5 miles were executed on nothing but pure guts and will into a fierce headwind that felt like I seriously wasn't moving.  It hurt WAY more than the first time! My pace was so miserable I stopped looking at my watch.  FINISH FINISH FINISH

 I rounded the bend and headed for home!  When I finally hit that finish line I felt like passing out after!  I was so happy to be done!
 Just to torture me my coach my sent me out for another 40 min run :)  Thanks Jesse!  It was nice to stand on another podium and pay for a part of my trip.  It was an honor, as always, to race with these girls and just be out there and be healthy.  No matter how bad I feel I always realize how lucky I am to just get this chance and in the end my run wasn't as bad as I thought.

Run Time: 1:28:56, 9th place female professional

Next time if I can actually not be dehydrated (which happens to me again and again) I know I can run faster!  Just have to drink like a mad fool.
Thanks to my Mom for coming along on the trip - I love you Mom!  Thanks to my fellow competitors who inspire me, Rev 3 for putting on a great race and finally my amazing sponsors who always support me.

Ballou Skies for allowing me to be part of this great team that does so much good for boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.  Power bar for fueling me with delicious products that never fail me on race day.  Newtons  for helping me run with good form and hopefully, get speedier with time. Top Gear for outfitting me with a bike that works and helping me learn how to fix it along the way. Jesse my coach at QT2 Systems who I cannot say enough good things about!  You are providing the tools to make this dream possible.  Blueseventy for supporting our Ballou Skies team with super fast wetsuits and speedsuits!!  You all keep me in the game, faster, longer and stronger – I can’t thank you enough!  

Up next: Ironman Arizona in Three weeks.. giddy up!!


Kiet said...

Kim, onward and upward! I know you've had some frustrations this year but I really feel like it is coming together, maybe not as fast as you would hope or as fast as some of these stories you hear about other athletes. But all this is white noise, focus on what you need to do and things will come together. Believe!

Beth said...

Nice work Kim!!! The duathlon is tough, no matter how short that first run is, I think it always makes the 2nd run hurt that much more. Just a few more weeks now for us! :)

Kelly Covert said...

Congrats! It sounds like it was a tough day out there and you pulled out another top 10!!