Monday, August 30, 2010

Fall Races

Well, I haven't posted in a while, so I thought I would post an update with my fall race schedule.

Upcoming fall races:
  • Tri for Sight - September 5th (Lexington, KY)
  • K9 Race for a Cure 2k - September 11th (Nicholasville, KY)
  • RJ Corman duathlon - October 2nd (Nicholasville, KY)
  • Ironhorse Half-Marathon - October 31st (Midway, KY)
I am super excited about these four races. The Tri for Sight is coming up this Sunday, and will be my last triathlon of the season. It is just down to road in Lexington (actually the start is pretty much at KET, where I used to work!) so it will be very nice to not have to travel too far or wake up at the crack of dawn. It is kind of crazy that I consider 4:30am to NOT be the crack of dawn...this is a normal wake up time for me!

Next up I will defend my 3rd place overall title at the K9 Race for a Cure 2k race here in Nicholasville. The race takes place right on Main Street and goes right by our house - it will be nice to have Chad and Emma cheering for me from our front porch! The finish line is right in front of the library, so after I pass by the house Chad and Emma can walk a few blocks to meet me at the finish line.

Then, in early October I will be competing in the RJ Corman Duathlon here in Nicholasville. It will be nice to run to the start of the K9 2k, and ride to the start of the duathlon! This will be my first duathlon, so it will be interesting to see how that goes. I've been trying out some trainer specific workouts on the trainer on Sunday morning (ride 10 minutes, run 10 minutes, repeat 4x) and it has been really fun! I'm looking forward to the race.

My last big race of the season will be the IronHorse Half Marathon in Midway, KY (just about 20 minutes away) on October 31st. Kentucky is always so beautiful in the fall, and the race course will wind through some gorgeous central Kentucky horse farms.

I look forward to posting race reports!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

River Cities Tri Race Report pt. 2

With the cork situation taken care of, I felt much better about the day. After we all ate and gathered all of our gear, we loaded up the truck and headed out to the race site. We left at 5:45am, and got to Cypress Lake around 6:30am. After parking, we got things situated with our bikes and bags and then headed to transition. There were a ton of people already there, but it was easy to get into transition, find our racks and get body marked. As we were entering the transition area a race official did check my stem cap, but waived me through - whew! I was glad my DIY cork project passed inspection.

Megan was number 682 and I was number 681, so our bikes were racked right next to each other. I knew this would make our little competition more interesting! We would be able to easily see if the other one was done with the swim or done with the bike. And since we are in the same age group (twins!) we started in the same swim wave, which made our competition a little more head to head.

After getting set up, I left the transition area and ran straight into my parents! I was so glad I was able to find them so easily. Not long after that, I found Chad, his mom and his sister and they all walked down to the swim start. I want back into transition and lost Megan and Genie for about 15 minutes, but eventually found both of them. I did a short little warm up swim, and then waited for our wave to start. Our wave was set to start around 8:30am, and Genie's started about 8:40 or 8:45.

Megan and I hugged and wished each other good luck, and then before I knew it, the cannon boomed and we hit the water. From the get go, it was pretty easy to find clear water. It took me a long time to get into a good rhythm with my breathing, but by the time I hit the first buoy (the course was a rectangle shaped out & back) I felt pretty good. I couldn't tell where Megan was, but I was convinced that she was right next to me. That really made me push myself until the very end of the swim! I was so happy when I made the last turn and started heading back to shore because I knew the end was in sight (literally!) for the swim. I hit the beach running at 18:30 and was very pleased with my time - I was shooting for 20 minutes so I was thrilled with 18:30.

I saw everyone cheering for me as I ran down the chute to transition and that gave me an adrenaline boost. When they told me I was ahead of Megan that really gave me a boost! I headed straight into transition to get ready for the bike. When I left transition I still didn't see Megan, so I knew that I needed to hit the bike hard to increase my lead.

The bike course was good, but WAY hillier than I imagined! It was almost like riding in Kentucky! I was glad that I had trained on hills. The worst thing about the bike was that everyone was drafting and some people were riding 2 and 3 deep, across the road. There were 4 girls wearing LSU triathlon jerseys that were riding three across - that made me so mad! People were swerving into the oncoming traffic lane in order to pass them, and even then they would not drop back. I yelled out that they were going to kill someone riding like that, and they finally got over. I later saw a USAT official on a motorcycle taking down their numbers, so at least justice was served! I ate one gel on the bike and drank one full bottle of Gatorade/water mix, and about half of my second water bottle - it was pretty hot out there!

I finished the bike right under 1 hour, and I was very glad to be done. Megan didn't pass me on the bike, but I didn't know if she was right behind me or a few minutes back. I saw Chad as I was coming in on the bike and he was cheering for me, which was so great. As I was running into transition I saw Mrs. Suzy and Payton and my dad, who yelled out "Go Megan!...I mean Meredith!" That was pretty funny!

I was so glad to start the run. I felt good from the start and just tried to keep a nice and steady pace. The course was out and back, in almost a light bulb shape. There were two water stations on the course, and both had icy cold small cups of water and icy washcloths. Those were both very refreshing! At each station I drank a cup of water and poured a cup on my head.

As I rounded the turnaround area, I knew I was in good shape. I hadn't seen Megan yet, so I knew I had a good enough lead to be able to beat her without a sprint to finish. I saw her when I was on my way back, around mile 1.5. We waved and laughed and I might have said "I'm #1!" Seeing her gave me the final boost that I needed to finish strong. I did get a little close to blacking out somewhere between mile 2 and 3, but I kept going and gradually got my wits about me again!

As I was nearing the finish I saw Aunt Genie and she looked great! As I came down the finishing chute I saw my parents, Chad, Mrs. Suzy and Payton and I was just so happy to be done, and happy to make them proud. At the finish line volunteers handed me a great River Cities water bottle full of icy cold water, so I sucked that down as I made my way to my family. Pretty soon Megan finished, and then Aunt Genie finished. It was a great race, and a great day with family! I hope to do this race with them again!

Overall Results

  • Total time: 1:51:19
  • 14th out of 37 in 25-29F Age group
    • Swim: 18:30 (12th in AG)
    • T1: 2:40
    • Bike: 59:36 (17th in AG)
    • T2: 2:30
    • Run: 28:01 (14th in AG)

Some pictures from race day!

My number #1 fan.
He strategically wore yellow so that he would be easy to spot from the course!

The lake before the swim start - it was a beautiful morning!

Coming in from the swim, all smiles when I realized I was ahead of Megan!
Waving to my fans!
Heading out of T1

Megan heading out of T1

"I'm #1, I'm #1!"

Happy to be done! (and #1)

Megan accepted her defeat well

Hug it out

Aunt Genie sprinting to the finish!

My family! Dad, Megan, Mom, me, Chad
(My mom's shirt says "Twins Tri Harder"!)

Friday, August 13, 2010

River Cities Race Report pt. 1

On Friday (7/30), I got off work mid-morning and went straight home to finish packing and load the truck, and then we set off for Mississippi. I knew we would have a long time in the car, so I tried to pack somewhat healthy snacks like grapes, pretzels, and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches for me to eat. I am a sucker for fast food meals and gas station ice cream bars, but I didn't want to eat any of that junk before the race.

We stopped just north of Jackson, MS about 10pm on Friday, and settled in for a short night. We were up and going at 5:30am, and back on the road by 6:00am. This was Emma's third stay at a hotel, and she did pretty good! She even got to ride the elevator a few times.

We pulled up to Chad's parents house in Alexandria around 10:30am. We were so relieved to be out of the car! I was full of nervous energy for the race and so excited about our week in Alexandria. It was great to be back on Louisiana soil, at the front end of a great week to come! Not long after we arrived, Chad's sister Payton and her husband Jay arrived with their German Shepard, Miles. Chad's mom (whom I call Mrs. Suzy) whipped up a great lunch of big baked potatoes with brisket. They were great for carbo-loading! I went easy on the brisket though.

After hanging around for a little while, I said goodbye to everyone and headed north to Shreveport. The plan was that I would go to Shreveport early Saturday afternoon to meet up with my family, pick up our race packets, etc. and Chad and his mom and sister would drive up to Shreveport for the race Sunday morning, and then Chad would stay with me and my family in Shreveport on Sunday, and then we would drive back to Alexandria on Monday when my parents and sister left for Houston. And Chad's parents would baby-sit Emma through the whole thing. Try saying that 5 times fast! I wish Chad's dad (Mr. David) could have come to the race, but he is a pastor so he is usually pretty busy on Sunday mornings!

I got to Shreveport about 3:00 pm and headed straight to my grandparent's house to meet up with my sister Megan and my Aunt Genie. After getting unloaded and arranging our triathlon gear in the garage, we headed to Sport Spectrum to pick up our race packets. I have always heard that the swag at this race is incredible, and this year was no different. This year was the 30th anniversary of the race, so we lucked out and got a really, really nice triathlon suitcase (with a $250 msrp tag still on it!) a New Balance race shirt, a fitted technical hat, socks, and a pair of sunglasses. Nice!!

After organizing our stuff and applying our race numbers to our bikes, helmets, and race belts, we headed to dinner at Cypress Inn with my parents, grandparents, and my cousin Emily. Cypress Inn used to be located on Cypress Lake (the location of the tri) but the original building burned down a few years ago and they relocated to a newer building just up the road. My grandparents and parents love Cypress Inn (it is the first restaurant my sister and I ever went to! My parents took us there when we were just little babies). I haven't been out that way (Benton, LA) in a long time, so it was nice to get an idea of where we would need to go in the morning for the race. I had grilled shrimp, a baked potato, salad, and a roll. It was very good and I ate it all, but I didn't feel stuffed. I was so happy Emily could go out to dinner with us and that we were able to see her for a little bit!

We were home from dinner by 8:30 pm, and after making some last minute race preparations, I was in bed by 9:30 pm. Also, on Saturday night my grandma gave me, Megan and Aunt Genie really cool Clean Bottle water bottles! Thanks, Darling!

Once I was settled in bed, I thought it would be a good idea to read through the race instructions and information booklet. I felt pretty good about everything until I saw that race officials would disqualify you if the stem cap on your handlebars was not plugged. The stem cap on my handlebars came out over a year ago, and I have just taped over it for races this year. Usually this satisfies race directors, but the River Cities information clearly stated that tape would not suffice! I was too tired to do anything at that point about it, and I knew that I would have more brain power in the morning to address the stem cap issue. My grandpa has a well stocked garage shop, so I figured that I could find something to plug it with.

My alarm went off at 4:15 am and I was up and ready to go. I drank a Starbucks Doubleshot (thanks, Mom!) and had a bowl of cereal with a banana and then headed out to the garage to figure out what I was going to do. I found a bottle cap that worked, but I was afraid to have something on the outside of the handlebar rather than something plugging up the inside. When I explained to Genie what I was trying to do, she just said "put a cork in it." Duh! Why didn't I think of that!! I will forever be grateful to Genie for that advice, because it ended up working perfectly. After I spent some time with a saw and a piece of sandpaper, the cork fit perfectly in the stem. We even colored it black with a Sharpie so that it matched. Talk about redneck ingenuity!

Next up, the actual race report!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

5 Minutes

The River Cities triathlon was a great race...and I beat Megan by 5 minutes! It was so great to race with her and my aunt Genie, and it felt pretty darn good to "win" our little sibling competition!

I will post a full race report with pictures when we get back to Kentucky this week. We have had a great time in Louisiana - my only complaint is that the week went by way too fast!