Thursday, August 22, 2013

Timberman 70.3 Race Report

Last year at Timberman 70.3 I was dealing with a slow healing hip injury and opted to compete in just the swim-bike portion.  It was very hard to drop out after the bike in 2012 but I knew it was the right thing to do.  It definitely left me wanting revenge and to prove to myself that I was a stronger more durable athlete than I was one year ago.  I was extremely excited to return to my hometown course and really give it a go.  I was also prepared to take some chances this year as I was already qualified for Vegas and this race would be a good indicator of fitness.

Because of the excellent race organization, challenging course and large prize purse ($50,000) Timberman always attracts a strong field.  This year was no different and attracted the likes of Andy Potts, Terenzo Bezzone, Leon Griffin, Amanda Stevens and Melissa Hauschilt as well as many other strong pros which would make for some fast racing!

The day before the race I had my traditional gluttonous pancake breakfast with Danny and my sister Deidre. We then rolled ourselves to the pre race meeting and pro panel. I was honored to take part in the panel and it was great fun to joke around with the Melissa and Amanda. Two very humble and very fast girls.

I had a great "homestay" with my friends Audra and Alex. Alex made me the best dinner before the race and for that I owe him big time.  Thanks so much you two!

Race morning snuck up fast - (I dealt with my usual race night insomnia...Anyone out there have any ideas how to fix that?) - and before I knew it I was chugging some coffee and getting ready to DO WORK.

SWIM: 27:17

The video below is worth watching. Stroke for stroke this is how the swim went down. I somehow landed myself smack dab between super swimmers Mandy McLane and Miranda Tomenson.  And let me repeat: I was in the middle.  Lots of time for the little menace to strike again.  I would swim into Miranda, over-correct and swim into Mandy, say sorry under water, over correct and swim into Miranda.  Oops.

The menace

Except for the feeling of claustrophobia throughout the entire swim I was happy with how relaxed and strong I felt. I was also confident Mandy and Miranda would swim quick which meant minimal thinking and guess work on my part.  And as far as I'm concerned the less thinking I have to do, the better.

Bike:  2:29:01

HOLY MOLY!  My bike legs are slowly coming around. This was a big step in the right direction.  Lot's of credit goes out to this guy:
See that blood on his face?  He means business.
And lot's of credit goes out to these guys from MC CYCLES:

See that Aero helmet and moped?  He means business.

See that intensity he has during flip cup?  He means business.

And so I was determined to be all business on the bike.  I was frustrated with my performance in Germany. I know I am a better athlete then the one that showed up on that particular race day. However, I've come to realize that you can't always predict when you are going to have a not so great race. No matter how hard you train, sometimes you just have an off day. I had an off day in Frankfurt but I did NOT let it get me down. I know that one bad race doesn't define you and it really is all about the journey.  Onward!

I started the bike feeling a bit nauseous but kept the positive thoughts flowing. After 20 minutes I had my game face on and was rolling along on the speedy Felt going back and forth with Mandy and eventually Miranda.  I love a good hometown course because I know every bump and turn and hill. Keeping the speed rolling into and out of the turns is hugely beneficial in saving watts but keeping up speed.

I actually felt strong enough to charge on a flat section. This never happens to me. Flat sections are this little midget's nemesis.

Pulling away on the flat. What!?

I did feel a tinge of remorse charging on the flat because Mandy was fighting a great battle with me but I also knew she could run so I was actually excited to get a few minutes on her entering T2.

Head down charging.
And in case you were wondering, I am indeed aero in the above picture. As Kurt will point out: the pointy end of my helmet is much smaller than my head. So head tucked = good aero position. And head tucked is especially good if you have an exceptionally large melon.

RUN: 1:27:17

First things first, I would like to give a shout out to my lead biker. What an awesome volunteer. She absolutely made my day.  I needed her words of encouragement because I had so many bad thoughts popping up in my head. I would be cruising along and then think: On no! Look how fast the girls are running behind you.  I spent the entire run trying to think positive and stay focused. I was pushing as hard as I could and I could only hope it would be enough.  There were so many people out on the course giving me words of encouragement and Danny and Ry were giving me splits that were also encouraging as I was slowly catching Amanda Stevens.

I finally hit the last mile and breathed a sigh of relief. I was confident I had secured 3rd female and that was a great feeling on a hometown course.


At this particular moment in time I thought it would be appropriate to clap for myself. Not sure what I was thinking.

Amanda, Amber, Melissa
Overall the race was a big step in the right direction and makes me even more excited for VEGAS BABY!  2 weeks!

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