race report

Virginia Wine Country 5K

Virginia Wine Country 5K
June 3, 2017Screen Shot 2017-06-04 at 6.58.20 PMDoukénie Winery
Purcellville, Virginia

I did the half marathon back in 2013 and didn’t love it, so this race kind of flew off my radar. When I saw a few Oiselle teammates were doing it and a 5K was being offered this year, I decided to give it another shot, and it didn’t hurt that I only had to travel six miles to get to the start line, which is very rare for me these days 😉

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Even though I had the opportunity, I still woke up at my normal 4:30a race day time and had coffee with peanut butter toast. I got to the race venue around 6:25a, easily parked and headed up to meet my teammates for a pre-race picture. Can I just say racing is so much better when you’re not hanging out by yourself waiting for the race to start? Just one of the many reasons I ❤ being on the Oiselle team!

After that, we had some time to hangout before the 5K start (it was at 7:30, the half started at 7), but time flies when you’re having fun and before we knew it, it was time to line up at the start line and take off. I said good luck to Caitlin and went onto run my race.IMG_7751

It’s an out-and-back course and the first half mile is on a gravel driveway, which wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be but it still made for a challenging final half mile or so! The course is basically all rolling hills, so I wasn’t looking for a PR or anything based on my recent training paces. I just decided to go out and have fun but also push myself a bit because it was a race, after all. Of course, the race adrenaline took over and as usual, I took off way too fast and I ran positive splits. Most of the run back to the finish had a little headwind, so that could be a small reason for the positive splits, but most of it was that I took off too fast. Note to self: remember to warm up next time!! I crossed the finish line, got a medal and a little snack bag/water and went back to the finish line to cheer in the other runners for as long as I could until I had to leave for the group ride I lead on Saturday mornings.

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Caitlin finishing strong!

Splits (per my Garmin)
Mile 1  7:44
Mile 2  7:53
Mile 3  8:18
Final 0.14  1:05
Total: 25:01/3.14 miles

Official time: 
24:57/3.1 miles
9th/212 females, 25th/307 overall

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One thing-while I’m happy they handed out medals to all the runners, it was kind of a bummer that the medal just said half marathon. This is probably just me (and it’s super nitpicky) but I didn’t earn a half marathon medal, so it would be better if they put 5K on it (“half marathon and 5K”), handed out separate 5K medals or just didn’t hand out a medal at all. That said, it’s a really nice medal! I happily got my Sharpie out and wrote in 5K 🙂 on the engraving plate on the back.

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I’m glad I did this race and would totally do it again next year if it fits into my schedule….and maybe I can stick around for the wine festival next time around!

 

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13.1 Miles Through DC

It’s been almost three weeks since I crossed the finish line of my 13th half marathon at the Rock n Roll DC Half Marathon. I’ll admit, I was in a little state of disbelief for a few days after I finished. I went sub-two hours and finished injury free. For several days after I was waiting for something to pop up–my IT band, my shins, my hips, anything–but aside from a little soreness I was fine. So now that I’ve collected my thoughts and the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler is on the horizon (how is it already this Sunday!!), I thought it was time to write my recap.

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I didn’t go to packet pickup because I had to work, but Tyler went for me, so I can’t really say much about the expo. The t-shirt is nice-women’s specific with a cool graphic. I may actually wear this one during training!

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I woke up on Saturday feeling really relaxed and did my race day ritual, the Jasyoga Race Day Meditation. Then I did all the regular things–get dressed, coffee, breakfast, etc and was out the door by 6:15am. The morning went by really quickly–Tyler and I took the Metro in and arrived at the start line with about 30 minutes till go time. Of course I had to use the bathroom, so we waited in line at the porta-pots while drinking hot cocoa provided by Dunkin Donuts (thank goodness-it was COLD!)

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pre-race layers

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Gear:
Speaking of the cold (it was hovering around 32 degrees + wind at the start), here’s what I wore from head to toe, and found it to be perfect for the entire race even as it warmed up:
Oiselle Powerstretch Earband
Coeur Boco Gear Team Visor
Smith Optics Pivlock Asana sunglasses
Oiselle Tripoli Long Sleeve (on sale now!)
Oiselle Gilman Vest (past season)
Brooks Rebound Racer sports bra
Oiselle Lux Gloves (on sale now!)
Oiselle Lesley Moto Tights
Balega Blister Resist Socks
Hoka One One Clifton 2

Okay, back to the race. When I signed up I put myself in the 2:00 pace group, but since I was now targeting a 2:10-15 race time I decide to start in the 8th corral instead of the 7th. The race start was so smooth. There was adequate time between each corral start so it really never felt crowded, which was impressive given the number of runners.  When it was time for our corral to take off, I suddenly got nervous. I was nervous that my longest training run was only 10 miles, that I would end up getting injured and about the hilly course. As soon as we took off, I turned on my race day playlist and just focused on running my race. I was able to settle into a comfortably hard pace and I quickly caught up to the 2:00 pacer. I felt really good/relaxed running at their pace so I stuck with that group for a while.

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We ran by some of the monuments (always a favorite) then along the Potomac toward Georgetown where it got a bit windy. Luckily the wind didn’t last and the sun came out. It was truly a beautiful morning. I really enjoyed this course because it took me thought parts of the city that I don’t typically go through, so the scenery kept my mind off of the hilly route. Most of the course was lined with spectators and of course, being a Rock n Roll race there were bands within every mile.

The one super-challenging part of the race comes within mile six (I think). It’s called Calvert Hill, which leads into the Adams Morgan neighborhood. I love that that’s where the Blue Mile is stationed, as you are fighting to go up the toughest part of the course you are remembering those who fought for the country-it’s moving and before ya know it you’ve reached the top of the hill! You can find out more about it here.

After mile six the course is pretty fast moving-I was seriously hitting 8:40 miles which shocked the hell out of me, but just went with it because it felt good (see Garmin stats below). I realized I had passed the 2:00 pacer and remember thinking “OMG can I really go sub-2?!?!” I carried on but started to slow down a little bit at mile 12 and the 2:00 group passed me. Instead of feeling discouraged, I pushed on and stuck with the group. I already knew I was going to crush my original time goal I had set at the start line, so slowing down a little bit didn’t bother me at all.

I was within the last couple miles (maybe last mile?!) when I saw the Oiselle cowbell corner out cheering the runners on and heard someone (Jennifer maybe?!) yell “GO STACEY!” Sadly, I missed my Coeur teammates, but Megan pointed out later–it was probably easy to miss them with everyone bundled up! I also passed a group of guys that were in a line dancing on the course and had to high-five them all, because on course high fives are the ultimate boost. I knew I was close because my Garmin was close to mile 13 (it was a little off but hey, I don’t run the tangents well). I could hear the finish line cheers. I was going to do it-get a sub-two hour half marathon. Tears filled my eyes because when I started training for this race, sub-two just wasn’t a reality.

Unofficially, I crossed the finish line with a HUGE smile on my face, running 13.27 miles in 1:59:06.

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I collected my medal, thanked every volunteer I passed and met back up with Tyler. It was over and I was in total disbelief. I wanted to stick around at the finish line but I was suddenly freezing so I bundled up and we walked about one mile to the Bayou Bakery where I enjoyed a latte and beignets.

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I’ve now run four Rock n Roll races (New Orleans, VA Beach, Philly and DC), this one is by far my favorite. Everything from the course to the spectators to the medal-I loved everything about it.  Would I run it again? That is a huge hell yes.

Stats:

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turns out I predicted my finish time correctly all along 🙂

Per my Garmin, mile by mile

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8:34 at mile 9?! I surprised myself with that one!

Many thanks to my Coeur and Oiselle teammates who inspire me daily to push beyond what I think I can do and to Jasyoga-more thoughts on this coming Friday, but I don’t think I would be injury free without my daily practice. And that 2:00 pacer gal who unknowingly helped me run my best-executed race ever. Thank you ❤

 

 

Presque Isle Tri Recap

Since the Presque Isle Triathlon happened in August, let’s just file this recap under better late than never.

The Preqsue Isle Triathlon is a sprint distance tri that takes place on the Presque Isle peninsula in Erie, PA.

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I went into this race with one goal: beat my time from 2014. Spoiler alert: I did! 

Before leaving, I did the Jasyoga race day meditation that worked so well for me before REV3.

race morning beauty

race morning beauty

We got to transition early, racked my bike and got body marked. After that, Tyler and I headed back to the car to chill a bit and I listened to my pre-race playlist to first calm me down then pump me up.

an empty transition, the day before the race

an empty transition, the day before the race

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swim start (the day before)

swim start (the day before)

The swim (0.35 mile) . This was a doozy. The water was so choppy that I couldn’t settle into any sort of groove, I didn’t remember it being this bad in 2014. I went from let’s beat my swim time from 2014 to “just keep moving forward.” Seeing several swimmers have to hang onto support kayaks made me nervous, but I just pushed on and focused on my race. Before I knew it I was swimming back toward the shore then headed into transition.
16:28 (2014-18:07)

photo credit: Tyler

photo credit: Tyler

T1. I don’t really remember much about the transitions, I really need to write this stuff down (or recap on the blog sooner). I took my time, a sip of water and headed toward the bike out sign.
1:34 (2014-2:37)

The bike (13 miles). Woohoo! The bike was FUN. The course is fast and flat, which is right up my alley. Much of it was a blur because I was focused, but I do remember actually passing other athletes this time, instead of being the one being passed like in 2014.  Before I knew it I was headed back into transition, ready to run.
41:13 (2014-43:40)

T2. I racked my bike, took a sip of water, put on my shoes and headed out!
1:59 (2014-1:29)

headed out on the run

headed out on the run (photo credit: Tyler)

 The run (3.5 miles). I enjoyed the run so much this time around. Sure, it was warm and my legs were tired from the bike (and a lot of kicking on the swim) but I managed to squeak out a faster run than 2014.
35:19 (2014-35:32)

yards from the finish line!

yards from the finish line! (Photo credit: Tyler)

Total time: 1:36:31 (2014-1:41:26)

Thank you to the my favorite sherpa-Tyler-for making sure my bike is always ready to go and taking some really great race pictures.

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…and making sure I get some ice cream at some point on race day 🙂

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soft serve from Sara’s is a must when you visit Erie

What is your favorite post race treat?

Race Recap: REV3 Williamsburg Olympic

Now that it’s three months later and registration for NEXT year’s race is open, it’s about time I share my REV3 Williamsburg Olympic recap.  I’ll be honest, I didn’t mean to wait this long to post a recap, but after doing so a small part of me really enjoyed experiencing the emotion and positive energy at a completely random time a few months later, it seriously still feels like it happened yesterday.

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I’m going to start by this was my first time racing a REV3 race and it was an incredible experience.  Everything from the race venue to the volunteers to just the overall feel of the environment, it just felt like they really cared about the athletes regardless of skill level. There were fun/motivational posters hanging in the porta-pots and that made using a porta-pot, dare I say it-fun.

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This was also the first year at the Chickahominy Riverfront Park venue (versus Jamestown) and couldn’t imagine it being anyplace else in the area.  Excellent choice, REV3.

Saturday

I went to packet pickup as soon as it opened because 1. I was unsure of the parking situation and 2. it was HOT outside and wanted to get back home to the AC asap. However, I still ended up staying at the race site for about 4 hours just taking in everything.

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After picking up my packet and getting my athlete wristband on, I placed my numbers on my bike and headed down to transition to rack my bike.

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Transition was quite big and the bike racks were awesome. Each bike had its individual space with your name on it. This allowed for equal spacing for gear at transition instead of someone having a huge mat of junk taking up others’ space.

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After I dropped my bike off, I headed down to the water and did a little swim. No surprise, the water was super warm (83-84 degrees on Saturday) and it was muddy on the bottom.  

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swim exit

After swimming, I took a walk around the rest of the area to dry off, got my water bottle from the car and sat down in the shade waiting for the female pro panel to begin.
It was fun to listen to the pros speak–>about training, training-life balance, etc. I wish I would have written this down because I can’t remember exact quotes, but I would highly recommend sitting in on a pro panel if your race offers the opportunity.

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Immediately after the panel the race director held a mandatory meeting, discussing race details–the course, the starting area, the heat, etc…
After the meeting, I headed back home to rest up and cool down for race day!

Sunday-Race Day!

I woke up at 4am after a very good night’s sleep. I was calm, which felt a bit odd since I always get a little nervous on race day. To further relax myself, I did the Jasyoga Race Day Mantra Meditation. I found it very powerful and even wrote the “I am, here now”  mantra on my forearm….which came in handy later on the run.

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Tyler and I left around 5:00am to get to Chickahominy Riverfront Park. It’s about a 40 minute drive from where we live in Newport News and of course I wanted to make sure we go there with adequate time for me to set up transition, pump my tires back up, get a little warm up in and eat a Honey Stinger waffle before starting.

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Swim-that time I was faster than allllll of my training swims, thank you river current
Official 26:35, 1:50/100m, 0.90
16/21 (30-35 out of the water) 

The current in the Chickahominy River is a triathlete’s dream, especially a triathlete who is a weak swimmer.

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picture taken by Tyler, who had an excellent view of the swim from the bridge

Race day water temp: 83.4 (just BARELY wetsuit legal but if you chose to wear one you had to start after everyone else and were ineligible for awards). This water was WARM. I couldn’t imagine wearing a wetsuit during this swim, but to each their own.

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swim start

The 30-35 age group was last to go, so there was a lot of standing around. After chit-chatting with some other racers, I got into the water to get used to it about 20 minutes before my wave went off.

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Started toward the back of the pack since I’m not a strong swimmer and didn’t want to get run over by other swimmers. At the start, the current kept pushing us forward having to stay behind the start line took some effort!

The swim went by so quickly (and was uneventful), due to the current and before I knew it I was making the turn to go toward shore/swim exit. I did have to take a couple of “catch my breath breaks” during the swim and during the last one I looked at my watch and was in complete shock at the time–it was 24:xx (can’t remember exact numbers) and all I could think of was that getting to the swim exit in under 30 minutes was actually going to happen. The excitement must have boosted my pace even more because I got to my bike at 26:49 (per my Garmin) which was way faster than I had expected, especially for having a goal of 35 minutes.

T1
Official  1:54
Oh my I was nauseated and a little disoriented from the swim, but also excited for the bike portion which is my favorite part of this course. I need to figure out if it’s swallowing too much water or motion sickness. I’ve only experienced sea sickness once in my life and that was on some pretty rough water on the boat in Hawaii on the way to a snorkel site. Unfortunately this nausea feeling lasted until about mile 15 of the bike. Otherwise T1 was uneventful, I took my time and made sure I had everything I needed.

Bike
Official 1:35:49, 17mph, 27.20 miles
12/21 (30-35)

I LOVE this bike course. It’s got one giant hill/brigde (for this area) that you go over twice–once at the beginning of the race and coming back into the transition area. Otherwise, the course had some very small rollers, lots of flat areas and A  LOT of shade. There’s not a ton of crowd support on the bike course, but it’s nice to have spectators on the bridge cheering you on as you go up it and back down–in fact, Tyler was there at the start of the bike and got some good pictures. I remember yelling to him “OMG my swim time was unreal!!!!!” And he responded “yay!! great! Now go ride!” The bike course is not closed to traffic, but for the most part cars kept their distance. There were a couple of spots where cyclists had to slow down because cars were trying to get by but had to stop for oncoming traffic. That was pretty frustrating, but I tried to not let it affect me too much and just kept moving forward. There was one gal who (in my opinion, stupidly) went around the cars on the left side, squeezing through the stopped cars and oncoming traffic. Maybe she was going for a podium spot but sorry, you can’t stand on the podium if you’re hit by a car and can’t finish the bike. Not worth it. Okay, rant over, back to my race. The bike went by relatively fast, I did note some lower back tightness toward the end, meaning I need to do more core/back strengthening and spend more time on the bike. I also passed a pretty bad cycling accident (the police/first aid were already there) that later ended up re-routing the bike portion onto the Cap to Cap Trail where the runners were. I did check the REV3 W’burg Facebook page later on and found that the woman who crashed was okay and sustained no serious injuries.  Before I knew it I was FLYING down the bridge and headed back into transition.

T2
Official 3:34
Not sure what I was doing here. I had a hard time getting my shoes  on and had to put my hair back up—-need to find a hairstyle that stays from the start of the race to the finish!!

Run-Ouch.
1:08:58, 11:08/mile, 6.2 miles

running through the pain. I can actually feel my feet hurting in this picture

running through the pain. I can actually feel my feet hurting in this picture

Ouch is the word for this run. It was HOT, we had to cross the same bridge/hill that was on the bike course twice (out and back) and I ended up with some massive blisters on my feet. Thank goodness for water stops, cold sponges and cups with ice that I dumped down my top. I remember taking my time in the shaded areas and going faster in the sunny areas just to get back to the shade. I had a time goal in mind but that quickly shifted to “just don’t walk, just don’t walk.” However, at some point I’m pretty sure I could’ve walked faster than I was running, especially back up over the bridge. With about two miles to go my feet felt destroyed. I like to run barefoot in my shoes and I trained without socks but f*ck I could feel the blisters rubbing against my shoe with every step I took. To keep my mind off of the pain I would sing different songs to myself, do math in my head and picture myself crossing the finish line. I also went back to the meditation I did earlier in the day and reminding myself “I am, here now” and that I just need to push through and get it done. Before I knew it, I was over the bridge and could hear the cheering at the finish line. I was close. The last stretch of the run seemed to take FOREVER, but I was soaking it in because you only get one first race at the Olympic distance. I had almost expected the last tenth mile to have lots of spectators but to be honest there were just a few…but at least they were cheering their heads off! That put an extra pep in my step and I felt like I sped up a little bit. Finally, I rounded the corner and saw the finish line straight ahead, running toward it as fast as I could. My eyes were on the prize–which at this point was a cold Gatorade, water and an ice-cold towel to drape over my shoulders. I crossed the finish line, got my medal and ice-cold towel and met up with Tyler.

smiles and tears!

smiles and tears!

Total time:
Official: 3:16:49 (17/21-30-35 age group)

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at least the Sprite was good…

After downing my Gatorade in record time (seriously like less than a minute) Tyler and I headed over to the food tent because I thought I was hungry. Turns out I wasn’t, I was just thirsty, but I got food anyway. Red, Hot & Blue (a bbq restaurant) provided the food and there were burgers, baked beans and other options. This, in my opinion, was unfortunately the worst part of the race. I honestly would have rather have had a slice of pizza instead of a lukewarm burger on a stale bun and funky tasting baked beans.

I opted to stop at Sweet Frog for froyo after taking a few bites of the above food.

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I’ll have all the candy with a dollop of froyo please

Okay, let’s talk swag. First of all, the finisher medal is awesome. It’s big and has two sides which is pretty cool.

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The race t-shirt is also very nice. It’s white and black and has a subtle design specific to the race location, which I like. I think it’s meant to be technical material, but I actually wear it as a regular shirt.  Also included was a Boco Gear visor. I love Boco Gear anything, so I also purchased a technical REV3 trucker at packet pickup.

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I think that about wraps it up! Would I do this race again? Absolutely! And yes, I’m already registered for the 2017 Olympic distance race again and I’m looking at other REV3 events to participate in!

A special thank you to Tyler, my husband and sherpa who makes sure my bike stays in tune and that I always have a water bottle and snack wherever I go so there’s no chance of the hangries. So much love to you, xoxo.

So, registration for REV3 Williamsburg 2017 is now open….will I see you there?!

That Really Muddy Triathlon…Smithfield Sprint 2016

Welcome to my way overdue Smithfield Sprint Triathlon race report, otherwise known as my first mud run/triathlon experience! I wrote a few notes after the race so I wouldn’t forget some things, I’ve just been meaning to put the thoughts into sentence form and add pretty pictures to it….well today’s the day!

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I remember waking up and it wasn’t raining. I had my fingers crossed that it wouldn’t start or it would just lightly rain, but no such luck. It POURED. Thankfully, I finished before the thunderstorms started…

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pre-race and dry

I arrived to the race around 9-something to pick up my packet. I really liked that they allowed race morning packet pickup. I received my bib and bike numbers, the softest t-shirt ever and a pair of socks with pigs on them. Good swag.

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After getting my body markings, I went to transition (which was already a mud pit) to rack my bike and set up my gear….then the waiting started.

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I can’t exactly remember what time my race started, I’m pretty sure it was either just after 11:30am, meaning I got to sit around for a couple of hours while I waited for my start. I’m not one to sit around, so Tyler and I walked to a local coffee shop/bakery so he could get coffee, then hung out at the car for a bit before heading into the YMCA so I could line up.

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may or may not have bought this Boston cream muffin for post race noms…

The Swim:

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Oh the swim. I still have so much work to do on the swim. I have said it before and I’ll say it again: I really don’t like triathlons with pool swims. I get so flustered and nervous for who knows what reason. I remember I was calm before and during the open water swim during the Presque Isle Tri in 2014 (my first). Luckily, the rest of my races this year are all open water. I don’t have much to say about the swim during this particular race, it was a blur and I just remember being so happy it was over. 

300 meters – 7 minutes, 30 seconds.

T1- I took my time to make sure I had everything I needed/wanted on the bike-like going through a mental checklist. I didn’t really take the time to dry off because I knew I was going to get soaked on the ride (it was pouring rain at this point). I put my helmet and shoes on, took my bike off the rack and bolted for the bike exit.

1:58–pretty happy about this considering I thought I was taking my time. 

The Bike: 10 miles of rainy bliss.

As I exited transition and clipped into my bike I started hearing someone yelling “we need a medic” and saw a woman laying on the road with who had obviously crashed off her bike. Volunteers were surrounding her and she ended up being okay, but it definitely had me shaken up because I didn’t have much experience riding in the rain. I started out slow and built speed based on my comfort level. I was also a bit nauseous from swallowing chlorinated water so I held back until that passed (which, thankfully, it did). The course was relatively flat, and the hill I was so worried about ended up being teeny tiny (whew!). Before I knew it I was back on the stretch of road that took me back to the transition area and got really excited for the run.

10 miles – 37 minutes, 10 seconds

T2 hello, mud pit!

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By the time I got back from the bike transition was more like a mud run. The mud seeped through the bottom of my bike shoes. I took quite a bit longer during this transition because of the mud-I wanted to get between my toes clean!

3:43

The Run:

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how cute is this? The run course was marked by little pink hooves

I was so happy there was a huge puddle to run through once I got out of transition because my shoes were a muddy mess and I could feel some grittiness between my toes. My legs felt good and I was ready to run. I had a goal of sub-30 for the 5K and I could just feel it that I was going to hit that goal today. The funny thing about running in triathlon is that even though my legs feel like lead they are moving much faster than it feels. The second mile brought a couple of hills that were challenging but not horrible. Right before the turnaround a man passed me and I decided to keep pace with him.  Turns out he was an excellent pacer and it pushed me to pick up the pace (just a bit). I made the last turn onto the grassy finish area and sprinted to the finish. Tyler was at the finish line snapping pictures and I was greeted by volunteers yelling to “slow down!”and “be careful!” to the finishers because the finish area was a slippery mud pit.

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28 minutes, 10 seconds!! Super proud of this time!

I got my medal, met up with Tyler and headed straight to the food tent. Since the race started so late in the morning I was starving! My original plan was to take my bike and gear back to the car then go back into the YMCA to shower and enjoy my food outside, but as soon as I got back to the car it started to thunderstorm, whomp whomp. We decided to just head home and I completely pigged out in the car. BBQ, baked beans and cole slaw is my absolute favorite post race food.

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Final thoughts: I was so incredibly proud of my race. Even though it started rough with a bad swim and my transition times were slower due to the mud, I beat my goal time by 10 minutes, 50 seconds!

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Race Recap: Shamrock 8K

Instead of a weekly sweat report this week, I’m sharing my Shamrock 8K race report. My weekly workouts were completed (still having trouble finding motivation to get to the pool), nothing eventful except yesterday I did a “dress rehearsal” for the Smithfield Tri next weekend and it went very well.  I’ll be back next Sunday with my regular sweat report.

At the end of December, I said my theme of the 2016 was live fearlessly. While I meant it in all aspects of my life, the one thing I really wanted to go about with fearlessness was running. I feel like the fear of a recurring IT band injury held me back last year. Anytime I felt a twinge or tightness in my left IT band during a run, I would either slow to a run/walk or just walk the rest of my workout. I didn’t push hard for fear of injury. I completed PT, did my home exercise program prescribed by PT and I continue to work on hip/glute/core strength. So why was I holding myself back? I signed up for a marathon relay with some gals at work, and after running a pain free 7.96 miles, I knew it was time to push it at the Shamrock 8K to see what I could do.

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Race morning sunrise over the Atlantic.

Fast forward one week to Saturday at the Shamrock 8K. The temperature in Virginia Beach at the start was perfect, around 55 degrees, but very windy (gusts between 20-30mph that day). My bib had corral two as my assignment, but I dropped back to the front of corral three because the night before I checked the corral time estimates and my plan was to run a 45 minute time and that fell right in with corral three. I’m glad I started at the front of the corral–minimal weaving through people at the start and I was able to just run! At the start line I decided I was ready to see what I could do and to go out aiming for all sub-9 minute miles.

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The start horn sounded and I took off! It so felt good to go fast! Looking down at my watch I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep the pace up (I saw 7:xx at one point!) so I slowed it down a bit. For the first two miles there was a little tailwind that gave me a little boost which was very welcome. Then we turned left to go onto the boardwalk aka headwind hell. If you look at my pace chart below, you where the headwinds started. I fought hard for miles three and four, not only physically but mentally. Going from a sub 8:30 pace to seeing a 9 minute mile pace on my watch really messed with my head, espeically since my legs still felt strong and wanted to go! I kept pushing through and pushing through and kept telling myself as soon as we got off the boardwalk there would be some relief from the wind.

Turning back onto the road I felt like I got a little boost by getting out of the wind and I picked my pace back up. I started thinking about my current 8K PR of 44:21 and thought wait a second, if I can go at it a little harder I might be able to break 44 minutes! I kept going and eventually made the turn back onto the boardwalk toward the finish line. I kept my pace where it was because that final stretch on the boardwalk is deceptivly long. As soon as I saw the finish line though, I picked it up and KNEW I was getting a new 8K PR!

I crossed the finish line in 43 minutes, 15 seconds (per my garmin-5.02 miles total) with a huge smile on my face and tears in my eyes!

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I was in a little bit of a shock as I went through the finisher chute it was kind of a blur.

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All I can remember is that I wanted some water and I wanted to go ring that damn PR bell! And I did!

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My official results: 43 minutes, 15 seconds

My Garmin splits:Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 1.14.13 PM

Now that triathlon season starts in just six days, I’m so pumped for the season, it’s like the fire has been ignited. I want to train hard, go fast and be proud of my performances. 

Today I’m linking up with MissSippiPiddlin and HoHo Runs for the Weekly Wrap link up!

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How were your workouts last week? 

 

Race Report: Newport News One City Marathon Relay

Good morning!

A couple of weekends ago I ran my first marathon relay at the Newport News One City Marathon Relay with three other women. Since the race is sponsored by the health system I work for and one of the physician’s in my office leads the medical tent, my office decided to put together a team of runners for the relay.  In exchange for registering for the 5K by the Bay (takes place in Newport News in May), our team received a complimentary spot in the relay. Two races for the price of a 5K? Not a bad way to spend $25!

Race day started dark and early on Sunday March 13.  Yep, Daylight Savings Time day. I won’t complain about this because 1. I’m always so happy when we get to spring forward it gives me some good energy-I mean come on, one less hour of sleep for 2-3 more hours of daylight, count me in 🙂 and 2. the runners had no control over when the race directors/city decided to hold the race-so why complain?!

completely dark at the start line!

completely dark at the start line!

Before I get into my race below, I did write a review of the race on Bib Rave.  It’s more of a general overview of the race, not very personalized, but a good resource if you are just wanting the details of just the race.

 

Now, onto my race. I was the lucky one who got to run the 7.9 mile leg. My leg took us back through the park for a couple of miles then crossed into the Denbigh area of Newport News and back through a residential neighborhood before passing off the time chip to the next runner at a school. I decided to go out conservatively because it’s the first time in several months I had run longer than six miles and didn’t want to crap out a couple of miles before the finish.  Luckily the crowd kept my pace under control for the first two miles, which made me settle into a nice steady pace. I just kept listening to my tunes and remained calm…until I looked down at my watch and realized I could actually hit the 10K in under 60 minutes, which would be a first since 2013 or 2014. I pushed it a little harder and BOOM 58:27 for the 10K. Then I realized I still had almost two miles to go and things got a little hilly, so I settled back down into a more comfortable pace. I almost had all negative splits except mile six!  It was a hilly one! Before I knew it, I was going into the relay exchange chute and passed the time chip off to my teammate Gwen and she took off.

My time and splits per my Garmin:

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I was directed to a table where I picked up my medal, a jacket (paper/fabric-kind of like an isolation gown at the hospital), water and a banana. Then it was off to downtown on the shuttle to the finish line celebration and where I would wait for my team to cross the finish line!

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Before my team got to the finish area, I indulged in a taco from a one of the food trucks (I would’ve eaten five of them if I had five meal tickets-they were so good!) and watched marathoners cross the finish line. Oh my goodness, I know you’ve heard it before, but if you want to see raw emotion just watch the finish of a marathon, it’s enough to bring tears to your eyes!

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Once Gwen and Tara made it to the finish line area, we walked up the sidewalk to wait for Lindsey to round the corner so we could meet up with her and cross the finish line as a team. My team finished in 5 hours and 33 seconds.

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Team Ortho

Team Ortho

All in all, I really enjoyed this race, especially the team/relay aspect of it.  I would love to do another relay one day!

Today I’m also linking up with Marcia, Erika and Patty for Tuesdays on the run and this week’s topic is race shirts-wear them to the race or after? I’ve always thought that in order to wear your shirt you must first EARN it by running the race, not just paying the entry fee. Plus, you only get your shirt one or two days prior to the race, and you wouldn’t want to break the cardinal rule of “nothing new on race day,” would you?

Have you ever run a relay? What are your thoughts on race shirts?