Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Maine 70.3 Race Report

By the time August rolled around I was feeling much more fit and excited to get another shot at 70.3 before Kona.  And honestly, I needed it.  With my 2 less than stellar runs at the early season 70.3's I wanted to put together the race that I knew I was capable of.  Beyond that, there was a super fun group heading up to race, how could I not be excited?

Hand written Rev3 love at this 70.3!
We opted to drive up on Thursday and crash at a hotel just south of Old Orchard Beach.  Great decision as we had plenty of time Friday to check in for the race, find our house, and do a some shake out swim/bike/run action.  The weather was absolutely ideal, which was a welcomed change from out 90s and super humid in DC.  Once everyone was back from jogging and what not a few of us headed down to the ocean for a quick swim.  Oh my, that water was freezing.  Somewhere between 57-58 degrees is what I heard.  Tom, Heather, and I swam out just past the first turn buoy.  It wasn't too bad, more rough than a lake swim, and the salt took some getting used to but all in all not bad.  Tom and Heather decided to cut straight back toward the beach from our turn around point and I decided to follow the L shaped course markers.  About 30 seconds after them going their way and me mine, I slightly freaked out about what I was going to do all alone out there if I saw a shark.  I wasn't that far from shore and it's not like they wouldn't have been able to do much if we were all together but for some reason this became 'a thing' and I couldn't wait to get my ass back to the beach.

Maine also happens to be the home state of super-sherpa, Pete.  Saturday was a perfect pre-race distraction day of big breakfast with the crew, a quick bike check over and drop off and then heading out to Freeport for a few hours.  It happened to be LL Bean's Dog Days of August and there were a ton of dogs and dog events all over the place.  We watched some dock diving and police dog demos between checking out all the LL Bean stuff you could ever want with Pete's sis and BIL.

Back in OOB we had grillin' and smore eating to do for our pre-race dinner.  Super sherpa Pete took on the roll of grill master while just a few of the athletes sat in the hot tub prior to cooking up some pasta, sweet potatoes and whatever other yumminess we all needed.  We had a wonderful dinner and relaxing evening rolling, stretching, and enjoying each other's company as well as our hand written notes in our bags (still waiting for Lisa's Pizza but whatever).


Up at the normal race day time of 4:30 to eat and get my stuff together to walk over to transition.  Let me tell you the porta potty lines at transition were ridiculously long!  I went to pump my tires and had a slight issue getting air to go into the disc.  Tom was helping me and we couldn't get it, at all.  Thankfully Pete was waiting for my at the exit of transition and I was able to take the bike over to him in order to help me out, the darn crack pipe was just being feisty.  I was freaking out that we would need to replace the tube and race day morning but thankfully all was fine and we got it pumped up.

Once Tom, Heather and I took care of setting up transition and waiting in the porta potty line we gathered and walked over to swim start together.  Once we were at the beach we stuffed ourselves into our wetsuits and merged into the growing line.  It was a nice crisp Maine morning and the ocean water actually felt nice compared to the air.  I was feeling good about this swim and looking forward to the day.  We started 2x2 on the beach, so Tom and I entered the water together and I just took off running as far and as long as I could run until I was forced to swim.

THE SWIM - 1.2 Miles - 39:15
The swim felt good - a bit choppy at times but pretty much what I expected an ocean swim to feel like.  I chose to wear my sleeveless wetsuit so that my shoulders wouldn't have any extra restrictions to overcome.  After the first few minutes of feeling like my arms were going to fall off my body got used to the water temp and all was fine.  I was on and off feet most of this swim and feeling good with my effort.  I wasn't thrilled with the time, but it was my first ocean swim and there was still a lot of racing to be done to just rolled with it and ran my way into T1.

T1 - 4:31
This transition involves maybe slighty longer than 1/4 mile run from the water to the racks.  The run was lined with spectators and the energy of the day had me feeling optimistic.

THE BIKE - 56 Miles - 2:32:39
I got on my bike with the main goal to be smart and set myself up for a good run.  I knew Heather and Tom would likely be ahead of me on the bike and that I might catch them depending on everyone's day.  The course had 8-9 miles of pristine new pavement which was super fun.  I stuck to my nutrition/hydration plan and executed my HR/power plan as best I could for the day.  Power was 5-10 watts lower than I'd expected but no big loss there.  About 15 miles into the course a man started leap frogging with me.  He'd sit behind me (don't draft guys just don't do it) then come out and pull ahead, usually just to sit up a few minutes later and take break.  Once I'd pass again this scenario would repeat itself.  I knew if I dropped the hammer for 10 minutes or so I'd be rid of him but I also know that move would cost my some precious gas for the run.  I just kept racing my race and let him do whatever it was that he was doing.  He did actually find me on Strava (stalker) in the days after the race and apologized, saying he wasn't trying to mess up my race and it was his first non-drafting race.  I managed to stay even most of the course and increased my output just a touch near the end.  I was feeling good coming in from the bike and excited to see what I could do on this great weather day on the run.

T2 - 1:26
A very quick in and out to rack the bike, grab the race belt, and step into the run shoes!

THE RUN - 13.1 Miles - 1:44:44
At this point I had not yet seen Tom or Heather, I was slightly worried, but just figured they were having great races!  As I came around the exit of transition I looked up and there was Tom running step for step with me.  Ten seconds later Heather was running with us - barefoot- I was confused.  As Tom and I settled in to a manageable effort Heather relayed her unfortunate series of events that caused her to DNF on the bike course.  Tom and I ran together for the first few miles until he slowly pulled away.   Overall this was the best I felt on a run course all year.  Pete was at the end of the trail just before the last couple miles to tell me I was in 9th.  Ok 9th overall, I thought, not bad.  The last couple miles of this run course is slightly rolling and with a fun flat into the finish line.

Our house was close enough to the finish line that I was able to have some post race water and snacks and then walk back to get cleaned up before cheering in some more friends and collecting our things from transition.  And of course hitting the post race lobster bake before awards.  Upon checking the official results I ended up coming in 13th OA, 9th AG. Talk about a stacked AG.  I would have been top 2 in any other AG on the day.  Overall it was a great race and tune-up for me and I was focused on process goals for this race, and I nailed what I needed to nail going into my last big build for Kona.  Once everyone had crossed the finish line and regained their wits we all hit the post race Lobster Bake (so Maine).  I tend to shy away from shell fish and the like but seeing everyone dig in and enjoy I mustered up the courage to try some lobster meat.  It wasn't bad, mostly tasted like butter.  We had one more night in the house with the crew before seeing some more of Maine and visiting Pete's family.  Old Orchard Beach, though slightly tacky, was a great host town and I think our entire group loved everything about the race.  I'd highly recommend it and would be willing to go back.  There's not much better than a Maine Summer (just a Michigan summer :P)

1 comment:

  1. Interesting! Sounds like a great experience! Love that the guy looked you up after and apologized. Haha!