Warning: This is going to be long. If you are interested in Part A: Tinman race report, read on. If you are interested in Part B: weekend shenanigans, read Part A and then read Part B. :)
Tinman Race Report
I took Friday off from work, which really meant I took Thursday night into Friday morning off so I was able to sleep like a regular person and not a vampire on Thursday night. I arrived in Tupper Lake at around 1:00 maybe? Picked up my packet, ate lunch and dinner with my parents, got my bike cleaned up and my gear ready.
Saturday morning I slept in til 5:30 am (that's great for race day!). I was at the race site by 6:30 am and got situated in transition. I forgot a towel to set my stuff on so my dad came to the rescue. I had to ask a random chick in transition to bodyglide my sunburn because my tri top was chafing it like crazy! A bunch of us discussed the ghetto-ness of this triathlon (bike map drawn in crayon, sections of the run going through sand pits, etc). I thought it was funny - I hail from Redneck-land, PA so really, it's pretty typical to me. Also, Tupper Lake (the town) is pretty crappy. Sad, but true. There were lots of Canadians there, and the weather was PERFECT for race day - chilly and cloudy.
I was in the first wave for the full Tinman (there was also a sprint). It was basically everyone under 30, men and women. We were standing in the water for 10 minutes waiting for our wave to go off and it got incredibly cold. I was just ready to get going! They finally started it and it was like swimming in a crowded public pool. People were swimming in the completely wrong direction. People were breaststroking after 30 seconds! There was a very small amount of chop, nothing crazy AT ALL but apparently, this was enough to really freak some people out. It took several minutes for me to get out from amidst the denizens of my swim wave. Once I got out, I was great. I was pushing the swim harder than usual because I tend to slack off a little in the water, and it shows.
Transition was per usual. Had some trouble getting my Garmin around my wrist. They held a bunch of us up at bike out to let traffic go by. !!!?!?!?! This annoyed me. But I'm over it. I got going on the bike and immediately there was this crazy guy riding in front of me. Actually he would sprint past me, slow down and then I would pass him back. This KEPT HAPPENING. And then he dropped his chain and came to a stop in the middle of the road. He literally ALMOST took out 3 of us (including myself). I would mock him for the chain drop but I won't, and you will see why in a second. I felt like I was going too fast because my stomach was doing flip-flops, so I eased off a little bit. I started eating/drinking after 15 minutes. I dropped my favorite water bottle about 10 miles in.. it just slipped right out of my fingers (I went back later to find it but it was gone :( ). I finally settled into a pace. I hit the first 20 miles in an hour. My thoughts were "oh god Mary is going to KILL me for riding this too fast." I think I've averaged over 20 mph in 1 race ever, and it was Finger Lakes Tri in '09 where I went nuts on the bike and blew up on the run. Didn't matter. I was in a rhythm and I couldn't back off. The course was full of rollers, which I hate, so the entire time I was going back and forth from my big chainring to my small chainring and my bike was not shifting well..... and then I dropped my chain. So apparently this was my first time on a bike. I dropped a bottle AND my chain; the 2nd required getting OFF the freaking bike to put the chain back on!
At this point I will proudly proclaim that I was finally able to PEE on the BIKE! I am iron now, bitches!
I pushed it through the rest of my bike terrified that I was going too fast. I was scared at how bad the run was going to hurt.
Bike: 2:49:05; 19.9 mph (holy shit)
I racked my bike, changed my shoes, grabbed my shit and got out of transition. I love T2! This is where Mary's pacing plan pulled me through. Mary says that I stare at my Garmin too much. I do. If my Garmin says I have a slow run, I feel yucky. If my Garmin says that my heart rate is too high or too low, I feel disappointed. Sometimes I go to look at my Garmin and I'm not even doing anything that would require a Garmin (and it is not actually on my wrist). *Insert pervy Garmin/HR monitor during sex joke here* Heh. My Garmin strap smells so bad it probably could be an extension of my flesh. I will stop here. Mary removed the Garmin-watching from the race. I was REALLY good about it on the bike (I snuck a peek occasionally at my bike computer to check distance). I went totally by feel and tried to push it but leave a little in reserve. Per Mary, I was to ride at a pace that if my mortal enemy (Voldemort??) came up next to me, I could go with them but not drop them. I interpreted this as: I will bike this like I bike an Olympic distance race, just for longer.
I started the run and checked my watch and was shocked at the time. I was calculating possible finish times in my head (which were WAY FASTER than my personal projected finish times).
I know how I mess up my run. I do it every time. I feel GREAT off the bike and I start running like crazy. I was running 7:50s. I can run 7:50s in an open 1/2 marathon. But not in a 1/2 IM (YET). This is where I do need the Garmin - because I feel like I am running easily but in reality, I'm going too fast. I slowed it down to ~8:30 pace. I wanted the first 4 miles to be my slowest ones. Every time I saw that my pace was 8:00 or faster, I jogged. I wanted to run the half marathon intelligently because I WANTED that PR. Miles 4-7 I let myself run a pace that I felt was natural to be racing at. I felt great. I started to pick it up at mile 7 and this is where I started passing people. I caught a woman that had been sucking my wheel like crazy on the bike. At mile 11.. it started to hurt, but not any sooner. 2 miles is nothing. I can manage 2 miles of pain, even if it is up a long horrible hill. I HTFUd it in. My mental calculations had me hoping for ~5:15. In reality, I finished in 5:16:24. This is a 24 MINUTE PR for me. 5:16!!!!!!! (I'll take it). Last year I finished Musselman in 5:40 flat. BIG IMPROVEMENT baby!
Run: 1:50:23; 8:15 min/mile
5/15 in my AG
After the race I hung out in Matt Kellman's beer tent. He passed me on the run and called me Alexis (I will let is slide haha!). He had a SMOKIN' fast time of 4:39. Mark Shaw was there with a finish time of 5:17 (Mark Shaw and I always have very similar race times - it's kind of freaky) and some guy named Gibby, and I still don't know who he is. My friend Brett passed me on the bike, and he ended up with a 5:03. I went to the bar later with Brett! I drank 2 beers! OK maybe I drank 1.5 beers. But whatever.
I guess what I need to take away from this race is to trust my abilities!
Sunday I woke up early to drive to Placid and ride 1 loop of the bike course. I rode with my rear Zipp wheel in order to test out the 12-27 cassette which I plan to using during race day. I was still riding the high from my mega badass PR on Saturday.
I was having a great ride! The weather was beautiful, as was the scenery. I descended Keane and a guy caught up with me on 9N. He thanked me for leading him down the descent. We rode together and chatted. His name was Rob and he is from Louisville, KY and is doing IMLP for the first time. We were on the out-and-back section of 9N when I started to hear a funny noise coming from my bike. I shifted a bunch of times and couldn't get it to stop, so I got off to check it, and there it was - was a huge wire STICKING OUT of my rear tire. The tire that was on my Zipp. OH F*%#!!
I can't change the tires on my Zipps. Yes, I know that's lame. And yes, I can change a tire. But the Zipps are awful. I can do the entire tire changing process but I can't get the last 3 inches of the tire back onto the rim. I was worried about the solo ride in Placid with that 1 wheel all weekend for just this reason. Luckily, I had my new friend Rob. It took 2 tries (the first ended up with a pinch flat) but he changed it for me. I was ready to bag the ride and hitchhike back to Lake Placid when we got it to hold air. He went on his merry way and I turned back to try to get done before something else happened to my tire! I made it back (skipped the out and backs though), but when I got back to Rochester, the tire was flat again!! Other than that, I had a good ride of the course! My car currently smells like stinky feet.
I drove 40 mph for 43895348975 miles to Syracuse, where I stopped at Ultra Adam's house. We went to dinner and then we watched Ironman Kona 2008 which he apparently DVRed 2 years ago. Yes, this is what tri nerds do. (He also has like 10 other IMs saved in his DVR and now I want to watch ALL OF THEM!). Ultra Adam is training for Ultraman Canada which makes a regular Ironman look like a nap.
Speaking of naps, I could really have used one when I got home, however I had to come home from Syracuse, shower, and go into work from 11:00 pm - 7:12 am. So the nap had to wait!