Monday, September 16, 2013

Big Cottonwood Marathon Race Report


Back to Back Race Weekends...

Marathon #4

The day before The Big Cottonwood Canyon Marathon, I decided to run it. I was able to get an entry in, my body was feeling incredibly well from the prior weeks 70.3, and I really wanted to spend some time with friends I rarely get to see - So, the Big 26.2 it was.

It was so nice going into a race with absolutely no pressure.  Even at the start line I had no nerves at all!  6 days prior goal race in Vegas was complete, so this was pure, spontaneous fun! At the start line, I chatted with friends, met some new nice people, and enjoyed myself.  I thought it would be fantastic if I could pull out a PR (I am a goal person, ya know?), but honestly, I had no real expectations on the day other than to have fun.  Walter and I decided to run together and our plan was to take it super comfortable (basically walking for his speedy self) until we were out of the canyon then he’d push me.  I also promised myself that if I started to feel ANY sort of 'injury' pain that I would drop out. 

First of all, can I just say how amazing it felt to start a race on fresh, non-biking legs AND in actual cool weather… Yeehaw my legs were so happy! When the miles would click, I kept thinking we were going too quick. I felt good though and my HR was staying in a good range so I just let my legs do their thing through the canyon and stayed relaxed. 

Walter provided the entertainment for this section by teaching me his speedy race secrets.  I think we were at about a 6:40-:45 avg coming out of the canyon. 

6:22, 6:28, 6:30, 6:36, 6:35, 7:05 (GI issue/ bathroom stop!), 6:47, 7:15, 7:03, 7:15, 6:48, 6:38, 6:25, 6:54, 6:30, 6:56

I felt really good up until about mile 18ish.  Going from all that pounding to flat killed my hamstrings/feet... Your legs are wondering WTH you just put them through.  I haven’t run over 17 miles at all this year and I think I let that and last weekends race get to me more mentally that it was hurting me physically.  I am a little mad at myself for letting that happen.  I preach 'mind of matter' so much and I didn't follow my own motto.  

Coming out of the canyon, some quick math put a sub 3 in my head so I was trying so hard to keep a pace to earn under the 3 hour mark but today was not the day for that.  That last 5K hurt - a lot.  The back of my legs were cramping so bad but I refused to walk.  

Walter was basically switching from running form tips to screaming profanities at me the last 30 minutes.  I wanted to punch him in the face that  entire time... until we crossed the finish line Haha :D :D Lucky to have had him there with me.

6:57, 7:01, 7:24, 7:44, 8:13, 8:24, 7:57, 9:05>>>whoops, 8:41, 7:56,   

So there it is. An aided 15min. PR… 3:09:41
1st ag, 8th female, 59 overall


I do a really good job of isolating myself and I am the queen of 'Walls Up' to just about everyone - 
SO,  weekends like these are good reminders that it is ok to let people in... 
it actually makes life a whole hell of a lot more meaningful and fun.  
There are good people out there - 
but you never know without letting down those walls to give them a chance. :) 


Side note on the race:  ***This is probably one of the best ran races I’ve participated in.  Organization and attention to detail was spot on.  The race directors really went out of their way to make sure us runners were very happy.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

World Championships 70.3

What a weekend!!!   The World Championships lived up to all my expectations.  
Just being at this event was incredible in itself.  Being surrounded by talent, and intensity, and competition was so exciting and intimidating all at once.  I am so happy to have had the opportunity to race here with the other 2000+ athletes... especially since this was the last year the event will be held in VEGAS.  

We arrived in Vegas a few days prior to the race.  I was able to get a swim in the amazing outdoor lap pool, a ride, run...all the normal pre-race formalities.  Dropping my run bag off and Heather Jackson came up to me to chat... just about made my day :D  Most importantly, those few days before I made a point to stay off my legs as much as possible, hydrated like champ, and visualized executing my race plan - over and over and over. 

Race day I woke up to a little rain and as we drove to the race start, it turned into a straight-up downpour; it stayed like that until just before I started to run.  I text Coach T and she reminded me to still keep up on the hydration so that the humidity doesn't kill me if the rain were to stop.  I was in the 15th wave, so I didn’t get to start until 75min after the first group… not ideal because things get very congested and I have more time to sit and be nervous!

Swim 39:46 Ouch!! This is a non-wet suit swim so I was expecting this slower time. Lake Las Vegas is like swimming through mud, yum! Found my rhythm right from the start. Nothing really went wrong; my swim just needs work, especially if I expect to place higher.  I lost 8 age group spots just in the swim.

T1 3:56 Transition 1 was nuts. I knew that this was going to be a longer transition so the day before I practiced going through it 5 times to avoid any silly mistakes. You exit the water and have to run up and over this bridge, then through a grassy area (which was a bunch of mud holes by the time my group got to it), get your bike, then hall the bike up a hill before you mount! There was the longest line going up that hill and it was starting to frustrate me that people were not moving very fast.  I allowed that time to let my heart rate come down before getting on the bike.  You can tell where you are standing by how many bikes are gone... so I knew getting on my bike I had a bunch of ladies to catch

Bike 2:50.44 (Pre-race meeting they told us the bike was about a mile long)  I was honestly having a great time on the bike.  Caught 33 girls in my group moving me from 59th to 26th place.  It was raining so freaking hard that it was just making me laugh.  Everyone had been prepping for ridiculously hot weather, and here it was downpouring. (Good thing I did all those work outs with sweatshirts and beanies on! lol) My race plan was to keep my heart rate consistent in the 157-163 range and not pushing too hard on the climbs.  This race, I was not so glued to my watch and going more by 'feel' which still had me in my planned range when I would check in.  I felt really focused and just 'in the game' during the bike.  I continuously checked in with myself... 'how am I feeling... can I run fast off this effort... am I thirsty..etc.' Lots of crashes out on the course because of the water!  I don't feel like I was able to take advantage of all the descends because I'll admit, the water made me a little nervous.  The last climbing section into town was when I felt the most power so I was excited to get my running shoes on! All in all, super challenging course but fun!! 

T2 1:29 Nothing exciting here except it was super nice to have volunteers rack your bike for you

Run 1:42  During the last 5-10 miles of the bike course, Las Vegas Sun decided to come out to play and turned the course into a humid, sauna.  The first couple groups of the day, were able to run in the rain… luckies! By the time I got to the run, I starting to get pretty hot so I was super happy I drank extra on the bike like T told me to.  The run course was either up or down hill – 1 down, 2 up, 1 down (repeat 3 times) no flats.  The first loop I took conservative, keeping an eye on my heart rate.  Every aid station I dumped ice down my top and shorts and put water over my head.  Felt really good until that last 2 mile climb. Kicked My Butt! That section was where I caught 3 of the 6 girls though.   Caught 6 girls on the run taking me to 20th by the end.  Being able to see my Dad and Janice three times was great... high fived them and my dad would yell out to me what Teresa wanted me to do!! I cant tell you how many times I have practiced progressive runs and I feel like that translated perfectly during this race.  That last mile was strong and fast... how it should be!  


I am completely addicted to the feeling of finishing an all-out race.  Crossing the finish line brings emotion out of my 'emotionless self' that is unexplainable... races like these break through that tough outer shell you create.  They allow you to lay all your hard work out when you are confident enough to cross over that line of fear, become vulnerable to the pain and hurt and just be your own raw self... it is an amazingly unexplainable feeling...(clearly):D

Results were posted to show I finished 20th in my ag and I can honestly say I am proud to have finished there... no disappointment whatsoever! This course and the weather and the girls were insane.  I followed my race plan exactly and gave it my all.  I crossed that line feeling like I wanted to feel.  Being my second year racing, what more can I ask?

I say this in every race report but I honestly feel like the luckiest girl to have some pretty awesome people in my life.  Words can not event start to describe how awesome my dad is, and I know, if I wouldn't have met Teresa, I would not be where I am today... not just as an athlete but as a person.  I also have a few, special friends, that continue to give me such support and confidence to believe in my crazy dreams!!

Another stepping stone in Building My Machine....