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Race Report: IM70.3 EAGLEMAN 2019

Bottom Line: Swim Cancelled; Crushed the AquaBike; Survived the Run

IM70.3 Eagleman was my preview race for IMMD. I worked hard and felt ready. Believed & Knew.

Swim ended up cancelled due to wind. The National Weather Service issued a small craft advisory meaning that not of the small safety craft could be on the water. No safety craft, no athletes in the water.

The minute they announced hat the swim was cancelled you could actually feel the tension in the air go down a gazillion notches and people were actually jovial...about doing an expensive brick.

I was actually un-bothered. I have swam across the frigid San Francisco Bay with slap yo momma chop and swells. I did the Ocean City Swim where the swell and waves were so bad that I am amazed I survived it...and so didn't The FireMarshall who walked the beach the entire swim to make sure I got out. The Choptank? Yeah, it was gonna be rough but with the return only be 4ft deep - I'd walk that damn swim if I had to. GET OUT OF THE DAMN WATER BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY - PDQ (Pretty damn quick)

Whelp, I didn't have to so I chilled at the Mid-Maryland Tent till it was time to go to transition and line up with your bike.






SWIM: NO GO

So, about an hour later we are all in transition by our bikes and they send us out on a rolling start beginning at #1 and rolling through till the last athlete was out of transition on the bike course. I was #765 and it come fast. I don't know what came over me. I had a goal in my head to 3:30 for the bike. I have never been faster than 3:45/3:50 and I went out there and CRUSHED IT! I felt powerful and fast. I was comfortable; not tired. I felt my nutrition was on point. I was grinning from ear to ear. Even when the heavens opened up  to give us our swim on the bike which I affectionately called the aquabike, I was having a good time. The rain was so crazy that I called it Forrest Gump Rain - we had stinging rain, rain that came up from the ground rain, sideways rain - WE HAD RAIN. 

I had to pocket my sunglasses because I just got sick and tired of trying to use my finger as a windshield wiper and just went with squinting. I could see better, despite the rain and could navigate the asswipes athletes that passed too close without letting you know they were there, passed on the right cause - WHY or just rode recklessly in wet and windy conditions. There was no need. Whatever. I had my sparkly game face on and laid down the hammer - when the wind wasn't trying to blow me off my bike - and hit 3:30.

BIKE: CRUSHED IT!
GOAL: 3:30
ACTUAL: 3:34:26


 


As for the run...a colossal cluster fugg. HOW MANY DAMN TIMES does your coach, other experienced athletes, YOUR OWN DAMN SELF...have to say: "NOTHING! NOTHING NEW! NOT A DAMN THING NEW ON RACE DAY.

You know how many times...ALL THE TIME and when you do it and pay the price, YOU LEARN. Hard head equal a soft ass.

So, what I do? I have been training both bike and run with my hydration pack. I love that damn thing. It works. I'm comfortable with it and I load it up with what I can tolerate. I have NEVER (knock on wood) been sick or had GI issue during a race...until Eagleman. I had this brilliant idea...because I couldn't figure out how I was gonna refill my hydration pack for the run, that I would just wear my hydration belt and refill the bottles on the course. DUMB BYOTCH. A mile into the run, that belt was digging into my stomach and weighing on my hips and back. My back started hurting, my sciatica started flaring up. It was too damn heavy and uncomfortable. I drank one of the bottles, emptied the other and dumped my edible nutrition (except my Hammer Gels) and figured I would get what I needed from the aid stations.

YOU ARE A NO GO AT ALL OF THESE STATIONS. I tried the flat syrupy coke - retch. I tried the too sweet gatorade - retch. I tried to swallow down anything they had at the aid stations to each and none of it would stay down. I was in the SUNKEN PLACE. I had no idea how I was going to make it. My stomach was doing somersaults. I tried to wog and, yeah, that didn't go well. I was in that dark place where you just want to sit on the ground - lay on the ground - and quit.

Full transparency...even though my friend and idol, Pat McNabb said "There was no crying in triathlon." I sobbed for about 2 min and then channeling a little of David Goggins from his book "Can't Hurt Me."...I HTFU. I changed my perspective. I lifted my head and asked HOW BAD DO I WANT IT! I remembered the words of that wise sage, Rock Balboa - paraphrasing - how much can I take, how much can I suffer and STILL MOVE FORWARD.

I checked my watch and decided if walking was going to be it then walk as fast as I can while keeping whatever I can in my stomach. It came down to walking a 17 min pace for about 9 of the 13 miles. It was brutal, but I kept moving foward. I was going to make the cutoff. I would survive to learn from my folly.







Two miles out and I could hear the music. I could hear the announcer. Many of my MMTC friends and RipIt family had passed me and encouraged me on. I came around the corner with less than a mile to go...and the crowd of MMTC/RipIt family was running toward me. Screaming and cheering. Word got back that I was sick and struggling...and I burst into tears. Tears of joy of overcoming and victory.
RUN: I SURVIVED
GOAL: 3:15
ACTUAL: 3:48






There is nothing like coming down that carpet and hearing your name announced. The FastChix were there to grab me up with hugs and love too! It may be a solo sport, but it definitely takes a village.
Onward to IMMD!
Video Slideshow of Eagleman2019
 

    



Journey to IMMD - Six Pillars

I decided to do Six Pillars because one of the course routes was the 56 mile Eagleman course (which I would have to do for IM70.3 Eagleman in June) and cause my coach said so. My mother, The Queen Momz decided she wanted to start riding again and decided to join me by doing the 37 mile family fun ride...that don't even sound right, does it?

Well I put Momz through the paces on a trainer and found someone who would ride the 37 mile course with her while I knocked out 56 miles. My classmate and good friend, Connie, came in town, rented a bike and crushed it out with my Momz.


I came and did what I needed to get done for my training day. Nevertheless, I am super proud of my Momz, 75 years young this November, that has the tenacity and resilience to do something epic and outside her comfort zone. Where do I get it from?...The Apple don't fall far from the Tree.










Thank you, Connie for joining us for the weekend. What a blast.


    



10 Year TriVersary–Do EPIC SHIT 2019

I’m BAAAAAACCCCK!

So, yeah, I was gonna do my first IM in 2017, but life sometimes gets in the way and you have to take a detour. I pulled out of doing IMMD17 – new job, job travel, injuries, family situations – not ideal.

2018 turned out to be a EPIC year of racing for me as it seemed that things started to click for me. Redefining what success looked like FOR ME, finding the joy in triathlon, changing my perspective about adversity & challenges and just #racinghappy brought Triathlon into a new focus for me.

The first race of 2018 that I just KNEW it clicked was at the 1st Bear Triathlon:


I was skinning and grinning the WHOLE DAMN TIME. I was happy that I could move forward. My mind was clear, the day was glorious (it was a rainy muddy mess) and the water was warm (it was not). I stepped up to the line and my only thought was it is a great day to be alive …let’s have some fun.

2018 EPIC Races:

Escape from Alcatraz         The London Triathlon         IM70.3 Atlantic City –Aquabike


After such an awesome 2018, what next? I decided that it might be a great time to go ahead and get that bucket list item done…My first Ironman – Full distance –140.6

I had the family meeting and The FireMarshall and the QueenMomz was in for the support system. Talked to Coach Suzy and she was YES YOU CAN!! And FastChix Hannah VonTanna came over and held my had while I registered on the IM Layaway A Race Plan – I was in dem “circumstances” from losing my job the day before A/C. So here I am!

I also registered for Eagleman70.3 in June.

Training started in January and I’m on pace to be ace!! I’ve been told that I have been remiss in my blogging (I have), so I’m going to try and do better on this journey to IMMD.

Updates:

1. I pulled my “Talismans” out again and started wearing them everywhere like I wear my Garmin. Here is an excerpt about them from the post – Journey to IMMD – My Talismans:

…Then I started looking at all the "talismans" and their meanings and decided to put a set together that represented my journey to IMMD. My coach, Suzy McCulloch Serpico and trainer/mentor Shawn Chevalier always encourage to have that one word/phrase to get you through the tough times.
 

This is my word -->

RELENTLESS - to be a fiery, driving force that lets no obstacle or setback get in the way of achieving a noteworthy goal.

I put this set of bracelets together as my reminder of my why...  

SWIMMING - Perseverance, Heart, Sportsmanship

BIKE - Wellness, Movement, Spirit

RUN - Endurance, Heart, Sportsmanship

5 (Numerology) - Adventure, Free, Variety

FOUR LEAF CLOVER - Blessing, Fortune, Prosperity

GODSPEED (Cuff) - Journey, Blessing, Protection

2. Because my knees just ain’t what they used to be, I have had to find another way to “run”. I am more like a power wogger now. I have actually be training with a metronome set at 170 bpm (ultimate goal would be 180) and 1:30/:30 intervals. I have gone from averaging a 16/15:30 pace to a 15/14:30 pace in a few months. My first race of the season was The 41st Clydes 10k and I crushed it with an avg. 14:22 pace. My goal is to be able to walk a marathon like my classmate Charlie Jackson does (avg walk pace of 12:30 over 26 miles) when I grow up. Maybe not that fast after 112 on the bike, but a girl has GOT TO HAVE GOALS.


Join me as I go on this journey to do EPIC SHIT and be a BADASS! See you out there!

    


AJ Bell London Triathlon 2018

cert20x30-SUNA5158The AJ Bell London Triathlon (21 years strong) is the worlds largest triathlon with over 11,000 participants. Overall, if I consider the race day as a whole, they didn’t do a bad job. On the other hand, when you have raced with awesome RD’s and venues…the London Tri left some things to be desired.

1. If you have such a large social media presence with a “worlds largest” in your name then when people ask questions – ANSWER THEM! Dedicate someone to respond to questions posted on your site or update the freakin’ FAQ’s on a regular. NOBODY EVER responded to one damn question asked by anybody. You had to rely on word of mouth answers from previous race athletes

2. Athlete Guide. Just burn the damn thing on the trash heap of misinformation/no-information.
* Expo – Who knows? Hours? – Whenever? Just make sure you are in the building 90 min before race time.
* Transition opens? – Just be there 90 min before race time.
* Transition closes? – who knows. It didn’t. People arrived whenever and joined a group when they were ready.
* Could you pick up your race packet the day before the race? – Who knows. Didn’t say. Just recommended you be there 90 min before your wave. Due to recon, we found out that we could pick up packet before 6pm day before.
* Cutoffs? Naw, maybe, we will let you know. They “reserve the right to ask any participant to curtail any leg of the event at their discretion to ensure competitor safety….Specifically – all morning competitors must have passed the Leamouth Roundabout on second lap of bike leg by 11:40”

3. Things I had to just “get my mind right” about:
* Show up, rack and race

* A transition area the size of a football field

* You have to take off your wetsuit BEFORE you enter building, stuff in a bag while also trying to get to transition, climb 2 flights of stairs and dump at your bike.
* Where DA HELL are the restrooms/portapotties?

* Ride LEFT, Pass RIGHT (Remember to say “On Your Right”)

So, with all that said, lets get to it…

2018-08-05 10.47.42

               TODAY IS CHALLENGE DAY!

I love this picture my mother took of us walking to the transition area inside the the ExCel Center. We look fierce and ready to do battle. Time to get it done!

2018-08-05 06.24.01 2018-08-05 06.17.01

When they opened the doors to the show floor it was like a line at an amusement park to get into transition and then you racked by race start/race as you arrived. 1st come first serve.

 

We set up our gear and then 20 min before your wave started you lined up in the chute and they gave you a swim cap right there. Okay.

2018-08-05 13.17.00

One min we were in the corral, then next we are on the dock and they are yelling for you to get in the water. It was a mass start. The horn goes off and ….

SWIM (1500m – actual 1973yds): 42min 2:08/100m
orig-SWIB0841Uneventful…EXCEPT we were swimming directly into the sun so sighting on the red pigs was damn near impossible. I took some time to front stroke while I got my bearings and found something bigger (bridge tower) that was in line with the Pig Buoy that was the first turn. I sighted as best I could on the bridge tower and made the turn. Lot of people doing breast stroke making it very hard to pass without getting kicked. Ugggaaahh. The water was calm and not as gross as I had predicted. I felt great and was pleased with my pace and time. Stripped my wetsuit, shoved it in the bag and then was directed up two flights of stairs into transition. I was not prepared for those stairs so I had long transition time so I could "safely” get up the stairs and walk on the concrete floor to transition without busting my ass…that would come much later on the run.

BIKE 80K/49.7miles 3:35/avg 14mph:

This bike course kicked my ASS. 3 laps of pure DISRESPECT. Unless the Brits have a different definition of flat & fast, there was NOTHING flat about it. NOT A DAMN THING. The first loop I was avg about 15mph despite the fact that there were very narrow curve sections where people whizzed past without saying a damn work and so close that if you were fast enough you could snatch their bottles. Nobody said “on your right”. This course and the people on it require you to have your bike handling skills sharp or you would bite it…like into a curb or jersey wall. The climbing up and out of tunnels and up and over highway ramps was just RE-DAMN-DICULOUS. By lap 3, I was OVER IT. My last 5 miles – slow as frozen molasses. I was so thrilled to be heading to transition until I saw the ramp we had to go up. It was so steep that people were unclipping, standing – anything, just to get up. Ugggaaahhh!!!!

      orig-SUNF4241     orig-SUNE2887

Side Note: People certainly are NOT used to people talking and/or encouraging each other. I don’t know how many people I scared or shocked when I said something. I nearly caused a crash when I screamed – “GO GET IT, CRYSTAL” – across the highway as I was going out on a loop and Crystal was coming back. They wasn’t ready for Wakandians.

RUN 5 miles 1:19 (pathetic zone):

orig-SUND9322It was hot as hades. CENTER OF THE SUN HOT by this time. I actually thought I was moving faster than the time says I was, but I guess stopping EVERY SINGLE TIME to drench myself with water – SLOOOWWW. The course was 4 laps which didn’t make sense to me after my first two laps…it was apparent that each lap was more than 2 miles and by time I finished the 4th lap I would be at about 7 miles. Whatever…just get it done. The course was a 4 lap obstacle course of uneven mats, poorly marked broken/uneven concrete and indoor slippery running past the GOSH DANG FINISH CHUTE 3 – THREE – FUGGING TIMES. For the love of all that is HOLY. And then it happened, on lap two, I tripped on a uneven part of the path and fell so hard that I knocked the wind out of myself. My visor and sunglasses went flying. This nice man snatched me up off the ground, gave me his water and each time he saw me on the course, he checked in. Bless him. I dusted myself off and plodded along. As I came into the hall to do my last lap, I saw Shaunna Payne Gold standing near the split for more loops or the finish talking to two ladies. I come around and they say “sorry, the Elites have started so you can’t go out.” STRAIGHT BULLSHIGGITY THAT WAS NO WHERE IN THE ATHLETES GUIDE. I suppose they didn’t want a couple of back of the pack Athena's out on the course fugging with them filming the elite race. GTFOOHWTBS. Shaunna and I stood there for a minute and then since we had no choice, I applied lipstick and we ran in together.

 

I adapted, improvised and overcame all the obstacles put before me. It wasn’t my best race overall, it wasn’t my worst either. I handled all the unfamiliar with a perspective of live, love and learn.  I had a wonderful time.

    


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