Monday, June 9, 2008

Mooseman International Race Report

My first Olympic distance race of the year has come and gone. I experienced so many emotions. There were ups and downs and I hope I can learn lessons from the day and move on to be a stronger athlete.

I travelled to N.H. on Friday and met up with my brother, my friend Mike (not racing) and my friend Mary. We had dinner and then headed to our teeny tiny cabin to organize our piles of gear for the next day. It was a fun time to share the experience with them. I enjoyed the evening. Mary and I felt like we were at camp. We were in a tiny room with tiny twin beds so close that we could have held hands. It wasn't the most comfortable little place but we had a good time.
The forecast had been for hot and humid weather. Since we were wearing sweats the night before, we didn't believe it. When race morning arrive, there was fog across the lake and the temps were still mild. Things looked good.
We all choked down our planned out pre-race meal at 4:45-5:00 a.m. A good 2-3 hrs before the race start. All planned. Time to digest but still be fueled.
Once at the site we headed quietly to Transition to organize yet again. Mary and I were next to each other!!! How does this keep happening?? It's really great. The time we are Not near each other will be really sad. We went through our typical pre-race rituals and while we'd heard the start may be delayed, they still shuffled us to the beach as if it would begin at the planned time. We got in for a Short Short warm up. It was Freezing. I grew up on the ocean. I swam in the ocean Every morning...the Maine ocean...and this was worse. This was so so cold. Our faces hurt. There. Ready. 7:15 now? Let's go!! Wrong!!!!!!!! We ended up standing on the beach until about 9:00. Not good. We had zippo swim warm up and we now had no calories in us. But what else could we do? You see, the fog on the water truly impacted the ability for them to keep the racers safe. They had to shorten the course in the end and this was a big fat bummer for those of us who are swimmers and rely on the extra minutes in the water to gain on the field.
Finally we started the swim. It was a Bar fight out there for a few minutes! I was getting clobbered. I finally pulled out of it and felt pretty good on the swim. The lake was clean and beautiful and I sighted well. I found my rhythm and felt strong. I wish, oh do I wish that it was longer. A mere 13+ minutes in a race that takes over 2 hrs.
I went to the wetsuit strippers even though my 1st and only other experience with them wasn't great. I regretted it again this time. Two young boys put in pathetic effort to get it off me. It got stuck at my ankles and they seemed to give up. Ugh.
T1 1:34 Yeah! This is Way way better for me.
I headed off on the bike with my new aero helmet on for the first time and felt strong. I had a good ride. My new bike just seems to come alive when I get out there to race. The course was very hilly and very rough. It required total attention to the road so as not to hit a hole and flip or blow a tire. Stressful. There were lots of people to dodge too and this was tricky. I found lots of people just cruising along on the the way! It can be scary sometimes. I rode hard and strong. I felt solid. Confident. Excited that I now enjoy the bike instead of just enduring it so I can get to the run. My stomach wasn't great however. I did drink all my water bottle over the course of the ride. I also had about 1/2-3/4 of my HEED/amino mix. I had one hammer gel around mile 20. But my started hurting. Was it upset because it was basically empty when I started? I didn't dwell on it.
I hit T2 and while trying to get my bike shoe off, my calf muscle Completely cramped up in a knot. OUCH!!!! Man did it hurt. No time. Grab the hat and race belt and go. 1:06 in T2. Yeah me again. That's so so much better!
the run. Oh the run. I love to run. I love to run off the bike. But this run, well, it was about the most painful run I've ever ever had. It was just plain tough. A big mental game. I ran mile 1 and felt pretty slow and I was panting like a dog. Ok, that's normal. 6:38. Hey, pretty darn good. I was encouraged. Mile 2 6:51. oops. There was a hill, I think. Mile 3 6:57. Ok, enough. I was unravelling. It wasn't that I was just tired. I was truly coming apart. My legs didn't feel like they belonged to me. They were 2 separate flailing sticks....ok logs. (I have big legs :) ) And I felt completely nauseous. Totally sick. Gross. I got to mile 3 and the turn around and then I had to watch my competition running at me. That was scary. I had nothing in the tank. I just thought, "they're running me down and there's not a damn thing I can do about it." I just kept putting one foot in front of the other--like the song says. Mile 4 was better again: 6:42. Was it downhill? I can't remember. Now, I am pleased that I could do these splits while feeling like death. But why did I feel like death? I decided to try to get some more gel in me to see if it would help. One sip. Nope. Not good at all. I held that sticky oozing chocolate mess for the next few miles...I did get a little more water in me though.
It took all my mental power to get to the end. And it was only 10K!? Why??? I run and run and run around here. Something happened to me out there. I was completely doubting my ability to race. I just wanted to get to the end so I could lay down and die. Those are not good thoughts.
Somehow, I dug deep and finished the race. I did it. Sometimes you just have to go through the pain in order to learn a lesson and improve for next time. I am ready for that. I want to learn the lesson and do better. I am so happy that I did what I did while feeling so bad. It was a tough tough run but I still did well and that gives me great hope. I feel excited to try again.
Final Splits and Stats:
Total time: 2:17:55

Swim 13:48 (4th woman/20th overall)
T1 1;34
Bike 1:18:48 (20.7 mph for 27.2 miles--no idea where I placed for women but was 75th in the field of 726)
T2 1:06
Run 42:40 (6:53 pace, no idea for women yet but 63rd/726 racers) A few yrs ago I couldn't go under 44 for a flat 10K so I am psyched here.

3rd place for women, 1st age group
36th overall/726 finishers

Time to recover and prepare for the next challenge.
Thanks for reading!


Pedergraham said...

Nice race report. I love the description of the little twin beds--and how niceto share that with a friend that you've known almost forever. (Or, should I say "4-eva"?) I wish that we had motivated to get out on the course a little earlier to cheer you on during the run. You had a great race and nice strong splits in each discipline--way to go and enjoy your recovery this week and some extra time with your boys!

Alina said...

Wow! What a race! Good for you Ange!!

Anonymous said...

Way to work through the pain and finish the run with an awesome time. Congrats on the whole are so fast!!

How neat that you and Mary were next to each other in transition :)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, rock on! Great going Ange! I LOVE how detailed your race report was...I was sitting on the edge of my chair.

Enjoy your recovery time!

Jennifer Harrison said...

ANGE!!!!! WOW, You had a super race! I enjoyed your RR too and felt like I was there. You did a great job and should be thrilled! Congrats to you! Enjoy the success!!! :) Jen H.

Jennifer Cunnane said...

Great job running! I hope I go that fast at my next 10K, looks like your training is paying off!

LG said...

CONGRATULATIONS on a TERRIFIC race Ange!! It was hot and the run was tough, the hour 90 min delay did not help at all -- so factoring this in --you were AMAZING, and the results prove this!!

IronMatron said...

You know I think you're a goddess.
Even when you feel terrible you still run so fast...
We will figure all this out and have amazing races that all come together and that we win! (or that you'll win and I'll be close behind.) :)
I loved our damp sleepover too! Not the most comfortable sleep I've ever experienced....

Marni said...

Great job. Lets work out the stomach issues....I don't like to hear that :(
Email me! :)

Melissa said...

Hi Ang! I just read your race report.. It was GREAT. Thanks for sharing. You are really tough. I'll be you felt so bad in the run because you were out of fuel. That had to be it. I was laughing at how you described how you felt. Sorry, but I have felt that way before. REGARDLESS, you stuck it out. I'm really impressed with your run time. Congrats on 3rd woman and 1st age grouper.

BreeWee said...

Ange! You are amazing! That is a super super race, you better dwell on all the good stuff! You rock at the swim, you made progress in the transitions, you held on during the bike despite the fact you had some calf aches and some nutrition issues, and then that run! WHOA MOMMA! That is amazing, some pro women in Vancouver didn't even do a 42! You fought the mental demons and won! Usually those jerks come into our brains when we are low on calories...
I am so happy for you and LOVED your race report, you totally took all the situations and made the best out of them! AND this is only your first one of the season...!!

Kim said...

congratulations speedy! it was so great to meet you on saturday! you totally hustled on those hills and in that heat. wa to go!

Rural Girl said...

that's great, Ange. Way to go. You pushed it out through to the end and that's what the winner does!

Judi said...

Angela - your times are incedible to me. 1500m in 13 freaking minutes? 10k in 42? I so wish you and Mary could teach me to swim like you. I am in AWE!

Judi said...

Thanks for popping by on my blog Ange! I added you to my blogroll.

I think I read maybe on Kim's blog that the swim was .63 or something. Still a very good time!