Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Race Report! REV3 Old Orchard Beach, Maine! Remember the waves!!! And I'm not talking about the Ocean!

Rev3 came to Maine last weekend and we had a superb day for the big race.  Look at this photo....

 You can't beat it!  This  gorgeous sunrise on the beach was taken at the start of our race. Maine truly is the best place to live.

My day started in another awesome location... our little secret island on the lake.  There's Tommy on the dock.. you can see a glimpse of our camp up the stairs.  ( just a random note, those stairs are NOT so fun post- race or post-workout for that matter. ouch) Anyway.. I'm mentioning this because on our lovely little island hideaway, we live without electricity.
Don't worry... we have lights. But they aren't bright and there aren't many. When it's dark, it's dark. My day started at 3:20 a.m. Yup... that might be a record for race day start even with my Ironman races. The first wave went off at 6:15 so we had to get movin' nice and early. Ouch. The fun part wasn't just getting myself out the door with 1 dim gas lamp it was Boating my way across the lake on this big old party boat!! ( that's Mark and my Mom some other day.. in the light!) It was pitch black, I had a flash light and a little lantern and off I went. I know my way, I know where the other boats are moored, but docking was a disaster. It took me 4-5 attempts with lots of swearing ( quietly..shh...it's only 3:45 a.m.....) and frustration wishing I had just made Mark drive me over and dump me off on the dock. Oh well.. I made it eventually.  Now on with the race. ( I was just pretty proud of myself for making it out of there that way and that early!)

 I was pretty excited to race on Sunday. It had been a long time. I raced a small race in July here in the town I live in. It was fun but it was small. Rev3 drew a huge crowd and the field was potentially full of great competition. I had Tons of friends racing and we had Lots of TriMoxie Athletes on the course too. The day was pretty exciting actually.  To see a production set up like that here in Maine was great. Finally!!  The pro field was deep too. Karen Smyers, Becky Lavalle, and our own Mike Ciazzo were just a few that were there.  The Half Ironman ( ok, It's not IRONman because it was Rev3 but you know what I mean... ) race went first.  Their waves were earrrrrly. I watched and warmed up in the WARM ocean. Yes, warm. Maine waters are warm right now and the temp was about 68. Lovely. That may not sound warm but trust me, it is for us!! It felt great. The sea was calm and clear and the sun was rising. Perfect. My parents were there, my brother's kids, my best buds Mary & Alina and while Mark & my guys couldn't make it ( soccer) I was not alone.

Finally.. My turn! I was nervous and yet in control. I was ready to get out there and fight for it. To race hard and see how my fitness is shaping up. I'm gearing up for Vegas in two weeks and this race was all about moving fast & staying sharp.

I lined up at the edge of the water with men around me ( mixed wave) and OFF we went. I dove 3x into the small waves, climbed up and over a few swells.
I felt strong and comfortable. I pushed hard and yet stayed in control. ( kind of need to work on NOT staying in control on this... I need to swim with others more... not sure how..)  I saw 1 girl take off next to me. Hmm.. who is this? I worked to stay on her feet and did stay pretty close but she was ahead. I was ok with it because I could see her the whole way...she was close. And, I felt confident about my bike and run. The race was just beginning.
Into the shore and a wave flipped me in and pushed me onto the sand. It was fun actually. I love the ocean.
Up the beach, I tried to smile as my name was cheered but I was admittedly a bit disoriented and dizzy from the ocean.
The run to T1 was LONG! I hated it. It was Hot already and with the wetsuit at my waist, I was miserable. It measured 1/2 mile someone told me. Not sure if that was true but it was long. The hardest part was running on the road that far in barefeet. It was hard on the feet...
into T1 There she is! I knew she was close. I was in and out of transition fast, struggled with my shoes ( still perfecting the flying mount haha) and off I went. Eh.. I felt okaaay... but not great.  We were climbing up a mellow long gradual hill and I was semi-ticked because people raved about the Flat fast nature of this course. Nope. It wasn't flat. I lost sight of girl #1 and lost my umph to go after her. Temporarily.  I rode and rode and pushed as hard as I could but... I was alone. totally 100% by myself alone. Ick. It didn't feel like a race.  Eventually, a few super fast guys flew by. Oh yay! IT's a race! I'm racing!!! And then, they were gone too.  Ladedadeda.....
No.. I didn't really act like that. I was working  my tail off but I really did have to keep telling myself it was a race since I didn't see a single sole for about 14 miles.

The course did a lollipop so finally I was heading back to town and passing the others coming in my direction.  It was fun to look for my TriMoxie athletes racing.. I saw a few and yelled! I hit town, was feeling fast and excited to run and see what was next.

OFF to run! My favorite part! I felt good heading out of T2.  The best part? I found her. She was rightttt up ahead. 
I'm going to say.... 400 yards? I'm not sure but she was in my target range.  
I started running and started thinking. 
Alrighit Ange, what are you going to do? She's running hard. She really does look strong. Her stride is quick and she wants this. Do you? Yes. I do. Ok..can you get her? Or, will you die? What's going to happen? Are you going to take a risk here? You could just get 2nd. You have that wrapped up. No! I want this. I want the win!! It's mine this time. But how.. how do I do it? can I? 
I ran through mile 1 and felt awesome. It felt easy. I was way sub 6:30 and my HR / breathing were completely mellow. Don't get me wrong, I was working. But that work felt very manageable. She was still ahead. The gap had closed. I am not sure anyone but me couldn't notice that. But I felt it. I could feel that I was gaining on her 
Time to play games.
I decided to run with reserve for 3 miles. I'd hang on, stay right behind her, but keep my gas in the tank. I'd keep the turbo charge off ... and then at the end... I'd take over. 
that was plan A. 
So... I ran through mile 2.  I was keeping my pace even but... I got her. I closed the gap before I expected. Mile 2 ish came along and I cruised up next to her and casually said, "good job" and kept going by.... 

Well...that part was easy. But NOW what was going to happen? Was she going to follow??
I just kept looking forward ( never let them see ya sweat...) and pushed pretty hard. I took some water and gel at mi 3 and Gagged big time. I even had to stop for a second... I was coughing and choking... pathetic. I regrouped and made the turn around at 3.1 and there she was... on my heels.  
I felt strong and my head was still Focused. No way girl with the bathing suit tri kit this race is mine. I want to bring home the gold to the kids this time.  
The way back to town felt great. I ran hard and felt super. I saw friends and yelled or in my case when my breath was gone, I just did thumbs up back to them. ( I can never talk when I race... ) 

Mile 5... I felt confident. I was psyched. Yes! I'm taking this thing.. it's my day. 

And, then.... I did what I never do. I looked back!!! I wanted to know if I was 'safe.'
I was. She was out of sight.  I think I turned the gears down juuuuust a hair. Just a small bit.  I ran it in and ran strong but I saved a wee little bit in there knowing that my biggest day of the year is coming in a few weeks.  

Finish line! yes!  My day. I was pumped. Mary Miller ( pro triathlete from Maine ) was working at the finish and took my name and told me I was 1st age grouper. I was so pumped. The woman I beat finished and I went to her to say congrats.  Shortly thereafter.. another woman. 3rd place I just imagined... 
We talked too. OH! I knew her... Amanda Kourtz. Awesome athlete. We raced Lake placid a few yrs ago together. She told me I just beat her there. ( need to go look that up and remember...)  That was that! I smiled for Dad's camera. I chatted and celebrated with Mary. And, then I made plans to go cheer on our TriMoxie racers and my friends.  Just as I was walking away, Amanda stopped me again. She was super serious... "what wave were you in?" she asked me. ( oh oh... wave? oh oh.... I forgot about waves.. ummm....) I was in the wave ahead of her. ooohh..... how close to us did she finish after all???

Instead of going off to change, first I  checked the Rev3 computer scoreboard. Sure thing! 1st overall! yay!!!! sigh of relief. CLose one. I  knew she must have been close!  

Hours went by and the day was SO fun!!!!  All the TriMoxie athletes: Mike, Kim, Mike, Joanna, Kristin and Beth did amazingly well!!!! My friends had good days and I had a blast cheering for everyone.  

Later.. just before award time, I stood in line and checked the official results again. 
bubble burst... 2nd. 
She DID get me! By, only 1 minute.  ARGH! SO close!!!! If only... if only I'd known she was out there too. Never ever let your guard down Ange!!!!! Lesson learned!!!!! 
But I did find out this, and it took the sting away. Amanda is going pro. In fact, that win for her was crucial for her in order to get her Pro card. So, I am happy for her. She even complimented me by asking Mary if I was going Pro too. Mary grinned and informed her that I am actually turning 43 in several months so no, my time has passed. But it was a nice thought Amanda!! :) thanks!  
I wish her the best and when I looked up her splits... woah. She ran me down with a 37:5x 10k!!! Smokin'. Yes, she will do Well as a pro!!!  

And that is my story!!!! 
I raced the race and closed it out with a Strong run and I feel GREAT about that!!! I was sore and exhausted after so I know I gave it my all and what more can you ask for. Now.. I'm recovering and training and my head is spinning with nerves and excitement and the business that accompanies travelling across the country to a World Championship event. 

I can't wait.  


GetBackJoJo said...

So fun to watch you kill that race!! :) Congrats and I can't wait to see you crush Vegas!!

Unknown said...

Congrats on a great race! I think I'm going to have to get up to Maine for it next year!

John said...

Congrats Ange!

cost per head said...

It is an amazing photo with the sunrise in the background. I would like to run like that.