lone ranger

lone ranger

Monday, June 16, 2014

Learn to make it hurt.

Eagleman 70.3  - Cambridge, Maryland.

Triathlon is made more fun by friends. Always. We had a fantastic trip to Maryland with an awesome group of friends.

We made the near 10 hour drive in the Man-van early Friday morning. Ashley was amused by my picture taking for all of about the first hour.

10 hours in the car is fun at first, then it makes you crazy. Man-van is AMAZE.

Hope and Tristan arrived about an hour after us. Bob and Melissa were not far behind. We were all ready for some good food. We stayed in Easton, MD about 20 minutes from Cambridge.  It's a great town with a lot of character.  

Dinner in Easton, MD. Beers were well deserved after the long drive.

Saturday morning was a short bike ride, short run and then head to Cambridge to the race site for Athlete Registration.

View of the Choptank at Athlete Registration Saturday.

We checked our bikes, walked around the race site and then back to the hotel to prepare nutrition.

Numbers on, bikes checked, pics of transition. Done.

Saturday night Bob, Melissa, Ashley and I went to dinner in downtown Easton again. 

Pre-race dinner. 

Race morning came early as usual.  My swim wave started a little over an hour after the pros so we had a lot of time to take silly pictures, lounge and maybe warmup a little before the start.  Before race day there had been absolutely no talk of a non-wetsuit swim, so it was a huge surprise when we arrive Sunday morning to hear no wetsuit.  I wasn't thrilled, but what can you do.  This only changed my race strategy in that I probably wouldn't push as hard on the swim.

Body Marking. Wait...what? No wetsuit? You're joking, right? So disappointed!

Ashley started two waves ahead of me and Tristan one wave ahead of me. They got ahead of schedule starting the swim waves. Ashley was in the water warming up when they called his wave. Hope and I were calling him out of the water and he had to do a nice little sprint swim to the start just as they blew the whistle.  

Race Morning! ICE ready to represent!

Poor Melissa started and hour and 40 minutes after the pros.  This meant that she had a lot of people to pass! She had an amazing race and qualified for 70.3 World Championships.  So proud of Melissa and loved seeing her smiling face on the bike and run course.

Malibu Melissa with race of the day! 4th Age Group!

Hope and I were in the same swim wave.  She was amazingly calm pre-race as she had a great plan in place and knew what she had to do to execute that plan. 

Last hug for Hope as I send her off to the Choptank for her first 70.3! Woot!!

Swim:  37:48

My first 70.3 was in Augusta with an extremely fast down river swim. I knew there wasn't a chance of coming close to that 25 minute swim time.  The swim felt very slow.  Ashley said he felt the same. I actually felt better when I realized I was only about 6 minutes off from Ashley's time.  Parts of the swim are very very shallow and it was pretty interesting to swim next to people who were walking the swim. That was a first!

Oh hey Hope's Family! Fun to have some cheers out there!

Bike: 3:03:44

Take away from this race: I've got to learn to make it hurt on the bike. 

I did not bike hard enough. It's the truth. I suppose I justified it at the time because I was hoping for a fast run. Hindsight is always 20/20 and what I didn't realize was that in that heat I wasn't going to have a spectacular run anyway. What I did do is enjoy the bike, I spent 3 hours of quality time in my aero bars and tried to have fun. I was way too comfortable out there, but with every race there are lessons to be learned.  Before the race I was bored with biking.  This bike performance has struck a nerve and provided a little motivation that will hopefully carry me through the next 3 months.

Nice Flat Bike Course, head wind on the way out, tailwind on the way back.

As I was starting my run Ashley was finishing his run. We really didn't know how the hamstring was going to feel on the run, but he survived with a very respectable time. Despite his injury and not being able to run very well Ashley finished with a 4:29:28. Amazing to go 4:29 injured. His focus for the rest of the year is to get healthy.

HB the crowd pleaser!!

Run: 1:54:43

It's really quite impressive how Eagleman can put together 70.3 miles with absolutely zero shade.  That was the hottest 13 miles I've every run and I pride myself on loving the heat.  I just could not cool off.  I cruised through the first several aid stations grabbing while I ran, but the last 3 I actually stopped to walk while grabbing every cup I could get my hands on.  I felt like I was in one of the Kona videos where you see the pros grabbing everything within reach.  It was water over the head, drink a cup of water, ice down the shirt, ice down the shorts, sponges in the back of my jersey, more water over the arms, drink more water. When I was actually running I think I was running pretty well and I was certainly passing a lot of people.  Considering the 3-4 walk breaks in the aid stations and the heat, I really can't be disappointed with this run and I don't think I could've run much faster on this day.

Looking relatively fresh as I started the run.

I was more than ready to cross the finish line.  I do not recall any sort of celebration. I just wanted to stop running and find some shade.  Hope's family provided some great last minute encouragement down the finish.

Headed to the finish. So HOT, seriously...so damn HOT.

Final Time: 5:42:35

About 4 1/2 minutes slower than Augusta 70.3 last year, but with a 12 minute longer swim and very different conditions.  Overall I'm pleased and think it was a pretty consistent race. There's no such thing as a perfect race and that's the beauty of triathlon and what keeps us always coming back for more!

Immediately after crossing the finish-line I thoroughly rinsed off under the cold shower of a firetruck and then took this brief rest in the grass.  


This was our first big race together and it was a ton of fun. I loved seeing Ashley out on the course and would totally race the half distance together again. It helps that he finishes well over an hour before me though. :)


I am so proud of Hope finishing her first 70.3.  She had a fantastic race, but more importantly she did it with a smile on her face the entire way.  I also want to brag on Tristan.  He was prepared for an incredible race, but had some unfortunate GI issues on the run.  I never once heard him complain about his race and from talking to him you would never know it did not go according to plan.  He is always the first to congratulate everyone else. He's a great athlete, awesome training partner, amazing friend and always so positive. Awesome job about there Tristan!

Best of Buds, loved sharing this race experience with these two.

Also big Congrats to Johane racing her first 70.3!  DART was well represented at Eagleman!

DART represents at Eagleman 70.3

Ashley and I were originally planning to drive home after the race, but we decided it would be way more fun to celebrate with our friends.  We had dinner Sunday night at a cool little English Pub in Easton.  We were in bed early and up at 5am to start the drive home.  We each took turns napping in the back of the Man-van on the way home. Chloe even took a turn on the drive from Charlotte to Davidson.

Sleepy-time in the man-van.

Ashley has already mentioned going back to Eagleman next year, I might just spectate and let him race this one next year.  

The last week has been a mid-season break from training.  I put in about 4.5 hours of biking and running compared to the normal 16ish hours and zero swimming.  I'm getting antsy and ready to get back out there, but patience is a virtue.

Ironman Chattanooga countdown begins: 103 days!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Eagleman 70.3 Preview

In less than one week I will make my 2nd attempt at the 70.3 distance.  Last year Augusta 70.3 was my "A" race.  I trained for about 9 months and had a very specific race plan with very specific goals.  The race was executed about as perfectly as I could've planned.  Eagleman 70.3 next weekend is my "B" race this year.  I've really not put a ton of thought into this race, but I'm pretty excited to give this distance another go. I'm in better shape than September of last year and hope to have a pretty good day.

Ashley's always wanted to race Eagleman and I wanted to do another big 70.3 during my Ironman training, so when Ashley decided to sign up I figured I would too.  This will be the first time that we are both participating in the same big race. I'm pretty excited about our trip to Maryland for the race and a few days off of work, but I'm possibly more excited about this week's taper.  My legs are begging me for some rest and I sincerely hope that this taper will do the trick.  Last week I spent 9.5 hours on my bike, more than any other week this year.  The majority of that time was by myself.  It was tough mentally and tough on my already very tired legs.  My quads need a break.  My bike and I need a break.  We are not friends right now, so a little time apart this week will hopefully allow us to play nicely on Sunday.

Last year I felt like I realistically knew what to expect out of my race, but this year I really have no idea.  Ironman training forces you to train on tired legs All. The. Time.  So with a good taper I really don't know what I'm capable of.  Maybe The Pro will have some special insight as the end of the week approaches, but at this point I have a plan based off of effort level and it will be a big surprise to see what kind of time that will earn me.

The Swim

Two words: Choptank River.  Sounds like a nice calm place, right?  The swim could be choppy, could be wetsuit legal, could be non-wetsuit swim, could be swimming with jelly fish. Who knows! I'm hoping for a wetsuit swim, but either way I'll give it my all.  Some friends have been doing some temperature stalking and it sounds like we have a good chance of a wetsuit swim.  I think the wetsuit allows me to push my effort a little more without expending much more energy.  One thing's for sure, I certainly won't have a 25 minute swim like the down river 1.2 miles in Augusta! But on the other hand, compared to the 2.4 mile swim in Chattanooga a few weeks ago this will fly by.

The Bike

....ahh the bike...my favorite.  I hear it's flat as a pancake.  I'm not typically a fan of flat bike rides because where there is flatland there is usually wind.  I hate wind.  Athlete Guide says: "winds have been clocked up to 30mph." Awesome.  I never ride flat so i really don't know what kind of result my watts will get me here.  We opted against the race wheels, but I will definitely splurge for race wheels at CHOO.  I am however pretty excited about my new aero helmet!  Hopefully it will give me a little free speed.  I will take the bike relatively easy with hopes to hop off the bike and be ready to run my heart out!


The Run

Run description says: "The run is flat out and back on a 13.1 mile loop on mostly rural, hot unshaded roads".  Sounds lovely.  Who picked this race? Typically, the heat doesn't bother me too much, so as long as I stay hydrated I'm hoping for a good run.  How good of a run? I honestly have no idea.

The Crew

I am pumped about my race, but I am really excited about everyone else racing too.  Hope Dunlap is making her 70.3 debut.  While I did not technically coach her for this race, I feel like I was her secondary coach and I'm so excited to see her hard work put to the test. One of my biggest training buddies, Tristan is also ready for his 70.3 comeback race.  I will likely pass him in the water, he'll quickly pass me on the bike and then we'll duke it out on the run.  Actually he's been training hard, is well rested and should have a really fantastic day.

Johane Hirschfield is also making her 70.3 debut.  After qualifying for Boston in March, this race is icing on the cake!  Marc Hirschfield is also racing. How he finds time to race a marathon a month and train for 70.3's we'll never know!  After Malibu Melissa Bell's incredible Boston Marathon I can't wait to see her tear up the run course.  New friends from Cozumel Duran Greene and Laura Gersten are also racing.  Laura has stepped up her training to an entirely new level and is prepared to crush dreams.  Duran is always super strong in all 3 sports and is going to have a fantastic day. 

Team DL!

And finally, last but not least.  My all time favorite triathlete, The Honey Badger, my hubby.  He has been battling a hamstring strain for the better part of this year.  When he signed up we both had high hopes that he could defend his Charleston 4:04 time.  I don't think we know what to expect on race day, but I know he'll give it his best shot.  I just hope the hamstring can hang on for the 13.1 run. Regardless, the best part of my day will be seeing him on the out and back on the run course.

My favorite, The HB.

I won't have any spectators on the course, but all of these familiar faces will make the run a lot of fun!  

4 days and counting! Then IMCHOO Countdown begins! 4 months!!