Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ready to Race-Timberman 70.3 Part II

Yes, I really am going to break this race report into segments...that being said. If you missed it, here is Part I

I did not have much of an appetite all day due to excitement and pre-race nerves (plus, I had a big breakfast of maple walnut french toast that stuck with me all day it seemed!) We did stop at a little diner on the drive home.

At the Pro Panel that day they talked about their pre-race nutrition-how they chose with simple "white" carbs and small portions since they did not want much food in their system come race day, it was that much less that they needed to eliminate. I kept this is mind and chose a small, simple dinner-BLT on white toast with some fries and tons of water. I normally have a burger, sweet potato fries and a small salad as my pre-race meal and this is what I had during training and race sims as well. At the time I chose the BLT, I had no idea how important this change would be later on-

Finally I was home. I need to get to sleep but first, I needed pack up my transition bag, morning clothes bag, breakfast and be ready to rock-n-roll at 1:00 am.

Lola was up when I get home and she "helped" me pack up everything and I got to talk to her about the race. I got to bed exhausted and ready to face my first long course triathlon in the morning. All I keep reminding myself as I attempt to relax in bed, waiting for sleep to come is-
"this is your race. stay inside your own head. don't worry about what jane doe is doing. this is your race. pace your race. smile."

I actually slept better this night than any other pre-race night in recent memory. I woke up, eyes wide open and glanced at the clock. 1:00 am on the nose. The alarm was set for 1:05 am. I shut off the alarm, jumped in the shower & then called Marc, he was ready to go! I hugged my still sleeping daughter good-bye and gave her a kiss on the forehead.  I said goodbye to my husband and he got up to wait with me. I would be travelling to the race with Marc and my husband, Casey would be coming to the race later in the morning with Lola. My parents were planning on arriving in time for the swim start.

I skipped having coffee since I wanted to sleep on the ride there. No sleep but I did manage to rest and tried to relax. I went over my race day plan over and over.

We had planned to stop at a Dunkin Donuts en route and close the race for coffee and to get hot water for my oatmeal. Not a single Dunkin' Donuts was open on the way there!! It is a race day ritual for me to have a DD coffee before a race-it's a good thing Rasmus said that some days you need to be flexible. I remembered those words and had to laugh.

We finally arrived at Ellacoya State Park at 3:30 am. They only allow a limited amount of athletes to park right there at the race site and the lot fills quickly. All others must drive to Gunstock Mountain and be shuttled into the race venue. At 3:30 am the lot was still closed but would be opened at 4:00 am. We asked the cop where to get coffee and the only option was a 24-hour McDonald's in the next town. Luckily, we had some time to kill so we drove there. I got coffee and Marc got some breakfast. We the drove back to Ellacoya and there were already lines of cars waiting to get in. This is when I perked up and I could just feel the surge of energy fill my body. It was like someone plugged me in-

The line or cars waiting to get into Ellacoya

It was here.
It's finally race day.
My biggest race to date.

We got to our parking stop and we were SO CLOSE to transition, the finish line and the bike in/out. Awesome!!

There was NO getting into Transition yet...
I started drinking more water and getting my things ready. Transition did not open until 5:00am so we had some time to walk around. We chatted with other athletes and visited the port-o-potties a couple times.

Now, I will pee anywhere at anytime-but I do not like public restrooms and I have a huge phobia about port-o-potties. They totally gross me out. It's almost like I can feel all kinds of germs crawling all over me once I have been in one. I do not touch the walls or the seat or anything in them. Now take 2,200 endurance athletes pre-race and those port-o-potties are pretty much DESTROYED! I knew that at some point I would need to visit these to eliminate any food in my system before the race. But being up at 1am, not having my usual coffee, race nerves and my PPP (port-o-potty phobia)--it was just NOT happening for me. Marc kept telling me I had to go but no luck. I knew that at some point during the race, I would probably pay for this.

Transition opened up and it was even more packed than the day before. I had a very small space to set up which was just fine with me.

Off to set up transition and check my tires

The Pros were starting at 7:00am and my swim wave was dead last into the water. While this gave me time to see the Pros swim it also gave me lots of time to think. It was a huge bonus to have Marc's truck parked so close to the venue too so I could go back and dress when ready and I had a spot to keep my wetsuit while I waited.
The sun was starting to rise and I walked over to the swim to check it out.
It looked FAR. A long ass swim...
So much further than any 1.2 mile swim I had It was beautiful but FAR.
I chatted with a couple other athletes on the shore of the lake and they said the same thing-
That looks like a BIG SWIM!!

At Sunrise-I got to swim in the beautiful lake! Isn't it amazing??

Can't really see the buoy line in this one, but they are there

I just started out at the long line of buoys and repeated what I needed to do today on this swim.
Focus on MY swim. Stay calm. Find clean water. Avoid getting caught up in the "race" and swim just as I had trained. Calm and steady...calm and steady...calm and steady.

Almost ready to go swimming!

I got my race kit on, chomped on a Clif Bar and met up with friends. We chatted, watched the Pros swim, cross the timing mat and then it was time for me to suit up.

Just as I was making my way to the swim start to warm up, my parents made it and I was able to chat with them for a bit and get good luck hugs & kisses.

I got into the water and swam for a bit. The water was sooo nice and I felt good, started to relax a bit. I chatted with a few ladies in my wave and lined up. I saw Marc on the shore with the camera and gave him the thumbs up. I was ready to go!!

Well, here's goes nuthin!

Heading into the water giving a big THUMBS UP

My RED CAP swim wave #17-last to go!

I got to the back of the wave in the middle and we stood there for several minutes waiting for our turn. Then it was GO time. As with any race, there is the usual crush at the beginning but I moved myself to the outside (left) of the group-my feet got grabbed a couple times, I got an arm smack here and there but nothing major. After just a few mins, I was on my own and staying calm. Swim, swim, breath. Swim, swim breath. I used the mountains on my side to sight and started at the black, deep water and little green floaties in it and smiled. It was going smoooooth and easy. Just.Like.I.Trained.

It was a clockwise swim and the further out we got, it got a little choppier and there were waves from the boat but not too bad. Better than the training swim there. Luckily, most of my OWS training is in the ocean. This was cake. Stroke, stroke, breath. Stroke, stroke, breath. Nice...and that is all that really happened until I reached the first turn buoy. I was shocked that it came so quickly.
Then I started seeing yellow caps and blue caps and I was passing them. Hmmmm-no kidding.
I just kept swimming. And I was really enjoying it. I felt good. I was calm. I was happy.
what the heck??

Next turn buoy...really. I looked up to get my bearings, find a new sighting point and see how far I really had to swim. By this time there was another red cap swimmer on my right side, right on the buoy line and we kept even paced for quite a while. I'd sight off her cap and the other buoys. I was pretty pleased that I was swimming really straight too! Next thing I knew, red cap girl was no longer there and I was passing more and more other colored caps. Then I could see the bottom of the lake. GO GO GO
and then
It was over.
My swim was done. I was ecstatic! I could not believe it was that easy. I even enjoyed it!!

I kept to my race plan and had an awesome swim. I exited the water to hear screams from the spectators and the voice on the loud speaker, though I had NO idea what he was saying.
Run, run, run thru the swim exit. Make my way over to the wetsuit strippers-zip, off in a breeze and run to my bike. Time to go have some fun on those hills...

Projected swim time: 45-50 minutes
Acutal swim time: 41:41


A Prelude To... said...

You KILLED the swim! I'm dying for the part III - the bike!

Carrie said...

Off to an awesome start! I can't wait for the next installment of the tri-saga!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Jen, I was reliving the day as I read Part I & II. Dad and I are so glad we were able to share this exciting day with you. Love, Mommy Dearest.

Finallyfit2011 said...

GREAT JOB JEN!!! That lake is amazing!!! And that's so awesome the whole family made it!!!

Tough Chik said...

Awesome swim and great time! Can't wait to read the rest!

Big Daddy Diesel said...


Friday is the day I have to wait for the run???

Great swim

Rene' said...

so exciting...i can't wait for the next 2 parts!

BabyWilt said...

Fantastic start, can't wait for the rest.

Jason said...


OK, what a great job. You just obliterated your goal time.

Keep it up....until tomorrow and the bike. I may skip it and wait for Friday so I can read both at the same time....well not at the same time but one right after the other.

Melissa Cunningham said...

ahhhh! LOVING this recap! ready to read MORE!!!!!!

Molly said...

Holy cow, you nailed the swim!!!

justme said...

loving the report, way to rock the swim

justme said...

loving the reports. great job on the swim

runnerwannabe said...

Great job on the swim! Beautiful pictures!

Anonymous said...

An amazing swim!! Great job :)

Unknown said...