Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Recovery time well spent.

Since my race, I have enjoying some epic meals...
Duluth Grill, a must if you are ever there
some tasty, local beverages...
New Holland Brewery
some new activities I typically don't have time for...
paddle boarding in Lake Michigan
getting dressed up with the boy...
wedding in WI
...and some quality time with the ladies.
hot beach, really cold water
My recovery is at an end, but it has been epic.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Grandma's race report - 9/10

My recovery time has been amazing (post soon to follow) and as result delayed my race report, but that doesn't mean the race itself was anything short. If you are looking for a spring/early summer marathon I really really, really, really recommend Grandma's. I am not just saying that because my race turned out to be...well pretty close to perfect.
The venue is beyond gorgeous. It is along the north coast of the southwest corner Lake Superior with scenic views, a gentle breeze, and an epic downtown crowd to bring you in. Great for first timers as the course is flat.

I think a huge difference in this race from past races which made it close to perfect was the planning. I feel like in the past I have thought about the race but never in such detail. Writing out everything really helped. I felt really focused on the task and my head was in it. Pure execution is my new training moto. Since I had the logistics planned out so well I feel like a really got a good night sleep and was well rested despite not feeling the best through my taper. When I have traveled to races in a group I feel like I sometimes sacrifice my focus and what I need to do for the group or others. This was not the case, but thought I felt a great balance as I was doing it with a friend who was doing her first.

The week leading up to the race and how ambitious my pacing was laid out I really didn’t think I was starting to get nervous. My taper just didn’t feel like it was coming together. I got 9 hours of sleep the day before the race. Before my flight I got the chance to get a quick 30 mins in and I actually still didn’t feel that great yet, but the timing of my taper worked. Off the plane we went straight to packet pick up and didn’t poke around. I bought new shoes which I raced in, but my old ones were beyond done and hadn’t been able to find new ones. My Swiftwick socks saved me from any blisters and they ended up not being a problem. Our evening stayed close to what was planned and I got a good 8 hours of sleep. A first for the night before.
Breakfast went as planned except the Powerbar Harvest Energy in Oatmeal Raisin (delicious) and course provided Powerade was a little delayed which I munched/sipped on in the bus on the way to the start. In hindsight I think the delay probably worked out better in the end. Kept my nervous twitch preoccupied. Got there, stretched, used the porta potty twice, applied the necessary TriSlide, and was able to relax. Right before the start of the race I had a really good moment of reflection

A specific song hit the loud speakers and I instantly thought of my Rev3 teammates. It has been an honor and great support to race with and for such a great group of fun people.
sweet Rev3 visor kept my cool and the sun out of my eyes
My good friend was aiming to break 4 hours. We decided to start back in the 3:50 pace area and cross the start line together which turned out to be an unintentional success. As planned, I was hitting my 8:10’s for the first couple of miles, but still felt like I was cruising since I was passing people from slower pace groups. I wish I could somehow strategize a tri like this. By mile 2 I noticed my Garmin was a little off from where they had the balloons marked at every mile. I caught the pace groups (They had them per 10 min intervals) pretty quickly except for the 3:35 group. It took a little longer since I had stopped at the half way mark for a potty break right before I caught them. 

My sole bathroom break was epic as I didn't calculate any time to pee in my pacing I wanted to be quick. Leading up to this point every porta potty was occupied as I went by. I am definitively not against popping a squat in public, but I pressured to pee yet. I cannot take credit for thinking of this ahead of time but when I got to the start of the Half Marathon (the race was point-to-point and was the USA Half Marathon Championship race) so there were at least 100 open porta potties all together. I nabbed the closest to the road and my have had the quickest potty break yet. I am talking sub 7 seconds.

Once I caught the 3:35 group (lots of women trying to get under BQ) I didn’t stay with them for long. I just kept cruising at my own speed. I felt really good until about the last 1.5-2 miles. I didn’t feel horrible, but I knew I was getting fatigued and tired. I also was running through downtown at this point and wasn’t distracted by the crowds, but the cheering, signs, and troll dolls didn’t help me focus on my pacing. Below is my pretty close to even paced marathon splits which was almost right on what I wanted to do.

LocationPace BetweenRace Time
ChipStart 3:07
GunStart 0:00

When I finished the race my Garmin read 3:30:36 for 26.45 miles. Since my race I have had trouble with my Garmin and am sending it in. It currently won't turn on and am pretty sure the data from the race is gone. I did notice within the first two miles my Garmin was about .2 miles ahead consistently so I am going with my Garmin. 

I followed my nutrition plan pretty spot on. It wasn’t super hot but the humidity was bad. Like 90% bad. I was grabbing ice cups at each aid station and chewing/sucking on the cubes. This was a good distraction at the very least.  Not one stomach issue until afterwards where I was really bloated and had a stomach ache. I was worried that it was from all the salt tabs I consumed during, but it could have been the two bags of chips, chocolate milk, and beef jerky I ate. I think for the Ironman I am planning on consuming more solid foods on the bike because I can usually handle it, but may need to do some trial and error with pre- and post-race foods.
post race flowers
Overall I give this race an 9/10. I think the mental focus I had and have everything dialed down to a tee helped significantly. Pure execution!