Thursday, August 25, 2011

Timberman 70.3 Race(the bike) Report

Timberman 70.3 has been on my race calendar ever since my mom signed up for it (her first half ironman!) early in the year. It's not perfect timing with Vegas and Kona coming up, but how could I say no to a mother-daughter race?

I flew into New Hampshire LATE thursday night and went to my mom's lake cabin. The trip was uneventful except for the fact that they lost my bike! Grrrrr.... I tried not to freak out and was honestly so tired that I just rolled with it and trusted it would arrive before Sunday. Friday I woke up, ate some tasty breakfast and went for a short swim from mom's porch.
nice spot to wake up with a cup of coffee!
Local wild (tiny!) blueberries with greek yogurt (mom stocked all my faves!) 

After breakfast (and of course a mani/pedi) we headed to Gilford, NH on Lake Winnepesauke...I love this part of the country and it reminds me of summers at overnight camp in New Hampshire growing up. The smell of pine needles, cool mornings, clear crisp lake water. LOVE
The swim venue. Look how clear (& calm!) the water is. No sharky pacific ocean, Yay!

We did all the usual pre-race stuff and I feel like I spent the most time  doing 2 things 1) Assembling my bike once it finally arrived a day later..first time ever! Thankfully, Gordon from Velo Hangar in Cali had given me a comprehensive bike building and unbuilding lesson before I left. I owe you bigtime Gordon!
Gordon admires his work (bike's in the box!)
I built it! Except hmmm...where does this go? 
Race ready bike thanks to NYTRO, the Blaze hydrotrail & Champion Factory

and 2) Trying to calm Mom's pre-race nerves. Wow. She was nervous. Like really nervous. It started making me nervous (for her not me). She kept talking about not making the cutoffs and all kinds of stuff. I knew she'd be fine, but I know she was really worried, especially about the bike.

 We went to bike check in...then later found out we could take our bikes out and ride 'em down race morning. So we went back to bike check in and checked out!

Mom & her ride
checking in...or out...

 OK, now...the RACE!
Race morning, we cruised our bikes the 3 miles from our Inn to transition.
Lookin' nervous, Mom! 
We had plenty of snap photos of course
Matching Nytro kits thanks to Betty Designs!

And saddles of course. Like mother like daughter...

SWIM: 1.2 miles- 29:37
the gun for my wave of 120+ women 30-34 went off and all of a sudden after 20 head-down hard strokes, I was on the front with one other girl. I was swimmying HARD, but felt like I could stay on this girl's feet. About halfway to the first buoy (maybe 300 meters), i looked back and saw one girl on my feet and then...crickets... HUH? OH NO!!! I AM NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HERE! HOW DID I GET IN THE LEAD PACK? (I think my super speedy Zoot  Prophet was working its magic) I started freaking out a bit. Was I swimming too hard? No. So I kept the free ride around buoy #1. Eventually the girl got away about 1/3 of the way through as we started swimming through lots of slower swimmers from earlier waves, but  my othe rfriend was still there (the one who had been on my feet for a minute) and she moved up and towed me along until the final turn buoy. With 500 to go, I took the lead and swam 'er in. I thought I must have laid down an epic swim time to be in the first pack, but, no. 29:37. Still, a PR for me, and a bit faster than half of the pro women. So, I was pleased.

BIKE- 56 miles- 2:33- 21.8 avg mph
The night before the race I tweeted, "I'm so excited for my bike race! I will race the bike, I will race the bike"
You know that tweeting (and blogging) is like The Secret (oft referenced by Rachel Ross).. If you say it will happen. Well, it will!
RACING the bike

So I went all in on the bike. What does "all in" mean? It means that when others are spinning up a hill, I'm out of the saddle pushing a huge gear and so cross eyed that I can only keep one eye open. Kind of like a cycling pirate. ARRRGH! Matey, I was out for a sub 2:40 bike split! I am sick of sucking on the bike. I didn't care what kind of run showed up afterwards and honestly never once even thought about the run. I was in a bike race! I actually was 2nd in the bike race as Sarah P. in my age group came flying by and although I tried to go with her, wasn't gonna happen (note: she biked 30 seconds slower than Chrissie Wellington! ). She is an awesome cyclist and makes it look easy..Timberman was quite hilly with 2600 or so feet of climbing.. Nothing intense hilly, just constant. And lucky for me, not too technical! I loved the bike course.

RUN- 13.1 miles- 1:34

Empty run course the day before the race
I had faith that I could still run well no matter how much I trashed my legs on the bike. Well, I guess faith only gets you so far, eh? I think I was bonking from mile one. I just felt find of wonky and weak. At mile 2 or so, I tried to take a caffeinated gel and I thought I had opened just a tiny sliver in the packaging. So, I squeezed the gel really hard and the entire thing exploded down my throat. Next, the entire thing (plus some other junk) came right back up! Beautiful! Timberman is an out and back 2-loop run course. My state of affairs can be summed up by telling you that remember VERY little from miles 3 to 6. So little that when I ran the loop the 2nd time, it was like running it the first time! One thing I do remember is seeing Sarah P., and time checking...she was 2 minutes ahead of me. I was kind of in damage control and realized the girl behind me probably wouldn't catch up unless I slowed down A LOT. I kept trekking and the entire run course seemed very hilly to me (its not that hilly, there are just sneaky hills that add up and getcha in the heat) and I was pretty stoked to see the finish line (and throw up the entire contents of my stomach..nearly identical to Oceanside 70.3. side note: I'm thinking my stomach may not process calories well above a certain heart rate. At Ironman pace, I can eat all day, but going shorter and harder is proving a tough challenge for me!)

I saw Sarah P. after the finish and went to congratulate her as she simultaneously told me that she had to drop out at mile 8 due to a niggle that she doesn't want to become anything bigger. I think it was a smart move with Vegas & Kona ahead, but I know it's hard to drop when you're in the lead- and let me tell you, I wasn't pulling any rabbits out of my arse in that run and she likely would have kept her lead until the finish. Anywho, it was great to meet Sarah P. as we have "seen" eachother race all year in results, but had never competed together....and damn, she is one tough competitor and of course she is nice too, so you can't hate her :)
Total : 4:40:35, 1st Amateur, 1st 30-34, 7th overall

Looking back over the race, YES, I blew up on the run (for me), but I couldn't be more pleased and excited about my race (well, would have been nice to break 4:40, but another day). My number one and only goal was to RACE THE BIKE and I freaking did it! My bike split was similar to the professional women overall and just six minutes slower that Chrissie W. I also swam under 30 minutes in what seemed to be a slow swim overall. Ok, the run sucked! But, hey, live and learn. Now I have the confidence that at some point, some point soon, it will all come together.

Ok, back to the finish. I ate a bit and then rinsed off in the lake and took a wet wipe shower in a secret bathroom.
 I hung out with Laura
Laura & Me
and then cruised to the finish to wait for MY MOM!!! I had my phone so I was checking her splits and I could see she was on track to finish well! Mom crossed the line in 7.5 hours looking good and I was very proud of her! It's not easy to take on half ironmans as a new hobby when you are 60 years old! She set a goal and accomplished it. GO MOM!

Mom finishes with a fist pump!
The only stinky part was that a huge storm was rolling in, so as soon as mom crossed, the race organizers made everyone evacuate. Awards were cancelled (and mom was 4th in her age group!) and she didn't even get to go into the athlete tent and enjoy the post race buffet. Total bummer.

We made up for it later with a delicious lobster & corn on the cob extravaganza.
Perfect Ending! 

Thanks to all of the people who help me race fast. My support crew is too good to be true and James, Dirk, Bryan, Dan and many others make it impossible for me to fail. Thanks also to the Champion Factory for speedy accessories, advice, and for telling me to suck it up on the bike. I've got a pretty great crew of wise men (and some women who start with K :).

Thank you to Nytro Women , Zoot Sports (fastest westsuit and NO blisters in my Ultra RACE shoes!) , Betty Designs and Beaker Concepts (love the Blaze)!
Dan the A.R.T. man works out the creaks and niggles before they every become creaks and niggles. Thank you to Bryan and the Rehab United Sports Performance crew for the strength and the core to keep good form to the finish. Lastly to Nuttzo and  Powerbar for keepin' me fueled.
And thanks to MOM for sponsoring me in New Hampsha!


Stephen said...

You totally rock girl!! Best of luck in Vegas and Kona!!!


Beth said...

Awesome race Beth!! And so awesome for your mom too. I really can't imagine at 60 deciding I want to do a half IM for the first time! :)

I've always really wanted to do Timberman - sounds like it's definitely worth it!

Kim said...

that T-man run is a bear, and i think you did amazing! congrats on a fantastic race, particularly the bike!

my friend was pulled off the course bc of the weather - it was her first 70.3 and i felt terrible!

congrats to your mom as well.

Christi said...

Congrats to you and your mom for great races!

Melissa said...

That is amazing about your mom! What a rockstar

MissFancyPants said...

FABULOUS biking!! And your mom- you guys are too cute, congrats to both! so excited to hear Timberman was great, it's on my last, maybe next year....

Running Bums said...

You and your mom are so cute and awesome! Great race and report!:)

Jennifer Yake Neuschwander said...

Huge congrats,
You and your mom rocked it. Thanks for the race report. I feel like I have enjoyed a slice the northeast. Love it.

mtanner said...

Love the race report and the mother daughter race. Super bike!

Yasi said...

Great job on the bike Beth. You totally rocked it hard. Way to go after it and get what you want!

triathletemargs said...

WOW! That's amazing! Sounds like an epic race!! I swear you're going to be the next Chrissie ;) And go your mum!! She kicked butt out there! So inspiring!!


SixTwoThree said...

Can I just say that I love your inner pirate? I feel for your mom. Tell her she did great! Hey, she didn't puke in the parking lot before her race - LOL. And she had a lobster after her race. It doesn't get much better than that - especially with her girl by her side.

Libby said...

awesome!! so stoked for you and loved the race report! you SMOKED that bike girl! won't be long before that smoking fast run appears right behind those amazing bike splits! so glad your mom finished too- what a weekend!

Kim said...

Props to you AND yo momma! That is awesome Beth! Sorry you had a little run trouble but better now than at the big show(s)! Wow.. your Mom is just awesome! Please tell her I said so! See you soon!

hillary biscay said...

hello kona-ready abs!!! damn, girl!

cheryl said...

So cool that you and your mom are doing these races together.
If you call a 1:34 half mary a "sucky" run...well....damn!
Congrats on your race and of course mom too!
(I will be 58 in a couple of weeks and will do my 3rd IM at 60-God willing!) :-)

Matt said...

congrats to both you and your mom for killing it!! Cant wait to see what you do to the field in vegas!!