Sunday, June 10, 2012

Hawaii 70.3 Race Report

Hey! I'm working on scaling down the ginormous new header photo. It's a little huge.
Never gets old.
If you want the short and sweet recap, you're in the wrong place! Go here for my quick rundown of the results. If you're in for the dirty deets, grab a Kona coffee.....Or, just scroll down and check out the pretty pictures and skip the race babble. 

Pre Race
When you're racing in Hawaii, your're racing, but you're also IN HAWAII, so the race is just one of the bonuses on the agenda. I'm so lucky to have such fabulous friends to visit with, laugh with, drink pina coladas & Sangria with, and occasionally (very occasionally) talk triathlon.

I arrived in Kona with plenty of time (in theory) to prepare for Saturday's race, but not enough time to actually relax. Friday before race day, I felt a bit too stressed (wishing I could be on island time) and like I had a million places to be and things to do (short s/b/r, drink coffee!, go to pro meeting, athlete check-in, prepare my bike and drop it at Hapuna beach for T1 (T1 & T2 are about 8 miles apart), and prepare and drop my run bag.) Besides all those things, I also had to eat most of Rachel's costco sized peanut butter M&Ms, find some goggles (whoops forgot those), and get everything prepped for an early wake-up call on race day.

Pre-Race dinner was Ahi tuna, rice & bok choy (with a corona & a Sangria) with Rachel & Ken at Tommy Bahama. I think I made a pretty good 3rd wheel and I hope Ken had enough beers to drown out our squaking (poor guy)...But skipper & barbie only get a couple reunions each year and its hard to get all the words in!

Racked next to Mr. Livestrong....lucky sign?
Before I went to bed, I received a text from Linsey Corbin saying, "Sleep well missy. You're my pick for a sneaky top 3 tmrw!" I thought that was gracious of her, a little too generous (my stretch goal was top 5...)

Race morning
I'm getting good at this! 2 slices gluten free cinnamon raisin bread with almond butter and I meant to grab a banana but I forgot it, so I think I ate some of a bar or something. Ken was "ladies man" and sherpa'd our crew out to Hapuna beach for the swim start. The wind was howling already at 4:30 am and I knew we were in for a day. 

Swim- 27:44 -1.2 mile
I was actually not too nervous for the non-wetsuit swim. I had gained confidence by hanging with "the pack" in my last few races so I knew I could do it again......I had a nice start and settled into the pack for the first 2/3 of a mile. Then I started blowing up. I don't know what was going on, but I was full-on redlining and I knew I needed to back off just a bit. So eventually I watched the gap open from one, two, three body lengths. I kept the girls in sight but was OTB. Tatiana swam up and we kept each other company for the rest of the swim. As I entered T1, the contenders were just all getting out of there...Opportunity just missed, but I'll get there next time ;).

T1 went pretty well and I ran out on the tails of a few girls.
Ready to face Madame Pele! 
Bike- 2:32 - 56 miles
I had major issues slipping into my shoes once on the bike. They flipped over and I couldn't get them right side up. I basically had to stop and get things under control. Once I did, I was on a mission. My legs showed up to party and I passed 3 pro girls within the first 8 miles. The wind was ripping and two girls I passed were riding on their hoods. In moments of uncharacteristic confidence, I stayed in my bars and rode away. I have my friend tati to thank because the night before the race as I freaked about the winds, she told me to just stay in my bars as much as possible because it's more stable. Ok. done. I'm actually kind of amazed that I stayed in the aero bars for 95% of the ride because the crosswinds were the craziest I (or many others who have visited the island far more than me) have seen. The gusts were frightening and it wasn't uncommon to get blown halfway across the lane of the road. Thank goodness for closed roads! I actually felt relatively stable on my Slice and i think I made a good choice with a Zipp 404/808 combo (Thank you Race Day Wheels!). I continued to work my way up the field and found myself riding in 5th place behind Linsey Corbin, Julia Grant, Melanie McQuaid, and Bree Wee. At the turn around, I saw that they weren't THAT far ahead. A few minutes, sure, but I realized that I was actually IN the race. 
For me, I had a really fantastic ride. The top girls rode 2:28s (well, champ Linsey rode 2:25) and my 2:32 (not with the group to pace off) is something I'm proud of at this point in my season. I have been waiting for a bike ride that showed the progress I have made and I couldn't be happier with this...I came off the bike all smiles and ripped through T2.

Looking back, I think some key adjustments to my bike have really helped me ride better...This is my second race on my custom Hi-Mod Women's Cannondale Slice and it is SO light and responsive. I also have a newly tweaked fit from Studeo DNA...We put on a new, longer stem, so I have more reach and I feel more comfortable and powerful. Thank you Nestor for making me FAST! I am so so so happy with my position and how I feel on this bike. I think it's going to be huge. 

nailed it. Zoot Kiawe's & visor on. Grab gel. and RUN! 

Run- 1:27:54 
The run at Honu is a mix of golf cart paths, grass (lots of grass!) , and a few "hells kitchen" out and back asphalt sections where you get to scope the competition. I felt pretty good the whole run energy-wise and my nutrition was right on. I took a gel in the beginning and had a few gu chomps. At the halfway point, I switched to coke, coke, COKE! The magic elixir ;). I tried to stay within myself and just run at a hard but sustainable pace. I always need to remind myself that 13.1 miles is quite a long way, and its best to settle in the first 3-4 miles and then really DO WORK. I came off the bike in 5th and at mile 3 I saw Melanie, Julia and Bree and timed that they were just about 3 minutes ahead of me. Definitely within the realm of hope! Soon, I had closed the gap to 1 minute on Mel and 2 minutes on Bree. Eventually, I was able to pass Melanie (i think she had some tummy issues) and then get Bree within sight. BUT, from miles 7-10, I was closing in on Bree, but so very very slowly. The gap was a minute, then 50 seconds, then 45, then you get the point. Eventually, I was running 15 yards behind her for what seemed like 2 miles but I couldn't make the final push to pass. When I finally was right behind her near mile 11, she cheered me on in true Bree fashion, and I tried to keep it moving. I knew she could possibly come with me as she's a fabulous runner, but she didn't on this day...
Running it in to the finish...
I was able to open up a little gap and run into the finish for 3rd place and a smile. 
4:31 , 3rd place overall
My first podium, my first paycheck, and my first solid swim bike run solid race all put together in one. 

With my lucky charm at the finish....Thanks Lins for believing in me ;)
After the race, the party began! Hawaii has an excellent post-race food and beer situation and from there we moved on to pina coladas and more...I want to get a post up soon about all the fun pre and post race but this one is getting too long....Let's just say...we had some good times!
me & legend Kimmie rouse beachside post-race 

The Podium- top 3 men & women...I'm somewhere way back there on the right
*Thank you to Zoot for taking on the local girl and supplying the best gear & shoes out there. I'm swimming better than ever in the Prophet wetsuit. Cannondale- my Slice is the perfect ride decked in SRAM, & the perfect Zipp firecrest carbon clincher 808/404 pair of Race Day Wheels. Thanks to Nytro for keeping it all in working, blinging' order and Studeo DNA for my bike fit & so much more. 
*Thank you to  Dan SelstadRehab United, & MRM for helping me build my chassis, recover quickly and stay healthy-.I use so many MRM products, but I couldn't function without my Hydration Factor & Reload. Rehab United- functional strength 2x/ week, ART with Selstad every other week...the secret sauce! 
*Many gracias also to ISM saddlesBetty Designs, & Beaker Concepts  for making sure I'm comfortable, stylish & fast. 
And last but very much not least, thank you to my family for always believing in me and being there for me. Thank you to all my friends who have shown me how important our "family' is and who have supported me through thick and thin (hopefully more THIN for the Hawaii heat...haha)  


Sara said...

Congratulations Beth!

Tracey Locher said...

You are such an inspiration! Congrats!

Alison said...

Congrats & great finisher shot!

Melissa Marie Head said...

Congrats that is amazing

Princess in Training said...


rr said...

Tati's comment about being stable aero saved my ride too. She's a smart mini-skipper.

Well done, Skip!

Kristin said...

Awesome race report!! Congrats!

Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete said...

Wow! Not to sound redundant, but congrats! That is so awesome for you!

Katie said...

Awesome job! Congrats and enjoy the upcoming summer break :)

Katie said...

what a fantastic recap - I love that your legs showed up to party!!!!! oh, and I saw your pic on twitter being racked next to lance...jealous! I hope you licked his wheel.

Seeges said...

Congratulations!!! Kind of crazy how I stumbled on this blog about 3 years ago and thought she's funny, has good photos and is cute (sorry James) Then I realized quickly how insanely talented, hard working and humble you are. Nice to see you doing so well and working your way up in the pro ranks. Keep up the hard work!

skinnyrunner said...

congrats, killer!

SSB said...

Congrats on a great race. I smiled when i read on IMLive that you were starting to run people down.