Sunday, August 25, 2013

Rochester Sprint Triathlon Race Recap

Musselman 70.3 was supposed to be our final individual triathlon of the year, we are doing a 70.3 relay with Crystal in September. I should have known that wouldn't be the case because immediately after Musselman I started to look for a triathlon that would fit our marathon training schedule.

The Rochester Triathlon fit perfectly and since we are members of the RATs it was nice to do our group's triathlon. We picked the sprint distance since we haven't had as much time to swim and bike with marathon training, and I had a secret goal for both of us: to place in our age groups.

 My number!

The one nice thing about this race is that it is about 10 minutes away from our house. We still had to wake up before 6am so we could feed our pets, but it wasn't 4:45am!

We had picked up our packets the night before, and Mike got his flat tire taken care of, so when we arrived we picked up our chips, got our body markings done and started to set up our transition areas. Even though the sprint triathlon wasn't supposed to start until 8:30am the transition area still closed at 7:30am because of the Olympic triathlon start of 8am. There was a safety meeting at 7:40am so Mike and I went down to the beach and waited for the meeting.

Right before the meeting, Amber, Greg and the kids arrived! Soon after that our friends Ron and Elyse and their daughters arrived as well. We were really happy we had some supporters for the triathlon (another bonus of doing our hometown tri).

I'm excited, Mike in the background does not look excited!

 Ready for our fifth triathlon!

The safety meeting was pretty brief and then a fellow triathlete sang the National Anthem and the Olympic race was on its way! I had decided to wear my wetsuit and Mike went without, we decided it was a type of "experiment" to see which was faster, ha.

Swim Leg (.47 miles) - Jamie: 12:57, Mike: 13:09

At 8:30am, Mike's wave got into the water and he was off and swimming. I could see him for a little while but then I had to get into the corral to get ready for my wave. We were counted into the water and then we had a little while to wait, as usual all the girls were chatting prior to the start. All of a sudden the announcer said, "go!" and I was off and running. The water was really shallow at first so I took about two running steps and then got in the water to swim.

There were a few girls near me in the beginning, but almost immediately I pulled away from everyone. I knew that I was in first, in my wave, and I just focused on getting to the first orange buoy. The sun was in our face for the first little bit, but then it was better after the first turn. I had caught up to, and bumped into, a few of the prior wave swimmers and I just told myself to push it (since the swim was so short). 

I got to the second buoy and made the final turn back toward the beach. I knew I was still in first and I just pushed as hard as I could. I could see the orange buoys for the start and the white flags indicating the swim exit and I swam until my hands hit the bottom twice. I jumped up, started to run and undo my wetsuit and I ran up the hill toward the transition area. I saw Amber on the sidelines and she told me I was first (I ended up having the second fastest swim time for all females)!

 Mike at the end of his swim leg

Transition 1 - Jamie: 1:21, Mike: 1:08

Mike getting ready for his bike leg

I ran into the transition area, got my wetsuit off quickly and got ready to go on the bike. As I ran out of the transition area all of our supporters cheered me on and I got to the mount line. I was able to get on the bike relatively easily and I was off.

 Ready to get on the bike

Bike Leg (20K or 12.4 miles) - Jamie: 46:15, Mike: 39:54

The bike leg was interesting, the sprint athletes had to do two-loops and the Olympic athletes had to do four-loops. The beginning was a little bit cluttered and I just focused on keeping a good pace. I didn't get into aero too much in the beginning, and I had to avoid some newer triathletes who didn't follow the drafting rules very well, and I took it easy on some of the turns.

 The middle of the first loop

Mike going by everyone

The nice part about the bike course was that you were able to go by the transition area a few times, so we could see our supporters a lot! I waved to them each time that I went by. As I went by the transition area the first time and I got close to the hillier section, I saw Mike! We waved to each other and I headed into the wooded section of the race.

 Some of our people <3

It was a little bit hard to see (I was wearing my new sunglasses) and the hills were a bit tough, but I kept pushing. I saw our friend, Heather, who was volunteering for the race at almost the top of the hill and I said hi. There was a nice downhill in this section and I couldn't really get in aero because there were some scarier turns.

Yay! Half way done!

 Mike speeding along

I got back on the main road and as I was approaching the second loop, I saw Mike again! After passing by our support crew, I saw two people walking on the side of the road and it was our friends Eric and Sheila! I got their attention and they cheered me on. I could tell I was pushing the second loop and I focused on just getting in as quickly as possible.

 Here I am again!

In the wooded section of the second loop, a fellow RATs member said, "I thought your tri shorts said 'Gucci' on them" (they're Sugoi) and that made me laugh. I kept on pushing it through the hardest part of the bike course and when I got back to the main road I saw Mike out on the run! I got his attention and we both waved to each other.

 Off the bike!

He's so happy!

As I got back toward transition, I told the volunteers it was my last loop and then I got to the dismount line. I got off quickly and ran into the transition area. The only person I recognized was Amber but I heard all of them cheering for me. My watch clocked the bike leg as 13.39 miles at 17.4 mph and Mike's clocked it at 13.36 at 20+ mph, so the course was probably a little long.

 Get to the run quickly!

Transition 2 - Jamie: 1:23, Mike: 1:17

Mike likes to sit while putting on his shoes

I ran into transition, reset my watch (but didn't put it in run mode) and got ready to run. Amber told me Mike was the 7th person overall at that point and this made me happy. I grabbed my GU and got out of there!

Run Leg (5K or 3.1 miles) - Jamie: 26:09, Mike: 23:19

Mike right at the beginning of the run

Happy to see my people

As soon as I started running, I saw Amber and her daughter and gave her a high-five. I then saw everyone else and gave them a big smile. I knew I was in the top of the pack, overall, and I started to pass some guys ahead of me. Right around 1 mile, Mike and I passed each other and high-fived.

 Running away

 Giving high-fives at the end

I was counting girls that were coming back (it was an out and back) and I only counted three. I knew I could place if I just kept it up. I grabbed some water at the aid station, and ran through the sprinkler, and then went into the woods. Luckily, we didn't have to go all the way up the horrible hill in the woods, and I made the turn around the cone.

As I went back down, I saw two girls approaching. I knew I had to maintain so that they wouldn't pass me. Unfortunately, my second mile was my slowest (I was getting tired) but they hadn't passed me yet.

Almost there!

As I got closer to the finish, both of the girls passed me and they were in my age group! I knew at that moment that I hadn't placed. I kept pushing, and picked up the pace, and eventually I saw my people! I saw Mike and everyone else, the kids were lined up with their hands out and I gave them high-fives.

 Finish line is in sight

I heard my number being announced and I crossed the finish line. I was done!

Finishing Times - Jamie: 1:28:05, Mike: 1:18:47

After we finished, we went over to check out the results. Mike had gotten 2nd in his age group, 20th overall and 19th male. I hadn't placed, I had 4th in my age group, but I still felt really good. We decided to wait for the awards, but we packed up our stuff beforehand.  As we came back I decided to check the results again, and this time it said I was 3rd in my age group!! I was so excited but didn't want to think it was true until I had my award in my hands.

We saw our friend Laura Beth finish the Olympic race and then the awards started soon after. I had placed! I got 3rd in my age group, 11th female overall and 64th overall (I got 3rd because two people in my age group came in the top women overall and one DQ'd, I think she only did one bike loop instead of two).

Getting my award

 Third in my age group!

Mike's turn

2nd in his age group!

Afterwards, Mike and I went home and got ready for our friends' wedding. We had a great day yesterday and it was a nice, almost, end to our triathlon season!

And that's how we go from triathlon to wedding attire

Friday, August 23, 2013

I LoVermont Runcation

Mike and I aren't the kind of people that go on relaxing vacations. We probably would enjoy them, but we always end up swimming, hiking and walking around. Even when we went on our honeymoon (and we weren't runners back then) we went on a walking tour of Key West. Of course, there is always some relaxing, but we'd rather be on the move seeing the sights.

Luckily, we have friends who feel the same way! While planning our relay weekend, we decided that we wanted to extend the trip and go camping and kayaking the day after the relay. This is why there was so much packing and re-packing of the van and our cars, ha.

 While driving through Vermont, I was not the driver

Vermont is a New England state that I haven't spent a lot of extended time in, Connecticut is probably the one that is lacking the most love, so it was fun for me to explore this state some more. Growing up my family would go camping, and not in a campground kind of camping, and we had kayaks when we were a little bit older.

Mike, on the other hand, had never been camping before and has only kayaked once with my family. And he tipped over when my dad was chasing him, in the ocean. I was slightly worried that Mike wasn't going to have a good time, especially since the rest of us have gone kayaking and camping numerous times, but he was a trooper and only said "it's fine" a few times while kayaking.

The rest of our weekend consisted of kayaking 6 miles on the Connecticut River, which is the border of Vermont and New Hampshire, eating extremely yummy food (we had the BEST omelets ever at Johnny Boy's Pancake House in Rutland) and getting in some final workouts before leaving the wonderful state of Vermont, and our friends.

Look at Mike's "it's fine" face and how he paddles

 I did not partake in the rope swing

Jumping in the Connecticut River

The kayaking trip took us between 3-4 hours, none of us were timing it, and it included a stop at a rope swing. Mike really enjoyed this part, haha. Joe even tried to do SUK, an acronym that Janell came up with, where he tried to use his kayak as a stand-up paddle board. It didn't really work out that well!

 Us <3

Camping was really fun! We camped at Wilgus State Park, which was a really nice campground. We had turkey hot dogs, s'mores and tried mountain pies (we did dessert ones with cherry and strawberry filling) and played some games.

 These are all Crystal's photos, but I ate almost the same things!

In the morning, Mike and I went for a 1 mile swim in the Connecticut River while Janell and Crystal went for a shake out run (I don't even know if I would have been able to run if I tried, I got over being sore from the relay on Wednesday).  While we were swimming, I saw some people in bright pink and it was them! We all waved to each other and continued on with our workouts.

 The Connecticut River

We ended the trip with some more delicious food at a diner in Springfield, Vermont.

I had such an amazing weekend and it was a great end to my summer (I am actually back at work today)! I was so sad when the 6 of us went our separate ways, but Mike and I only have about a month until we see Crystal again and then two months before we run the MDI Marathon with Crystal and Joe will be there too. I know we'll see Janell and Aaron again, hopefully we will all get together sometime in December!

 I hope you didn't think we forgot the jump photos! It was a struggle for me to jump, ha!

Love

I'm really thankful we have such great friends and no matter where we all end up, we'll be friends for life!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

100on100 Relay Race Recap - Part 3

Did you miss Part 1 and Part 2? Check them out, here and here

After I finished my second leg, I was so hot and tired. My legs were already hurting but I knew I had a few more hours until I had to run again. Unfortunately, my final leg was going to be the hardest, but more on that later.

 Perfect relay hand-off form

We kept running down route 100 toward Okemo Mountain and everyone was having a great time. I really loved our team, it helps that we all were friends (at least through the internet, ha) beforehand.

Mike and I had brought Mussel Baby, our stuffed mussels from Musselman 70.3, along with us and somehow we ended up back in Rochester during the relay! Alright, it was Rochester, Vermont but we still thought it was a cool photo opportunity.

Mussel Baby enjoyed 100on100

Back in the ROC!

Eventually it was Mike's turn to run again. His second leg wasn't as bad as his first, it was described as flat but that means rolling hills in Vermont. Since we were close to Rochester, Vermont at this point it only made sense for Mike to wear his #trailsROC shirt during this leg. 

Representin'

This TA was at a Ford dealership and A-A-Ron (Mike kept saying that the entire relay) and Joe were browsing trucks while we waited for Crystal, ha! Eventually we saw her approaching the intersection, there was a crossing guard here too, and Mike got ready to run. 

Doing some sort of ninja kick while running

Off he goes

This was one of the only times the vans went a different way than the runners, we weren't sure if we would see Mike but we did. We saw so many runners in front of him and Joe said, "he's going to catch them all". Mike caught about 50 runners during this leg, alright that's a bit of an exaggeration but he KILLED it! He ran the 5.3 miles in about 43 minutes (8:03 pace). You can read about his leg, here.

While we waited for Mike, I got ready for the costume leg. We should have had me dress up like a Power Ranger, but we were being cheap and I just went for as bright as possible. I borrowed Crystal's tutu and we were all set!

"Von Trapped in a Van" was one of our other team name choices

One funny story while Mike finished up his second leg. Crystal and I saw him approaching, but we didn't see Janell. We started saying, "he's coming!" and "Janell!" I saw Aaron and Joe and yelled, "where's Janell!?" Little did we know she was already ready, ha, and said, "I'm right here guys". 

Starting the final round of legs

Janell's third leg was her hardest, it was over 6 miles all uphill, so we had some time to get to the next TA. When we got there, as I was waiting, some little girls came over to me with a reusable iced coffee cup. I didn't understand what they said at first (I thought they might be selling it) but they said that they were giving them out to people with good costumes. They were so cute!

Bright as possible!

Eventually we saw Janell approaching, she killed her leg and only walked at the very end, and it was my turn to run my final leg. 

Up I go

The 14th (and 15th) legs of the relay are the costume legs (Aaron didn't wear a costume). I think they do this to take your mind off of how horrible this leg is, really the 13th-15th legs are killer. I started running up the first hill and while it was making it hard to breathe, I knew I would have a slight downhill before the major uphill. Some people passed me at this point, I passed a lady who later passed me again. 

 Leg 3

The van drove by and I waved, trying to keep a brave face. I think the winning team passed by me around this time and the runner said he liked my shoes (he had on Saucony Kinvaras). People were dressed in all kinds of costumes, bananas, Scooby-Doo outfits and more.  

 Banana dude!

There were vans pulling over and other people out taking photos, who weren't even a part of the race! Since we were in a ski town there were a lot of restaurants and other things along the road to take my mind off of how badly my legs hurt. I was still running in the road, though we were on the right side and not the left, but other runners were on the sidewalk. I didn't feel like going on the sidewalk because I thought it would add more distance, ha!

Eventually after the nice downhill, which really hurt my legs but I could hold a good pace, I started to make the climb up, up, and up. I did eventually get on the sidewalk and I caught up to the Cabot Cheese runner (they had been passing out cheese samples to everyone throughout the relay). Right around 2 miles in, I had to walk. The Cabot guy was walking too and he was slightly ahead of me. There weren't any breaks in the uphill so I just gave myself destinations to get to before I would start running again. I was disappointed that I was walking but my legs hurt and I was about 16 miles in for the day.

A van told me that I looked strong at one point, and I laughed because I didn't feel strong, and the Scooby-Doo runner (who was carrying a plastic blow up Scooby-Doo doll) passed me when I was walking. She asked if I was saving it all for the last mile, and at that point I didn't have much left to save. 

 So beautiful

I eventually saw vans turning down a road, where I thought the TA after mine might be and other runners, and I knew I was close to the top of the mountain. My pace had slowed, because of the walking, but at that point I was determined not to walk anymore. I saw the transition ahead sign, saw the volunteer waving me into a parking lot and I made my way to the transition. I had to run across a parking lot, I didn't really like that because of the gravel, and then I saw my teammates! I put a smile on my face because I was done and I handed the bracelet to Aaron!

 Yay, I'm done!

I finished my last leg, which my watch clocked at 3.87 miles and not 4 miles, in 42:17 which was 10:55 pace. My paces each mile were: 9:49, 8:41, 13:15 and 12:06 for the last .87 miles. For the final leg of the day and how trashed my legs were, I'll take it!

Our team got in the van after I was done and we made our way down the mountain. Aaron had one of the hardest legs but for a different reason, it was all downhill. The van's brakes (and others) started to smell because of how much we had to use them on the way down. Aaron was hurting but he was a trooper and finished with a smile.  I should also note that at this time I shoved two marshmallows and a red velvet cupcake in my face, hey I had to replenish my calories somehow!

The evil downhill leg is done!

We only had three more runners and it was starting to get dark, so everyone was required to wear their safety gear. Crystal was a little nervous about running in the dark, but I knew she could do it. The only time we stopped for anyone during the relay was Joe's final leg. He didn't bring water with him but he wanted us to stop about halfway so we could hand him some. It was nice to support him out on the course!

 All ready for the night leg!

 Joe finishing up his leg

Mike's final leg started at Echo Lake (which is funny to me since there is an Echo Lake near where I am from in Maine) and it was pitch black when he was starting his leg. We had Janell stationed a little further down to signal when Crystal was coming but then all of a sudden we heard, "Mikey!!" and then "it's her!". Mike ran to the cones and then he was off on the final leg to finish out the day.

We got in the van and then I noticed I had a missed call. I hadn't mentioned this yet, but when we got to the hotel the first day I had a call from our start hotel about how my credit card had expired (which I knew). I fixed everything with that hotel, but I should have told the end hotel as well. I called the end hotel back and he had CANCELED our reservation (one room for all of us again). Luckily, they had a room but it had ONE bed. We still took the room and in the end we all fit inside, with some puzzle work, but it was a little bit frustrating to say the least. 

When we got to Okemo Mountain, we parked the van and went over to the "team reunification" area. I didn't realize that we would be finishing inside, which was cool, and we watched other teams finish the relay. The time got close to when Mike should have been finishing his leg and then we saw him! He wasn't going in the right direction, though, so we yelled his name and after some confusion he joined us (I guess he ran through the parking lot instead of on the road and he got all mixed up, you can read about it here). He ran the 4.9ish miles in 39 minutes (8:00 pace).

 Yay! We're done!

Power Strangers was done! We crossed the finish line in 14:14:18, about 5 minutes ahead of schedule (we were projected to finish at 9:21pm). We got our medals, took some finish line photos and stuffed our faces.

 Power Strangers, 14:14:18, 70th out of 160 teams

After everything was over, we piled in the van, drove to the end hotel and all took showers. Like I said before we figured out how to fit us all, Joe and Crystal in the bed, Aaron and Janell on their air mattress and Mike and I on the floor in our sleeping bags. 

 Love Mike's face

The next morning we repacked our cars, finished checking off our legs (oops!) and got ready to go camping! But you'll just have to wait to hear about that later.

I loved this relay, it was so much fun and I would definitely do it again. Power Strangers was a fun group of people and it was just the start of an amazing runcation!