Monday, July 17, 2006

I'm a Musselman!

Not a muscle-y man quite like Hans or Franz.

But--another HIM in my book and a HEEE-YOOOOO-GGGE deposit into my IM bank.

Below is the post regarding my plan for this race. If you read it, you know I was NOT supposed to be PR'ing or really pushing the pace in ANY sense of the word. This was a little hard for SCCS to swallow, but I managed to shut her up most of the time although she popped out a teensy bit on the run--only because I was able to pass LOTS of people and she was excited about that. :)

This race was a QUALIFIER FOR NATIONALS, so, um, the competition was ready to play so to speak. There were some UNBELIEVABLY FAST athletes from around the Northeast, Midwest, and Canada at this race. I was just really excited not to finish in dead last in AG with all the insane competition out there! It was a very professionally run and executed race, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good HIM in Western NY--5 hour drive for Cleveland, 6 hour drive for Boston, and not too far from Toronto!

I will rate my performance in a medium that I am quite used to: The REPORT CARD.


Name: TriSaraTops
Grade: IM Wannabe
School Year: Musselman HIM 2006


This is totally my fault. In Cassie's words, I got sidetracked by the sightseeing at the bottom of Seneca Lake--all those cool zebra mussels and trout! OH MY! One just went swimming by my face! That, and the fact that my goggles leaked on the LEFT socket of my new sweet aquamask, but NOT my right! ARRRRRRRGGGGGGGGG I had to stop every 100 yards or so to empty them out. Tried swimming with my eyes closed. Not so good. Guess I should have tried them out more than 30 minutes before I used them in a race. OOPS.

BUT--when all was said and done finished in about 43? I could have done LOTS better than that, as I didn't push very hard at all and had technical difficulties. A far cry from last year's HIM swim. Oh well. Still managed to pass a few dudes that started in the wave 4 minutes ahead of me, so that's fun. But I did miss the guy Cassie saw that came out of the water in TIGHTY WHITEYS---panicked and went back under the water, then removed his SWIM CAP to cover his exposed self! WTF?!

Comment: Needs to show consistent effort, needs to be more prepared for class

T1: (Pass/Fail grade only) Pass.
I mosey-ed through T1 and tried to lower my HR a bit, grabbed my helmet and glasses, slathered on a bit more sunscreen on my back, and was ready to go. Definitely not worrying about losing a few seconds here. After all, this ain't really a race but rather a niiiiccceeelooooonnnnngggg brick, right?

Bike: B

Man, is it hard to keep the HR low. I mean REALLY REALLY hard. When people are FLYING by you and just picking you off, that totally hurts the ego. Part of that comes with the territory of being a relatively stronger swimmer and weaker biker--your ass is just gonna get passed. :) I tried to just keep in mind my coach's words: "If they fly by you on the bike, you will probably pass them on the run." In my head I just tried to think that but it was a hard pill to swallow, so I tried to focus on the beautiful scenery of Wine Country and the Finger Lakes. The first 20 miles were gradual uphills with a few climbs. I tried as hard as I could to SLOW DOWN, spin up the hill, and keep the HR LOW. Maybe, I thought, if I do this, I'll actually NOT have a death march on the half marathon.

I did NOT drink enough. But I felt like all I did was drink! Arg. I still need to work on that.

Miles 20-40 were downhill....YIPPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE gained some speed back here.

40-56 were mostly flat with some rollers. I checked out the cool historical markers as I went by them on the Cayuga Lake. Hee hee. History.

Arrived back in T2 at somewhere around 3:34. Much slower than last year's half, but hopefully that will pay off, right?

Comment: Is improving in this course

T2: Pass
Again, not much to report here. EXCEPT: Once I stepped off my bike I realized how unbelievable hot it was. I knew it was humid, but didn't really feel like it was that hot. ( note: I will soon find out it was NINETY-FOUR DEGREES)

Run: A+

WOW. It's hot. I'm definitely noticing that. WOW. People are now finishing the race and I have a half marathon to do. Sheesh. Sure hope I drank enough on that bike. I hope my slooooowww bike will pay off now. Guess I'll find out.

Mile 1 was a little fast and I had a hard time getting the HR under 160 with the heat. I decided to make peace with high 150-low 160s and go by perceived effort. The first 7 miles, as the race director warned us, were very hard. He said, the night before at the pre-race meeting, that he "didn't want to sugar coat anything....this is hard run course." He showed us the elevation chart. YOWZA. I didn't even look at that one before since I was so preoccupied with the bike! There were some pretty big hills including one of about 200 feet at mile 7. Hopefully the Hinckley Hill training did me well....after mile 7 it was mostly downhill with a few gradual climbs and short spikes.

WOW it was hot. I started passing people like nobody's business. That felt good. People at mile 2 were already walking. I tried to keep the HR in check and not get too excited YET. It was still a long way to go to the finish.

I think I took about 30 enduralytes during the race. Holy schneikies--that's a lot of happy pills. They worked though, as I didn't cramp up at all, and didn't have white salty sweat marks on me when done like I did in Wisconsin.

Walked through EVERY aid station. That cost me time, but I knew I really needed to if I wanted to stay in one piece. Grabbed water, a gel at every 3rd mile, and poured a cup of ice down my sportsbra at every station. When I ran it sounded like I had maracas hiding in my chest. Hey, it worked, so who cares. I'm the maraca-sports-bra-running freak, I guess.

I passed TONS of people on the run. OMG--for once in my life, did I actually run a good long race?

Realized I was negative splitting my half-marathon big time! This made me sooooo excited as I knew that this would be a good indication of whether or not I biked at the right pace for me.

At mile 11, I passed a bank that was flashing the time and the weather: "94 F." I got this HUGE grin on my face. I was negative splitting a half marathon at the end of a half ironman and it was 94 degrees and sunny. It certainly can't be TOO much hotter in Wisconsin. The plan worked, and I did things right! Both my marathons I had to slow down a bit in the last 3 miles, so it was really exciting to me to finish strong. My last mile was 9:45.

Comment: Has great potential in this subject

Overall Time: 6:47

Deer Creek Pineman 2005 Numbers:
Temperature: 82 degrees F, sunny skies, delayed start by an hour due to fog
Course: Mostly flat bike, VERY flat run
Swim: 33 minutes (course was most likely a little short! I can't really take credit for that)
Bike: avg. 16.5 mph
Run: avg. 12:40/mile (I wasn't kidding when I said "death march")
Kind of race: "A" race of season, full 2 week taper, well rested.
Finish time: 6:34
Age group: 7/7

Musselman HIM 2006 Numbers:
Temperature: 94 degrees F, sunny skies
Course: gradual bike climb of 700 feet, challenging, hilly run course
Swim: 43 minutes (BOOOOOOOO I should have done better!)
Bike: avg/ 15.7 mph
Run: avg. 11:04/mile (that's mosey-ing through the aid stations, too:)
Kind of race: "C" race, no taper at all, trained through
Finish time 6:47
Age group: 15 out of 25

So, can I do a faster half? Definitely. BUT--that wasn't the point of this weekend. I am very pleased with my results and excited I was able to do the run that I did. I know that I put some serious IM MOO training in with this heat on this course, and I am glad that SCCS didn't prevail. :) And to be even remotely close with my last year's time--on no taper!--shows that I have made some big improvements. So we'll call that a victory.

I have passed...and it's time to head onto my next grade.....


Kim said...

I am SO proud of you! Despite your swimming issues, seems like you pulled through and finished so strong! Way to go on the run!! Wow, SUPER impressed!

Cliff said...


Congrats. No death march in long races, I consider that as a victory. U totally kick butt on the run compare to last year.

I wish I have a sportbra so i can have somewhere to hold ice with :)...

Susan said...

You should be so proud! Great job trisara!

Discovery said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
TryAthlete said...

Laughed myself silly reading about how you grade yourself. (Too much of the teacher in you.)

You really are an A*!

Running Rabbit said...

No one but a teacher would give themselves a grade like you just did. From one teacher to another though...I completely understand! :-)

Curly Su said...

congrats, sara. and, nice post! :)

E-Speed said...

Sounds like you did great! Get better goggles! You will do much better on the swim in Wisconsin I am sure of it!

Glad you prevailed in this hot hot heat!

Pharmie said...

Wow. I can only hope for times like those in 2 weeks. And in that heat? You are totally a rock star, my new hero in fact :)

BuckeyeRunner said...

Woo Hoo!!! Way to go, Sara! That is great - I can't imagine the heat - it was so hot here in Cleveland - I was thinking about all you guys running musselman, and wondering how the heck you were getting through it. Great job!!!

jkrunning--Just Keep Running said...

Great job!! You need to celebrate that awesome finish.

Eric said...

Awesome job sticking to the race plan. You executed it to perfection and you saw the benefits during the run.

I couldn't wait to read your report.

Scott said...

Grade for Effort and Race Reporting A++. Congratulations.

Wes said...

If everything went perfect, it wouldn't be any fun now, would it? I'm glad you had a good time and you did so well. Hope I can get myself down to 10 minute miles at some point on my first mile :-) You rock!

Joseph Vinciquerra said...

Beautiful job TriSara!

Chad Austin said...

Awesome race and report. Congrats. I'm sure the heat sucked, but it'll be worth it on 9/10.

Papa Louie said...

Congratulations on a well executed half ironman. Sounds like you had too much fun on the run.

Robb said...

Great report TriSara. Excellent finish with an awesome run.

Michele said...

Love the report!

Awesome job on the race, way to stick to the plan and see it pay off.


RunBubbaRun said...

Great job on the race, as always a great post.. great job sticking to the race plan... It was a hot day that day, definetly will get you ready for IMWI..

Sunny said...

Congrats, Sara! Mussleman Sprint last year was hot and humid. I didn't do the 1/2-IM, but will do my first at Timberman on Aug. 20. Your run will hopefully inspire me to take the e-lytes and try to imagine myself grinning at the heat. Negative splits, too? Wow. You did really well -- be proud -- and may your next race have the swim you want.
Cheers, -SunnyS

Jodi said...

Great race Sara! That should make you feel more confident about IMWI. You handled the heat better than most of the people out there. It wass fun to see your smiling face coming out of the water and at T2. I have some pics! (But unfortunately not of Mr. Tighty Whitie)

RobbyB said...

Nice work Sara!

RE: Tighties. I always see dudes in their Under Amour for swimming. And I always say WTF? too. I don't get it. Do they ride in that, too? Seriously, WTF?

And now you know, never try anything new on race day. Especially goggles.

Congrats again. You're gonna rock Wisconsin!

Tammy said...

Wow!! Nicely done Sara!! Congrats on a strong showing :) I'll have to remember that ice in the bra trick!

walchka said...

Congrats on a great race and report. Your run was super sweet. Just remember the first rule of race day - Nothing new. :)

Bolder said...

great race, great report.


Wil said...

YEAH chica!

How freakin' nuts is it that my goggles crapped out on me too - I'm all about getting some new ones.

Doo do doo do doo do doo do.... (yeah, that was the Twilight Zone... just in case, you know... )

qcmier said...

Wasn't that a fun weekend!? The only thing better would have been if we got lucky with the powerball.

greyhound said...

Great effort. Your confidence going into IMWI is well founded. Draw on this memory when the negative head chat starts.

Maraccas in your chest???!!! LOL.

trifrog said...

Sounds like someone is coming into their long-course own! Springboard this positive experience to the remainder of your training and preparing for the event in Sep.

Lana said...

Awesome job!! Way to stick to the plan and kick some butt.

Fe-lady said...

Very good, very good! You did well and should be proud of yourself...and happy you are staying on track with your IM training along with your racing!

Chris said...

Now one has to ask... what is a guy doing wearing tighty whiteys out there in the first place?!

Congratulations on your finish! Looks like you're in good form making the final push to Wisconsin. Just a few more weeks away!!!

jeanne said...

i'm late to the party, but congrats! that's an awesome report and some awesome improvement in just one year!

Mojo said...

Way to finish strong, especially in the heat. It's great you did so well on the run! You should feel confident about your IM. Great job, girl!