Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rev3 Cedar Point: The Actual Race Report

The Swim: (48:59)
The conditions were 100% better than the day prior. It was a beach start, with really shallow water for the first 100 meters or so. I had to pee before the start! No porta jons around. After my Iron Girl experience (abnormal heart rhythm when I tried to pee in the water), I decided to take care of it before I got in the water. TMI for those non-triathletes, but I was warm for the swim! Some people were dolphin-diving at the start. I’m just not that coordinated. The swim was an upside down U. It took until the first turn for me to be really comfortable. The good news was minimal contact with other swimmers. The leg parallel to the shore was perfect…the current went with us, minimal waves. I knew most of my wave had pulled away, but I was swimming 1.2 miles and I knew I would make the swim cutoff so I didn’t care! That was my goal and I was meeting it. The last leg into shore was rough! Breathing in either direction = water in my mouth. The Rev 3 buoys in the water are great- large and bright. The inflatable on the beach at the swim finish is sponsored by Muscle Milk and is brown and white. It has a tendency to blend into the sand….really hard to sight on (my only constructive feedback for the race was that they should add some bright streamers to the inflatable). I swam as far as I could in the shallow water, and started peeling off my wetsuit as I waded/ran the last little bit. I had told my family not to worry about being there for T1, but as I came out of the water I saw them there. I got to High-Five my kids and my sister (who proceeded to tell me “Run Faster! Pick it up!!!”).

T1: (2:12)
A little run up the beach, across a mat on the parking lot, and into transition. I was near the end of a rack (Rev3 has the best transition racks that hold your bike tire), and got to my stuff quickly. I was wiped from the swim, seeing Jenn (a Rev3 staffer) in transition was a big help. She gave me some encouragement and I set out to catch up with the girls who kicked my butt on the swim. No socks for this one, which worked out fine (I sprayed TriSlide on my feet, and in both pairs of shoes before the race). I am happy with the time, as I was definitely feeling a bit sluggish.

The Bike: (3:08:59, 17.78 mph)
I liked this course (think Eagleman with more scenery and some “usable” rollers). There were enough hills to keep it honest, but nothing that would make anyone who rides in Columbia bat an eye. I seriously think I was the only one out there without aerobars (I pointed this out to my Mom the day before, as she was marveling at all the “odd” bikes she was seeing). That much more motivation to catch those fast swimmers. I kept passing women, but none in my age group. Uuuugh! I got one or two, but it took to the second half of the bike to really make progress. I ended up passing 9 of the 35 in my age group on the bike. That felt good. My nutrition went well. I had three large bottles and one smaller one. The three were filled with First Endurance Grape EFS, and the other with water. (No aerobars = no aerobottle). I felt good for the first half (averaging 18.7 mph). Then the wind hit. The second half was more spread out- a bit lonelier. I kept thinking of the awesome rides I’ve had this season (thank you Emily and my other MMTC riding buddies). I was also thinking about how much I had to pee (yes, there is a theme here), but I couldn’t do it on the bike. The last 10 miles was brutal with the wind…really had to work hard! Kept thinking about the run and hoping I had enough in the tank. I started taking Hammer Gel, and my left knee started talking to me. Nothing unbearable, but it was there.

T2: (01:19)
Really happy with this time! Again, I could have moved faster. Team Trakkers “Mom” Sharpie was working in transition, and cheered for me as I transitioned. She told me to dump water on my head because the sun was coming out after a dreary morning. (I would later regret my lack of sunscreen application).

What the kids did while I raced!!!!

Run: (Run/Walk) (2:28:15)
The first 3 miles felt good (I was averaging 9:30, heart rate was good, and feeling a little tired but good). The course was totally flat save one hill on an overpass. It wound through a lakeside park, and downtown historic Sandusky (very cool buildings). A portion was out and back. At mile 3, I saw two of my Trakkers teammates (mile 10 for them) on their way back. I cheered them on, got a high five, and tried not to dwell on the fact that we all started the swim together. By this point I really had to pee. I could tell that I had a chance of making it in under 6 hours, so I really didn’t want to stop. Walked a little after the rest stop, poured some water on myself, and the rest is history. Fast forward to mile 6. My left knee started to hurt. I walked a little stretch and ran again to the mile 7 marker. I just couldn’t run anymore. It HURT! The longer I ran, the worse it got. So I walked, and cried hysterically for about 30 seconds. A woman passed and said something encouraging. I started saying to myself “There is no crying in triathlon”. Over and over.
It was apparent I wouldn’t meet the 6 hour goal, but I was only at 5 hours. I had 3 hours to make the time cutoff. I would walk/crawl 6 miles to make it! I had set out to do 70.3, and I was determined to do it. I felt well-hydrated, nothing but the knee holding me back. Up ahead, I saw a guy limping along. We ended up side by side and started chatting. He was Joe from Pittsburgh, and on a good day would’ve smoked me on the run. He had a broken toe, and was struggling with a similar issue. We started talking and walking together. We decided to walk run- we pick the starting point and run until one of us couldn’t anymore. I thank the Tri Gods for Joe- I don’t think I would’ve run at all without him! People were so encouraging. I saw a lot of my teammates who were doing the full distance and got to cheer them on (including Kathleen, our pro).
Coming over the overpass and seeing the coasters at Cedar Point was amazing. I knew I could do it- I could finish 70.3 miles. It wasn’t fast and wasn’t what I had hoped for, but I could finish. I saved what I had so that I could run the last stretch. You go through the parking lot (past several of my Trakkers teammates, cheering like mad), into a back park entrance, to a long finish chute. There was my Mom at the start of the chute, and she sent my daughter out to run with me. This is what I had envisioned……. Sharing this accomplishment with my family. The knee hurt, but we ran to the finish and I smiled and smiled. It was amazing!!!!!
Check out he amazing photos here.

This was the first race all season that hasn’t resulted in a migraine post-race. Thanks Coach Mike for the nutrition plan! I realized that all I consumed for the first hour post was water, and ate some pasta salad, had a coke and a Muscle Milk. I got to see the pro winners finish the full, and enjoy the day. Several of my Trakkers teammates made the podium for the half and the full (one took second overall amateur female for the full…crazy fast). When I got to my car, there were several encouraging text messages, including some wonderful ones from my husband in Maryland. He made me feel so good, regardless of my time. It was a great race, great people, and an amazing venue.


  1. PERFECT! Congrats on your first 70.3!

  2. Kiersten- you are awesome! FYI... I totally cry in triathlon. High intensity racing makes me cry... I can't help it! 5ks make me cry the last 1/2 mile if I'm racing it hard enough. The last 5 miles of the rev3 bike course made me cry!! I was mashing gears, head down into that headwind on a bumpy road that wouldn't end... LOL!!

  3. Awesome race report!! Now it's time to go kill the next one!! Have a wonderful weekend!

  4. You may have been hurting, but everytime I saw you, there was a smile on your face! You are a very motivating person to be around!!!! :)