Wednesday, October 12, 2016

ahhhh.....

Always dreamed of running a marathon with Scott... last Sunday my dreams came true.  Full detailed post on its way.. hoping to do a "Nic's Perspective" and "Scott's Perspective" write up for this one.  Since i don't know if this will ever happen again, i better get the memories down now!

Chicago Run MFG 13.1

Here is my write up for Chicago Athlete

While the race seemed like it was going to draw a big crowd, as Dave Kappas said, it was an "intimate group" for the half and "even more intimate group" for the 5K.  Benefits of a small group include:  easy parking, no bathroom lines and no major congestion on the path (that is shared with the general public).   Only real downfall is it feels like a training run and not a race.. but it is supported and we needed a long run, so it worked for us. Bizarre thing is for a big event group, their social media was totally dead and very limited emails leading up to race.  Don't get me wrong, i hate a ton of emails but there were so few, i almost wasn't sure if it was happening.  They have since removed the link for the Chicago Mini 13.1 on their webpage. 
Scott needed to log some miles and we chugged along and got them done in this race.  The weather was nice at the start but warmed up towards the end which made for some slower miles.  Our goal was to: get a run/walk pattern down and not completely fall off pace at the end. It was a slower half but we got the job done.  Scott might have said "how am i going to run twice as far?"  over and over after we finished :)



North Shore Tri Race Report

Finished my tri season with my "backyard tri."  Only 10 minutes from my house, this race is a perfect one to finish the year with.  The race itself is very well organized and friendly to all levels.  With the addition of the supersprint, it was even more newbie friendly this year.

Morning of, i convinced/weasled Scott to drop me off.  I was concerned about parking but ended up being really easy.  Gilson park was completely empty so those driving themselves had no issue getting there.  (I should have remembered this from 2 years ago but i think Scott drove me that time too).  Anyways, got my bike racked and ready and made my way over to the swim start.  I went to rack my bike and the girl next to me said there wasn't enough room.  I could tell she was new to the sport and created some small talk as it was clear she was nervous.  I told her i wouldn't take up much space and set up my stuff.  Within 10 minutes, 2 more people racked in the same space she was concerned about.  Little interactions like these are a reminder that we all started like she did at one time.  With 4 bags for a sprint and her 3 gels for the bike.  It reminds me how far I have come in the sport and also makes me appreciate that we still race the same course. 

The swim is a point to point and like it was 2 years ago... very cold water.  I heard it was in the 50's and it sure felt like it.  My face was pretty cold within a few hundred yards and I had an ear ache on my breathing side for a good week after the race.  I was convinced I could feel the small drop of cold water that was in there all week.  I made my way through the water, albeit slow, and existed with little feeling in my hands and feet.

Bike is a two loop course and felt good on it.  There is some weaving and b/c of so many newbies. Kept a 16.63 MPH pace and felt good entering T2.

Run was a 1-loop course.  Nice residential streets completely closed and some great views of the Wilmette neighborhoods and Bahai Temple.  One aid station you pass twice.  Got to see a few friends along the course and also found myself next to a dude with white see-through shorts for about a mile.  It was the most memorizing.. "don't look, but i can't stop staring" mile I have ever run.  He kept me pushing and crossed the finish line ~3.5 minutes faster than i did 2 years ago. 

Scott picked me up and then had church a few hours later.  With the half marathon Saturday and this race on a Sunday, after church, I snuggled up with Lucy and took a huge nap.  Great way to end the tri season and no regrets with my decision to keep this season with short distances.  I needed a mental break and because of the shift, was able to throw a few weekends to Scott for long runs.  Next year, will go longer.. till then.. off season. 

1:37:42 - 2016
1:41:07 - 2014


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Cedar Point Rev3 - Reasons to race!

Been to this race since 2011 and it is a favorite of mine. 3 years now as a team member and this race really is the best! Registration opens soon for this event and here are my top 10 reasons why Cedar Point should be on your schedule:

1.  Multiple distances to please all level of athletes and families.  Rev3 CP has Kids sprint, Family 5K, Sprint for Adult, Half&Full for Adult and Half&Full Aquabike.  These options really can be made into a ton of combinations. Volunteering is also an option for those who just want to support! 
2.  The race has a perfect host hotel- HOTEL BREAKERS (get reservations early when the block is announced) with other options very close by. 

3.  This past year, park tickets were included along with early entry perks for athletes and families! 

4.  With the full and half going at the same time, back of the pack half distance people will have company out on the course (as long as you make cut offs)

5.  Families can enjoy the park while racers are on the course and run out and catch them in transition.  This past year, Quarq had Qollectors that allowed families to track their racers in real time with updates every minute!  I used one myself at Poconos and it was awesome!
6.  There is a backup swim to ensure no cancelled swim!

7.  Aquabike options provide perfect supported long training efforts for someone that might have already committed to another race.

8.  While there are a handful of options for food on Cedar Point pennisula, the options are endless on the Milan main street.  Hotel Breakers also have fridges for those wanted to stock up on their must-have items and store them in their hotel.

9.  Price point is amazing esp for those able to commit early with flexible deferral options if something comes up. Rev3 also has same day pickup (for a small charge) to make it easier for locals who want to drive in that morning. 

10.  You really wont find another series that makes you feel like YOU, as an individual athlete, are appreciated and valued as a consumer.  I race other big players and in no way am knocking them BUT you can't beat the small touches Rev3 puts into every event!

***********************************

This year, it was more of a family vacation that focusing on racing.  With my manta or shorter distance tris this year, i opted for the sprint, volunteering and family time.  We brought a friend for josh and had a blast.  We stayed at Breakers and lucked out with one of the cheaper rooms with all we needed.  Race morning, felt good, was ready to PR.  Helped get racers into corrals with my volunteering family and then got into the water with my wave.  There were a handful of people in the back of the pack freaking out in the water.  One of them called me by name (still haven't figured out how they new me or recognized me with swim cap) but i ended up staying with the back of the swimmers.  Handful of them didn't make the cut off which was a bit heart breaking to see but I was happy to be with them while they were panicked in the water. 

I ended up waiting for the last place finisher and ran with her on the run.  We ran through the park and had great conversation and pushed through to her finish.  She smashed her goal time and it was awesome to be a part of her day.   Rest of the weekend, i helped with practice swim handing out SBR products, rode some big rides and then helped with swim out on the way out of town.  Fun to ride the newest coaster Valravyn!  Josh also won me a Pikachu so i call the weekend a win!
 


Monday, September 12, 2016

Chicago SuperSprint Race Review.

Always a fun one to participate in.  This year, there was late bike check in and same day pick up which made for a super smooth morning and thankfully enough time for the rain to pass.  Overall, I liked the changes they made to the race schedule.  The late check in with kids races first worked nicely and was nice to see a positive change. I was disappointed that for the second year in a row, they didn't have the correct shirt sizes.. do i need to remind them of the Seinfeld.. "why did you take a reservation if you can't keep it"

I came to the race already a little tired as Scott and I ran 7 miles that morning.  Not quite the perfect race day prep but as marathon crammers we had to get some mileage in.   We ended up doing 7 on the dreadmill which was not my favorite.  Long runs are best outside for me.

By the time I got to the race, I had a little rejuvenation in me.  I got set up and met up with some friends from Crush and Karis (who I know from work connections).  Great to connect with friends and kill time before the start of the race.

Start was into waves but a rolling start which decreased congestion and i believe made the process go quicker.  Swim was kindof rough as the water was choppy and cold.  Happy i went with my wetsuit and got out of the water slow but ready to hit the bike.

Three loops around the bike course and ended up with a decent pace for me (16.79 MPH) except for the time a DIVVY passed me.... a dude with an aero helmet at DIVVY!  i remembered his number and looked him up.  He ended up winning that division and averaged 19.77 MPH so I couldn't completely complain about that but I did lament as he passed me... "NOOO, not a Divvy".

Transitioned to the run and felt good.  Had a 10:55 pace which was a little disappointing when i looked it up but realizing I ran 7 that morning, i couldn't be too upset.  Crossed the finish feeling good and happy to have another short race under my belt. It has been fun to just enjoy triathlons this year and not worry about distance.  Next year, I will get back into it but for now, i am enjoying the change of pace, doing some more cross training and attempting to train my body it is time to say goodbye to some of the fat it has been holding onto.. "put down the donut nicole".  Thanks for the free downloads ChiTri... enjoyed having them!
My Write up for Chicago Athlete

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Rev3 Poconos Weekend

Not your traditional race report as I didn't do the full tri.  I did the relay with my brother (i did Oly swim) and also did the half marathon (ended up being 15 miles) with the last runner in the 70.3 distance along with volunteering race morning.  So while, i didn't complete the full tri, i was just as tired!

Rev3 always picks the best venues.  They are family friendly and conducive to accommodating racers and their families (i.e. plenty of hotels/restaurants nearby). Here is my weekend in pics!
Practice Swim Friday with some team members.  Thank you SBR Sports for providing TriSlide to lube up athletes

Rev3 Volunteers are the best!  These kids holding down transition!

Race Morning.  Life guards getting ready to get out on the course.  The fog lifted nicely for the race to start on time-ish

Two of final runners on the course that I had the privilege to run with.  They were both awesome and had great spirits.  No question they wouldn't finish, they were both on a mission even with the highs on the run course.  Wishing them the best of luck in their 140.6's they have coming up.   Also, Shout OUT to Quarq  and their race intelligence.  Wore a Qollector during my run with the final finisher and it was awesome for my husband and Rev3 to track the racers progress.  Definitely check them out at your next event!

Nothing quite ends a day like an ice cream cone with sprinkles, an ice bath while eating a PowerBar, high fives from Eric and Mexican with the family.  Such a fun weekend.  Rev3, you never disappoint.  Honored to represent you as an AG athlete and grateful to see an organization show they care so much about each athlete!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Glenview Park Center Triathlon

My backyard race!   So newbie friendly but also awesome for locals to push themselves.  I drive these roads everyday and love this well organized race. 
 
Total Time:
1:15:55
10/27 in AG

Swim: 6:25
T1: 2:24
Bike: 33:58 (17.7 MPH)
T2: 1:29
Run:  31:37 (10:12 min/mile)


Rolled in with 10 minute to set up transition.  Met up with friends and made our way over to the start area where you self seed yourself for the pool swim.  4 of us ended up getting together for the swim start.  We all figured we were around the same time and i was 2nd in the line of the 4 of us.  Nervous the two behind me were going to want to pass me after one length but it ended up perfect as we were on the same pace the entire time with Jen being the fastest but she was first so no worries.  We all exited around the same time and made our way to transition. 
Bike was good.. felt good in my saddle and averaged 17.7 MPH which was good for me.  I feel like i need to work on keeping my power consistent as sometimes i was up to 20 and others pushing for 15.  Exited the bike and wanted to push on the run.  Ended up with a best 5K during a sprint tri.  No walking and felt strong.  Another small victory for me.  I ended up PR'ing the race by over a minute. (with it's 300M pool swim, you can only compare it to itself) Nothing earth shattering but very happy to see I am plugging along.  This year has been about improving my core, staying strong and hopefully feeling good and strong on the course.  I have been pleased to see that this also has meant I have gotten stronger along the way. 

Finished the race and re-joined friends in the post race area. Fun day with fun friends and a PR to top it off!