Thursday, July 5, 2012

Making a Come Back at Milton Man Triathlon

I'm happy to report that the Milton Man triathlon went well! Despite my foot injury still lingering to some degree I am able to run a little now and even race! This is HUGE progress! On my race schedule I had originally planned to race the olympic distance. I felt with my longest run being 3.9 miles prior to this race that I would be pushing it so I raced the sprint. I have done this race three years consecutively now with the 2010 Milton Man being my first ever triathlon.

Leading up to race day I had some anxiety. I hadn't raced a triathlon yet this season and I hadn't run a road race since April 15. I felt that my bike performance would be decent since I did well in the Twinsburg Duathlon relay and I have been on the bike a good deal this season. I was a little nervous about the swim because I haven't been swimming much lately and certainly not with any focused effort on speed. Mostly I was nervous that my foot would fail me on the run. I didn't want to go through two of the three legs and not be able to finish.

Race Morning:

Half asleep in transition area pre race
Race morning went pretty smooth. We woke up at 4:30am (yuck). Steve was racing the sprint too and we had gotten our bikes, transition bags and kits ready the night before. We also had most of our breakfast stuff ready too and just had to brew a little coffee and load up the gear. We were on the road at 5:15 for the hour and a half trek to Lake Milton. One stop at McDonald's for a second coffee and potty break and we arrived at the race site around 6:45. The first wave was to start around 7:30 for the olympic so we had plenty of time to get set up and talk with some friends and fellow CTC athletes. You can see from the picture of me in transition that I look like and was half asleep still!

750m Swim:

I did a few minutes of easy swimming to warm up. The lake water was very warm so many people including myself went without a wetsuit. Steve's wave started about 5 minutes before mine. I did not feel nervous at the swim start. I was in the water and ready to go. I felt fine at the start and fine throughout. If anything I was too relaxed. I never really pushed the pace on the swim as I didn't want to waste energy that I felt I would need for the bike and run. My swim time here was slower than the two previous years at 19:51 versus 18:25 in 2011 and 17:42 in 2010. Yikes, I ranked 32 of 37. In 2010 I ranked 7/25. I remember coming into transition and thinking uh-oh most of the bikes are gone! This hurts my chances at placing. I will need to do a little work on the swim! I expect to be much stronger next season since my in-ground pool will  be open early and I will place a stronger effort on the swim.


I was a little slow coming out of the water and to be honest that could be reflected in my swim time. Once I hit the rack I dried off for a few seconds, pulled on my socks and shoes, threw on my sunglasses and aero helmet and took off. All in all T1 was 1:29 (18/37).

16 Mile Bike:

I feel like my bike start was a little sluggish. I was behind someone and didn't want to zip around them with the winding in the park. In hindsight I should have. I felt very strong on the first 8 mile loop. The course is pretty flat but has a couple rollers. I think the heat was getting to me a little and I felt tired approaching halfway through the second loop. I'm not sure why outside of the heat and nutrition I felt fatigued. Luckily I had a PowerBar chocolate gel with me which I took around mile 12. That helped! I was excited as I knew I hit the last mile. I had passed a lot of people on the bike but had no sense of where I was in terms of ranking.  I rolled into the transition area and thought whoa there are hardly any bikes here I must have done decent. My bike split was 46:29 for 16 miles so I averaged 20.7mph. Not quite as fast as I had hoped as I was shooting for 21-22 but not too shabby. I ranked 8/37.


Not much to say about T2. In and out in 56.4 seconds. Rack the bike, change into Pearl Izumi running shoes, which I love! Throw on hat and go!  T2 rank was 17/37.

5K Run:

Normally the run is my favorite part but being injured I was dreading this part of the race. My foot has been better but not 100%. My last run had been on a trail the Sunday before at Girdled Rd Reservation. I had run 3.9 miles, my longest in months. To race a 5K was not looking too promising. At the start of the run I felt hot, fatigued and my foot was achy and I thought maybe I should just throw in the towel. But I also knew that it takes my foot around 5 minutes or so to warm up to run and I just told myself to give it a try. I thought of Ruby and how much she loved to run and I ran. Slow at first. I felt like I was running in slow motion. A  jog really. But a few minutes later that jog turned into a run and I found my rhythm and kept going. It was so hot on the run course so I stopped for water to drink and throw on myself. The course was an out and back so at the halfway point I just wanted to stay steady and finish the race strong. I wanted to break 25 and I did with a 24:48 (flat 8 minute pace). Not bad for a non-running runner. I ranked 7/37.

The Finish:

Steve and I all smiles after the race!
The finish was sweet. Steve was standing there screaming for me. I love that he cares so much about how I do! I came in at 1:33:36, 2 minutes and 10 seconds faster than last year! I had a new PR for the course, finished 9th overall and kept 1st in my age group again this year! All in all it was a great race. Steve had a great race also finishing 8th overall, 1st in his age group and PR'd his time by more than 4 minutes!

holding on to my beloved Kestrel after the race

Once again I was really impressed with how my Kestrel handled and used my Gray 5.0 wheelset.


As always I would like to thank my sponsors: Revolution3 Triathlon for the awesome kit, PowerBar for the fuel (used PowerBar chocolate gel and PowerBar Perform drink), Pearl Izumi for the kit, cycling and running shoes used the Tri Fly shoes and Transition running shoes, Swiftwick for the socks and Blueseventy for the googles. Using good gear and having good nutrition definitely helps with performance! I would also like to thank my husband for all of his love and support, my coach for his help and my friends and Rev3 teammates for all the encouraging words before and after the race!

This new bling is joining the McGowan family collection!

These are the trophies they gave to age group winners, pretty cool!


  1. Yay! Glad it went well!! Congrats!

  2. Thanks Jill! At least I'm moving forward! Hope you are recovering well!

  3. Great race Pam! You guys rock!

    1. Thanks Beal! How's the new bike treating ya?